Banners for the Booth

Sunday, May 20, 2012

So I've finally placed the order for the banners for my art fair booth.  And I am completely excited about how they've turned out!!  I had made some banners, but my partner Jonathan (who is a graphic designer) had some very specific thoughts about what he did and didn't like about them and ended up re-doing them to his satisfaction.  Thank goodness he did!  They turned out much better than I could have possibly dreamed.

Front Banner above the entrance to the tent
I know enough about Photoshop to get around--I do all my own product photography and such.  But Jonathan said that he wanted to do them up in Adobe Illustrator (a program he is intimately familiar with and I know absolutely nothing about) to tighten them up and let me see some different choices.

All I can say is, "Wow.  What a difference a Graphic Designer can make."  I'm fortunate to have a professional in my family (ahem) because I can't imagine what these would cost if I were to actually hire someone to do them for me...

My plan is to use the large images on the banners to attract people to my booth from outside of it, a tip I learned from the discussion forums on the wonderful website, ArtfairInsiders.com.  I've been lurking there for a couple years, posting rarely but trying to glean as much information as I can for my big debut.  It's been an invaluable resource, and I'm glad I found it.  It has not only helped me decide on what type of tent to purchase, but it has exposed me to a lot of resources that I never would have known existed.  The people are friendly, offer great advice, and I'm actually looking forward to diving into the unknown world of art fairs and festivals with a lot more confidence.

I ordered the banners from Banners.com tonight, and I'm nervously awaiting their arrival.  Seeing as how I'd never ordered anything like this before, and my size requirements were a bit unusual, I looked at quite a few websites before I settled on this one.  It seemed to offer the most comprehensive Art specifications, as well as size flexibility.  Vistaprint.com is cheaper (they seem to be cheaper for just about everything) but they didn't offer grommets, nor hemmed edges, so my search led me elsewhere.  I'm hoping I made the right choice--I guess I'll see when I get a proof!  : )

Since I was incorporating the banners into the layout of my booth, I had to decide upon what that layout was going to be before I could determine the sizes of the banners.  I decided that I would use them on the center back wall, and alternate the banners with gridwall so I could display actual wearable art pieces.  So the banners are 8' long and 2' wide, the same proportions as the gridwall.  The gridwall panels I've chosen extend from the ground to ceiling, and will be held securely in place with lots of secure zip-ties.  Along the right wall is a table with matching tablecloths that I assembled myself, and along the left wall is more gridwall for display and sheer gathered curtains to frame it and make it look nice.  A mirror in a corner, a nice carpet, some dress forms, and some matching bunting to hang from the poles will complete the look.

Over all, I'm hoping to make a vintage-y, circus-y feel that is well put together, clean, and slick without requiring a spare, empty look.  As much as I understand the need for plain, strong walls to support artwork, I am not selling paintings or photographs.  I am selling wearable art, which requires a different method of display.  I felt my challenge was to create something that would be sturdy, stylish, and unobtrusive, and yet still be comfortable without being stark.

And as few bungee cords as I can get away with--I much prefer the tighter zip-tie route that allows me to snip away the excess I don't need for a sleeker look.

When the banners get here, we'll see how it all works together.

My challenge has been knowing that the better fairs and festivals require artists to apply in different categories, of which I would have 2--wearable art and jewelry, with the possibility of 2 more--fiber art and sculpture.  I don't know if I'll ever accumulate a body of work for the last two categories, but I was  forced to decide on making the banners featuring my wearable art or my jewelry, just in case I didn't make it into one of the two categories...  I still need to make/order the banners featuring my art attire, but I figured since my jewelry is of a smaller scale, I would focus my photography on those items first.  I haven't even applied to any upscale art shows, so I've got a long way to go.  I figured I'd start with my local shows first so I can work the kinks out.  : )

So here I share my new banner images, and eagerly await their arrival so I can put up my tent and see how things work!  Wish me luck!

And Live Life with Relish!

2 comments:

jane p said...

The banner looks professional. (it is!) Was wondering what it looked like before. I'm also curious about your table cloth. This is something I struggle with a lot. I've used white and I've used black. Black worked for me but I've lost it. Now I use a black white check.

Corey Johnston said...

Hehe... I'm not sure you want to see the first attempts at banners... I think I'd embarrass myself! LOL! But I will take a pic of the finished tablecloths as soon as I can and post that! Thanks for your kind complimnts, Jane! : )

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