Once you've created, ordered and received your first rubber stamp you're over the "customizing" hump. No more fear of the unknown. You can then begin moving into "personalizing" your stamps.
With the big unknown out of the way
you will find yourself able to be more
creatively personal in your designing.
Whether as a gift or to add to your repertoire, it can now become really fun and satisfying. Here are two of my own designs, one a gift and the other for me. See how they came to life.
I mentioned in my previous post how a return address rubber stamp can be a really great gift. This one goes to a bride with a new name and new digs! Wooohoo.
First I went to RubberStamp.net and choose the size I was looking for. I want the specs 'they' provide so I design accordingly. Find more on RubberStamp.net in my post here. I chose an art-face style (flat wood block), 1"h x 2.5"w. $11.50.
Working in Adobe Illustrator I tried a few fonts and then tweaked the heck out of it (that's just Art-Director-me). Of course a beautiful font makes or breaks a return address rubber stamp, but why stop there? When done as an accent, a visual graphic can REALLY personalize an address stamp. In this case my dear Jessica adores owls, but by then I found I had too much on my plate to create something myself.
I went looking online, however the "royalty free" clip art was not satisfactory, so I went hunting for an owl in the style I really wanted. I found one but it was on an artist's website. Their work.
No big deal. I contacted the artist and asked if it was available for purchase. I made it clear that I did not want to own the work (that's more expensive), but use it for my project. I told them what I was using it for.
Lucky me it was available and the price was perfectly fine. As an artist I know about the work. I usually have no problem commissioning artists for their time and talents. If you go looking for clip art online, make sure it does not require a credit line. Obviously for a rubber stamp you will be unable to do so. Find what you need but keep your integrity and do not use what does not belong to you or have not properly paid for. (Ok, done with the soap box. Maybe.)
Knowing full well that this is a rather small stamp and the owl I chose was treacherously detailed, it would likely end up an ink blob. So I simplified it a tad (but not a whole lot because I wanted to see if RubberStamp.net could handle small detail). I then added it to the address after moving some elements a bit to achieve a cohesive balanced design.
At this point I have to say they did pretty well with it. Time will tell if all the little bits hold up over use. Remember, the red rubber portion is just 1"h. Making the owl about .75"h. I've placed a straight pin to demonstrate size. (Click to enlarge.)
Some might shy away from address rubber stamps due to the chance of relocation. But think of it this way, other gifts you might give instead don't really last forever either. So it's rather the same. But a personalized rubber stamp is so creatively... well, personal! Not to mention, if they are not really into written correspondence, perhaps your gift will peek their interest. =) There you see, you've done your little bit to advance the cause! For about $10 you can't beat it.
If you've included a graphic, your gift can still live on if they should relocate. Applying ink to only the graphic lends itself to still being useful.
Or they can even just ink their name and use it as a sign off. (Better still would be to carefully cut down the letters of the old address on the rubber stamp with a blade.. carefully, leaving the name untouched so it can be inked more easily.) Just sayin'. —It's cooky but I'm a proud re-purposer!
This second rubber stamp I enjoyed creating. I had gotten a hold of this saying and knew right away I had to make my own logo with it.
Again, I first considered how I would use it. I decided on the size that would best suit my use on envelopes and mail. Then I went to RubberStamp.net and reviewed the sizes available and choose 2" x 2". $15.
The truth is I don't "design" on a computer. I sketch out my design with a good 'ol fashioned pencil. Once it works for me I use computer software to produce my vision. I created my logo in Adobe Illustrator and set my page for 2" x 2". As I stated in a previous post about RubberStamp.net, the size they give you is the "workable area". So you can design right up to the edge.
Again, art for rubber stamps should consist of solid shapes. Stay away from gradations and shadows. If you think about it carefully, a rubber stamp doesn't have those. It all consists of 'solid shapes'. (This is not an absolution however. With advanced technology on the rubber stamp production-end, gradations can be transformed into solid shapes before producing the stamp.) RubberStamp.net has several customizing filters you can use in their online interface when you upload your art to submit an order. So you can TRY to submit with grades and see if those filters will transform the grades into shapes for you but I've never tried their filters. If you want to lessen your chances of disappointment in the end result (and waste of your bob$) I suggest designing your stamps as solid shape elements. The cleaner and crisper your art, the better stamp for a clear ink impression.
I'm sure you notice that the first phase of my logo has a gradation in the center. Plainly put, I have over 20yrs experience with graphics and production. My mind actually works backwards now. I see the end result and work from there to design and prepare my files. I could see in my mind's eye how I wanted the stamp to look after I inked and pressed it onto a piece of paper. Yet still, no guarantees.
After creating the first phase of my logo I knew I would have to make the gradation into shapes that would "represent" well for a stamp. I would have tried the online interface filters but I wanted more choice and control that Photoshop provides. I brought my original file into Photoshop and tweaked it with various filters and settings.
Above was my try at it. Never having done a gradation effect for a rubber stamp, it was all pretty experimental. I took my chances.
Above is what the stamp looks like. Click to enlarge. I'm happy with it. If I had to do it again I might want to make the white speckles in the center of my logo more pronounced. Because depending on the type of ink I use, the paper, and the pressure... sometimes the center having "less stamp mass" doesn't come across. However, this would weaken the integrity of the delicate lines of the envelope shape, so I'm perfectly contented. It's suppose to be fun. =)
I certainly hope this has inspired you to go ahead and design a rubber stamp of your very own. ONE LAST NOTE, again you don't need design software to do this. You can certainly create your design by hand in black and white, then scan it.
No scanner? Try taking a photo of it with your smartphone. Perhaps try to add a little contrast to the image with a filter from your photo app. Viola! Or you can commission me to design one for you. =) Give it a go. Try something simple. Let me know how you make out and remember to...
Hello, I’m Nina, the maven behind the
IQS blog. I’m all about creativity (ya think?).
I work in several disciplines. So it's no surprise that the Art of Letter Writing would come knocking on my door. Smitten!
However, I did not want to simply add MailArt as a discipline to my website. Thus it became the IQS Blog within my site. And that is why there are TWO navigation menus. *Here’s a Tip: stick with the BLOG Menu in this Column. The main site menu will lead you astray into dark places where you will be screaming for help and no one will hear you.
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