“FLAGS ARE A NATURAL WITH RMS™.” by Mary Queen Rouse
Flags MadeWithBalloons™ are a great way to work on your RMS balloon graphic design skills, to improve those skills and to enhance your balloon decorating profits.
Many flag designs are straight forward and quite simple. Customers love flags. A flag makes customers feel as if you have customized something just for them. “It’s a good thing” (AKA Martha Rouse).
Many flags are as easy as one-two-three: that’s just three stripes of three different colors. What an easy way to produce an easy, sparkling balloon decoration! I’m definitely for that, aren’t you?
The French Flag is a good example of a very easy three color flag. Please see below.
Figure #1. FRENCH FLAG DESIGN (Straight Lines Are Horizontal)
- Notice that the straight lines of the RMS Framework only go in one direction. (Horizontally) One can opt to leave the vertical lines of the French Flag as zig-zags.
Figure #2. FRENCH FLAG (Straight Lines Are Vertical).
- See what happens to the lines! Now we have straight vertical lines, with zig -zags on the top and on the bottom.
TEST YOUR DESIGN:
- Sometimes it’s hard to visualize how a design is going to look. A good way to test the design, is to layout the design first on our special RMS Graph Paper. You can practice your balloon graphic design in both directions on graph paper, and then decide which direction is the best for your design.
- Here is the link to blank RMS™ Banner Graph Paper for planning your own flag designs: http://www.rouseinternational.com/downloads/pdf/MP-BNR-G4-H-110A-5L-GRAPH.pdf
RMS SPLIT APERTURE TECHNIQUE:
- If we go back to the our original French Flag design, it is possible to further refine the French Flag if you choose to. One of the techniques we use quite often with flags and other Rouse Balloon Graphics, is the RMS Split Aperture (Hole) Technique.
- Aperture (Graham word!) means “hole”. It is possible to “split” the aperture (hole) of the RMS framework by inserting a number of smaller balloon bubbles into the same hole. In the case of the French Flag, the result is a straight vertical line in the French Flag. Also, the ends of the flag are also straight. Please see below.
Figure #3. FRENCH FLAG WITH STRAIGHT HORIZONTAL LINES AND SPLIT APERTURES OPT IN:
- In the case of our French Flag, I think I would opt for my straight lines to be horizontal (as they are above). Also, I would opt for a combo of scenarios on my “Splits”. I would use RMS Split Apertures between the red, white and blue (as in Figure #3); but, I would leave the zig-zag ends (as in Figure #1) because I think the zig-zags make the flag appear to be waving in the breeze. Ultimately, these choices are up to you, the Balloon Artist. This is where your Balloon Artistry comes into play, and where the finished piece becomes your Art.
HOW BIG? HOW FAR?
- The other thing we might want to consider about the French Flag design, is how big it will be and the distance from which it will be viewed. If our French Flag is going to be large and in a gym or coliseum or outdoors, I’d go with Figure #1 in a flash and forget it. Not doing the “Splits” will save us tons of time/work (translation $$$) and from a distance, it won’t matter.
- IS IT WORTH IT? Flags are also a good exercise in working with the RMS Split Aperture Technique. This technique is helpful not only because it aids in making straight lines, but also because it helps with detail. Practice with RMS flags will be good practice for your more complicated RMS Balloon Graphic Designs in the future. The balloon artist ultimately has to decide whether it will make a difference in the piece (balloon decoration) or if the refinement will make ALL the difference. In other words…. Is it worth it?Here is the link to the RMS Split Aperture Instructions:
HOW TO SELL FRENCH FLAGS:
- The French are very patriotic and fly their flag everywhere. If you are in The States, consider making The French Flag for any French themed prom. It goes well with the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triumph, a French Pastry Shoppe, a Bonaparte Ball, etc. And what about all of those French Restaurants? Don’t forget! Summer may be a down time for balloons, but that doesn’t mean it’s a down time for everyone! Go sell!
- LINK TO BUY RMS BANNERS FOR FLAGS
- ANOTHER EASY FLAG:
QUESTIONS FOR THE ITALIAN FLAG.
- The Italian flag is also an easy flag. See how the straight lines of the RMS are in one direction only? How are the vertical lines managed? Would you use the RMS Split Aperture Technique everywhere? Or would you let the zig-zags go? What would the impact be if the vertical lines were straight? How does production time factor into your budget parameters? Are extensive refinements worth the time? Remember those dollars! Is good OK? Why not test the idea on RMS Graph Paper?Here is the link for RMS Banner Graph Paper:Banner Graph paper link
HOW TO SELL ITALIAN FLAGS:
- OK. Most of us reading this newsletter do not live in Italy. Nonetheless, just think of all of the Italian themed parties where the Italian Flag could be used as part of your balloon decorations! I’m thinking spaghetti dinners (Every church has one!), all of those Italian restaurant CHAINS, pizza CHAINS, etc. With this many options for the Italian Flag, we ought not have ANY trouble selling the Italian Flag idea here in The States! Go sell!!!
- LINK TO BUY RMS BANNERS FOR FLAGS.
- ANOTHER EASY FLAG:
- The Mexican Flag is basically easy. We have the same three colors/sections/stripes that we have in the French and Italian Flags. The Mexican Flag is just as easy as the flags above, EXCEPT for the emblem.
- This is where you have to stop and think. We know that we can make the stripes of color on the flag, right? They are just like the stripes on the French and Italian Flags? Go sell!!!LINK TO BUY
- The emblem, however, is a very complicated design. Rouse International has always used a overlay for this emblem. We COULD make the emblem out of balloons and RMS, but it is so detailed that the emblem itself would have to be really big and still have LOTS of RMS Split Apertures. In order to keep the integrity of scale of the flag, the Mexican Flag itself would have to be
- H-U-G-E. Sometimes an emblem or a logo is just not practical as a balloon decoration.
- You can learn to be discerning about your designs. Practice will help you learn how to decide if a logo or emblem is maybe too complicated for your balloon decoration, or at least not worth the time and effort for the budget. The truth is, that some logos ARE too complicated to be practical to make with balloons or balloons and RMS. Balloons are basically “large”, and when one is looking for detail for balloon decorations, it can be a challenge.
- Most detail can be ultimately be done with balloons, but the time and effort may price you out of the market for the design. Further, I think that sometimes it is better to have contrasting textures with our balloons and other materials. For me, the contrast often makes the balloons stand out more in balloon decorations, and that’s what we want!
- Decision time on the Mexican Flag. If it were me, I’d use the overlay.
WHAT PRACTICE DOES FOR ME:
- I always find that I do much better if I have practiced so I know what I am doing. This might be true for you as well. My confidence level goes WAY up.
- I also like to be in my own space, by myself, when I am working on a design. It’s easier for me to think if there aren’t a bunch of people asking me questions – especially if I am working on something new and have a deadline.
- Yikes! Is your business slow right now? It could be just because it’s the summer. It could be because of the economy. No matter.
- Take advantage of a slow time. Use the summer wisely and make your business conditions work for you, not against you.Why not consider starting now to work on your RMS Balloon Graphics Skills?
- Summer is always a good time for Graham and me to work on special projects. They say that one way to beat the recession is to streamline your operation, incorporate new ideas and services and make changes.
- You can do all of these things, AND pump up your summer business, by starting to work on your RMS Balloon Graphic Skills. Add RMS Balloon Graphic Design to your repertoire this summer.
- Consider going ahead and ordering some Rouse now so that you can practice leisurely, have time for questions (Call us anytime at: 1.877.GO.ROUSE) and then go sell with confidence!
- LINK TO BUY RMS BANNERS FOR FLAGS
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Thanks for joining me here today. We would love to have you come again. And, do bring your friends.
And a special thanks to Mary Queen Rouse, our guest author.
© 2014 by Graham Rouse