[Scriptoris] KA&S Attention getter suggestion

Elaine Crittenden letebts at earthlink.net
Sat Dec 25 21:58:33 PST 2004

In many past SCA demos, I have found that making hand-lettered, personalized
bookmarks for the public is a great attention getter, whether outdoors or in
a mall. People are less likely to "toss" something (brochures included) if
their name is on it. They are also more likely to show it to someone else
and to talk about it with others who were not at the demo. (More "bang for
the buck" of effort---yeah!)

[All the below stuff is not conjecture--I've built it up and refined it over
a period of time.--Lete]

How to do it:

Back in the studio, I start by setting up an information block of contact
points in a suitable size for the back of the bookmark. I put a dot at the
left side of the bookmark to set up where I am going to punch a hole for the
recipients to put their own ribbon, thread, yarn, etc. (I don't supply it.)

The information could run something like:

"This complimentary bookmark has been personalized for you by a scribe of
the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), a non-profit, historical study
and recreation group. For more information, go to the following websites:
xxxxxxxxxxxxx at XXXXXX.org, xxxxxxxxxxxxx at XXXXXXXXXX.org..." (and so forth)

To make the bookmarks, I set up the text block and draw a rectangle around
each one, with margins of the next bookmark edge touching, not forgetting
the dot for the holepunch. After printing the card stock paper, I cut up the
card stock weight paper into bookmark sized pieces, demarked by the line
around the text block on the opposite side from the area to be scribed. I
punch the holes, and I am ready to go.

At the site, I set up a card table with all supplies in a weighted box with
a lid to keep supplies from blowing away, getting wet, and protected from
sticky fingers. I usually use calligraphy markers that are double-tipped
with larger and smaller nibs on opposite ends. Ink may be Period, but using
markers still gets the idea across without the threat of spilled ink on
patrons or the site, not to mention garb that must be worn the rest of the

When greeting patrons, have a blank sheet (typing size) and ball point
available for them to block print a single name to be scribed on the blank
bookmark. Not only does that procedure eliminate misspelling, it also gives
you somewhat of an account of how many people came by, if you try to do only
one per person. (Some will want you to do one for everyone in their office,
homeroom, etc.)

I usually ask if they would like the name to be done in "King Arthur" style
(Textura Quadrata gothic) or "Queen Elizabeth the First" style (Arrighi
style Italic, moderately flourished). Non-scribes don't know the technical
names and respond more to historical ones. I find they are more impressed
with the Quadrata, as a matter of statistical fact, and request it more.
If they specifically ask for a particular hand, say Uncial, you can do it,
instead, like an undavertised "special order."

if a charge for the bookmarks is decided to be part of the demo, then I
would suggest no more than $1.00, because it is going to be an impulse item,
anyway. Don't forget to have a state Tax and Use License number registered
with the state and its state sign on display at the table when you charge,
just in case the tax people are checking up on you, because sometimes they

As to writing more than one one word/name, I find I can talk up to that
point and then some. One name is not distracting in the time it takes to
write it, and jiggles of the table are less likely to ruin anything.

To show other work off, I put it into portfolios on a separate table. People
can point to something and not smear the artwork because of the thick
plastic encasement. I have one portfolio set up with all the progressive
steps, including planning roughs, to complete the design, lettering, and
painting work shown in the last "window" of the portfolio as a finished
product. Blurbs on each page about the step shown are self-explanatory. I
say all this, because more than once, I have been the only scribe actively
doing lettering in the public view, and I couldn't be in two places at the
same time, explaining.

I guess that is about my 8 florins' worth...

Oh, yeah, one thing more...I second the motion of having a stand-by masseur
when we are lettering!  ;-)

Honorable Lady Lete Bithespring, Steppes

>  My mention of an MC was actually in need of further definition. I know when
> I am drawing I don't talk a whole lot nor am I used to watching out for
> people bumping the table. (though I am accustomed to watching for fuzzy
> wiskered fiends who have the ultimate snese of bad timing) If we can have
> some one available to play guard / tour guide and answer questions about
> diferent things going on it could be benificial.
> Trying to answer as many questions as possible.
> I did not plan on making any assignmetns for this, bring whatever you want
> to work on. Doesn't need to be something that can be finished that day, I
> plan on starting out a peice for a project and laying out the grid work I
> use for my design work and starting to draw while I am there. If you really
> want an assignment I am sure I can come up with something......... <insert
> evil laughter here>
> Well I ask for interest and I am happy to see so many rising to the
> challange. I will post more details as I have them
> Darius

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