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What the heck is a hangtag?

It is that little paper thingy hanging on a piece of pottery or ceramic that tells you who made it, what it is called and how much it costs.
To be successful, an artist needs to be noticed and remembered.
Understanding how to create a lasting impact strengthens an artist’s position in the marketplace.
Here are a few insights that may be helpful in creating a lasting impression.


Every potter I know has a stylized signature and some potters also apply a bisque maker’s mark or symbol to the base or side of their pottery or ceramic.
Potters may not think of this as a logo, but it represents their unique mark on their unique product.
That is also the definition of a brand.
Sometimes the brand is a logo of the pottery artist or ceramist's signature.


Pottery Hangtag Designs

To make sure they are remembered among buyers, collectors and galleries, an artist needs to raise awareness of their name or logo and link it with their pottery or ceramic product.
Their logo must be clear, legible and plainly visible to the buyer.
Presenting the logo in an attractive, eye catching manner is also important.
One method is to present the logo on a hangtag.
Clothing manufacturers have taken this approach to an extreme.
Fashions can’t be packaged in a container covered in logos and graphics because the product needs to be seen and appreciated, so a hangtag is applied. The same criteria applies to pottery and ceramics, pottery and ceramic art needs to be fully seen to be appreciated.
Applying a hangtag allows the art to be branded and seen.

Some advantages of hangtags include:

They have a positive impact at the point of sale.
The tag enhances the presentation and given the choice between two similar ceramic vessels, a buyer may spend more time evaluating the work with a hangtag because there is more information available.
It reveals more about the artist and may give insight into the artist’s work.

Hangtag Construction

For juried shows or gallery exhibitions, it is best to use a clamshell style of tag.
Remove the text and only state the title, medium, cone and clay.

Basic Tag Design

The finished, folded size of the hangtag is 3 × 3 inches.
When opened flat, the tag measures 6 × 3 inches.
Begin with the interior text panel
This is the part of the hangtag that changes most often to fit your marketing needs.
Design this panel on your computer and with a little experimenting, programs like Microsoft Word can give you a nice graphic design.
After designing the text panel, duplicate it to fill an 8½ × 11 inch page, then lazar print it onto paper stock of your choice.
Cut each individual panel from the sheet using a xacto knife or paper cutter.
It would be smart to buy a small paper cutter, you can get them at any office supply store for around $20.00 and if you plan on making hangtags, this is a very good investment.
Not only does it cut paper quickly and accurately, but the gridlines on the cutting board eliminate a lot of time consuming measuring and marking with a ruler.
Tags for gallery exhibitions or juried shows should be understated.
Design and print the inside text panel.
Trim the panel to final dimensions.
Fold and trim the hangtag cover.

Many pottery and ceramic works are purchased as gifts, so hangtags can be written specifically for that situation.
The tag helps personalize the gift and brings the artist into the gift exchange.
Price tags are a necessary element in galleries and craft shows.
Placing a price sticker directly on an alligator matt glaze requires a miracle. but a price sticker placed on the reverse side of a hangtag is cleaner, neater and classier.
The buyer may read the hangtag while reviewing the price.
Some artists use business cards as tags and on a purely informational level, they get the job done.
You want something a little extra, something that says your work is unique.
You will also need a printing process that allows for frequent changes and alterations to the tag and design.
Once printed, a business card can’t be revised without reprinting.
The methods described here allow for continuous changes and alterations each time you create a tag.
You can even adjust your hangtags for unique marketing opportunities like a Christmas holiday theme or even a special charity event.

Designing Hangtags
Ceramic Hangtag Designs

You can make different styles of hangtags for your pottery or ceramics, such as bowls, cups, platters or decorative wares.
Your pottery and ceramic tags should include an understated gallery format, a retail
store format and a simple basic tag.
Each tag needs to be attractive but not flamboyant.
A hangtag should not distract from the pottery or ceramic artwork.
Your name should be the primary graphic on the tag cover because it is the key piece of information that you want the viewer to remember and associate with your art.
Each tag should contain a simple statement with your web address, if you have one and any other additional contact information.
The back of the tag is blank to allow galleries to stamp their name or add pricing.

High contrast design attracts the eye.
Stamp your logo on the cover.
Glue and position the text insert.
Hole punch and feed cord through.
A linocut can also be used as if it were a large stamp.
Browse through your local craft store or scrapbook store.
You’ll see some very creative and inspiring approaches to crafting that may work for your hangtag design.
Next time you’re in a retail store, look at the tags on the products you see and you will be surprised at the ideas you will be able to come up with.

This is a kind of a quick course in hangtag design.
After reading through this though, you’ll have a good idea of what works on a tag and what doesn’t.
Creating just a few hangtags at a time is not time effective.
Pick one evening every few months to manufacture tags.
Set up a assembly line and pop in your favorite DVD rental.
It’s a relaxing way to stock up on hangtags without giving up your daytime chores.
Before cutting and assembling the tags, make a test run of one tag from beginning to end.
Once satisfied, divide the tasks up like an assembly line completing each stage for all the tags before beginning the next.
Customize your hangtag for each market or event.
A gallery environment may require a quiet, understated hangtag, while a craft show
or retail environment would be better served with an aggressive, brightly colored design.
For special events like charity auctions, hand signing your name on the tag will personalize your involvement.

Hangtag Tips

Prepare tag covers next.
You can find a wide selection of interesting paper stock at artist’s supply, craft and
scrapbook stores.
Over the years, I’ve used various craft papers, handmade paper.
The paper should be a thicker card stock to provide the necessary stiffness, but color is a personal choice.
If your pottery or ceramics are simple and straight forward in style and color, the hangtag paper stock reflect this appearance.

You can use the edge of the board to score all of your folds so each crease is crisp and accurate.
Trim to size after folding the cover.
This will make sure there is a neat, matching edge when the tag is closed.
You can easily produce a logo for the cover from a rubber stamp of your signature that a local rubber stamp company can make for about $25.00.
The rubber stamp will allow you to apply your logo using any ink color on various marketing materials.
Gray ink keeps the design understated.
Glue the laser printed sheet to the inside right panel
using a glue stick or spray adhesive.
Punch a single hole through the tag’s corner.
Use a seven inch length of cord or raffia for my string, looping and knotting the ends.
Cord and raffia is a natural fiber that can be used, but almost any craft string would work.


A simple design is easy to make, yet still very effective.
The retail hangtag is very similar to the gallery tag design.
The big difference is the inside insert.
Buyers will be considering their home, so the text is written for a retail environment.
Use high contrast graphics to attract attention.
Brightly colored paper stock could also be used.
Designing and producing hangtags could also be an extension of your artistic interests.
It is important to keep the design and production simple so the tags do not become a burden to produce.
The simplest hangtag to create is a print and cut style.
Design a tag with just your logo and at most, a simple message on the computer then group and print several tags onto one printed sheet.
Be sure an buy attractive paper stock that’s compatible with your printer.
Cut the tags, hole punch and add string, now you have a very simple to make, but still very effective hangtag.

A one sided business card sized hangtag can also be very effective when done in good taste.

Our duty is not to see through one another, but to see one another through.

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Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

Handmade pottery can be a very gratifying hobby that produces fun and satisfying results. For many people it's an enjoyable release that is created by working an inanimate mound of clay into a beautiful work of art that you made through your artistic abilities.

The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons from Youtube. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.

With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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