April '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 A P R I L G R A P H I C S P R O 2 7 Make sure you offer a variety. This might include simple, easy-to-read fonts such as a sans serif font. Perhaps a few script fonts, maybe one that is elegant and one that is hand printed. Do you need to oer a kid's font? Contemporary, European, exotic, or island-oriented fonts can all be good choices. Colors should be appropriate for the theme and customer base. Again, feed- back from enthusiasts is important. Involving followers creates some owner- ship and supporters. ey will be your im- mediate marketing force, buyers, and re- viewers. If colors are a choice, will they be picked among material colors such as las- erable sheet plastic? Or will you be paint- lling them? Make sure if you are paint- lling, the type of paint and color choices are easy to work with. e size of the personalization area mat- ters as well. How many letters and words will t while still being readable? Are the graphic designs similar enough to take up about the same amount of space? ink through each of these choices and run through every variation by producing samples. Make sure the menu of choic- es is not too complex and dicult to de- scribe. Keep it as simple as possible. Create maximum letter or word rules if neces- sary. You only have so much space to work with and you want the text and graph- ics large enough that customers will be pleased with the results. PRICING Pricing may consist of one price if you sell directly from your own website or store- front and other pricing based on selling from an online storefront or selling whole- sale to a store or museum. For example, volume discounts are fair and valuable to both customers and third parties such as stores. However, selling in- dividual items or small quantities to third parties such as promotional products re- sellers is not worth large discounts. You still have to make the sale, perhaps pro- vide all the design work, and produce the product. Discount for the work your third party will do for you. Check out online storefronts such as Etsy and eBay for competitive pricing. eBay may oer more esoteric products. e fewer the competitors, the better your pricing can be. Add up your parts cost, machine time, and all of the time for as- sembly and shipping. If you process credit cards or use PayPal, those costs should be accounted for. Your pricing should not only cover these costs, but a multiple of at least three or four times is needed to cover other gen- eral and unaccounted costs, and a reason- able prot. Remember, paying yourself (or others) for design or production and pro- cessing time should be considered. Prot is the dollars left after all those expenses, including your pay. PHOTOS People buy what they see. Fonts, designs, colors, etc., all steer choices during a sales process. Photos are critical. Poor quality photos reduce sales and look unprofes- sional. Invest in a good local photographer who has product photography experience. If you plan to photograph new products yourself, invest in a reasonably good cam- era, and even more important, a good lens. A lens in the range of 70 to 105 mm pro- vides a good, close view of product details. Take photos from several angles, includ- ing the whole product as well as details. A product photography light tent is also a worthwhile investment. ere are many in the $50 to $150 range that work well. MARKETING AND PRODUCT PLACEMENT If your product sales don't take place in your physical storefront, you are like- ly selling online (or perhaps at a farm- er's market or similar place). Online sales may be at your own website storefront or hosted by one or more online shopping malls such as Amazon or Etsy. Choices increase all the time (some other popular sites are shown in the inset on page 28). Each has their own set of rules, fee struc- tures, photo requirements, and appeal to various types of consumers. If you participate in forums and chat rooms, do a lot of listening. Look for problems and issues needing solutions. Above: Sign shapes were researched and designed up front for this project. Personalization was offered with a few choices of fonts. These signs are attached to miniature holiday villages on each building representing a family member's interests. Left: A popular holiday product for newly formed families, this wood slice is easily personalized with a few font choices. Above: Above: Above: Sign shapes were researched and designed up front for this project. Personalization

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