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Tone Def s.w.a.g: Hand Fans

Posted in Other by Shawn on July 9, 2012

So, Artscape is in about two weeks! I’m pretty excited to be attending, and don’t want to show up empty handed. Well, I am going for my game, but I also want to hand out things. People like swag. I still enjoy swag. Well, I don’t see why I wouldn’t enjoy getting free stuff at this point in my life, but regardless, I wanted to give random things away. I already have stickers, but it’s definitely not enough. So, I had to think of something new.


Why fans?

It’ll probably be hot in Baltimore. And fans will keep you cool. These are hand fans, so you’ll need to do a little work, but hopefully, it’ll be worth it. Let’s just hope it doesn’t suddenly become 32 degrees that weekend. Then people may start using them to burn and keep warm. Actually, that’s not a bad idea. Light it up, and carry it around, like a torch….

Anyway, I didn’t want to spend a ton of money to make these fans, so I went to the trusty, never faulting internet to find out how to make them. While searching, I stumbled upon a make your own fan kit, and picked them up. At the time, they were $12. They seem to go up in price. I’m guessing they realized they could make a killing of off me. If I went down the road of buying fans, I probably would have spent more, since I’d be using someone’s machine/ink/tools/time/etc. Plus they need to turn a profit. Rumor has it that the hand fan industry is pretty competitive. Yeah, time is money, and the time put into making this could have gone to something else, but I didn’t find that feasible for this project.

So, courtesy of Amazon, I received my kit. Not too long afterwards (actually, about three weeks later), I began to assemble the fans.

Tools for the fan. The fan paper, and tongue depressor with adhesive on both sides.

The fan paper was thicker than your normal piece of printing paper, which is good for fan purposes. The tongue depressors came with adhesive on both sides, protected by those strips of paper. The kit also came with a number of white bows (as seen on the Amazon link), but I gave them away. It didn’t really fit the tone of the game……this time. The paper on the top right was the template for the fans on standard paper. I was hoping to go to Staples and have them assist me with making fast and easy copies of a design, but I couldn’t, due to the fan paper being perforated. Their machines were too high speed, and would have potentially ruin the paper. The paper is actually actually very sturdy, but I guess it’s better that I didn’t take the risk. I was also very fortunate, as I had an available printer/scanner. The scanner part made things much easier. So, now the design part!

The design on the computer with the paper template included in the background

I had scanned in the template copy so the size of the design was to scale. It was a standard 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper, but it would save me time to actually design it on my computer with the template in the background. Of course, when I printed it, I wouldn’t include the background. It was in a different layer in my art program, so it was simple to remove the background:

Design sans the template in the background

Now to print! I didn’t want to just go wild and print a bunch of copies, as this was the first time I was going to use this printer. Making a large number of copies right away could have resulted in wasting paper. Instead, I ran a few test:

Multiple versions of the design printed

The top copy was one made in black in white, simply to save color ink (I hear that it’s expensive). The middle one was my first color print. You can see that the color is a bit faded.  The “High Quality” option selected, which is the reason for that. Again, it was my first time with that printer, so I didn’t know what results to expect. The bottom copy was high quality, and it shows; the colors are richer. However, I also played around with some other settings, and you can see the result of that when comparing the top two to the final one. The two images are a closer to the center and the size of the images is actually smaller when compared side by side. Using my play sessions as experience, it was time to finally print this.

Printing on the fan paper

I read online that the slightly thicker than normal fan paper could jam the printer easily, so I took my time with printing. At first, they went in 3 at a time, then I got a bit pompous and moved up to 5, then 7. There was a minor setback. I made an attempt at 7, and two pieces were fed through the machine at once. Nothing was ruined, fortunately. The computer just yelled at me since it was expecting 7 pieces of paper and didn’t realize that two went in at once. Silly computer.

After printing, the fun task of assembling the fans came. This wasn’t difficult, just a bit time consuming. So, cue the TV as background noise. (Also, I may start watching Bones now). It didn’t take too long, but the results are:

The finished TDROTS hand fans

I’m happy with the end result. So much that I plan to make a few more. There are about about two weeks until Artscape and the Gamescape Showcase, which is enough time to make a few more. If I attend any other events after Artscape, I’ll definitely bring a few to those. But that’s it for now. There’s some game work that needs to be done…..

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