Friday, 17 June 2011

Craft Show Confidential: Hang Tags Follow-up #4

You can create hang tags on your home computer by setting up a template in Microsoft Word. If you create the layout precisely, you should be able to print them out double-sided.

I use folded hang tags that are designed to be printed out on 8.5” x 11” sheets of card stock. You can see them in the image at right.

The outside cover of the tags is the same, no matter what the book is. I tried to keep the information general enough that it could be used for all of my books - they include my name and business name on the front, and a general blurb about my business on the back.

I customize the inside of my tags to include information specific to the book I'm selling. Usually this information includes types of materials used, relevant symbolism, color meanings, where a material is made, and/or eco-friendly details.

In the past, I hand-fed card stock through my printer and then hand-stamped my logo on the front cover of my tags. This took forever.

I decided that my time was better spent on things other than my marketing materials. I found this to be especially true when I was gearing up for a craft show – I'd much rather be producing inventory.

In addition, I worked on branding my business – I revamped my logo and decided on a specific shade of blue (I have a Pantone color!). I had business cards and letterhead printed professionally, so I decided to upgrade my hang tags to keep my branding consistent.

I sent my template to my graphic designer so she could get the layout right - it wasn't that different from my first design, so the design cost was minimal. We had to tweak it a few times to get the positioning right. Once the layout was set, I sent it to my printer and had them print up 200 sheets – that's 2,000 tags. I'm set for a lifetime.

It was worth the investment to get the tags professionally designed and printed. Sometimes you’re better off spending money instead of time. Now all I have to do is run the preprinted sheets through my computer to customize the inside of the hang tags – no more stamping!

Here's a link to the template I designed for my hang tags (Note: This is a MS Word document). You get 10 tags per sheet with a finished size of 2” (h) x 2.125” (w) when folded. You can customize the details as you wish. Once the tags are printed, here's how you cut the sheets:
  1. 4.25” vertical cut down the middle of the sheet, cutting it in 1/2 lengthwise.
  2. Cut 2.75” up from the bottom.
  3. Take the tag you just cut (2.75” high) and trim 0.75” off of the bottom.
  4. Cut 2” up from the bottom for the remaining 4 tags on the strip.
  5. Repeat this process for the second strip of tags.
I use a teeny hole punch for the hole in the upper left-hand corner. The hole can accommodate waxed linen thread and embroidery thread - it's a nice size.

I've found that stringing hang tags is a good activity for when you have slow times in your booth. It's easy (a.k.a. mindless) enough to do while keeping an eye out for customers and it's easy to quickly respond to customer questions. Artist consultant Bruce Baker says that while you're in your booth, you should keep busy doing nothing – this is the perfect activity for doing just that.

If you have any questions about my template, please let me know. I could try doing a video demo, if that would help. If you have a template that you use and you're willing to share it, send it to me and I'll include it in a follow-up post next week. Be sure to include your name and a link to your Etsy shop.


Lizzie said...

Those are smart and attractive tags. I think it's a great idea to get the fronts printed in a big batch, so you only have to do the "insides" later.
Thank you for sharing your template with us - it must have taken you quite a while to get right, so it's generous of you to share!

Blue Roof Designs said...

Lizzie -

Yeah, the template took a while to get right. That's why I'm so happy to share - no one should have to go through that much "...just a smidge to the right..."

By the way, if anyone has trouble accessing the template, let me know.