Hey! So… I love fonts. Big secret, right? I love typography, lettering, and everything associated with it. I sorta think that one of the coolest things about being a font designer is that I get to see what everyone else is working on, too. I love new releases, I love past releases, I love it all.
It might be September, but one of my goals for this year was to blog more on my website. Better late than never, right? What better way to blog than share something that you love with other people that you think will love it, too?!
Over at Autumn Lane, we’re immersed in fonts all day, every day, because our clients need us to make use of them. This post is my “tried and true” font post — basically, anytime someone asks us for a font change, and we use one of these bad boys, they fall in love and they finalize their premade logo on the spot.
I love these particular script fonts because they’re feature-rich – a ton of stylistic alternates, ligatures, and swashes. It makes for a more interesting and unique look for whatever you’re working on.
I license the vast majority of my fonts from Creative Market. I sell on Creative Market, as well, and I’ve come to really love their marketplace. There’s just so much *stuff* there — it really is a design junkie’s dream.
You can click the links below to check out any of the fonts over to the left!
Tell me, Font Lovers — what are some of your tried + true fonts?
Heads up! The links in this post may be affiliate links! That means, if you click and purchase, I might get a little something-something. There is no additional cost to you — I just get a little thank you for sharing products that I love and believe in.
What a month! We always try to pack in so much stuff right before the kids are back to school. We’re officially up one kid here in Cali — Kate moved out this way to go to school since she graduated early. Ethan and Kirsten went back to South Carolina, but we’re really jazzed to be doing Thanksgiving + Christmas in Cali this year. I’m a bit bummed about not being able to see quite as many people as we have in other years, but actually really excited about finally doing *our* Christmas. I mean, I’ve not been collecting gifts since last Christmas, and I definitely don’t have plans to design my own wrapping paper or anything. (I totally have been collecting, and I am totally planning on the paper. Just in case my facetiousness didn’t come through.)
Birthdays were celebrated this month — Aut turned 12, Kirsten turned 12, and my mom’s birthday happened, too! (We won’t say how old she is, right Ma?) Perhaps one of the biggest things that happened — for Autumn, at least — is that she finally got her ears pierced! And let me tell you, this kid was a badass! A little flinch, no tears, and they’re healing up beautifully. She’s rocking little sparkly studs now.
We officially have no kids left in elementary school — 2/5 have graduated, and the other three are in middle + high school now. Registering Aut for middle school was a bit of a cluster, but now that her schedule is all worked out, everything seems to be pretty good — we had to make changes to ensure she was placed in all honors courses possible, and also ensure she was placed in Math 1 since she took a summer math course to get ahead. (Math 1 is high school math here in the OC.) Aut seems to be thoroughly enjoying middle school — she emphatically said it’s way better than elementary school.
Meanwhile, I’m happy to not be at a school with massive parking issues like her elementary school had. It’s the little things, right?
We’re closing out August with a second vehicle (again, finally!), a small earthquake, and a new (used) fridge that is going to replace the old kegerator that went kaput.
Way to go, Beck — you still haven’t lettered a Concerts heading yet.
Well, we “traveled” to Irvine in August — a stone’s throw from here, really — to see some of our favorites play.
We took the entire family to the Shinedown + Godsmack show in Irvine at the beginning of August. For the younger three, it was their first concert experience. I clearly remember mine — I was about Auttie + Kirsten’s age, and my parents got tickets to a Brooks & Dunn show. I grew up a bit of a country girl…redneck…whatever you want to call it. JoDee Messina played, and so did David Lee Murphy. I got to take my best school friend, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I remember bits and pieces of it like it was yesterday, so I was totally thrilled to give my kids their first concert experience, too.
We had the same seats as we did the previous concert. I called it the “nosebleediest of nosebleed seats” last month, so I’ll stick with that. It was a good place, though, because it meant that we were out of the way, the music wasn’t as loud as it could have been if we’d been closer to the stage — so, basically, the best possible place for us with the kids. It was a bit more crowded this time around — a super good turn-out for the concert!
Our typical family selfie. Look at those babies!!
As always, Shinedown put on an amazing show. This was the fourth time that I’ve seen Shinedown. I’ll keep seeing Shinedown — to date, probably the best band I’ve seen play, and they’re always on point. Godsmack was equally as awesome, so I’ll always seek out a Godsmack concert from this point forward. Seeing Godsmack was another thing to check off of my Beck List, as well. Sweet!
I was supposed to see Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson just a few days ago, but decided to take a pass on that one. We had the tickets — we got them for free when we purchased the Godsmack tickets — but I didn’t make a schedule swap. By the time I remembered I needed to, it was a little too close to the concert, and with our trip coming up later this month, making a bunch of adjustments with Aut’s dad seemed silly when I could just hang with her. So, sorry, Rob Zombie. We’ll catch up later.
We didn’t travel much in August, but we did have a visitor! My mom came out for a long weekend — I bought her the ticket back in May for Mother’s Day, and surprised her with it. It was a pretty epic surprise that involved my dad, brother, and sister-in-law ensuring that my mom’s schedule was free and clear. I sent flowers about two weeks before Mother’s Day, with a vague note that said, “Happy Mom Day, Conf. # 0000000” with whatever her flight confirmation number was.
She was super happy with the flowers, but a little miffed at the note because it never said, “Love you!” or anything like that. When she called to thank me for the flowers, she tried to harass me a little, and I let her know that the confirmation number was her flight number. (Insert laughing-crying face emoji here.) All she could muster was, “WHAT????” Yep, pretty epic surprise. She’s been saying since then that paybacks are a bitch. I’m still waiting, haha.
Our weekend was relatively low-keyed — Mom was just happy to hang out for a little while, and we took her to a few of our favorites — Ballast Point, Backstreet Brewery, and Hoparazzi. She quite enjoyed herself.
Can you believe, only one font released in August?? I have folders full of stuff that needs programming, cleaning, at every stage in the design process. I made the decision to take August off for releasing fonts + SVGs, but couldn’t resist releasing Resfeber Script. The lack of fonts in August was partly because I offered a limited time bundle on Etsy and a few other sites I sell on, which was an “entire shop” bundle. I figured it would make my life easier to not release anything new for the month of August to keep from having to update the bundles. I just pushed back the release date for Resfeber on those particular marketplaces, and pushed it out on my own website and Creative Market.
I was right, by the way. It seems that the bundle was a hit. Note to self: do that again.
It also did a lot for me mentally, having a bit of a break. I think it’s easy to get burned out, and I definitely went through a few weeks of hating everything I kept looking at as it related to the fonts I have in my queue right now. It’s easy to feel uninspired and like the people you compare yourself to are out-doing you or are doing so much better. I suppose sometimes they are, and sometimes they aren’t.
I had to do a little attitude adjusting for myself — every other designer has a unique perspective and a unique ability & style. I fall into funks once in a while where I wish I was more like ______ (fill in the blank with someone who seems to have it all together) or wish that things were different, better, or whatever. BUT, I didn’t get into font design to be like the next guy. I did it because I wanted to, because I enjoy it, and because I want to push out fonts + little projects that make me happy. I want to set goals for myself and meet + exceed them.
I told my hubby when I started making sales on my Spring Market font that I was going to buy a house by making fonts — a nod to our years-in-the-making-still-being-made move back to the east coast, wanting to build, and talking about all of the things we want to and hope to do out there. It’s easy to lose sight of the goals or feel discouraged (especially when you’re all, “LOLZ I WANT TO BUY A HOUSE.” because that’s not lofty at all, right?) so I needed to get myself back to that.
I think I’m there, and I have some awesome stuff planned out in my head…so now it’s actually time to get it out of my head and into a notes file, because that’s how I roll. I’m already thinking about goals for 2019 and nurturing this little side gig, slowly but surely, into something that pays like a full time job.
For a start, I re-branded Spring Market.
Spring Market was one of my first releases, and as time has gone on, I feel like I’ve gotten a better handle on how to present my fonts and show their versatility. Part of my plan to up my font game is to really examine the branding that goes into each and every one of these fonts, and make it better. It’s a really simple, painless change that makes a LOT of difference.
One thing coming up for my website is adding a preview for fonts — you know, that handy-dandy field where you can type your own text, and it displays what you typed in the font? Jeffrey figured out how to make this a reality, so each of my font listings will be getting this little upgrade!
So, I have a trip coming up (more about that below) so whenever I finished up Resfeber Script, I knew that Resfeber was the perfect name for it. I see those “beautiful travel words” pins on Pinterest all the time, and Resfeber doesn’t *sound* beautiful (to me) … but I love the meaning of the word. It’s Swedish in origin, apparently. (I can’t confirm this, I’m not Swedish?) It basically means the crazy beating of one’s heart as they’re about to embark on a journey.
That’s been me for the last few months, because…SCOTLAND!!!
Next month marks our 5th anniversary, and we’ll be celebrating by going back to the UK. We’ve got an awesome trip planned out, including my first visit to Wales, and Scotland… There’s so much to see and so much whiskey to taste that I don’t even know which way is up…but mostly, I’m really excited to set foot in another part of the world and lay eyes on where some of my ancestors came from. Years + years before my Gram passed, she was a genealogy fanatic, so we have some really awesome records to go off of…and what’s even more awesome is that the Ancestry DNA tests that my parents took seem to corroborate the majority of the records she turned over. I have a massive binder in my bedroom that goes back 14+ generations in some cases. It’s mind-boggling. I think she would be really excited to hear about my plans.
I am beyond jazzed to set foot in Glasgow, where my great, great grandmother was born…but who am I kidding? I’m excited for the entire trip. That burning, yearning pull that I feel in my chest when it’s time for me to see new places has been ever-present lately…so you can imagine that I’m thankful to have this trip in place.
I’ll be taking plenty of pics, sampling plenty of whiskey and delicious (I hope!) food. I’ll cover some awesome details of the trip, what we saw, and where we stayed. I’ll probably be dropping all of that in separate blog posts after the trip, so make sure you keep an eye out!
Happy September, y’all!
Since I started this whole font design + crafting resources thing, I’ve been asked a few times where I sell my items and what my experiences have been. It’s also a question that pops up pretty frequently in the groups that I’m in. People seem to have mixed responses about where to sell, how the experience is, and so on. I thought it might be helpful to anyone else following the same path — or considering opening up shop — to have a little bit of info.
I do think it’s worth noting that your experiences may be totally different than mine, or the next guy’s. My experiences are totally my own, so you’ll have to make your own decision as it relates to whether or not you want to sell with any given marketplace.
Full Disclosure: I am affiliated with the entities listed below, but I’m not getting paid to talk about having a shop open with them. This post is entirely informational for any other designers that are looking to sell their products and want firsthand, honest experiences from someone who has listed their items with these companies/selling platforms. So, for that reason, the links here are *not* affiliate links, even though I could use them. 🙂
My Own Website
Process to Open Shop: Um, well, I built a website. With a little bit of my hubby’s help. No, really, I did most of it on my own and called on him to fix the things I couldn’t figure out how to fix.
Cost: Aside from domain registration, hosting, and the percentage that is taken by your payment processors, that’s about it. It’s typically around $0.25 + 3% per transaction.
Positives: FULL & COMPLETE CONTROL. This is my favorite.
Negatives: You actually have to drive traffic to your website for there to even be the possibility of a sale. My website sales are not consistent (yet) but I hope that over the next few years, this little side gig of mine will be a full time gig.
Other Random Info: One of the things I totally dig about my own website is that my hubby helped me with some pretty cool stuff. My All-Inclusive Bundle, for example — he’s got it set up so that whenever I replace my downloadable file, I can push out an e-mail to everyone that has purchased my bundle to let them know that there’s a new addition! He’s also figured out how to make it so that people can preview my fonts by typing into a box. We’re working on how to best integrate this feature.
Process to Open Shop: For Creative Market, you need to apply to have a shop. Currently, the process is that you need to provide somewhat of a portfolio — whether it’s your Insta account where you show your artwork / items you design, your website, or another platform you sell on. When I opened my shop a few years back, it didn’t take long for them to approve my shop, but it does seem like they require more than just a few images as a portfolio. They may be more selective these days — I’ve seen some extremely talented individuals quite dejected because they didn’t get accepted.
Cost: There’s no cost to open a shop on CM, and you make 70% of each sale you make.
Positives: You set your own prices on CM, and you also maintain control over your products, so you can go in any time to make adjustments, or remove a product all together.
Negatives: Just my opinion here — I think that CM tends to feature individuals more readily that have shown they will continually make money. It’s a business thing — CM needs to make bucks, too, so I get it. It’s just frustrating sometimes to know that you have a badass product, and it gets passed over in favor of someone a little more popular. It can be discouraging, but I’m choosing to use this as motivation to better myself and my offerings.
Other Random Info: CM offers a pretty cool affiliate program, which I participate in and (I think) get paid decently for, with minimal effort. I like to pin fonts + design resources, so when I do, I make sure I use my affiliate link. In short, if someone clicks your affiliate link, and then opens an account with CM, you get paid 10% of anything they purchase for an entire year.
All I do is pin whenever I see something that catches my eye and I think other folks will like it, or use my affiliate link any time I mention Creative Market — I’ve been an affiliate for about a year and a half and have made almost $2k … yes, just from pinning or using my affiliate link.
CM also recently opened up Creative Market Pro, which is geared a little more toward graphic design companies with more employees. It includes a lot of the most popular design resources from really talented artists. Maybe one day, I’ll get my invite there. 😉
Process to Open Shop: All you need to do is click the button to open a shop! Easy peasy.
Cost: Etsy charges $.20 per listing that you add, and each listing is active for four months. At the end of the four months, you can renew your listing for another two dimes. Any time your item sells, you have the option to renew for another $.20, as well. If you have it set to auto-renew, it’ll take care of that for you. For digital products, this is probably a good idea so that you can continually sell, rather than having to renew something after someone purchases.
Etsy also charges a commission (a 5% transaction fee), and uses standard payment processing fees (3% + $.025.)
It sounds complicated, but at the end of the day, it’s not really all that much. It’s the cost of doing business, and having your product in a marketplace that sees quite a bit of traffic.
Positives: Etsy is a super well-known platform, and they see a lot of traffic, like I just mentioned. For a font designer, or someone that makes design resources or items for crafters (like SVGs), it’s a really great place to be. I don’t see millions of dollars in sales (if only!!) but I do see at least a few sales a day, whether it’s a $2 SVG or a $18 font bundle. It’s relatively hands-off once the item is listed, and I set my items to auto renew.
I’ve heard that unless you have an existing shop, selling fonts is difficult on Etsy because you spend more time trying to make it happen than actually making sales, but I think it’s not entirely accurate. I’ve had a pretty good experience with Etsy, but my expectations weren’t super high, either. For me, it was just another place to put my stuff. With the emergence of so many crafty hobbies — I’m looking at you, Cricut-ers — people are keen to spend a little on SVGs or fonts that match what their vision is.
Negatives: Not a negative about the platform, but rather about who purchases what. In my experiences, I get A LOT of questions about what I offer. I find that a lot of customers don’t do their reading and research ahead of time, and purchase things that they don’t know how to use. I’ll put it bluntly: if you don’t know how to access OpenType features, or you don’t have software to do so, you shouldn’t buy my fonts. Because it’s not readily apparent to individuals that don’t know, they approach it from a “You did me wrong!” angle or a “You sold me a faulty product, gimme a refund!”
Typically, a little explaining does the trick, and people wind up happy with what they purchased. Fair warning, though, you will need to answer more questions on Etsy because a lot of the folks that purchase here are not professional designers, and are more hobbyists or crafters that don’t necessarily spend all day in Illustrator looking at a glyphs panel. If you’re happy to answer their questions in order to gain their positive feedback, you’re golden! If you’d rather not answer the questions, Etsy might not be for you.
Other Random Info: Etsy recently released their first paid account option this past summer. I am not currently utilizing this option on my BeckMcCormick.etsy.com shop, but I am over on Autumn Lane, because I was curious about it. I don’t have any negatives to report, nor do I have any positives. The changes for us — digital product sellers — weren’t anything to write home about. I am, however, very curious about their next level of account being released next year, which should include more analytics.
Process to Open Shop: All you need to do is go here: https://thehungryjpeg.com/open-a-store/
Cost: There’s no cost to start a shop; The Hungry JPEG will keep 30% of your sale.
Positives: I initially decided to open up a shop with THJ after being approached to participate in a bundle. I probably have a different view of bundles than a lot of other designers do, and that’s ok.
My thought? I started designing fonts, first because I wanted to, and second, because I had a need/wish to earn passive income. Don’t get me wrong — I love the work I do at Autumn Lane Paperie, but who doesn’t want to have income that they do something ONCE for, and get paid continually?
Once the font is done, I list it, and I make money without having to do anything else with the font. Basically, do the legwork once, list it, share it, and see sales. I know that bundles mean my font is “sold” for a super tiny fraction of what I’m charging for it, but it also puts my font in front of users that might otherwise not use my font. If they like it, maybe they’ll search me out.
In addition to that, places like THJ and Font Bundles (below) tend to do a lot of social media and sponsoring of posts for the bundles — that means they’re basically pushing my stuff out to a bunch of people… In other words, I don’t have to. For me, bundles have always paid off well. The few that didn’t…eh, I didn’t lose much except for a few minutes of my time packaging my items up for the bundle. I mean, I’m not going to say no to someone PayPaling me $200 here & there. Would you??
Anyway, I like the interface on THJ, and it’s easy to set up shop there.
Negatives: BUT…I barely see any sales here. I’m lucky to see 1-2 a week. I haven’t listed anything new here at THJ in months because I feel like it’s pointless — the only sales I see are from my older fonts, and not the newer ones, so I figure that the direction I’m heading in with my designs isn’t really what the folks frequenting THJ want. That’s cool with me.
The other gripe I have with THJ is that their site is really slow to load. So much to the point that I’ve stopped trying to check in on my sales, because it takes for-ev-er to load. *shrug*
I’m not saying not to open up shop with THJ. I imagine it’s probably different based on the shop and the designs that are being sold. I just haven’t had stellar luck with them, or enough to warrant continuing to list items with them.
Other Random Info: The bundle sales I participated in did moderately well. If approached again, I’d totally participate.
Process to Open Shop: You can go here to open up shop: https://fontbundles.net/store-register
Cost: There is no cost to open up the shop; sellers receive between 50-75% commission, with Font Bundles keeping the rest.
Positives: Font Bundles does really well for bundles and quick sales — like their $1 font deal, or seasonal sales that they host. I see the bulk of my income from FB through the bundles and sales. I see individual sales here & there — a bit more consistently than on The Hungry JPEG.
The interface for listing products is easy to use and fairly intuitive.
Negatives: Customer service is a little lacking for shop owners. Long story short, my fonts were (still are) being purchased and then offered for free on a few different websites. This is something I’ve come to accept as expected, and I’ve got a takedown notice ready to go on the fly in case I need it. I’d been trying to figure out where the fonts were being taken from, so I did some detective work of my own, and found out that the fonts (as I suspected) were being purchased through Font Bundles, and the buyers were turning around and offering the products up for free on a few different website platforms.
How do I know it came from Font Bundles? Because I listed a test font there & there only. It was the only place the font was made available, and within 1-2 days of being released, it had been purchased, and showed up where I expected it would.
I contacted Font Bundles about this after I’d submitted takedown notices to the websites offering my product for free without my consent, hoping that we could get to the bottom of this. I know Font Bundles can’t control what their customers do, but what I was hoping for was some type of recourse or information on who may have been doing this. Instead, it got turned back around on me and *MY* integrity was questioned — how could *I* be sure that the buyer(s) from Font Bundles were the guilty parties, even though I’d already informed them that the font was available nowhere else.
Font Bundles doesn’t offer much in the way of security for the shop owners, I guess. They refuse to divulge the names of buyers, which makes every sale virtually anonymous. If the sale can’t be attributed, people are going to continue to act dishonestly. I made the suggestion that shop owners should have access to this information — I was told the suggestion would be passed up the chain, which I believe is code for, “lolz no.”
Other Random Info: I’ve been a little more selective about what I list here, and am still on the fence about whether or not it’s worth it to continue doing business with Font Bundles. The sales I make are right on the border of being enough to justify it, so I guess the jury’s out on this one. I would suggest to anyone opening up shop here that they make sure they stay on top of known pirating websites, and then weigh out whether or not it’s worth it to chase down the bad guys when it happens…because it will. (I should note that it will happen no matter where you list your fonts or design resources. It won’t be exclusive to the platform. I only bring it up in this case because I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the response I received.)
Process to Open Shop: Melissa, one of of the gals at So Fontsy, reached out to me via Etsy with an invite to join. After checking it out, I decided I didn’t have anything to lose! You can apply by going to this link — https://sofontsy.com/open-shop/ — where your portfolio will be reviewed!
Cost: There is no actual cost associated with opening up a shop on So Fontsy, and your compensation might vary. My agreement with So Fontsy says that the payment agreement is confidential so I’m not gonna blow that up. I will say, though, that I wouldn’t sell anywhere that I felt like I wasn’t being paid well. One of the things about design marketplaces like this is that I feel like the trade-off is really great. So Fontsy sees traffic and has pre-qualified individuals that may be interested in what I have to offer — in turn for not having to go out and seek these people out myself, they keep a percentage of my sale. It’s people that I wouldn’t otherwise reach, so I think it’s entirely fair.
Positives: I sell both SVGs and fonts on So Fontsy — I see a lot more font sales here than I do SVG files, which makes me totally happy! I get asked to participate in bundles for both SVGs and fonts, so I see a little extra traffic, and I get a bump up in sales, too!
Negatives: I haven’t had a negative experience with selling here, but I will note that you ought to have patience — sometimes the back end of the website is a little slow, but the folks at So Fontsy have been taking huge steps to make the experience a lot better for sellers. I really appreciate the transparency as it relates to the admin communicating with shop owners about what steps are being taken.
Other Random Info: So Fontsy is pretty young, just having celebrated its six-month anniversary over the summer. One thing that I enjoy about selling here is the Facebook group that is exclusive to the designers that sell there. Everyone is super helpful and friendly. I’m always a little on the fence about the “community over competition” mentality, because we all want to make money, feed our families, etc. BUT, the folks at So Fontsy — the admins and the sellers — have been super sweet, and I feel like we all actually DO look out for one another.
Process to Open Shop: Easy peasy! Follow this link — https://www.creativefabrica.com/open-store/ — and open up shop!
Cost: There is no cost, Creative Fabrica takes a portion of your sale. Your portion could range between 50-75%. Additionally, you can receive recurring revenue if you allow your product to be a part of their subscription service, which allows users to pay a flat fee monthly for access to thousands of fonts.
Positives: I love me some Creative Fabrica! The folks running Creative Fabrica are super responsive to the shop owner’s needs and questions, and are always a pleasure to e-mail with. In addition to being a shop owner, I’m also a subscriber — I love having access to so many fonts for any project that I need them for, and I also quite enjoy being paid daily for participating in the subscription offerings.
Negatives: I don’t have many negative things to say about Creative Fabrica. The interface is easy to use, you can keep tabs on how much your payout is. Perhaps my only suggestion or gripe would be that I’d like to see more in the way of stats so that I know what the buyers on Creative Fabrica are looking for!
Other Random Info: Creative Fabrica has partnered with the Silhouette Design Store, and has also recently partnered with Templett. If your products make the cut, you may be asked to participate. You can accept or reject the deals — when you accept it, it means your product can be offered up on Templett or the Silhouette Design Store. Creative Fabrica basically acts as an intermediary, and they will compensate you for it based on the number of purchases through SDS or Templett. This is in addition to being paid by Creative Fabrica for sales or subscriptions, too!
Process to Open Shop: With a super clean website, big names in the font design community, and some awesome big-name logos at the top of their site…You Work For Them seems like an amazing place to be. There’s no “open shop” link readily available — you need to e-mail submissions in, along with links to your portfolio. They’ll review the submission, and if it seems like a good fit, they’ll invite you to open up shop.
Cost: If you’re invited to open up shop with YWFT, there is no cost to do so… but the commission rate is 50/50 — that means if you make a sale, you get 50% of your asking price, and they keep the other 50%. You get paid once a quarter with YWFT, heads up!
Positives: I mentioned those big names — the likes of Apple and Starbucks are named as users of YWFT. It’s pretty neat to think that the folks there could license and use your resources. YWFT’s website is super clean and uniform.
Negatives: Their requirements seem to have you jumping through hoops with regard to how they need their items packaged up so they can be listed. For all other shops, I use the same images and same .zip file to list my items. For YWFT, I have to prepare a totally different set of images (different sizes), and use their system to package my product up. Let’s be honest. It’s a drag. I know this is how they keep their website looking awesome, products uniform in their presentation, etc. but I spent more time than I wanted to getting my items ready with the hope they’d do well.
I abandoned the YWFT ship a while back, and haven’t listed any new products there. I didn’t see enough sales (like literally less than $50 a quarter) to warrant spending the time on it.
Other Random Info: YWFT just wasn’t for me, y’all.
Do you sell in other marketplaces? Let me know what your experiences were with them — feel free to drop a comment for others to read, too!
July is a notoriously busy month for us. With two birthdays, the Fourth, and the realization that we have only half of the summer left, it seems that we’re always into something.
We didn’t go anywhere for the Fourth. We typically don’t, simply because none of us want to deal with the traffic or the crowds. We live only two miles south of Disneyland, so if we really wanted to see an epic fireworks display, we’d simply have to sit at the pool in our neighborhood. Or, if we wanted a better view, head down the street a short clip.
Instead, we walked next door and got a bunch of small fireworks. I’m not a huge fireworks fan, but the kids had a blast — they really enjoy setting them off, watching them, and feeling like they’re “grown” because they used a blow torch to do it. With supervision, of course. The fireworks “event” in our neighborhood grew just a bit when our neighbors from down the road brought their fireworks over and told the kids to set those off, too. They didn’t need to be told twice, that’s for sure. Only one minor incident in which the bush out front caught fire for a brief moment when a spinner flew into it. (Don’t worry — we were armed with a hose and cups of water. Safety third, after all!)
A week after the Fourth marks our first of two birthdays – Kate’s 17th birthday was on the 11th, and my 34th was on the 12th. Neither of us are big birthday people, so there wasn’t a huge celebration — just something quiet with delicious food and cake. Kate requested salad + cheesecake for her birthday, and I am a total sucker for charcuterie plates and regular ol’ store-bought birthday cake. White or yellow cake, white icing. Super simple, super yummy.
I like to go all-out for my charcuterie. We had leftovers for DAYS.
On the biz side of things, we’ve been making some good changes over at Autumn Lane. New offerings, adjusting processes, and such. I’m happy to be a part of something where there’s a continual push toward improvement — it really ensures that we’re all on top of things and striving for the best we can possibly muster.
It’s not without some headaches and disagreements, but as my husband put it — (sorta like this) — it’s important in a business to have differences in opinion on how things are going, how things are running, and so on. We all know that cliche, “Variety is the spice of life.” It’s sorta like that. Trying as they may be in the moment, those differences are good for the company because it means we’re all seeing things through a unique viewpoint and can bring different things to the table. Keeps it fresh, and it also keeps us from falling into a rut with regard to processes, offerings, and doing things repetitively that don’t benefit the company.
Summers have been historically slow for the business — the vast majority of our clients are enjoying summer with their families, businesses paused briefly for vacations. On one hand, we — ok, ok, I — freak out about why sales aren’t at the volume they were before…but on the other, it’s a slight breather. The calm before the storm, if you will.
Here’s hoping the back-to-school, back-to-biz storm treats us favorably!
I got to check something off of my Beck List! It didn’t go entirely as I thought it would, but I accomplished something I set out to do. Before I tell you about that, check out one of my new releases in July!
It’s called Barcelona Nights, and it was inspired by the trip Jeff and I took. Barcelona, to date, is one of my favorite places in the world. Not only did it have such meaning for us, but it’s really just a badass city. There’s a lot of history and culture in the city, but also a really modern, youthful feeling. Barcelona Nights combines the idea of something rich + luxe with an edgy look. I really dig it — this particular font was handpicked by Creative Market, too!
My big accomplishment for July — and the goal I set for myself — was Salt & Sea Calligraphy Script! I set a goal to release a font in 2018 that required me to learn a new skill, something that I found complex, and rock it. I’d originally thought that now was the time to release an SVG font, since they seem to be all the rage right now. I started to go down that path, but realized that there’s a lot more research I need to do before I start releasing things willy-nilly. I tabled the font goal for the time being, in favor of learning the skill properly…rather than rushing it.
A few weeks ago, though, I came across a few social posts from other lettering artists that sang the praises of this iPad app called Affinity Designer. I watched some of the videos they were showing, did a little reading, and then saw that the app was less than $15. The big selling point? It’s vector. Um, amazing. I realized that if I could learn this app, I could feasibly change my entire process for certain fonts. It meant instead of lettering in ProCreate, importing to Illustrator, and vectoring letters, I could letter the font in Affinity, and nix the entire vector process…cut down on clean-up, and also increase the amount of consistency and detail. I’ve struggled for some time to create a font that had super thin, delicate upstrokes. My patience wore thin lettering in this style, and dealing with the clean-up…it was always inconsistent and it really just pissed me off.
So, I bought Affinity, tinkered for a day or so, and then banged out this lovely new font.
I still have a lot of learn about Affinity, and a lot to do to tighten up my process. BUT!!! This font was lettered on a Monday, and released by Thursday. (I really tried to wait until Monday, allegedly the best day to release fonts…but I was too excited.) While Affinity did cut down on my clean-up process, there are some kinks I need to work out — namely, adjusting the pressure settings on the vector brush I used and learning how they react. All in all, though, fab purchase and I highly recommend for other font designers and lettering artists.
I’ve followed Angie for quite some time now, and own several of her fonts…she’s a designer that I admire a lot, so it was made even sweeter that she used my Spring Market font for her watercolor flower thank you card set that she’s selling on Amazon! I about came unglued when I saw it, out of pure excitement. I’d always hoped that I’d eventually see one of my fonts being used in the wild! I ordered these cards super fast, because I wanted to see them in person. The set is beautiful and high quality…so I’d recommend them to y’all, for sure, and not just because it uses one of my babies!
With the end of summer sneaking up on us, we managed to get out for a day — we drove down to San Diego and hung out in Old Town for a little while. I’ll tell you a little more about that in a minute!
Do concerts count as travel?
Ugh, probably not, but I haven’t lettered that heading yet. (Get it together, Beck!) We had our first of three concerts in a month’s time at the end of July — Breaking Benjamin (a check on the Beck List!) and Five Finger Death Punch. I’d never been to Irvine FivePoint Amphitheater before, but what a badass set-up, y’all. It’s obviously open air, but all I was expecting was an amphitheater — a stage + seating. I didn’t expect that there would be lawn area outside of the theater, cornhole games set up, food and booze trucks to boot. We’ve got additional concerts here in August (Shinedown & Godsmack, Rob Zombie & Marilyn Manson) so now that I’ve laid eyes on it…I think it’s going to be super fun!
I wasn’t too keen on going, initially, simply because I’d had a bit of a rough week — I was ready to just have some super quiet time away from a lot of people. Now, I’m really glad I went. We had the nosebleediest of nosebleed seats. Literally in the section furthest from the stage, the highest row. I’m not even complaining, because we didn’t get stepped on, bumped and jostled, and we had space…and a really nice vantage point, too. I totally dig a rock concert, but it was also nice to leave without your ears ringing.
Breaking Benjamin put on a badass show. I’ve enjoyed their music for years, but didn’t realize how insanely talented they actually were until I saw them live. Some bands just don’t sound the same live, and not in a good way — Breaking Benjamin sounded amazing, and they were super consistent with their albums. And, I really enjoyed how each of the band members got to highlight their strengths, and have a little bit of a spotlight between songs.
One of my favorite parts of the show was the middle, where they played some cover songs. They only did a little bit of vocals for this stuff (Metallica) but they did some instrumentals for Nirvana and Pantera, just to name a few. SUPER talented.
We left about half way through Five Finger Death Punch’s set. It was getting pretty chilly, we were all kinda wiped. Because it was the second time Jeff and I had seen FFDP, we were cool with it. The last time we saw FFDP was right before Ivan Moody left for rehab following a few meltdowns on stage. Literally 1-2 concerts before that, so I think we got one of their last “good” shows before things spun out of control. Ivan seemed to be happier this time around — more with it, and more like he was quite enjoying himself, and I can really appreciate the fact that he called attention to the fact that he’d been gone and we’d probably read about him in the news recently. He owned it, and personal responsibility is a huge thing with me. I hope he’s back on track now — it seems like that is the case.
While we were in San Diego for our Old Town trip, we hit up Lucha Libre Taco Shop. I’ve seen this place featured so many times on Food Network or Travel Channel specials. In short, it’s a taco shop, but the decor is all about Mexican wrestling. The walls are pink and covered in masks and memorabilia, and there’s even a sparkly gold vinyl booth reserved for winners. Winners of what, I’m not entirely sure.
Either way, I’ve always wanted to hit this place — mostly just to say I’ve seen it — but what I didn’t realize was how delicious the food actually was. Now, remember — we live in Southern California. We have a really awesome Mexican restaurant right next door to our neighborhood and walk there with enough frequency that the family that owns + operates the business knows who we are and where we walked from. But this place, my friends, was reeeeally good. I would say that it’s probably the best Mexican food I’ve had in SoCal as of yet.
I had the Alambre burrito. Maybe people would say it’s not “real” Mexican food because there’s a definite SoCal twist to it…fries in the burritos, y’all. Yes, fries in the burritos. But it works.
On the beer front… We didn’t hit anywhere new this month. We did head out to Gunwhale Ales when we did a supply run to Windsor Homebrew, and we had a few new brews there. All delicious, like normal, but I haven’t reviewed them. I probably should have done that right after we stopped in, but life happened! Our kegerator appears to be crapping out. Freezer’s great, fridge not so much. The kegs aren’t super cold anymore, so it seems like we’re going to have to find a replacement and re-install the taps. Maybe this time, the taps will be level with each other, haha.
August is set to be a busy month for us…but then again, what month isn’t busy? We have two kid birthdays, and my mom’s birthday… And, my mom comes to town during the second week, and school starts up again! I’ve got a lot in the works, font-wise, and even more to do on the Autumn Lane side. Plus, two more concerts to check off of my Beck List! Here’s hoping July treated you well, lovelies — have a fab August!