Monday, January 10, 2022

Inspiration for Valentine's 2022!

Once again, many countries are still experiencing difficult times with COVID restrictions and curtailments. So, it is my belief that many people will be spending Valentine's Day celebrating at home rather than going out. This year, Valentine's Day falls on a Monday, which again is another reason why people may enjoy an intimate dinner in the comfort of their homes. How will this have an impact on Valentine's orders?

With Valentine's 2021 proving to be an exceptional year for the balloon and party sector, with a big demand for home deliveries of balloons and balloon decor, I believe that with good marketing, 2022 should be no different! 

Personalised balloons remain a top favourite with customers

Valentine's Design by Jacqueline Pettitt 
of Tiffany's Balloons in
Chelmsford, Essex

Adding a name and/or a personalised message to a balloon can really add value to an order and increase the value of a sale. You can personalise Qualatex Bubbles and foil balloons, but remember that any personalisation will add weight to the balloon and reduce its floating time!

Personalisation can be quick and easy with the correct tools. One of the most popular methods is cutting out vinyl using a die-cutter such as the Silhouette Cameo, that many balloon artists use. 

If you would like to learn how to personalise a balloon using vinyl, check out this post: Customising Balloons with Vinyl  or click HERE for a direct link.

An alternative to using a die-cutter is to personalise Bubble balloons by hand! Here is an extract from an article posted in Balloon Images Issue 1 2019.

Steven Shippy, Creative Art Director at Pioneer® Balloon Company
3 Ways to Personalise a Bubble Balloon® by Hand
"Whether it be a unique name or special message, customers are clamoring for personalized products – and they are willing to pay for the extra service. A recent edition of The Deloitte Consumer Review, focused on the growth of personalization, revealed that 36% of consumers are interested in purchasing personalized products. Of those interested, 1 in 5 consumers are willing to pay a 20% premium for customization.

Keith Stirman, CBA, of All Things Fun in Durham, UK, reports a significant demand for personalized balloons in his store. “We sell at least 40 custom Bubble Balloons every week,” said Keith. “We automatically offer personalization with almost every balloon display that is sold in our store.”

With those numbers, it seems obvious to add custom balloons to your repertoire. But where to start? Are you intimidated by the learning curve and cost of a Silhouette Cameo to cut custom vinyl designs? Never fear! Using a Qualatex® Deco Bubble Balloon and a marker, you can produce any phrase or message that your customers desire. The following tutorials will have you customizing balloons to your heart’s content.

We asked Steven Shippy, Creative Art Director at Pioneer® Balloon Company, to demonstrate three ways to achieve different styles of personalized looks: tracing, faux calligraphy and traditional calligraphy.

Helpful Tips
Most importantly, you will need a paint pen or permanent marker that is not water soluble. Some of our favorites are: POSCA, Sharpie™, Zig® Painty®, DecoColor™ and Pen-touch™. There are different markers available in different parts of the world, so you may have to shop around and test different options to find the right fit for your needs.
Follow the package directions on your paint pen to prime the colors you plan to use before you begin drawing. Make sure each side of the marker is properly moistened, and that each color you plan to use is ready. You should also make note of the dry time for your utensil of choice.
Have tape on hand to secure your balloon to the surface you’re working on to minimize mistakes.
Make sure your work surface is clean and stable so it doesn’t move under pressure.
If you are right-handed, work right to left; if you are left-handed, work left to right to avoid smudging.
If the design takes some time to complete and the Bubble Balloon has been outside of its packaging for more than 15-30 minutes, be sure to wipe it down with a wet paper towel (after ink has dried) before inflating.
Calligraphy and faux calligraphy can be done on an inflated or uninflated balloon. Tracing must be done on an uninflated balloon. While an uninflated balloon provides a flat and solid surface, an inflated balloon is pulled taut and the ink/paint will not lose its vibrancy when inflated. The choice of inflated or uninflated is yours to make based on personal preference.
These techniques take time to master, but they will astonish customers when done well. We recommend Lettering and Modern Calligraphy: A Beginner's Guide: Learn Hand Lettering and Brush Lettering to start you on your way to creative lettering.
Personalization Option 1: Tracing
With this method, you trace a predetermined design through an uninflated bubble. Because it does not require freehand skill, it is the most beginner-friendly option. The most important point of this method is to determine the size of your design area beforehand. If you want all of your design to be visible and not wrap around the balloon, it should have at least 2-3 inches of open space on all sides.

Directions: Secure design on workspace and tape Bubble Balloon over design, making sure it is centered. Once marker is primed, begin your design by slowly tracing the outline of the letters. Use smooth, steady strokes to complete each line. Hold the balloon taut with your thumb and forefinger to keep the line smooth. As you fill in the shape, go in the same direction, rather than scribbling, to create a consistent surface that moves in the same direction. Be patient, don’t feel the need to rush or finish quickly.

To find out how to hand personalise balloons using Faux Calligraphy and Calligraphy, check out the complete article and videos in Balloon Images Issue 1 2019 or click HERE for a direct link."

Love Hearts 

The greatest symbol of love is a heart! Whether it's a simple 18" Red Heart Microfoil balloon or a fabulous heart sculpture, hearts are always a winner for Valentine's Day! 

Organic Puffed Heart by Sue Bowler, CBA

One of the great things about this design is that it can be made into any sizes! You can use 6" or 12" QuickLinks to create the exact same design! This design is perfect as a store or shopping mall display, displayed outside as yard art or delivered to an unsuspecting recipient! 

To learn how to create the basic Puffed- Heart (How to make a 'Puffed Heart' using Qualatex QuickLink™️ Balloons) follow this link

The Heart Frame below was made using a Nikoloon Frame for Balloons. They are easy to assemble, and then it is up to you how you fill them! I chose to create an ombré effect starting with shades of pink and gradually ending with a deep red at the base. I also added 4", 9" and 18" Microfoil balloons and 'pops' of Chrome™️ Gold 7" and 260Q bubbles! 

If you would like to learn how I made this design and other very sellable Valentine's designs check out the Qualatex Expressions of Love Video on Vimeo! 
Balloon Heart Frame by Sue Bowler

And finally, check out the latest Balloon Images Magazine - Valentine Issue. This Valentine's 2022 issue of Images™ Magazine contains more inspiration and information for each of the seven trends presented in the 2022 Valentine's Day catalog. We adore our customers' creativity, which you will see throughout the following articles, as artists from around the world lead the way on these love-themed trends. Be sure to check out all of the supporting links and educational resources to help you in your business this Valentine's season!

With just over one month to go until Valentine's Day you still have time to get ready for your best Valentine's Day trading yet! 

Happy Ballooning! 💕


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