Member Spotlight with Brad Woods, Maginating

A Card Talk Member Interview

What inspired you to get involved in cards?

I’ve been making greeting cards since I was a little kid. It’s a product that recalls many happy memories. As a grown up I fell into the card industry rather unexpectedly. I was working in the animation industry at the time but lived very close to a well-known custom letterpress shop in Los Angeles. The first time I entered, I was blown away! Outside of the Gutenberg Press and Benjamin Franklin’s work as a printer, I knew nothing about letterpress. But that didn’t last for long! After my initial discovery, I bought my first letterpress (a Kluge 10 x 15), set up a little print shop in our garage, and with the help of a few seasoned press operators around town, learned the incredible art of letterpress printing. I attended the National Stationery Show as a guest in 2007 and my inaugural foray as a vendor occurred the following year.

Tell us about your company and/or your products:

Maginating is a made-up word I used as a child to describe imaginative play to my parents. Kind of like a verb. For example, my parents might ask, “What are you doing, Brad?” (as I’m running around, climbing trees, or building forts) “I’m maginating!” I’d reply.

Maginating has been in business for about 14 years. And while it began as a tiny letterpress studio in a Los Angeles garage, it’s grown. It’s printing methods have evolved over time and currently sells greeting cards to businesses primarily across the United States. And while a few things have changed, Maginating’s core values have not. As a designer I continue to strive to encapsulate those qualities I cherished as a child at play into every card, qualities like innocence, joy, purity, and a love of make-believe.

What’s your role at Maginating?

Designer, publisher, and many other things.

Why did you become a GCA member?

The greeting card community is one of extreme generosity. Never to a fault, it would seem that paper people value other’s success as much as they value their own. Over Maginating’s 14-year history there have been other card makers whose significant suggestions, contributions and guidance have been pivotal to where this company is today. Because of their generosity and my growth as a maker, I’m now better equipped to contribute to others’ success as well. For me, the GCA is the perfect platform to support and grow our designers, publishers, and the paper community at large.

How has your company handled things during the pandemic? What has changed?

While there have been a lot of setbacks this past year, it has been Maginating’s experience that there have been many opportunities for good as well. In some instances, the pandemic has created roadblocks that, when thoughtfully overcome, provided better solutions than previously imagined. For example, Maginating has especially enjoyed greater involvement within the GCA. Their bi-weekly Zoom Town Hall meetings have been a fantastic resource, allowing those in attendance an opportunity to share any queries, thoughts, concerns and solutions with other members on the call. It’s been a marvelous platform to get to know others better, and collectively help build a stronger community even when we can’t be together.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you to this lovely paper community – from the thoughtful individuals and their expert advice to this spectacular organization. The past 10+ months have been a tricky hurdle, one in which the GCA has helped alleviate by tackling limitations head-on to realize innovative, supportive, and exciting solutions. Bravo!

Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us, Brad!