Starting my own line of stationary

Google search engines etc are no good for this.

I have a logo in my mind, which is yet to be designed. And I’m thinking of putting this logo on my own line of stationary, I’m talking about pencil cases, ringbinders (folders) and eventually maybe, vests and skinny t shirts.

For starters I’ve yet to get the image out of my mind onto machine or paper. Bad news is I’m a terrible drawer. The image is exact in my mind, so would a Photoshop progam be a good idea for getting this out? I have no experience with photoshop, eep.

Also, after it has been designed how would I get it onto stationary, are there specialist shops which take the image you have created and sort out the rest for you?

Well. the first thing you need to do if you’re going into this business, is to learn how to spell stationery.

Generally, logos and other non-photo images are drawn in a program like Adobe Illustrator or Corel. They are expensive. You should probably find a graphic artist and set down with them - they will be able to do a better job much faster than you can.

The $800 cost of photoshop will be MUCH MUCH MUCH better spent on a graphic designer. You’ll probably want someone who can do it free lance though. Take a look through the yellow pages. Or, if you have a printer/embroiderer in mind to do your printing and stuff, they’ll either be able to recommend someone, or do it themselves.

Right, so I suppose I’d just have to jump in the deep end, after finding a graphic designer, how would I ensure my image wouldn’t get stolen? What are keywords I’d need to look for in finding someplace to print it onto stationery :wink:
I do know one place where they transfer images onto t shirts.

I’m not looking to go into business with this, at least not at this stage.

Actually I imagine free lance graphic designers are hard to comeby? Or if you’re paying a decent price you’re bound to find someone.

There’s no guaranty that your design won’t be stolen. That’s what lawyer’s are for. Just make sure that you have a signed agreement that all work belongs to you. Also, make some sketches, and mail them to yourself, and then DON’T OPEN the envelope - this will support your claim to ownership if it ever comes up.

With today’s trend to company out-sourcing, there are LOTS of freelance designers - I know quite a few. Contact your local Macintosh user’s group - they will have several as members.

Ah, ye olde urban legend of “poor man’s copyright.”

Obligatory can of worms: The Todd Goldman affair.

I’m not talking about copyright (I’m not even sure that logos qualify for copyright).
This just a way of showing that your idea was first.
If you are worried about a contractor taking your idea and running with it, and it ends up in court, you will presumably have all sorts of documentation that shows that the design was originally yours. One way to absolutely trump any claim that they originated the idea is to have your dated, original sketches. Then you will also need a contract stating what you were hiring them for.
Now, IANAL, but it would seem to be pretty straightforward way to show that it was your idea, if you end up having to sue a designer. You could also get your sketches notarized.

Another place to find freelancers might be at your local prepress shops. (Or whatever they’re calling “service bureaus” these days.)

There’s a fair chance that they know an artist or two who specialize in logo design.

Actually we are talking about copyright, and the U.S. Copyright Office FAQ says that logo artwork can be copyrighted as well as trademarked, and also discusses poor man’s copyright. See also this article at

In short, it’s not a good idea and should not be relied on. However, you’re absolutely right about having a signed agreement stating that all work belongs to the OP.

Thank you for your suggestions and clarifications. :slight_smile: I wouldn’t have thought of a designer and would have just figured it all out myself.

I looked up graphic designer on and I’ve found a guy who lives in my local town and he specializes in a variety of design including stationery. That was lucky. I’ll send him an email with my ideas, he may be able to help. Although he seems a bit contemporary, my image is a little out there.

On further looking theres a huge bunch of graphic designers in my local town :confused: no idea that a bureaucratic misery of a place would be such a hive of creativity!

I wouldn’t need to get a lawyer straightaway would I? Not by just submitting my ideas to an individual?

I wouldn’t give them the idea via email. If you email them, just explain to them that you would like a logo made, you have the idea in your head and you just need it drawn. BTW once all is said and done, you’re going to want this to be a vector file in Adobe Acrobat. This will give printers the ability to scale it up or down as much as they want without any distortion. You’ll probably also want a jpeg file of the image for priters that don’t have Acrobat or Photoshop, and you’ll want a black and white version of it so if you have it done in two color (that is any ONE color against the color of whatever it’s being printed on) you’re not leaving it up to the printer to convert it.
AND, if you have money left over, you may want them to help/assist you in designing the letterhead. If your letterhead is simply going to be the graphic and that’s it, then don’t worry about it, but the designers have an eye for things like picking out the right fonts, chosing the right color paper for your ‘image’ etc…

Something else that will be helpful when searching or writing your advertising copy is to spell stationery correctly. “ery” is the fancy paper. “ary” means “not moving”.

(Double-double-triple check for typing mistakes … wince, hold breath, & click [Post])

Best by far to get a graphic designer to do your work for you. I needed logo, stationery, letterhead, etc. I had an idea & a few ghastly sketches.

The cost of the professional artist was minimal and I have the rights to the images she created. The resulting materials look 100% pro, not like clip art from Office Max. And it only took a few days.

This is definitely not a DIY job unless you are really trying to learn to be an artist & have a year to spend on it. Or unless you’re trying to produce product that looks like a 10-year old did it.

Good Luck on the endeavor.

“Double-double-triple check for typing mistakes … wince, hold breath, & click [Post])” ( You forgot ‘read first reply to OP’)

Check out a site like cafepress and make sure that a similar design to the one you have in mind doesn’t already exist. There are thousands of designs on there.

Yes, I highly recommend CafePress as well…

As far as your design being stolen… coming from a designer, don’t worry about it. We deal with so many brilliant ideas, we probably wouldn’t even notice it unless it succeeds and becomes BIG. Stay away from online freelance services though, many of them can be sketchy.

This is how it works between my clients and I. During the concept process, dozens and dozens of sketches may be done. Therefore, it doesn’t make any sense to lay it out to a designer that everything he draws or comes up with, is YOUR property. The only time the actual design becomes YOUR property, is when the result is finalized by both parties. Client pays me, and I transfer all files and rights of the finalized logo on over to the new owner. Everything I’ve done up until that point, is still technically my property, so if you want ALL work that bares any resemblance to your design, make sure you clarify that with the designer as well.

Good luck with everything, and if you have any questions in relations to design work… feel free to ask.

thanks for the luck, I’m really not wanting to be an artist, I’m too much of a perfectionist and unfortunately my hands are not connected to my imagination. I have several big artwork ideas with no way of getting them out how I want them.

thanks late664 :smiley:

So there are a few building around which deal with graphic design, do I walk in and talk to a designer about my ideas? I really do have no physical evidence to show them what I want, do I need to have that with me because there is no way I could draw it beforehand. Seriously. Could it be like a jamming session with pens?

Are graphic artists willing to do any design even if their background of work looks nothing how you want, are they willing to just go with what the originator of the ideas wants or will they try to turn it around and make it more their style, a lot of what I’ve looked at looks very contemporary and slightly corporate.

I surmise that you should call an artist and ask them what you should do. The bottom line is YOU are paying someone MONEY for WORK. In order to satisfy the customer (you) they will work towards what you want to accomplish. It would not be good for their reputation if they were known to be difficult or a thief.

My WAG but if graphic artists were out to get all their clients none would stay in business very long…