Idea! We should give our playa guests buttons! (For those who haven't been to Burning Man, people collect and trade buttons.) Once a DIY idea has been born, let's just say it's pretty hard to stop it. So we're off!
First, we need to find a vendor without a minimum order requirement that can get the buttons to us before we leave for the playa. A quick Google search and we have a couple of options: Affordable Buttons (100 1.25" round buttons, one color on white $71), Just Buttons (100 1.25" round buttons in Hot Pink $30), Speedy Buttons (100 1.25" round buttons, unlimited colors $60 with optional $15 proof fee), and Wacky Buttons (100 1.5" round buttons, unlimited colors $30). Based on cost, we only considered Just Buttons, Speedy Buttons, and Wacky Buttons.
First step: Get appropriate design templates for the buttons. (Rename them so you know which template goes to which vendor.)
- Just Buttons: templates are by size and type of file. I designing in Adobe Photoshop so I chose the PSD template.
- Speedy Buttons: templates are by size and type of file. I chose the PSD template again.
- Wacky Buttons: templates are by size and by DPI. I again downloaded the 1200 dpi template for Adobe Photoshop.
Second step: Design buttons.
This is easier said than done. Remember the invitations for our Burning Man Wedding? Well, I thought we could easily create a button from that design. Um yeah. The illustrated figures were designed for a corner cut. Not a circular cut. What was intentional now looks off balance.
Of course I don't have the original. Design dilemma. Simplify?
Or just redo the illustration? You'll have to wait for the sneak peek to see what I decided to do.
I created all my designs in Adobe Photoshop for upload. Wacky Buttons had an online tool available for creating buttons - a good option if you don't already own Adobe Photoshop and know what you want your design to look like.
Third step: Upload the finished buttons.
With Speedy Buttons you have the option for a proof - it's $15. When I did a quick check of vendor prices I didn't see this. (It's not on the home page or the Button Pricing page. It is on the Custom Button page.) That fee for a proof makes it more expensive than Affordable Buttons, but you aren't limited to one color. One nice feature with Speedy Buttons is the ability to pick a guaranteed delivery date - at a glance you can see what the rush charges and shipping fees will be. With the requirement to submit images in CMYK, I was hesitant to order without a proof. Total would have been $75 for 100-1.25" full color buttons.
Wacky Buttons, like Speedy Buttons, provided a Time Calculator so you could see if you needed to rush your design. To have a chance at getting the buttons in time for Burning Man, we'd need to select a payment method of Credit Card or PayPal Balance and USPS Priority Mail (2 to 4 days). If you're uploading your own designs, they need to be approved. Approval can take up to two business days and isn't included in the Time Calculator. I like Speedy Buttons' guaranteed delivery date interface better than Wacky Buttons' Time Calculator. Once your design is approved (in our case we submitted our design on Sunday and it was approved by 7:00AM Monday morning), you get a proof of the button. This is very cool. Total cost was $26.63 for 50-1.5" full color buttons.
I tried Just Buttons last. I wasn't sure if I wanted white or hot pink paper (additional two cents per button). As there was no proof option, I decided to go with white. We have Magenta in our design and I didn't want the two colors to clash. I didn't like that I had to supply billing information before I uploaded my artwork. You could request a delivery date but they asked that you take production into account. I had to go back to the home page to figure out if we'd get the buttons in time. Total cost was $34.05 for 100-1.25" full color buttons.
Fourth step: Wait for buttons to arrive in the mail.
This DIY project was pretty simple. Took about three hours - would have taken less if I had the design elements ready to go.