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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Craftic Identity

I firmly believe that a commitment to a strong graphic identity can greatly impact a crafter’s success. From business card to website to packaging, if everything you do is branded in a professional manner, then the public perception of your product will be positively impacted. I saw some really great crafter's with excellent attention to graphic identity at Renegade and I’d like to share my favorites.

business cards renegade 2007

{Please click the photo above to link to flickr for notes on how to access the websites for these wonderful design-oriented people.}

My two absolute favorites were from Craftpaca and Erica Weiner. business cards renegade 2007 3 I first saw this card in the hand of a passerby while I was manning my own booth. It was so beautiful that I stopped the browser and asked to see it. I managed to make my way over to Julie's booth later in the fair and I was not dissappointed, but I probably would never have gone in if I hadn't see that card. The letterpress is just devine on it. I love the deep impression. I love it so much that I sent her an email after the fair to inquire where she had them printed. Turns out that it's all in the family and her brother prints them on a letterpress in his garage. He doesn't have a website yet, but when he does, it will be Letter Press Delicacies.

business cards renegade 2007 2 Erica's card is another that drew me to her station at the fair even though I hadn't seen any of her work. Anyone who has a card that cool must have cool things, I figure. Although I could barely squeeze into her booth because of all the people, I managed to snag one of these oh-so-clever cards. I'm already a sucker for the vintage pharmacy look and this is a very innovative way to have both a business card and a custom order slip. Kudoz to both Erin and Julie for excellent sense in design and advertising. They understand that a business card is a mini-billboard and they've put that concept to good use. Now if I can just manage to do the same...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Things What I Bought at Renegade

renegade 2007 swag

Everyone should buy at craft fairs/farmers markets/independent retailers. There’s really no reason not to. That couple of dollars more spent means you know where your items are coming from, that you can talk to the source about how it was made, that you can have a point of contact if there is a problem. Plus, it’s a lot of fun and you’re supporting your local economy. So I have no guilt about this long list of stuff I acquired at Renegade. Also, being a crafter at a craft fair, there is the option most times of making a trade, which is good fun and not like spending money at all. It’s more like turning straw into gold…[I make sense to me and that’s what matters.]

--Note: Click the photo and all links are available as notes in flickr!--

Papered Together – Hedgehog coasters: Now, I don’t really have any use for coasters, but she was all out of hedgehog cards and I figured that I could use the coasters as cards. Plus, they came in a sweet little box. Krista had a lovely and clean display and it was great to meet her as I have coveted her items on Etsy for an awful long time.

Fernworks – Winter Tree necklace: I did not get to really roam the fair with any sort of leisure, but in my mad dash through, this necklace caught my eye. There was a huge crush of people around the booth though and I didn’t have the time or patience to wait to make the purchase. Fortunately for me, Faryn Davis, the artistian, came by my table later and we worked out a trade.

We Are Campfire – City of Wind/City of Steel shirts: These guys were my fair buddies, but in addition to being extremely friendly and helpful and funny and generous, they also make really well designed and quality shirts. They have a really large range of shirts from inside typography jokes to City-themes to graphical. I ordered the City of Steel for my Pittsburgh-native boyfriend and they gifted me with the City of Wind shirt.

Pink Loves Brown – PLB and 16Sparrows have been on friendly terms since before I started working for 16S. We each do the stationery thing, but we have our own styles and that makes life fun and interesting. I picked up this extra-sweet stationery and Nicole asked me if I wanted it personalized. I now wonder if she would have done it right then and there. They were on the electricity side…

RaR RaR Press – Unlinke Pink Loves Brown, RaR RaR is a little more of a direct competitor to 16 Sparrows. We’re each riding the sweet/sassy/sarcastic train. I really love their stuff though and they do letterpress and have a different look than we do. I picked out some devilishly fun postcards that I just couldn’t let go by.

Lotions & Potions – I sat in at my table, suffering from highly chapped lips when I suddenly realized that there was a seller cattycorner behind me that sold lip balm. I popped over as quickly as I could and asked her what her favorite was. It turned out to be Coconut Lemongrass and it is super. My lips were better in about 10 minutes and it smells divine. I’m wearing it right now.

11:11 – Passport case/Condom cozy: Jamila was the seller directly behind me and we bonded because, 1) we were both manning our booths on our lonesome’s and 2) we both graduated from SCAD. Whohoo, go expensive art degree! We make crafts! Her table was busy all fair because her items were just too fun. Heck, I don’t need a condom cozy, but boy howdy, did she make me want one!

See, great stuff. And not expensive. And all handmade!!!! I love working in handmade goods and I love supporting others who do the same.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

After the Deluge

halloween freebieHappy October Internet World! In honor of this most glorious of months, I am offering a free Halloween-themed gift with any purchase from my Etsy shop.

Renegade was a blast! Despite it being on of the more wearying tasks of the year, I have already applied for inclusion in their holiday show. The weather was beautiful and the new location worked out nicely. Traffic was moderate to heavy for the majority of the fair, at least, while it was still light out. I made friends with the vendors around me and that’s always the best part of fairs- getting to know other crafty types.

renegade 2007 spread 2The fair was Saturday and Sunday and I was part of the lucky [or unlucky] section that got to arrive for setup between 8AM and 9AM for a fair that started at 12PM. Despite having to get up in the early, I actually found that having 3 hours to setup was great. It allowed me to move things a millimeter left or right to my liking and I didn’t have to feel rushed about it. Plus, I think all of my meticulous presentation paid off. I had two people go out of their way to tell me that I had the best presented booth of the whole fair.

The posts this week will focus on the Design of Crafters and also, Things What I Bought at Renegade. There will also, hopefully, be a review over at Chicago Style Crafters.

As a big head aside, there's an interview I gave to Jennicakes over at the Sampler here. And if you want to hear my silly little voice, you can listen to me prattle here.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Heads up!

While I have many, many posts in the works about Renegade and the glory therein, here is a quicky about what is going on right now! I'm participating in the PoppyTalk Handmade Market; a sort of online street fair. Everything I've been oogling thus far has been really nifty. Please do check it out. You don't even have to get up. Just click with the mouse!