The countdown is on!

rare bird font foundry

Ah, I can’t believe this is actually happening! Four years friend, four years to create this foundry. I have the patience of a toddler hopped up on a triple espresso, this has felt like forever to me. And yet, here we are today counting down the days until our launch! Days!  This is one of those pinch me moments for sure. For the record if I haven’t mentioned this prior, trying to set-up a foundry of this quality and caliber is so not easy. I will be honest with you, if I would have known what I was getting myself into with all the fine tuning, negotiations, legalities, taxes and so much more I probably wouldn’t have chosen to continue this project. Ignorance is bliss I suppose. I do not recommend Foundry founding as something to get into and you know I am all about sharing what it is that we are into. It’s just so flip, flappin’ jackin’ complicated! If you want to age yourself prematurely and have your hair fall out, then by all means do try to scale this mountain. The results?  Oh, dear, the results are so worth the effort! We are by no means on easy street from here, but we are looking forward to further artist collaborations, seeing the fonts ‘in the wild’ and helping the foundry grow.  Please do let us know if you have any questions and be sure to sign-up for our launch, because the site, oh, the site!

 

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Rare Bird Font Foundry Font Giveaway!

Rare BIrd Font Foundry Specimen I font

We are out of our minds excited to announce our very first font giveaway for our foundry!  The font is from the hand of the doyenne of Modern Calligraphy, the ever talented Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls. We worked so hard on Maybelle’s hand to make it read as ‘perfectly imperfect’ as her own hand. It was a sheer labor of love to watch this hand come into font fruition. This is going to be a great font for a wide variety of end applications because of its legibility and charm.  Please visit Maybelle’s Instagram to learn all the details.  Good luck!

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Maybelle Instagram for details

Rare Bird Font Foundry Insta

Rare Bird Font Foundry

Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog.

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Custom artwork for your logo/branding

create a custom logo with an artist via besotted

Michelle and I have spent more years collectively developing products and brands than most millennials have been on this earth. Way back when I worked at an ad agency we actually did almost everything with a pencil/pen, an exacto and spray glue. When it came to creating our logo, we had our ‘wordmark’ but we wanted a visual that was unique and had impact. Oh, it also had to be something no one else would have. We knew we were going to have to go old school on this and hire an artist who would be willing to take pen to paper to realize our vision.

Since the foundry’s name is Rare Bird, we of course wanted to find a ‘rare bird’ that could represent our brand. After many weeks of research we came across a stunningly beautiful bird, the Artic Gryfalcon, the largest of the falcon species and we knew immediately this was the one. The Gryfalcon is awesome in scale, a gorgeous snowy off white with mind numbling beautiful markings in deep black or brown. We felt the bird had an incredibly regal presence and a natural elegance, and we wanted to convey that with the artwork.

There are a lot of ways to find an artist, you can search Instagram, we did do that for one of our branding clients and were extremely happy with the results. For our project we chose a talented artist via word of mouth (don’t be afraid to ask around). The only problem was she rarely took on commissions. Once we had her in mind, no other artist would do and luckily Michelle persuaded her to work on the project and what she produced was more than we could have asked for, it was perfection.

Quick tips on how-to work with an artist to create a custom commission:

  1. Once you have chosen an artist, and feel their style matches your vision, reach out to see if they do custom work (if it’s not already mentioned on their site).
  2.  If the artist does take commissions, ask for a quote for your project and timeline ie. logo
  3. Most custom commissions are not inexpensive, if you go this route you may want to consider if this is an investment that you think will be worth it for your company. A 2 inch logo, can be anywhere in the 2k-5k range.
  4. Once we got our quote we wrote out in-house what deliverables we expected and were very firm on timeline.We submitted that for our contract. You will want to be very, very clear on deliverables and timeline.
  5. Include a very detailed inspo board, think about everything you want in your finished piece, don’t assume the artist can read your mind. Most artists only offer 3 revisions and after that charge an additional fee. Our inspo board included images of the rare Gryfalcon, we made special note to add there could be no copying of a photograph, it had to be our own bird. We gave direction on even the stance of the bird (yes, the more specific the better). Our list was concise but clear.
  6. When you receive artwork back for review, remember that the revisions are not unlimited, so be very specific on what edits you need made.
  7. Hopefully, by your 3rd revision you should be feeling a bit over the moon and that your chosen artist is a genius.
  8. Our final artwork was delivered via a physical clayboard and we scanned in ourselves at a high resolution, cleaned up with our Lettering Rx Photoshop action set and because we had a high enough resolution for web and in-house print projects we did not vectorize.

And that my friends is how we work with artists to create commissioned pieces for our branding projects.  If you have any questions, or want to add to the conversation, leave us a note in the comments!

Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog.

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Naming your business like a boss!

resources to name your business like a boss

A little secret here, I spent a good part of my professional career naming things. Products to be a little more precise, it was one of my super powers. Then along came me branching off on my own and I just made one mistake after the other. I am the epitome of the cobbler with no shoes. Take the name of this blog–Besotted. So, clever + charming if I lived in the UK where it’s part of the everyday vernacular, in the states? Not so much. Everyone else outside the UK? Forget about it. Do you know how many times I had to spell it? Repeat myself? Etc.? Imagine someone trying to remember it, let alone try to spell it to find it on Google? Mistakes were made.

Fast forward many years and the time had come to name our font foundry. Since we had been working on it for nearly four years, you’d think this would have been the first thing we did, we didn’t. It was almost like those people that like to wait for their child to be born before naming them, we wanted to make sure the name ‘fit’. Michelle and I made a conscious effort to make the name very, very easy to spell and remember. Of course, the name couldn’t just be easy, it would be great if it had meaning to us as well. So we did what any successful branding studio would do, we spent a marathon texting session throwing out names. We knew that we wanted a word that described how unique the foundry was going to be, ‘unique’, was definitely never an option. We settled on rare. The bird bit?  Oh, my so much meaning rolled into that one!  We are a rare woman owned font foundry, the majority of foundries of this caliber are male owned. ‘Bird’ in the UK (a little Anglophile nod) is slang for woman. Rare Bird together means ‘something or someone that is quite different and remarkable‘. Yes, please. And we quite like birds around here. There are bird names in both our families (and of course in our partners’ existing font foundry) and what’s not to like about an animal that can soar? Nothing my friends, nothing wrong with that.  Once we found a name we like we did all the requisite research of making sure the URL was available, etc. This is so important, there’s really no use falling in love with a name if you can’t secure a URL.

So that’s a little back story on our name, we love it, hope you enjoyed the behind the scenes of the process. For those that are in the trenches of naming I have included some helpful resources below, if you have any advice or like to add a resource leave a note in the comments!

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Brand naming brainstorm worksheet

7 tips for naming your business

10 rules for naming your business

16 tips for picking the perfect start-up name

5 steps to choosing the perfect name for your business

3 step no-fail formula to name your business

For fun:

Hipster business name generator

business name generator

Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog.

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Blackwing Pencil

blackwing pencil via besotted blog

I have professed my love for Blackwing pencils many times prior, but since this week is going to the birds (in anticipation of our soon to launch Rare Bird Font Foundry!) I think they deserve another mention.  I love these pencils not only for their aesthetics but for their performance.  If you like to sketch on the fly and don’t want to cart around a whole pack of ‘B’ pencils with you, then a simple Blackwing could do you good. They do come in 7 degrees of hardness from 2H-2B, I like to stick around the 4B grade, it’s soft, but not too soft (Michelle drew these beauties, the sweet peas with a 4B).  I also will use a harder lead for everyday writing. Blackwing also has a storied history where the likes of Hemingway, Steinbeck, Capote, Nabokov have been spotted with a Blackwing in hand. I don’t know about you, but a good pen or pencil makes a huge difference in my wanting to even start a project. Luckily, I always have a box of Blackwings around, there is nothing quite like a freshly sharpened pencil to get me in the right frame of mind to get down to business.  And I can’t mention their pencils without mentioning their erasers, which are completely replaceable. What the what?  What kind of genius design is that? Not only are they rectangle allowing for a more fluid and sweeping motion, you can choose your desired color? This little detail is just gold.  For those that are in the social media loop they also make a pretty great photo prop. What is not to like about these beauties?

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Rare Bird Font Foundry

Blackwing pencils Black | White | Gray

Blackwing Instagram

Hemingway

Steinbeck

Capote

Nabokov

photo by blackwing

Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog.

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