Friday, August 24, 2012

Working with Balloon Clip Art... and how to use a Image Manipulation Program to help you to present your ideas and suggestions to your clients and customers.

As a QBN (Qualatex Balloon Network) member you can get access to some great Clip Art templates that you can use to present your decor idea's to your customers and clients.

This blog is to help you to take a Clip Art design like this:

And with a little knowhow you can transform it to this, so you can show colours and pattern idea's!

Start by visiting, if you look at the Purple headers on the left side of the homepage you will see under Qualatex Balloon Network, QBN Resource Centre, click on that and it open's the page that you can see below.

Now click on Marketing Resources

Before you can log in as a QBN Business Member and access your marketing resources, you’ll first need to read and agree to the terms of this limited license agreement. To be able to gain access to this area you'll need to have passed Test 1 Balloon Basics and have your QBN number and password. If you do not remember yours just email and they will be able to assist you.

Once you have entered your QBN number and password you should reach this page:

This page offers you a few options. If you look at the top right you can download JOB COST FORMS in PDF or Excel!

But for now we are looking at Clip Art, so simply select CLIP ART from the Resources menu and leave the Theme and Item reading All, then click on search.

You will now see a selection of Clip Art templates that are available for you to use.

You simply click on the Clip Art that you want to download and save it to your computer, make a folder on your desktop and name it Clip Art so you can easily store and find it when you need it.

So, now you have a Clip Art template of the arch or bouquet that you want to show your customer, how can you add colour to it to use it in your quotes and or presentations?

After many attempts over the years trying to learn how to manipulate photographs and pictures, downloading various 'time limited trial design programs' and really not ever getting to grips with how they work (sound familiar) plus without spending huge amounts of money on a program that I would probably use less than 5% of it's capability, I finally discovered a free program called GIMP - GNU Image Manipulation Program. 

I am not going to say that GIMP is a really easy program to use unless you are already a Photoshop and Coral Draw users , and if you are then you probably already know how to colour fill and much more!

So, if you are like me and with anything new, especially when it comes to computers, it takes me a while to fully understand how things works, and find that it is a constant learning curve!

Here is a description of GIMP from the manufacturers.

I have read a number of different reviews and in the main they are all very good, but hopefully, I can get you started on some really simple tasks.

So, to get started, you need to download GIMP there are versions for MAC and PC, visit ... it's been a while since I downloaded my version, so I hi-jacked John's computer to see how easy it is.

The first thing that I will warn you about is that your computers security software will probably advise you not to download it, but that's not unusual, but it's a decision that you have to make, but from a personal experience I have never had any issues.

Secondly, because it's a free program, it appears that they have lumped a whole load of other programs ahead of the download, so just keep declining these (unless you want them) and then it will eventually automatically start the download, just read everything that it shows, so you can see what they are offering you, but I just declined everything and on the last one I un-checked the box that said that it would send me up-dates...

It's quite a large folder approx. 77mb (megabytes), but it does not take too long to download.

Now it's downloaded, just complete the set-up as instructed and then your ready to start!

When I download programs such as GIMP, I always save them into my APPLICATIONS folder, when I open the Applications folder I am looking for this symbol.

To start working on a Clip Art image, you might find it easier to right click the Clip Art image that you have downloaded and saved and  that you want to colour and ask it to open with then select GIMP, there will be several options see below (your options will be different from mine).

Once you click on this GIMP will open and look like this:

It asks you if you would like to Assign the picture to the workspace allocated, just click on the Assign button - you actually have the option to change the size of the workspace at this point, but I would not bother. If you have already opened GIMP it will automatically assign the Clip Art to the workspace.

Now your screen should look like this...

I hope that you are still with me, once you have done this a few times it will become easier and you will start to enjoy all the things that you can do with GIMP... but baby steps for now:)

Should the toolbox not appear, you can open it by clicking on Tools, which is on the command bar just above the large balloon on the column. I keep the toolbox outside of the workspace so that I can always see it. If any other boxes open in addition to the workspace and toolbox, just close these as you will not need these today.

Now you need to learn how to fill the balloons with colours.

You are going to work with a tool called BUCKET FILL

Once you have the Bucket Fill tool open you can now start to fill in the balloons.

I have made a short DVD clip to show you how to do this... I hope that it helps?


Wow...this has to be the most challenging blog that I have written to date! I hope that you are able to understand how to preform this simple task and use it within your work... let me know how you get on!

If you have any comments please do not hesitate to leave them in the comments area at the end of this blog, or email me

I am no expert when it comes to using programs such as this, I hope that my very little knowledge just through trail and error will help some of you to experiment where you may not have felt confidant enough to do so.

Happy Ballooning!


1 comment:

cristina said...

Dear Sue!
Only an excellent person like you could spend so many time explainning this

It seems so difficult. But I must try it.
Once again, thank you so much!