10 weeks (and more) have passed, the swim course is over, I have hummed and hawed and decided on the celebration tag books as my first product, worked on a wedding, a birthday and a baby tag book prototype both in German and English, entirely forgotten about the whole thing and have now picked something completely else to get things rolling. Oh, and we’ve just moved to a new home, too!
These typographic holiday cards were designed and silk screen printed by me in September 2008, using white ink on gray chipboard and white and golden ink on kraft cardstock. Nils and I sent them out to family and friends and used some as gift tags on Christmas Eve that year. Nonetheless, a pretty big stack of left-overs has been patiently waiting for a new purpose ever since. So my newly revised plan for the Friday Project is to stop mulling over creating something new for now and simply send off those pretty cards for other people to enjoy. Hurrah to common sense!
The design actually has an interesting background story. I had the idea to show the whole phrase along with some simple graphic snowflakes, but it looked a bit boring after I actually put it together in InDesign. I printed a PDF anyway – and ended up with a blown-up version due to a PDF printer error, which then inspired the final design. I love accidents like this. That’s why I treasure the whole technical process of printing by hand, too: lots of opportunities for unexpected twists and turns to break up my often very clean designs.
The typeface I chose is Bree by TypeTogether, I had just acquired it for a university project and was madly in love with it’s round letter shapes. I actually appliquéd the Bree ampersand on a pillow case for Nils’ birthday that summer (and never got over the finished motive’s resemblance to the post horn logo of the postal services here in Germany).
On my agenda
- Packaging. Pack a ready-to-send sample package for a card + envelope. Create a small thank-you note / contact card.
- Photos. Decide wether my first photo shoot (on our old balcony) is sufficient or wether I want to take the opportunity of taping up the cards on a new-to-me gray wall in Max’ room. Choose and process the best shots.
- Pricing. So far, I’ve done about seven minutes of research, looking up prices for other silk screened cards on Etsy. Maybe 3,50 EUR for a single card plus a reduced price for a set of four? Calculate actual material cost and Etsy fees. Decide on price(s).
- Shipping. I have a love-hate relationship with the German postal service (this might be linked to my love of sending unusual sized and addressed letters) so I better figure this out properly. Calculate correct postage and packaging costs.
- Description. Research how other sellers deal with more than one language. Decide on English only, an English and a German listing or both languages in one listing. Write descriptions for the three different card variations. Going for a short and sweet description paired with clear product facts (size, material, color etc.) and ideas for use.
- Set up Etsy. Design a shop banner. Write a welcome message. Write a shop policy or whatever else I need.
- Figure out PayPal. I already have a business account, but don’t know what else it takes to prepare for a first sale.
- List cards. Exciting! Find out what difference it makes to have only one or, say, 4 available of each card. List.
- Something extra. Decide wether to offer custom addressed envelopes. Repeat steps 1 to 5 and 8 if applicable.
I was unsure about what legal status changes might occur, now that I actually want to sell something to a customer via an online shop that was made by myself in advance instead of billing a custom project I created especially for my client. Long story short, I called my tax advisors (which I can contact as often as I need to without paying for every call thanks to being a member of the Alliance of German Designers and covering the costs with my yearly fee – I bet I’m their best client indeed!) (okay, long story long after all) and have green light to continue with my current set-up. Great!
German insert: Ich werde nicht extra ein Gewerbe anmelden und diese Karten einfach im Rahmen meiner bisherigen freiberuflichen Tätigkeit als Gestalterin verkaufen.
Go go go!
Christmas cards are meant for Christmas – so I better plow ahead!