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Design & Artwork Guidelines

Designing things together

Leather for Folkies items can, by and large, be engraved, initialled, tooled, painted, or hand dyed to any colour of the rainbow. Some of these things are mutually exclusive but some of the decorative procedures are compatible – you’ll have to ask to find out which!

Bespoke decoration can be as simple as a monogram, or as complex as a fully tooled kit bag. Tooling is very traditional and can create some true works of art, as it is really three-dimensional sculpture on the surface of the leather.

Custom tooling normally reflects a particular purpose or concept that is significant to the customer, e.g. related to the regalia or ‘feel’ of a morris side, floral/woodland/green man motifs, that sort of thing.

If you have images or your own designs you want to incorporate into surface decoration of the leather, this can be accommodated. If you have no more than a vague idea of what you want, Leather for Folkies can do the design work for you.

The good news is that Leather for Folkies’ head honcho is an artist as well as a leatherworker, so you won’t be left with a mess if you surrender control of design work. But, to be on the safe side, you do get to see line drawings of designs before tooling or engraving begins (unless you’d rather it be a surprise, of course!).

Finally, if you do just want something completely wacky and one-off, that can be arranged too, and you might want to have a look at the One-offs & Custom Items page.

Mundane instructions for engraved artwork

If you are providing artwork for engraving, bear in mind that it is essentially a matter of burning the top surface off the leather. The results are striking but the process is quite basic. Therefore, please stick to the following guidelines for the best possible outcome:

  1. Artwork must be supplied in black and white – the engraving process doesn’t understand grey. It is a computer-controlled process so will just do what you tell it. Anything grey will be engraved as if it were black.
  2. Keep artwork as simple as you dare. Think of the designs on those little leather badges that morris dancers are so fond of. Bold, simple, stylised designs work best.
  3. You can supply artwork in pretty much any format you want: PDF, any image file (bmp, jpeg, png, whatever), EPS, Microsoft Word; even hard copy, it doesn’t really matter. But…
  4. The image must be exactly 160mm x 90mm (or equivalent proportion) for the Square Kit Bag and Pocket Kit Bag. For the Curvy Kit Bag, the parameters are different and rainbow-shaped designs work best. If you order a Curvy Kit Bag with engraving, you will be sent a template – just make sure your design fits within it!
  5. Engraving artwork onto black is almost completely pointless, and onto brown is a matter of personal taste but the artwork won’t be as clear as on blue or red. Please make sure, before you order, that you know what you’re getting yourself into…