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Print Your Instagram Photos On Beverage Coasters

PSFK chats with one of the founders of Coastermatic, a service that creates customized sandstone coasters from personal photographs.

Jeff Weiner
Jeff Weiner on June 8, 2012. @JGWeiner

PSFK recently say down for a chat with Tom Harman, one of the Co-Founders of a new business called Coastermatic. Using the service, people are able to get their Instagram pictures printed on sandstone beverage coasters.

Who are the people behind Coastermatic?

Coastermatic is a collaboration between myself and Tash Wong. We met through SVA’s MFA Interaction Design program. After working together on a couple of other projects, we bonded over a mutual love for photography, storytelling and exploring how to make technology more human. Convieniently, we also live ten minutes from each other in Brooklyn.

You can print images on lots of objects. Why did you choose coasters?

We really like the idea of making conversational environments more personal, and we believe we can do that by placing photography at the centre of tea-time catch-ups, instead of being locked away in a box or trapped inside a camera. A lot of conversations involve drinking, so without diving into the beverage industry, coasters were the next best thing. Coasters feel like a forgotten format in storytelling, and we think they hold a lot of potential for creative expression.

Also, we love Instagram, but wanted to give our images a more permanent home and you can’t get much more permanent than stone.

What types of images are you finding are most popular to print?

Since launching a month ago we’ve seen a very broad range, but we’re starting to notice trends toward urban landscapes, abstract geometric forms, and of course, everyone’s favorite: cat photos.

Are there plans to move beyond coasters and start printing on other objects?

Coastermatic is still very fresh, so our immediate plans are toward coasters, and refining Coastermatic.com. At the moment, we only accept photos from Instagram, because of it’s great API. Looking forward, we think the creative possibilites of four pieces of stone are much broader.

For us, the bigger picture is around designing things for the home that leverage technology to encourage interesting conversations. I’d say our focus is less toward printing and more toward creating a platform to increase the potential for creative expression in the home or studio.

For those readers that live in the New York area, Coastermatic will have a presence at Artists & Fleas this weekend in Williamsburg.  Be sure to swing by and say hello!

Thanks Tom!

Coastermatic

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