We just love a peek behind the scenes, so that’s why we made our own ‘How it’s made’ page :-). Here you can see how the flashcards are made and what happens step-by-step before the mailman shows up at your door. Enjoy!
We try to create our designs together with our customers. For example, Law, Medicine and the checkered flashcards were created this way.
Next up are the printing plates. They get the ink on the paper in the printing press. Each plate can fit a maximum of 18 flashcard designs.
We print our flashcards using the CMYK colour model. Each colour has its own printing plate, which ensures that a certain percentage of the ink colour is printed on the paper.
We need four printing plates per round, one for each colour. Unfortunately we can only use a plate once.
Loading the plates
When the printing plates have fully dried, we load them into the printing press.
Then we apply the ink to the rolls. The four colours are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Key plate, Black).
Here you can see magenta. This colour is used for 100% on our pink flashcards. The other colours aren’t used on the pink flashcards :-). Purple for example, has the following distribution of colours: Cyan 0%, Magenta 67%, Yellow 33% and Key 55%. Each colour has its own ‘profile’.
We always use FSC paper for our flashcards, which stands for responsible forest management, conservation and protection of the habitat of plants and animals and respect for the rights of the local population and forest workers.
The paper for the flashcards is just about the thickest paper that can still be used in the printing press, which is 300 grams. It is almost as thick as cardboard. For comparison, the paper in your notebook is about 80 grams thick.
Since the flashcards are so thick you cannot see through them and they last a long time, even with frequent use.
Then we can finally print the flashcards. The printed paper is immediately placed on the ‘dog’. A nice word for a thick plate of wood with four wheels underneath.
Approximately 50,000 sheets are printed per round. Multiply that by 18 different types, that is a total of 900,000 flashcards. The sheets go through the press twice, the back must also be printed.
During printing, we are constantly working on “adjusting” the colours. Our printing Chef takes one sheet after every +/- 200 sheets and checks the composition of the colours. This is done via a scanner which reads the colours.
But we also check the flashcards manually.
If the colours differ, the amount of ink dispensed in the printing press is increased or decreased via the computer.
When the sheets have been printed, they must dry for at least 48 hours. These are 8 pallets of freshly printed flashcards, a grand total of 3,600,000 cards :-).
Counting and cutting
When the flashcards have dried, they are counted per 50 sheets. We do this with a scale that indicates the exact number of sheets. A piece of coloured paper is added after every 50th sheet.
The flashcards are then cut, usually per 3 to 4 stacks at the same time. Cutting is done with a machine that has been preprogrammed to the nearest millimeter.
Then the biggest job arrives: tying together the flashcards. The stacks of cut flashcards are placed on tables. Thanks to the coloured papers that are between the 50-piece stacks, we can easily remove the packs.
After that, every pack is tied together with an elastic band and packed in boxes.
The tying per 50 flashcards is the most time-consuming job when creating the packs of flashcards. We can also have this done by a machine that neatly wraps a paper around each package. A lot cheaper and faster. We don’t do this for two reasons:
Because our people, mostly with a disability or a distance from the labour market, gladly tie the flashcards together for you. Thanks to you, they have a regular job and a fixed income.
It is not really practical for our customers. The rubber bands ensure that the flashcards can be kept together after purchase. A paper tie is easily broken so it can’t be reused.
All orders that arrive are collected and assembled manually. In this case you can also see the perforation holes. These are always made afterwards, this depends on the order of the customer. The perforation is done using a drill, while the cards are kept in place via a mold.
Ready for shipping
And then the packages are ready for the delivery service that collects all packages and parcels every business day.
All done so you can start studying as soon as possible!
Interested? Visit us!
If you would like to come and see the printing office, you are welcome to any time.
Send us a message and we will show you how the flashcards are made in real life.
You can also meet the people behind the scenes.
It is manual work and craftsmanship and we are very proud of itContact To the store