Pixel Print is a new, local graphic design and print shop that can be found on Dundas West between Ossington and Dufferin. Inside, the hybrid shop happily offers a range of graphic design and printing services. Pretty much everything seems to be done in-shop and they specialize in the usual flyers, posters, brochures, newsletters and business cards that you can find everywhere.
What gives Pixel Print a bit of an edge over their competitors is their eye for style and design. All of their own promotional materials are whimsical and eye-catching, so hopefully they would lend the same artistic flair to others' printing needs. The world does not need another tried-and-true business card, so it's refreshing to know that there are some shops that clearly work to provide some quality to the design and make sure that finished materials have enough appeal and wit to stand above the crowd.
The pricing is quite detailed, depending on what you want and how many, but 500 3.5 x 2 business cards are $104 (full colour, both sides), 500 4.6 postcards are $160 (full colour, both sides) and 100 11 x 17 posters are $90 (full colour, one side).
Beyond their print services, on Pixel Print's sales floor is a good selection of Artistry Cards, a self-proclaimed "greeting card company with a conscience" that are also created and designed by Swati Bhagat, owner and operator of Pixel Print. But, they also have than just regular cards and there was a decent array of notebooks, notepads and invitations.
My favourite were the bright red, argyle animal set which appeared to be silhouettes of different creatures - a moose, wolf, eagle, etc - silhouetted as bright, red argyle against a plain white background, Pretty striking, and a pretty good deal at $4.50 for one, four for $10, eight for $16 and 12 for $20.
Of course, you're allowed to mix and match, maybe grabbing a moose, along with a sprouting tree card, one with dandelion hearts and another with an old-tyme bicycle. All the products are environmentally friendly and made with recycled stock, plus most paper goods are printed on demand to keep paper waste to a minimum.
What really makes the visit to Pixel Print worthwhile, however, is their large collection of Marlena Zuber maps. I will admit that I love maps and could waste many hours playing around with the ones on google, so I had to tear myself away from the Zuber collection in order to go around the rest of the store.
But, these beautiful, fun and pretty handy maps are fascinating in their informality and kitsch. Now, she has way more maps available online but seeing these pieces of art in person really makes them stand out. Her carefully drawn maps of Kensington Market, the Annex, Trinity Bellwoods and more are ideal for anyone because, yes, they're accurate, but they're also flat-out neat.
Of course, I was a touch disappointed to not find a map of my High Park/Bloor West Village neighbourhood, but commissioned maps are available to those who ask. Prices vary somewhat, but the 11 x 15 Kensington Market map is available for $20, the 14 x 11 Trinity Bellwoods is $15 and the Lover's Lane (a very charming map of how to get from a certain someone's house on College to another certain someone's house just north of Bloor, including some favourite alternate routes - unclear who is who - except that the map is dedicated to Bernie), at 18 x 11 ¾ for $25.
At Pixel Print, expect to find a solid, eco-friendly printing and design store. It's nice to have a store like this that isn't interested in just churning out a bunch of plain business cards or brochures, but rather ensuring that all their customers' materials have a unique and artful touch that will hopefully serve them and their business even better in return.
Photos by Dennis Marciniak