Another Status Update for Printed ETP Pads

Another Status Update for Printed ETP Pads

Emergent Task Planner Proof Yesterday I met up with my buddy Scott to have a look at the printing proof for the pre-printed Emergent Task Planner pads. I know it’s been quite a while since we kicked off this project, so here is the current status:

  • We have our costs finalized ($12 per pad, which now includes a cardboard backer) and are going to press this week, perhaps as early as Thursday morning. I’m hoping to be there with a camera to document the process.

  • Once we produce the pads and get them back, we can finalize both the packaging (simple envelopes, boxes and stickers) and the shipping cost (the post office refused to quote us anything until they saw what we wanted to ship). Shipping is extra, so I’ll find out what shipping options and cost will be from New England. We have about 90 orders to move, if all pre-orders decide to follow through.

  • We will be targeting the domestic US first, perhaps Canada if that is doable without having to fill out a separate customs form for every package.

  • I have upgraded my paypal account so I can use Website Payments Standard for accepting payments. I also have set up a separate email account for handling product-related email.

  • I have not yet sent any email to people who have pre-ordered, though now that I think about it I should have confirmed them all…hindsight, 20/20, etc. I had thought we’d be going to press much quicker than we did, so I thought we would have had final costs emailed to everyone by now.


p>To recap, here’s the current specifications:

  • US Letter (8.5″ x 11″) on a pad.
  • Simple cardboard backing.
  • Top-glued for easy tear-off.
  • No pre-punched holes, but there is space on the left of the form to allow for hole punching.
  • Printed on Cougar Opaque 80LB Text White Smooth stock. It’s a substantial paper sheet that should hold up to daily use.
  • 75 Sheets per Pad: This seems like a decent number, and allows us to ship a pack of 5 pads to cover a year.
  • 4 color printing: I had pushed for custom inks, but this adds to setup cost. Looking over the proof and discussing options with the printing folks, 4-color looks a lot better than it did even 4 years ago, with 150- and 175-line screens pretty common. I would have liked to design to the raw capability of the imagesetter (the machine that actually creates the metal plates used on the offset press), but apparently they are so automated now that the kind of control I used to get in the early 1990s is no longer necessary or even provided. Or so I am told…I am not entirely convinced.

…and the biggy:

  • No pre-printed 2007 in the upper right corner. You fill the year in yourself. Aesthetically this is a small step backwards, but functionally it means that these pads will not be out-of-date when 2008 rolls around.

Here’s what the current sheet design looks like:

Latest ETP Design


So that’s the current status. I will email people tonight to confirm interest, shipping address, and number of pads. Then I’ll be able go to the post office and find out what actual shipping cost will be, and provide the PayPal payment information in a follow-up email.

Please note that pre-orders have been closed, but we will probably do a second run around the end of the year if we sell-through and the interest is there. The profits that come from this run will help fund the next round of expansion to online ordering and fulfillment.

UPDATE: I have emailed everyone in the United States and Canada, a total of 86 names. If you had placed a pre-order and didn’t get a confirming email from “DSG Product Division (products*”, then you should email me at productservice at, or use the contact form.