A Stamp is a Stamp is a Stamp, Right?

Well, yes. While the literal impression might be the same - certain little details are going to make your stamping task easier than others.

When you're running a business, you're always given the advice: figure out what sets you apart and run with that. The stamps that we produce are top notch. Mike is our stamp maker, and I (Sydney) do everything else (the design work, running the business, stamping the textiles, and most of the time, packaging the stamp orders). The reason I spelled that out is because it shows our system of checks and balances. If Mike notices something off about the file that I produced, he catches it before he starts making that stamp and has me correct the file. If, when I'm packaging orders, I think that a stamp that Mike made could be better, I (politely) ask that he remake it (it's rare, but it has happened before). We only send out the highest quality of stamps.

Rhino-sunflower-sm.jpg

What makes up a high quality rubber stamp?

 Notice how on this stamp the engraving and handle are centered on the stamp block. When the engraving (and rubber on the other side of the block) are centered/aligned with each other, it makes it easier to line up the stamp impression on your paper. When stamping with a wood handled stamp, having a centered handle helps distribute the pressure so that the impression comes out even (if you're using a larger stamp that doesn't have a handle, two hands is the way to go). Centered engraving and handles seems like a no-brainer, but when companies prioritize speed over accuracy, it's a recipe for sloppy work.

Notice how on this stamp the engraving and handle are centered on the stamp block. When the engraving (and rubber on the other side of the block) are centered/aligned with each other, it makes it easier to line up the stamp impression on your paper. When stamping with a wood handled stamp, having a centered handle helps distribute the pressure so that the impression comes out even (if you're using a larger stamp that doesn't have a handle, two hands is the way to go). Centered engraving and handles seems like a no-brainer, but when companies prioritize speed over accuracy, it's a recipe for sloppy work.

 Not all stamp companies engrave on the backs of their stamps. To save time in the laser, some use a sticker/decal to show the design and some use nothing at all. One company that we've come across actually puts their own logo on the top of the stamp block, where we engrave the stamp art. Personally, we think that the engraving on the top is a beautiful finishing touch, especially if you're gifting the stamp to someone else. It's form AND function.  But the engraving must be done well. Not taking the time to make sure that the lens inside the laser is focused yields slightly blurry designs. Not knowing your machine and its settings well enough can leave you with under engraved designs (too light) or scorched wood (if you see an orange-ish cast on the wood next to the engraving).

Not all stamp companies engrave on the backs of their stamps. To save time in the laser, some use a sticker/decal to show the design and some use nothing at all. One company that we've come across actually puts their own logo on the top of the stamp block, where we engrave the stamp art. Personally, we think that the engraving on the top is a beautiful finishing touch, especially if you're gifting the stamp to someone else. It's form AND function.

But the engraving must be done well. Not taking the time to make sure that the lens inside the laser is focused yields slightly blurry designs. Not knowing your machine and its settings well enough can leave you with under engraved designs (too light) or scorched wood (if you see an orange-ish cast on the wood next to the engraving).

 The grey rubber that we use is high quality and when engraved yields crisp details. It is low odor, free of carcinogens and safe to use - which is of the utmost importance to us, since we make all of our stamps in-house...specifically, our house.   Something else to note in this image, the shouldering on the rubber portion of the stamp. Shouldering is how the rubber engraving is wider towards the base and then becomes narrower, to the correct width, by the time it reaches the rubber stamp's stamping surface. This makes the rubber less wobbly than if it were engraved straight up and down with no incline. We use a laser engraver that is specifically designed for stamp creation, and has all of the right controls for shouldering. Not all laser engravers are created equal in their ability to engrave into rubber for stamps...we learned that the hard way with our first laser engraver. While our current laser engraver cost 7.5 times what our original one cost, there is no comparing the difference in the quality of stamps produced - it's night and day. In fact, we were never able to successfully make a stamp worthy of sending to a customer on that original machine.  Fun fact, that's actually why we started making ornaments and leather coaster sets, because that was something that our old machine could actually do. We've long since overworked that machine to its breaking point and it's no longer a tool in East Grove's toolbox.

The grey rubber that we use is high quality and when engraved yields crisp details. It is low odor, free of carcinogens and safe to use - which is of the utmost importance to us, since we make all of our stamps in-house...specifically, our house. 

Something else to note in this image, the shouldering on the rubber portion of the stamp. Shouldering is how the rubber engraving is wider towards the base and then becomes narrower, to the correct width, by the time it reaches the rubber stamp's stamping surface. This makes the rubber less wobbly than if it were engraved straight up and down with no incline. We use a laser engraver that is specifically designed for stamp creation, and has all of the right controls for shouldering. Not all laser engravers are created equal in their ability to engrave into rubber for stamps...we learned that the hard way with our first laser engraver. While our current laser engraver cost 7.5 times what our original one cost, there is no comparing the difference in the quality of stamps produced - it's night and day. In fact, we were never able to successfully make a stamp worthy of sending to a customer on that original machine. Fun fact, that's actually why we started making ornaments and leather coaster sets, because that was something that our old machine could actually do. We've long since overworked that machine to its breaking point and it's no longer a tool in East Grove's toolbox.

Whether you're ordering an address stamp for your holiday cards, a bookplate to gift your niece, a monogram stamp for your cocktail napkins, or a logo stamp for your business, having the right tool at your disposal matters. When you see the rhino icon, you know that your stamp is going to make a good impression.