“There is no such thing as a free lunch.” Thanks to Milton Friedman, a phrase has been coined that epitomizes the nagging realization that virtually everything we do costs money. Our grandparents speak of the days when they could buy a 10 cent coke, watch a 25 cent movie, or fill their gas tank for $10. But even Mr. Friedman couldn’t have predicted that in this age of inflation, there would be so many free resources for button makers of the 21st century.
Tecre would like to share some of the best kept button making secrets out there. Secrets that can transform even the most modest button beginner to a highly functional status.
If the graphics industry were a high school then programs like Photo Shop, Illustrator, and CorelDraw would be the prom kings. Their keen ability to dictate detail, color, and effect warrants their popularity. But these prom kings know they are in high demand – and you can pay dearly for them. Are there other graphic software options out there? Sure. You may not be able to have the prom king just yet, but it turns out the track star is also pretty cool.
Although there are many options available, one that has been resounded across the button making industry is a free software suite download from Openoffice.org. It includes a graphics program that proves to be user-friendly and very permissible to both fonts and pictures. Are you looking for something even more understated than the track star? Believe it or not, you can create round layouts for buttons right in Microsoft Word. Click Here for a step by step instruction guide!
Is downloading free fonts unchartered territory for you? Then you may want to consider embarking on your first expedition into this field. The right font has the power to transform your button. With great sites like Fontspace.com and dafont.com, you are not limited to genres such as classic and modern, but you may even explore holiday, chalkboard, and collegiate fonts – for free! The selections are truly endless, and they don’t stop at letters. There are great pictorial fonts you may download for graphics, and even a mickey ears font…say what!?
Click Here for easy instructions to help you navigate through the downloading process!
Does the thought of graphic designing evoke fear in you, causing sweaty palms and body tremors? It is time to conquer this fear. Look graphic designing square in the eyes and…then dodge it like a speeding bullet! There are plenty of resources available for the not-so-savvy button designer. To steer clear of copyright infringements, be sure to search using key words such as “free stock photography” or “free clip art”. By typing these words into the Yahoo Image Search Engine, you will be presented with a wealth of designs (for high-quality graphics, you may even select “Wallpaper” or “Large” under the size category on the left-hand side of the screen). Here’s yet another tip: using a search word like “vector” will give you access to images that have no background color of their own. This will help you apply the image to your layout with the background color of your choice. Who knew that applying an awesome graphic to your button could be as easy as copy and paste?
The hunt for the best paper can be mystifying but if your paper purchase has left you eating Ramen Noodles all week, then it may be time for you to visit The Great Paper Debate blog post where you learn just how minimal your paper investment should be! Now imagine taking that investment from minimal to nominal…or even better yet, FREE! To acquire free paper you have to be willing to think outside the button and stow away your sacred printing paper. Peruse your own home and you will see items such as maps, wrapping paper, aged novels, comic books, dictionaries, and scrapbook paper all transform into one-of-a-kind paper possibilities for your button maker machine.
Once you have discovered the depths of your paper potential, it may be easy to get carried away. Tread carefully—when your children start complaining that you have removed circles out of their favorite story books you have gone TOO FAR! Throughout your experimenting, try to maintain a paper thickness of .004” (or less). Too thick of paper may be detrimental to your button or standard button maker machine.
Ideas are free! And no one has proved just how bountiful the button ideas can be quite like Tecre’s customers. Don’t get stuck in a button rut by limiting yourself to one market, one graphic, one font, or even one type of paper! Ideas are everywhere. And now with sites like Etsy and Pinterest, you don’t have to look far to be inspired. If you follow some of the tips mentioned above, you can create a truly creative, unique, and potentially profitable button for very little cost.