One of the trickiest parts of having a small crafty business (yes, I'm actually calling it a business now. I figure that's a good start.) is deciding on all the supporting materials that go with the work. It is easy for me to lose hours working on doll designs or under the sewing machine but stopping to take the time to work on labels and business cards and stationary is always a challenge. I think because there is so much more involved than just the design. All the production stuff eludes me. With no art school background I always have to start at the beginning when trying to figure out screening or printing or stamping or what not. Of course Tim is a huge help with all of it but the poor fellow can hardly keep up with the demands I make on him so I'm trying to get my act together and actually do some of these things my damn self!
I am reinvigorated in my quest by this cool book by Ellen Lupton, D.I.Y. Design it Yourself. The table of contents gets my heart pumping: press kits - yes please!, stickers - right on!, stationary - of course!, books - yes yes!!
The book is a collection of amazing design ideas all created by students and faculty in the Graphic Design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art and they're all very do it yourself. Printing stickers on your home printer, make book covers out of beer cases, iron on transfers on t-shirts. The work they come up with is so inventive. You can see some of them over here at their website. I love the tote bag and embroidery ideas. The book is very inspiring and definitely has me wanting to create everything myself.
I'm always trying to achieve the perfect balance between doing it myself and having it look professional. We were kicking around the idea of printing up the booklets ourselves. We were pricing color laser printers and fancy papers. I had all sorts of cool ideas for the booklets including printing pattern pieces on vellum and gluing envelopes into the back cover of the booklets to house them. Ultimately though, I think a little less DIY is going to win out over here. Tim had to take me by the shoulders and shake me around a little bit until the reality of gluing hundreds of envelopes into place finally sunk in. So publishing is being sent out, but I'm still keeping myself busy with projects I can do here. I printed up some new thank you cards to fit some cute square vellum envelopes I found at Paper Source and then stamped up some little 5" square canvas bags I found at Hobby Lobby to send my pincushions out in. Tonight I'm going out for sticker paper that can be sent through the printer.