Need identification stickers for the inside of stringed instruments.
July 31, 2007 12:38 PM   Subscribe

Help my luthier S/O achieve immortality in his work!

My S/O is an accomplished luthier. He can take a violin, cello, or standup bass that looks like it's been run over by a truck and restore it so that it will play again and look beautiful as well. Often an instrument comes through his shop that is quite an antique. There will sometimes be "stickers" on the inside, recording who made the instrument, or who added modifications and repairs over the years. While peering into a standup bass with a flashlight one time, looking at something like "Horst Finkelbaum 1888" (not a real sticker!) I said, "Hey, YOU should have something like this! People 200 years from now can bitch about the way you glued something up!" And he said, "Yeah, I know, I should." So for an upcoming birthday present, I'd like to make a design, and have a few hundred printed up for him. I figure it should be acid free paper, about 3 X 3, with ink that can take a slopping of hide glue, but that's as far as I can figure it. Can anybody recommend a company that might make something like this to order? What could I expect to pay for, say, 300 of them? We're in NYC, but I'm thinking this would be something I might be able to do online or mail-order.
posted by Wylie Kyoto to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'd look at archival book plates, from suppliers like University Products or Brodart.
posted by nonane at 1:10 PM on July 31, 2007

A bit of tangental advice from printer...

There's every likelihood that a printer will charge you the same amount whether you get 300 stickers or 3000, so set an amount you'd like to spend and see what you can get for that amount. The cost of printing comes from printer setup, wash-up, and the printer's hourly wage. Once the cylinders start spinning the only costs you're incurring are ink and paper, which are a small percentage of the overall cost.

Strictly from a self-interested point of view, I'd also urge you to support your local neighborhood printer. You'll be able to meet with somebody face-to-face who will be able to discuss inks and papers, which is likely not something an online printer will be able to do for you.

You might consider contacting the Printing Industries Alliance NY branch for help. I have never used the service, but professional organizations exist for this purpose.

Cool idea, by the way.
posted by lekvar at 2:32 PM on July 31, 2007

This thread may be helpful. It's a bunch of guitar builders discussing the minutia of labels. AAMOF, It prolly has way more than you want to know. One guy recommends a paper that looks like hand-hammered goat scrotum.
posted by wsg at 6:24 PM on July 31, 2007

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