Coming into capstone this semester, I already had a solid idea planned out because I have been thinking about what I wanted to do for my capstone project for the past year. I have owned my own craft business for about 5 years now, and the past 3 years have been filled with taking my business to craft shows around the state of Iowa. As a craft vendor and a graphic design student, there have been many frustrations that I have developed over the years from taking my business to shows. These would include:
• Going to a craft show where there are more direct sales vendors (i.e. Scentsy,
Paparazzi, Pampered Chef) than there are actually handcraft vendors.
• Event organizers not putting as much effort into advertising as promised
• Nonexistent or unappealing branding for show advertising/promotional materials.
For my capstone project, I have decided to tackle these frustrations by branding a Handcraft Only Festival. The original plan was to host the event on April 18th with the help of a friend and fellow craft vendor who has hosted shows before, Sarah Colby. She was going to handle the logistics and technical side of the event while I worked on designing the branding and event materials. The hope was that if the event went well, then we would be able to turn this into an annual event with the intention to keep growing and expanding the festival into one of Iowa’s largest handcraft only shows.
For my research, I started with festival name ideation by researching other festivals locally, nationally and internationally because I needed to start with designing a logo for the festival. I knew I wanted to steer clear of all common terminology for craft show names in the local area. This meant terms such as, ‘show, fair, market,’ and any seasonal terminology (i.e. Spring Fling). Finding current large scale craft festivals and fairs proved to be difficult to find. This led me to look at music and fine art festivals later on for theme and style ideation.
The theme is a mandala that is made up of a variety of craft supplies. All elements were hand drawn with only the outlines filled in with color. With the logo quite a bit wider than the height, I decided to follow more of an oval shape for the mandala instead of trying to create a perfect circle.
The official color scheme is an aqua, yellow, and coral. They were chosen to be representative of spring and also be reflective of the colors I’ve seen used on the craft tools I have in my home studio. I tried to use tints and shades to begin with, but the tints came off too light. I eliminated all but one tint which is the light yellow that is used for the background. The range then consisted of shades of the original three colors.
Proxima Nova Condensed was chosen for the readability of the type at a far distance, as well as the numerous weights contained in the type family. Special Elite was chosen specifically to work as a subtitle. This is a typewriter style font that has good readability and complements the style designed in the logo.
I still plan on hosting the festival at some point but it may not be in Ames. Once the festival is up and running, a website will become necessary as an information source for potential vendors and customers. There is a social media campaign planned for promotion of vendors which would be during the last month leading up to the festival. The hope is to make the festival an annual multi-day event.
This project came from the admiration and respect I have for artisans and crafters who are trying to make a living from their creativity. The Craftology Festival is my way of showing appreciation and giving these small business creatives a platform to share their work with the world. Working on the Craftology Festival has brought me closer to figuring out where I want to go with my career in the graphic design field. I have found that I enjoy creating materials for large events like expos and festivals.
I am excited to see where this project and my career go from here.