I’m headed to NYC at the end of the week for the gift fair (I’ll be exhibiting), so I spent most of yesterday in my office making little catalogs for the cozy/cuff. I decided to go the DIY route for my catalogs partly out of budgetary concerns, and partly because none of my online printing sources offered the dimensions I wanted.
When done right, DIY marketing materials can really help convey the story of your brand and products. I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite resources for creating your own promotional materials. I would highly recommend two books by Ellen Lupton – D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself and Indie Publishing.
D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself is an excellent resource for the independent maker looking to promote themselves on a budget. After an initial overview of DIY and some design basics, Design it Yourself has sections devoted to a myriad of ideas that could be used to promote your business, from blogs and branding, to business cards and press kits, to logos, t-shirts and websites. With lots of images, Design it Yourself is sure to spark your creativity, even if you don’t bother to read the text. (But I would read the text, too. There’s a lot of useful information in there.)
If you’re working on designing a new catalog or portfolio book, I also recommend you check out Indie Publishing. It also has a good overview of design basics (which are more specific to designing a book), including an InDesign crash course. Indie Publishing gives you some suggestions for getting your book commercially printed, including using print-on-demand technology like lulu.com. (Which is ideal for printing a few, high-quality portfolio books or exhibition catalogs.) But it also has a nice section on handmade books, featuring some great techniques you could use to promote the unique, handmade qualities of your products.
One other tool that makes my DIY marketing efforts easier – my X-ACTO Paper Cutter. I’ve never had much success with rotary cutters, so this guillotine style cutter was worth the investment. I use it for everything! (Well, everything related to cutting paper.)
Note: the product links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, but I wouldn’t recommend them if these weren’t products that I use and love.