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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How to Make Business Cards in Photoshop

Business cards are an important piece of marketing yourself. As an Etsy seller, I include a business card in every order I ship out. I also carry them around in my bag so if my shop comes up in conversation, I'm able to hand over a business card. As an etsy seller, if you're looking to start doing local consignment or wholesale orders you'll need a business card to leave with these shops. And if you attend craft fairs you'll defiantly need cards to distribute at your events.


In this tutorial I'll walk you through the necessary steps to start designing your own business cards!
If you're pretty comfortable in photoshop, then you can just use the psd. template I've created and go from there! But if you want a bit more guidance, then keep reading the tutorial.
Obviously your business card won't be identical to mine. This tutorial is to help guide you through the steps you'll need to take to create your own card!

1. DOWNLOAD MY BUSINESS CARD TEMPLATE 

This template starts you off with the perfect parameters, DPI, image size, and colour to get your cards from screen to paper perfectly.

2. OPEN THIS FILE IN PHOTOSHOP 

You will notice there are lines crossing through all four sides of the blank image. These help account for the "bleed" of the card. Meaning it will ensure any portion that may get cut off in printing, or any roughening up from wear will not be an issue. It's important to keep any text on your card inside these guides. It also helps keep the card ascetically pleasing. For those curious, the template is 1140 x 690 pixels, CMYK colour and 16 bit/channel. These are the best file choices for printing.

You will also notice there are two folders in the layers box. A FRONT and a BACK. These separate either side of your card. Depending on which side of the card we're working on, we'll turn the other folder invisible. By keeping the layers we create inside these folders, we'll be able to switch back and forth between front and back super-easily. If you don't want a backside to your business card, just delete the BACK folder.

3. START ADDING IN YOUR GRAPHICS

Create a new layer in the front folder. Bring in whatever graphics you want to feature on your card! I'm going to use a photo of one of my weavings as the background for the front of my card. 
FILE > OPEN or PASTE the images you want to use.

To resize an image select the MARQUEE toll from the tool box > select your image layer > right click > FREE TRANSFORM - using the corner anchors, you can resize your image to whatever you like, without losing its dimensions. Now drag them where you want them on the front of your card.

Because I want the front of my card to be vertical I've also rotated the canvas. IMAGE > IMAGE ROTATION > 90 degress CW

4. ADD YOUR TEXT

Using the TYPE tool, add in any text you want on your card. I need to include the name of my business, and my own name on this card. Be sure to use a font on your business cards that consistent with your branding.
I also want my text to be in the very middle of my card. To do this I will be using the align buttons. SELECT LAYER > CLICK MOVE TOOL > COMMAND/CTL A > CLICK ALIGN VERTICAL CENTRES > CLICK ALIGN HORIZONTAL CENTRES This ensures the layers are dead centre without you having to tediously move them inch by inch. 

5. ADDING SHAPES

I want my text to stand out better against the very colourful background that I've created. I'll be putting the text inside a circle. I like the simplicity and effectiveness it has. I don't want too much else going on because of the texture in my image. I will also drop the opacity of this circle so just some of the colour shows though.
from the tools bar: CLICK RECTANGLE TOOL > CHOOSE THE ELLIPSE TOOL > CHOOSE YOUR FOREGROUND COLOUR (I chose pale pink)  > HOLD THE SHIFT KEY and DRAG YOUR SHAPE TO THE DESIRED SIZE (holding shift ensures you get a perfect circle and not an oval.)

Now were going to position the circle in the middle of the card, just like the text. Use the same steps as above to do this. If you need to move your layers around to get all your text in front of your shape you can do this by dragging each layer to the order you want in the LAYERS WINDOW.

To drop the opacity of this circle SELECT THE SHAPE LAYER > ADJUST OPACITY - I went with 70%

6. BACK OF THE CARD

Deselect the eyeball icon next to the front folder. This makes everything you've just done invisible so we can work on the back without distractions.
The back of the card is where I list all my actual information as the front only has my name.
Start by creating a text layer using the TYPE tool. Choose a font that matches the front of your card.
Include all the info you want. I chose to include my etsy shop, blog, and email. I figured all these contact points were equally important for promoting myself. Align these fields wherever you see fit.

As you can see, I also rotated my canvas back to a horizontal view for the back of the card. you can do this without fear of messing up the front.

7. INCLUDE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is super important when it comes to real world promotion! As a consumer, I probably won't be adding your portfolio to my bookmarks, or putting your phone number in my contacts but I wouldn't hesitate to like you on Facebook, or follow you on instagram!
By adding my Social media contacts I've also double the amount of ways to get in touch with me on my business card!
Social media icon sets are easy to download online, the ones I used are from Carrie Loves Design. The size can be adjusted just as we did the graphics on the front of the card if need be.
Because my name on all my social media is just "loveofsweeties" I didn't feel it was necessary to include that piece on my card. In this case, the buttons are enough.

8. STYLIZE

You can defiantly leave you card simple like this, depending on your style, it may be preferred. I wanted to match my branding more! 
I also added some pink poka-dots to mimic the social media bubbles. I used the shape tool, just like before. By creating the circle over the bubble I was able to replicate the size. I then duplicated the shape a few times RIGHT CLICK ON THE LAYER > DUPLICATE LAYER, and lowered the opacity on each one for a faded effect.
To get the bubbles all aligned, I put the shapes roughly where I want them: CLICK ON THE BOTTOM LAYER > SHIFT CLICK the TOP LAYER so all the layers you want to adjust are selected, then click ALIGN VERTICAL CENTERS. This will put all your circles in a perfect line. While keeping all the layers together, use the MOVE tool to move them where you want as one unit.

I added colour splashes using the brush tool - these water-colour strokes keep my card cohesive with the rest of my brand. I have colour splashes on my thank you cards, on my blog title, and in my instagram shop updates.

9. SAVING

Let's save the back first. Make sure the back of your card looks just perfect then FILE > SAVE AS...
name your file business card "back" or whatever you want to call it. Save the file as a TIFF > SELECT DISCARD LAYERS AND SAVE A COPY or else your file will be huge. Done saving the back.

Click the eye on the back folder and click the eye on the front folder so you're left with the front of your card, and do the same thing again. 
Don't forget to save a PSD of your business card as well so you can tweak it whenever you want.
You should now have 3 files for your business card saved, the front TIFF file, the back TIFF file, and the master PSD file!

Take your files to a printer like Staples Business depot and go get yourself some business cards!


Friday, July 24, 2015

Craft Fair Prep Week 4: Making Business Cards, Making Inventory and Making Plans!

This week has been a bit of a mish-mash of little bits for me in terms of craft fair prep. But that doesn't mean I didn't accomplish a lot! I crossed quite a few things off my list. 

YOU NEED A TABLE

Whether it's a table you use to display your goods, or shelves, racks, whatever, you need to find something that will best present you products, and you can't wait until the last minute to do so! 
Give yourself ample time to play with your set-up, find out what will work best, make sure you have everything you need so two days before your fair you're not scaling the town looking for crates to add height to your display, or worse still looking for an actual table! Stress is no fun.

This week, I hunted down a table I can borrow for the day of the event! This is awesome because it means I can save $40-$80 by not having to buy one myself - bonus for not having to store it after either! The advice here is: see if you can borrow one!

Some resources where you can find folding tables, I did some price hunting for you guys:
(remember, keep your receipts!)

HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?

If you do have questions, I had lots, don't be afraid to email the coordinators early on! They will have a way that you can contact them and they will be more than willing to help you! I know it can seem like your being a bit dumb but it's our first craft fair! How else are we supposed to find out!? I had to ask my coordinators already if a table would be supplied, as it wasn't very clear to me in the info packet if they would be or not.

CREATE BUSINESS CARDS

I had a lot of fun with this one! 
Whether you make business cards yourself from scratch (digital, or hand made), purchase them online from one of the many etsy stores that specialize in logo design and branding, or find someone locally to help you out, there are lots of options out there for getting business cards made for yourself!
I'm considering them a necessity for craft fairs because even if someone doesn't buy something that day, they probably still really like your work. How else are they going to remember you!?

I made my business cards completely on my own using photoshop! It was a learning curve, getting the specifications down and quality and such but I'm so proud of them!

If you'd like to know how to create Business cards yourself in photoshop, I'm going to have a whole post dedicated to it next week!

My Craft Fair Prep List
  • pay table/booth fee
  • brainstorm/come up with a table design
  • organize all my supplies
  • create lots of inventory
  • make a budget tracker
  • research taxes, what do I need to do?
  • know what I'll be charging
  • have business cards made
  • buy a table
  • create my craft fair business kit
  • make price tags
  • make/buy merchandisers, table and props 
  • get a square/mobile POS
  • acquire a cash box/apron and float money 
  • find a helper for the big day
  • set up a mock table display
  • promote! social media & local posters

So, where abouts are you on your Etsy Canada Craft Fair Prep? Is there anything I'm missing on my little list?  


Friday, July 17, 2015

Craft Fair Prep Week 3: How to make your own glitter banner

This week we're doing a DIY! I've spent most of this afternoon and last night cutting, gluing, glittering, and threading to create this adorable banner which I will be using on the front of my table at the upcoming Etsy Made in Canada Market!
Sure you could have a banner custom made for your events, it would look very professional and you wouldn't have to do any extra work. But it can be expensive, and plus, we're makers! So let's showcase our talent in every way we can!


This DIY is very easy, if a bit time consuming. If a glitter banner doesn't suit your business then
check out some of these other awesome banners and signs for inspiration for your own craft fair table!

HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL NEED


  • cereal box cardboard or cardstock
  • pencil
  • white glue
  • good quality glitter (I used Martha Stewart Coarse Glitter)
  • Paint Brush 
  • Scrap paper for glittering on
  • Letter stencils (I used 4"), or a ruler to free-hand your letters
  • x-acto knife
  • Scissors
  • Spray paint matching the colour of your glitter (optional)
  • Baker's twine
  • large needle, and maybe a nail
1. Start by tracing all your letters onto the cereal box cardboard with your stencils. In the end I didn't like the font my stencils came in so I used the stencils as a size guide and free-handed them with the help of a ruler.

2. Next cut out all your letters, using the x-acto knife to get to the tricky places.


(I gave my letters a quick blast of gold spray paint before glittering them. So if any glitter came off it wouldn't be so noticeable, this step is totally optional though.)

3. Once all your letters are cut out, one at a time brush them with white glue, and, over your scrap paper smother them in glitter. Do't be afraid to really cover them, you want as few bald spots as possible. Do this until all you letters are covered. Let them dry for at least 25 minutes.

tap off the excess glitter and set your finished letters aside. Funnel the extra glitter back into your pot to use for another craft!


4. Now we're ready to string our letters! Pierce two holes at the top of each letter for the twine to thread through. My holes turned out to be too small off the bat so I went back in with a nail to make them large enough for the twine and needle to fit through. (I found piercing them over a tripled up dish cloth made it very easy and didn't rub the glitter off like hanging on to the did.

Thread your last letter first, pulling it as far as you need down the twine to accommodate the rest of your banner plus lots of extra hanging twine. You'll essentially be spelling your words in reverse. This keeps you from accidentally cutting your baker's twine too short off the bat and having to start all over again.

To thread the letters, go from the glitter side down, and come back up from the bottom so it's the back of the letters that have a line of twine going through them.

Once all your letters are threaded, adjust them as needed and hang it up. We're not done yet though!

5. I had a few sparse spots from wresting with threading the letters. Make a mix of glitter, glue and a tab of water to paint these spots in. Let the banner dry again. Finally, to seal your glitter letters, spray over a light and steady coat of hair spray.
Store carefully or display in your craft space until your next event!




How Far along are you on your table set up for your next craft fair?

Did you miss last week's Craft Fair Prep Course? Find out all about what to sell and how much to sell it for!


Thursday, July 16, 2015

DIY Statement Flower Crown



Rock the Shores is only 3 days and counting! One of the little side perks to music festivals is the excuse to wear flower crowns. I know I'm not the only one who thinks this! It's a guilty pleasure - you want an excuse to rock a floral head piece and you know it. The bigger the better. So channel your inner wild child and let's make one!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED
  • Fake Flowers in different sizes and colours
  • wire snippers
  • thin floral wire
  • heavy floral wire

* Check your local dollar store before heading to a craft or floral shop. If they carry them, the prices of fake flowers at dollar stores are sooo much cheaper. I bought the flowers ($1.25 a bunch) and wire ($1 each) at a local dollar store.
S T E P  1
Start by measuring your floral wire to properly fit around your head. To do this, wrap the wire where you want your crown to sit, raw ends facing back. Then give the ends a quick little twist around each other so you have your wire base.
To finish, wrap opposite ends around each other a few times to keep your shape secure. Give the excess ends a trim with your wire cutters. If the ends have sharp points be sure to keeps these bits pointing outwards, you don't want to poke your head, ouch!

S T E P  2
Snip the stems from your fake flowers, leaving a little bit for grip.

S T E P  3
Snip off a long piece of the thin floral wire.
Now the fun part! Starting from the center, begin wrapping larger flowers down by their stems with the wire. Make the crown fullest in the center and taper down the sides for a natural look. (You can also secure flowers all the way around, depending how you want to wear it. Otherwise you only need to go two thirds, or three quarters of the way around.)

 If you need to secure placement of any flowers add a plop of hot glue.

Glue in smaller buds and pieces where you see fit until your happy with the fullness of your crown!
It might take a bit of messing around to get it looking the way you want, but have fun with it, trying it on as you go!

I made this particular flower crown last summer, I've worn it on a few occasions and it's held up perfectly!


Friday, July 10, 2015

Craft Fair Prep Week 2: What to Sell and How Much to Sell it for

Welcome to the second week of craft fair prep! Last week we sat down and created our to do lists, and got our minds in the right space for event planning. This week it's all about pricing your products, creating inventory, and ordering the supplies to make them! Let's do this together!



ORDER/SET UP YOUR MOBILE POS

There are so many options out there now for small businesses (even our teeny-tiny ones) when it comes to processing credit cards. We're no longer stuck with those clunky old carbon-copy machines, you know the ones... *chunk chug* the sound will ingrained in my brain forever. The easiest way today is through your phone, Believe it or not! If you'd like to be able to accept credit cards at your stand, do a little research, and find out which company or method will work best for you.
I chose to go with Square. It seems to be the most popular mobile card reader. Their fees (2.75%) per transaction are about on par with what Etsy takes, they send you the doo-dad for free, and it's free to sign up and maintain your account. My little square reader should be arriving any day now! It was super easy to sign up too! I found this article super helpful, it reviews a collection of the most popular mobile card scanners on the market right now.

ASSESS AND ACCUMULATE YOUR MATERIALS

If you don't already have a large stock of product inventory you're going to want to start making ASAP! The more time you can commit to mass producing, the better. No one wants to be up until 2am the night before your fair putting together necklaces or scarves.

Depending on your craft, and level of organization (mine = zero btw), you may or may not have what you need to start creating larger quantities. Keep in mind if you're ordering anything online, they'll be a wait period. So you'll want to get a hold of your supplies quickly. 
I placed a few bulk orders this week, because I know they're at least two weeks away from my door at this time. I also picked up the local materials I know I'll need.
PS - save all your receipts!

KNOW WHAT YOU'LL BE SELLING

Know what items you want to bring to your market. Which products, and how many of each of them. Be prepared for a hugely successful day... and be prepared to sell nothing. *Womp womp*
If your craft allows it, bring a variety of price points, so there's something for everyone at your booth. I plan on having items priced from about $8-$100. With a focus on $20 mini weaves.
Sure it's sweet to have a $100 sale! But it's kind of better to have 10 $10 sales! It means 10x the customers, which means 10x the word of mouth promotion! 

KNOW WHAT YOU'LL BE CHARGING

This may sound like a silly thing to prep. I already sell my creations online, so I already have a price for my products, right? Well... kind of. 

Keep in mind that wholesalers, and local shop owners may be at your craft fair looking for new products and artists to work with. If someone wants to purchase a large quantity from you, will you be making a profit if you give them a discounted wholesale price? Are you even prepared to accommodate the possibility of a wholesale order? What about the possibility of selling consignment? What kind of percentage are you willing to take off your pieces? 

Thinking about all these questions hurts my brain to be honest! And freaks me out a bit. I always worry I'm undercutting myself, but hey, we're learning!
I get the sense this pricing business is a bit more straightforward for those creating smaller, easier to multiply goods (notebooks, T shirts, cards, prints, etc). Whereas one-off artists (weavers, painters, etc) are stuck with a hard job!

These are the things I take into account when pricing my weavings:
  • Am I paying myself fairly for my time, labour, and skill set? 
  • Have I included the cost of my materials?
  • What price do I feel comfortable telling and charging someone? (price with your heart)
  • Can I discount this item and still make a profit?
Aside from these points, there are plenty of equations out there to help you know what you should be charging for your handmade products. Looking up the prices of other artists in your field is very helpful too.
Keep in mind that if your craft fair prices are grossly different from any online shop prices you currently have, shoppers may be annoyed, or bewildered by the difference.

And as usual, Some more helpful articles in the area of this week's topics: creating, selling, and pricing:
And how did we do this week on the list? Not too bad! Although it's also gotten a bit longer...

My Craft Fair Prep List
  • pay table/booth fee
  • brainstorm/come up with a table design
  • organize all my supplies
  • create lots of inventory
  • make a budget tracker
  • research taxes, what do I need to do?
  • know what I'll be charging
  • have business cards made
  • create my craft fair business kit
  • make price tags
  • make/buy merchandisers, table and props 
  • get a square/mobile POS
  • acquire a cash box/apron and float money 
  • find a helper for the big day
  • set up a mock table display
  • promote! social media & local posters

What did you do this week in preparation for the Etsy Made in Canada Market? And do you have any advice for producing and pricing your goods? 
Follow Love of Sweeties's board Craft Fair Planning on Pinterest.


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