In spring 2014 Lorenz Hartmann kicked off PICKMOTION with a small edition of Berlin postcards reminding of instant photography. Meanwhile the publisher distributes throughout Europe, licensing images of over 300 Instagram photographers. The product palette increased from the postcards over folded cards to magnets. Read the interview with the founder about the idea and leading principles of Pickmotion.
› How did you come up with the idea to produce pola-style postcards?
Probably like many others, I presume, I could not find, apart from a few exceptions by creative, independent photographers and designers, any postcards which fit my expectations in terms of design and quality. A handful of big, established publishers segment and share the market and bet on quantity rather than quality. But if you take a closer look, this market can be quite exciting. In times of busyness and uniformity many people look for simple, beautiful and sustainable things. I try to meet those wishes with affectionately photographed and designed postcards.
Two key events finally led to start off PICKMOTION. For one thing I recognized completely innovative postcards in pola style, paired with highly individual motives and filters in Barcelona. For another thing through my job in the field of internet and mobile internet I was permanently confronted with high class digital content that caught the attention of many thousands, or even millions of users for a single moment until it disappeared in the digital black hole!
The idea to bring together these three observations—a stagnant but highly attractive market, a new image format and a high class but almost unused digital content—was exciting enough to start PICKMOTION, parallel to the job I had at the time, and to turn it into reality with a lot of fun.
› Did you foresee the big success of your postcards?
Honestly: yes I did! But I did not expect to find such a great team, photographers and partners, who made the idea bigger and stronger very quickly. Being restricted on a regional level at the beginning and focused on showing alternative Berlin, with input from others, the idea grew bigger to the point of enhancing the postcard editions with moods and moments and other German cities.
From day one we used to have intensive personal contact with the instagrammers as well as the postcard dealers. That created the perfect ground for being in touch with the most amazing people, sharing our success and building up an alternative to impersonal stock photography. I believe that people are feeling the difference.
› How do you expect to bear up in a market which is dominated by much bigger suppliers?
By not inventing everything from the scratch, but instead following the rules of the market. We don’t chase the current trend “mass customization” for example, but arrange our distribution and logistics similar to the competition. Why trying something else when things prove themselves? We are adjusting other screws, however, and would like to persuade with personal, authentic and beautiful products, which speak for themselves. Partners and customers should sense that Pickmotion has a different mentality. We do not just want a good turnover, but also to leave a good feeling in personal everyday-contacts with our photographers, partners and customers and creating values together.