Showing posts sorted by relevance for query balance. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query balance. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Part 3 The Beginners Guide to the Elements & Principles of Design - Texture & Balance

Texture is the final 'element' of design that we are going to look at in this series of blogs, we have already looked at Colour in Part 1 and Line in Part 2.


When working on balloon decor it is often harder to create a design that has contrasting textures as the visual texture of a balloon is the same. However if we can include other components with a different textural difference we are able to create designs with greater impact, therefore we need to look at other mediums to help us achieve this.

The Very Best balloon Blog

This is a great example of texture, this centrepiece design is based around the Peacock Accent Pattern Diamond AccentsTM Microfoil® Balloon #41227. To enhance this centrepiece design a feather boa, faux feathers and coiled metallic decorative wires have been used, all giving different visual textures that strengthen's the theme, making this a fantastic design.

This design can be found on the Qualatex website in the Wedding Business Booster along with the instructions on how to make it!

Friday, March 26, 2021

The Importance of Principles and Elements of Design in Balloon Art!

Earlier this week, I was given the honour of taking part in the Q Corner Convention as part of the Design Panel discussion group alongside Tope Abulude, Cam Woody and Aleks and Nelly HernΓ‘ndez. 

The first question we were asked as a group was "Which of the Principles and Elements of Design is the most important to a creation and why?" 

This got me to thinking... how many balloon artists actually consider the basic principles and elements of design when making their decor? Is this something that many of us naturally do, or should it be considered more frequently?

So, let me put this to you in a different way - have you ever made a design or decor that does not look right, and while you know something is not quite right, you can't quite put your finger on it? Knowing the basics can prevent this from happening!  

So what are the Principles and Elements of Design?

Creating the 'perfect' design is not something that just happens, at least not for most of us anyway!  There are a number of factors that can help to make a design 'perfect,' so let's take a look at what those factors are!

Principles of Design: The basic principles of design include words such as unity, proportion and scale, balance, rhythm and harmony.

Elements of Design: These are the physical make-up of the design. You can touch or see the elements of design. These include colour, line, shape and texture.

By applying the principles to the elements of design, it will bring them together into one design. How you apply these principles determines how successful a design may be!

Principles of Design

Sculptured Balloon Column 
By Sue Bowler
Proportion is one of the easier design principles to understand. Simply put, it is the size of each elements in relation to one another. Proportion signals what is important in a design and what is not. In he typical design, larger elements are more important than the smaller elements. 

Scale refers to the size of the overall design in relationship to its surroundings! If a design is too big in its space, it will look overpowering. Too small small, it will look insignificant.

Balance is the visual and physical stability of a design. The visual stability of a design refers to how the mechanical stability of the design, and whether or not it will easily fall. A design with symmetrical balance should have the same amount of visual weight on both sides. Designs with asymmetrical balance will not mirror the design on both sides.
Remember that darker colours will have more visual weight than lighter colours; therefore, the darker colours belong at the base of your design since they appear heavier.

The spaces between repeating elements can cause a sense of rhythm to form, similar to the way the space between notes in a musical composition creates a rhythm. There are five basic types of visual rhythm that designers can create: random, regular, alternating, flowing, and progressive.

Movement refers to the way the eye travels over a design. One essential element should lead the eye to the next element and so on. This is achieved through positioning; the eye naturally falls on certain areas of a design first.
Table Centrepiece Design
By Sue Bowler

Unity refers to how well the elements of design work together. Visual elements should have clear relationships with each other in a design. Unity also helps ensure concepts are communicated in a clear, cohesive fashion. Designs with good unity also appear to be more organised and of higher quality than designs with poor unity.

Elements of Design

To effectively use colour in design, it is important to understand what it is and how it works. Colours are visually perceived as advancing or receding. Warm colours such as red, orange, and yellow advance, or appear closer.
Cool colours such as green, blue and violet recede or appear farther away. When making a design, the goal is to create colour harmony. The four most basic colour harmonies are monochromatic, analogous, complimentary, and triadic. 

The centrepiece design shown is using a monochromatic colour harmony. A monochromatic colour harmony consists of one hue (colour) and its tints, tones and shades.

Texture relates to the surface quality of each component of a design. Contrasting or opposite textures should be used (e.g. rough and smooth, shiny and matte) to create impact within a design. While balloons themselves have limited textural differences, there are many other ways to create texture within your designs. The texture of latex balloons is smooth and soft, but by adding elements such as tulle, ribbon, fabric, flowers, or feathers, you can create contrasting texture and a greater visual impact.

The design shown has a number of varying textures, such as shiny confetti inside the Deco Bubble and the addition of greenery and flowers within the design - all of these elements adds texture to the design.

Space is the open area, or void around each element of a design. Space allows each element to stand apart so it can be seen and appreciated while still giving the impression of unity. Without space, the eye can have difficulty finding the focal area or rhythm of a design. There are two types of space: positive and negative space. Positive space refers to the shape of an object or the area that is being utilised by balloons and other decorative elements. Negative space is the empty space surrounding the design components.

A line is the described path in a design that the eye should clearly follow. The line provides the framework or outline of an arrangement, as well as a visual path to follow. 
A design can have one line or a combination of lines with one being dominant. 
Lines can be: 
Vertical - creating drama
Horizontal - representing tranquility
Diagonal - expressing uncertainty 
Curved - reflecting grace

Form refers to the shape of each element in a design. Form can be divided into three separate categories. 
Round: A round composition is one of the most common shapes. It is designed to be viewed from all sides. Round designs are often used for centrepieces on circular tables.
Triangle: Triangular designs are usually viewed from only one side, so they are often used as a focal design on a pedestal or banqueting table.
Oblong: Oblong shapes are low, long and horizontal and usually symmetrically balanced. This style of design is especially suitable for a rectangular space.

And finally, Harmony
Harmony is the physical compatibility of the elements within your design. In other words, it is how the Design Elements (form, line, space, texture, and colour) relate to one another in an agreeable way. Creating harmony within a design also helps bring about unity. Every element within a design should coordinate and complement each other. Harmony. is created when all the Elements of Design are applied successfully! 

So in conclusion, to make the perfect design you need to consider and apply the Principles and Elements of design and if for any reason you are unhappy about a design that you have made think about why and what you can or could have done to make it better! 

I will be 100% honest, it took me quite some time to fully understand and have the ability to apply the principles of elements of design to my own work, and I can promise that I do not always get it right! But having an understanding can really help you to master design and become an even better balloon artist! 

Thank you for reading this post and I hope that it has helped!

Happy Ballooning! 

Follow me @suebowler

Monday, May 19, 2014

'Contracts or Service Agreements' as a small business do we really need them?

I wonder how many of us keep telling ourselves that we need to start supplying contracts when we take on decor and event work but have yet to do it?

Contracts sound very formal, however, putting your agreements in writing (between you and your clients) keeps your business relationships in good standing and potentially out of court! 
Contracts can be given a variety of titles; including: supply agreements, services agreements, service contracts, supply contracts, contract of work and just about any other permutation of these words and more!
Often a contract is formed once you have finalised all the details with your client, it could be that you have had face to face and site meetings, phone calls or a number of emails, but there comes a point when it needs to be summarised and collated into a formal document, thus creating a contract between you and your client.
Firstly you should create all of your documents on your company letter headed paper, if you are planning on emailing documents such as contracts and invoices, there are many free templates that will allow you to create your own, once you have spent the time creating your letterhead remember to save it as a template so that you can find it easily for the next time.
I am unsure of the legalities worldwide but in the UK there are legal requirements for business letterheads;

Sole trader business guidelines

If you are a sole trader you can trade under your own name or you can choose a different business name. If you choose a business name that is not your own name, you must include your own name and the business address on all letterheads and order forms.

Partnership business guidelines

If you are a partnership business your letterheads, order forms, receipts and even invoices must include the names of all partners and the address of the main office. If there are many partners then it is also acceptable to state where a list of partners may be found.

Limited company guidelines

If your company is trading as a limited company the letterhead and order form stationery (whether printed or electronic versions) must include:
  • Your full registered company name
  • The company registration number and place of registration
  • The company registered address and the address of its place of business, if different
  • There is no need to include the names of the directors on the letterhead for a limited company, but if you choose to name directors all directors must be named
Most letterheads also include a telephone and fax number, a url for the business’ website and an email address.

Contract content

  • Client name, address & contact numbers, if you have been dealing with someone specific make sure that you include their name as well as the company if relevant.
  • The date.
  • Project/Work Title.
  • Project/Work Description.
  • Event Venue including address.
  • Event Name and Event date.
  • Installation date and time. If you have agreed a specific access time with the venue/organiser or preparation area, include this within your contract, stating any named parties such as the 'banqueting manager' or 'shopping mall deputy manager's' name if that's who you agreed these with.
  • Removal of Installation. If you are 'striking' the event, state the date and time when this will take place. If you are not required to go back to remove the decor after the event, I would recommend stating; 
The client is responsible for the removal of all provided decor and please note: 
Foil balloons may conduct electricity. Do not release helium filled foil balloons outdoors or use near overhead power lines. 
Foil balloons are non biodegradable and therefore should be disposed of carefully with general household waste. 
Latex Balloons, Warning! Children under eight years can choke or suffocate on un-inflated or broken balloons. Adult supervision required. Keep un-inflated balloons from children. Discard broken balloons at once.  
  • Pricing. I would recommend listing what this includes - this could include headings (not actual items) such as 'materials', 'Preparation of balloons', 'inflation and Installation', 'Delivery'', and 'removal of Installation' this will ensure that both parties know exactly what is included within the price and more importantly what's not included * see below regarding 'ownership of materials'.
  • Payment Terms. Deposit and payment of final balance - how much is the deposit, when is it due, is it a refundable or non-refundable deposit? When is the balance due, make sure that you clearly state a date. 
Many professionals suggest taking a down-payment or deposit of up to 50% before the start of any project, and collecting the balance by the day of completion, before turning over any goods or services to your client. 
  • Cancellation/ Force Majeure (unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract). What is your cancellation policy? Many companies will have cancellation fee's and terms that relates to the amount of notice given. These could read like this;
      • All requests for cancellations and/or transfers must be received in writing.
      • Changes will become effective on the date of written confirmation being received.
      • Event cancelled less than ** days prior to the event will be subject to a **% cancellation fee.
Ensure that your terms are fair and balanced, you cannot expect your customer to pay excessive cancellation charges and loss of up-front payments if good notice is given, contracts cannot be unbalanced, that means that they cannot weight heavily in your favour, as in it's not OK to state that a customer cannot cancel an order without giving a minimum of 6 weeks notice, but you can cancel an order within 24 hours!

Other things that can also be included within your contracts:

  • Ownership of materials; This will cover any hire/rental items that may be included as part of the event. It is important that client is aware of all rental items and how these items will be collected or if the client is responsible for the return of the items?  A return by date and any charges that the client may incur for lost or damaged items should also be included. 
  •  Design change and bad weather policy; Weather can play a major factor especially when creating decor for outside events. I would recommend adding any agreed changes or that decor could be subject to change in the event of bad weather.

Finally, when you email or send your 'contract of work' to your client I would also include your invoice (including full details of payment terms and how you want to be paid), a copy of your public liability insurance document (anyone who offers services such as event decor, face painting, candy carts or other party supplies should have public liability insurance cover) and risk assessment. I am unsure if risk assessments are a legal requirement for everyone, however many clients will request that you submit a risk assessment.

I have create a sample 'Contract of Work' letter, to show you how easy it is to create a contract between you and your customers, you could easily create something like this as a template, making it quick and simple every time!

 Example 'Contract of Work' letter.

I hope this helps? The business side of running a business can be very daunting sometimes, however, a contract is vital for your own protection, you never know when you might need it!
To learn more about the business side of a balloon business and much more why not join the Qualatex balloon Network, for more details on this program click here!

Happy Ballooning!

For more information regarding writing contracts visit:

For Public Liability cover in the UK contact the Balloon and Party Industry Alliance

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Taking the Fear Factor out of Organic Decor - Top Tips from Three Industry Experts!

Does the thought of creating an organic style balloon installation give you sleepless nights and fill you with dread? 

Fear no more - I have instilled the help of three amazing organic balloon art designers to share with us their top tips that will steer you through those worrying and confusing times!

The fabulous Caity Byrne, CBA of All About balloons in Washington, D.C., USA, has some truly great advice to share!

Caity Byrne of All About Balloons
"Don't be afraid to play! So many times, I have pulled out the color I think is just right for an organic piece, only to realize I'm completely wrong. I've pulled out other colors I'm dubious will look good together, and I end up with my new favorite palette. The cost to experiment is so minimal compared to the potential return on investment.
The principles and elements of design are of paramount importance in organic decor. Whether it's balance, scale, whatever- they should all be kept in mind when designing, planning, and constructing a piece. A 3-footer is completely out of proportion when nestled in with a bunch of 5" balloons, for example. An 8' swag behind a 25' stage is going to look completely underwhelming and out of place. A 25' swag on an 8' stage can be done well, provided there is balance (but not symmetry- gross!).
When it comes to actual hands-on construction of a piece, the most important thing I cannot stress enough is to keep balloons round! In my opinion, there is no place for anything other than round balloons in most decor (excepting helium balloons on a string, of course). Round balloons stack much more nicely and give movement to the piece. How many times have you seen an organic piece while strolling through Instagram only to have your eye stop abruptly on a pear-shaped balloon (or a bad color or size)?
The best business advice I have is particularly true in organics: don't be cheap and don't be lazy. Use Cloud Busters if the piece warrants it! Grab those foils and add them in for flair! Use SuperAgates- they're worth it! Take the time to make the confetti balloons and make your piece over the top. Your clients will be thrilled and your future clients will be calling!" 

Want to know how Caity makes her fabulous organic decor? She has two educational downloads available to purchase from

Here are some of Caity's favourite organic installations

This was the first organic piece that Caity ever did. It was in the East Room of the White House for the Obama’s final Halloween party.

Monday, February 10, 2014

'Your store window is your face'... some great window display advice from Doctor Bob BALLOONS UNLIMITED

You should never underestimate the power of a great display, whether a store window or exhibition!
Very Best Balloon Blog

Last Christmas many of us were completely wowed by the Christmas window display that was created by Bob Armstrong CBA and his team at Dr Bob BALLOONS UNLIMITED in BARRY, WALES.

Christmas Window display

The window was filled with a magical selection of balloons, everything from a Tin Solder, Christmas tree's, Elves, snowmen and of course Santa Claus! I can imagine small children with their parents peering through to see all the beautiful displays... a true winter wonderland of excitement!
But these displays are not merely to create a display, each and every item on display is something that can be purchased by their customers, what a fantastic way to show off your skills!

Friday, August 28, 2020

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September brings many exciting new things: the start of Autumn, longer nights and cooler days, schools and colleges starting their new academic year, and, perhaps most special of all, one of the most popular months for having a baby! Statistically, there are more babies born in September than any other month... mostly in northern hemisphere countries! 

With that in mind, there is no better time to start a 'π΅π’Άπ’·π“Ž π‘€π‘œπ“ƒπ“‰π’½' marketing campaign and use this month to promote a range of adorable baby balloon decor for Baby Showers and New Baby arrivals on websites and social media channels!  

Baby Girl Delivery Design by Eve Antonello

Recently, Cam Woody, CBA, and Eve Antonella, CBA, shared some super cute baby designs on Tuesday's Happy Hour With Cam And Eve, a weekly 'LIVE' show that can be viewed at 1pm CST every Tuesday on Mr Q's Facebook Page

To learn how to make these delightful designs by Cam & Eve check out the video!

Baby Delivery Design by Cam Woody

Baby Boy Designs by Cam Woody

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Need a little more inspiration? Here are some more fabulous designs to excite you and your customers! 

Wrapped Baby Boy - Marvin Ohmstedt, CBA,, Bremen, Germany.

Wrapped Baby Boy - Marvin Ohmstedt, CBA,, Bremen, Germany.

Celebrate a new bundle of joy with this cute gift design from Marvin Ohmstedt, CBA. Featuring the stylish Baby Boy Blue Stripes Microfoil® in both 18" (#88001) and 9" (#88489), and new 7" Chrome® Gold latex (#85111), this fully air-filled design will underscore any new baby celebration perfectly.

Did you know that, QBN members & CBA's can download instruction sheets for many of the designs featured on - to download this design click HERE

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If you are looking to make an eye-catching window display, how about making one of these beautiful Baby Moon designs! I first made this design for a window display for Pioneer Europe at the Spring Fair 2018. This proved to be an exceptionally,   popular design with visitors to the show. I loved working with this fabulous colour combination of Pastel Caribbean Blue (Caribbean Blue double-stuffed inside White) and the little 'pops' of Chrome Gold and confetti-filled balloons.

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Baby Boy - Baby Moon Design
Baby Moon by Sue Bowler, CBA.

If you would like to learn how to re-create this design with full step-by-step instructions check out the video's below. 

Part 1. How to make the frame 

Part 2. How to add the balloons, sizings and finishing touches.

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I absolutely love this beautiful Baby Hoop design by Esty Landman of Balance Balloons in Israel, and you can see that it uses a very similar colour palette to my own Baby Moon design. I adore all the little details and how they all work so beautifully together. Esty is a very talented balloon artist, I highly recommend that you take a peek at her other balloon work.

Baby Hoop design by Esty Landman of Balance Balloons in Israel

Qualatex® Double Bubbles Balloons are double the fun! This adorable "Baby Blue Bear" inside a clear Bubble Balloon and with coordinating details is a definite winner! 

Baby Boy Double-Bubble Design by Sue Bowler
Design by Sue Bowler
24" Baby Blue Bear #29486
24" Baby Pink Bear #29488

Using the same "Baby Blue Bear" Double Bubble, this design uses the Bear that has been carefully removed from the Balloon!

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I  love the vibrancy of this design made by Tina Giunta, CBA, of Shivoo Balloons in Melbourne, Australia.
I suppose we all expect baby designs to be pastel tones and this design is bright, bold and beautiful! I expect that's why I love it so much, it stands out from the norm! 


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Making designs that incorporate a little balloon character is always very appealing. The characters do not need to be complicated, but the addition of little face is a  finishing touch that always makes the design stand out. Don't forget, Qualatex have printed "Face" balloons if you are not confident to make your own! 

Top Left - 5" Happy/Sad Baby Face
Top Right - 5" Sleeping Pacifier Baby Face
Bottom Left - 6" QuickLink Happy/Sad Baby Face 
Bottom Right - 6" QuickLink Sleeping Pacifier Baby Face

Baby Boy Design by Sue Bowler
Baby Boy Design by Sue Bowler
18" Rachel Ellen - Baby Stroller #50253
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Baby Girl Moon Column Design by Sue Bowler

Baby Girl & Moon Column by Sue Bowler
35" Crescent Moon - 
Rose Gold #57857 
Metallic Gold #36530
Silver #36531
Pearl Pink 9" Heart #54593
Pearl Pink 4" Heart #27164

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Beautiful Baby Girl Design by Zahraa Jawad of Forever Balloons Boutique in Beirut, Lebanon.
Beautiful Baby Girl Design by Zahraa Jawad of Forever Balloons Boutique in Beirut, Lebanon.

22" Baby Girl Pink & Confetti Dots #10035
7" Chrome Gold #85111
11" Chrome Gold #58271

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Personalised balloons are a fabulous addition to any balloon or design. Adding a babies name or a special message makes a balloon delivery that is much more special and unique.

Adorable Baby Delivery by Zahraa Jawad of Forever Balloons Boutique.
Adorable Baby Delivery by Zahraa Jawad of Forever Balloons Boutique.
Zahraa combines a personalised balloon with a little baby character to make a complete design... and it's all air-filled too! 

Personalised Balloon design by Jacqueline Pettit of Tiffany's Balloons in Chelmsford, Essex, UK.
Balloon design by Jacqueline Pettit of Tiffany's Balloons in Chelmsford, Essex, UK.
Jacqueline always makes beautiful personalised balloons. I always love the fonts that she chooses and her beautiful finishing touches. 
24" Deco Bubble - Baby Footprints #49459

Zahraa finds the perfect solution to add personalisation to a message balloon. She simply adds a 9" Star Microfoil™️ balloon that not only allows her to personalise her design, it also compliments the message balloon perfectly.
Yep I'm a Boy is no longer available, however it can be easily substituted for another baby Microfoil balloon... there are many lovely designs! 

I hope that you have found some inspiration from all the beautiful designs featured in this blog post! A huge thank you to Cam, Eve, Marvin, Esty, Tina, Jacqueline and Zahraa for sharing their beautiful work with The Very Best Balloon Blog.

Happy Ballooning!

Follow me on Instagram @suebowler

Monday, April 11, 2022

Let's Talk about Deposits for Pre-Ordered Balloons, Decor, or other Services that your Company Offers

Who said running a business is easy? As a small business owner, you truly need to be a master of all trades and let's face it, the business side of running a business is not easy, nor is it everyone's favourite job! 

Today, I thought that we would look at DEPOSITS for the goods and services that you offer. I often see posts on Facebook groups asking if they are permitted to keep a customer's deposit if they cancel their order or booking? 

It is common to ask customers to pay a deposit for pre-ordered balloons, decor, or other services that your company offers. This is a way that you as a company can secure a booking or rental items for a specific date in the future. 

When your customer pays a deposit, they are entering into a contract with you, the trader. The agreement can be made verbally or in writing. As parties to the contract, you and the customer have certain legal rights and obligations. The terms of the contract are a matter between you and your customer.

The following points should be considered when creating a contract:

  • How much the deposit will be – this could be a set amount or a percentage of the total cost
  • Payment date when the balance will be due
  • If there are instalments, how much each payment will be
  • Details of the exact product or service they are buying – for example, the  product's colour or style or how the service will be performed
  • The date the product or service will be provided – for example, when will a product be delivered or the work completed
  • In what circumstances the deposit will be refunded (either fully or partially)
  • Is there any non-refundable amount or cancellation charge

Contracts should be supplied to the customer in a tangible 
format (for example, hard copy or email). Plus, you should always offer a receipt showing the deposit amount paid.

The terms of this contract must be clear and fair. Terms that may be considered unfair can include:
  • Deposits are non-refundable in all circumstances
  • If you cancel, you must pay all the trader’s expenses plus the anticipated gross profit. However, the trader is generally only entitled to keep an amount that covers the losses, Which result from your cancellation. This could include costs already incurred or loss of profit (for example, where you cancel at short notice).
So when is a deposit truly non-refundable?

The term, non-refundable deposit is often used by business owners, but just because a deposit is referred to as non-refundable does not mean that it is. Conversely, a deposit can be non-refundable if specific criteria are met as a business owner.

Meeting the Non-Refundable Criteria

Business owners need to be careful how they charge a non-refundable deposit to ensure that it meets the relevant criteria. Non-refundable deposits are intended to protect a business in circumstances in sudden cancellation circumstances and compensate the business for the time, effort, and money expended up to that point. Therefore, it is crucial for a business to ensure that the non-refundable deposit they charge in these circumstances is reasonable and proportionate with reference to protecting their legitimate business interests and is not excessive or used as a ‘penalty’ against a customer or client. Of course, what will be considered reasonable and proportionate will depend on the specific circumstances and will be different on a case-by-case basis.

Documenting the Deposit Correctly
A business needs to ensure that a non-refundable deposit is reasonable and proportionate to the circumstances. Still, they must also ensure they disclose all relevant information regarding the non-refundable deposit to their customers or clients. It is crucial for a business to disclose the terms of the non-refundable deposit accurately. Otherwise they may be seen to be engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct, which is against the law. 
At a minimum, the business must disclose the terms of a non-refundable deposit in a Terms and Conditions document (or something similar), which is provided to the customer or client at the time of, or prior to, engaging them. Even better, the business should also seek to obtain an acknowledgement from the client or customer that the non-refundable deposit is reasonable and proportionate in protecting the business legitimate business interests. Again, this can be incorporated into the Terms and Conditions document the business uses. You can also reiterate this to the client or customer when you request the deposit payment. Transparency is key!

But how does it work in real life?
Let’s say you are a balloon artist who charges £500 for agreed decor with a non-refundable deposit of £150 payable prior to booking confirmation. Your Terms and Conditions (which your client signed and returned prior to engaging you) state that the deposit is non-refundable and outlines that it is calculated with reference to the actual costs that your business incurs (consultation time, pre-ordering balloons, helium, and other materials.) Your client cancels the booking two days before the event. They allege that your business cannot retain the non-refundable deposit. In these circumstances, whether you can retain the deposit would depend on (as a minimum):
  • Whether your Terms and Conditions properly explain that the deposit is non-refundable
  • Whether you have properly engaged your client/customer (by providing them the Terms and Conditions and making sure they have read and acknowledged them)
  • Whether the amount of the non-refundable deposit is reasonable, with reference to the actual costs that your business has incurred (including things like the time involved in making the booking, the loss of profit if you are unable to re-book the session, any other costs that you have incurred etc.)
  • Whether the non-refundable deposit is proportionate to the overall cost of the product or service that you are providing.
Without knowing any further information, on the above facts alone, it would appear that the deposit would be non-refundable, as the document requirements appear to have been met, and £150 may likely be considered to be a reasonable and proportionate amount. 

Having good terms and conditions that relate and are customised to your business is vital for all businesses, no matter how small a business you are. When it comes to deposits make sure that you make your customers aware of them, especially if they are non-refundable. If in doubt, talk to a professional to ensure that your terms are transparent and that what you are charging is reasonable and proportionate.

I hope this helps and gives you a better understanding of what is required when taking deposits from customers and whether you are legitimately entitled to keep them should a customer cancel their order.

Happy Ballooning! 

Follow me @suebowler 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

How Can I Find Training Courses as someone who is new to the Balloon Industry?

If you were to ask any seasoned professional what they would do differently if they started their balloon business again, you would find that most of them would have taken up training sooner. Balloon artistry is a creative skill, and there is so much more to it than you many think... but maybe you have already started to find that out?

Training Instructor TY Wong of Colour Life, Hong Kong

I know of a number of very successful balloon businesses who started their ballooning journeys in recent years offering only organic dΓ©cor. They in their own words were 'self-taught'; however, as their businesses grew, so did their clients requests and it became evident that they needed to learn the true foundations of balloon artistry: Classic Balloon Decor. 

Rainbow Arch and Decor by Sue Bowler

Classic Balloon Decor is the foundation of balloon decorating. Foundations can be found in the early defining work of a discipline, and balloon decorating started with balloon garland arches, swags, columns and 'string of pearl' (SOP) arches.
Classic Balloon Decor is the starting blocks for ballooning, and almost all balloon artists/decorators start here! It's as basic as learning how to inflate balloons to a specific size, tying a duplet, twisting balloons into clusters as well as the art of adding balloons to line or framework! Once a decorator has these mastered, they can move onto more challenging projects! 

Decor by Sue Bowler

Classic Balloon Decor can be used in so many ways and for so many different types of events, including weddings, corporate decor or shopping malls; think large spaces where balloons can be used on large scale!
 It's not just about learning Class Balloon Decor techniques, it's also having a good understand of the elements and principles of design.

Creating the 'perfect' design is not something that just happens automatically, at least not for most of us anyway! There are a number of factors that make a 'perfect design', so let's take a look at what those factors are!

Elements of Design:

These are parts that make up the design, and you can either touch or see the elements of design. These include colour, line, shape and texture.

Principles of Design: 

The basic principles of design include unity, scale and proportion, balance, rhythm and harmony.

Applying these principles to the elements of a design brings them together into one cohesive idea. How you apply these principles determines how successful a design may be!

So you may be wondering ,how can you learn about these and where can you find training courses, especially during the pandemic?

It is true to say that the pandemic has definitely thrown a spanner into the works when it comes to face-to-face training courses! However, finding good training in many countries has always been difficult even during normal times. 

During the past few months, when many countries have been in lockdown, Qualatex has worked hard to bring training to the world-wide community in the form of webinars. To-date, there has been 10 webinars covering a wide variety of topics.

For anyone new to the balloon business, I would like to recommend: 

"Cooking with Cam & Eve - Ingredients for Success Part 1 - Qualatex Latex" as well as "Cooking with Cam & Eve - Ingredients for Success Part 2 - Qualatex Microfoil and Bubble Balloons."

I can even offer you a coupon code that will give you $5.00 off each of these courses!


Both of these videos in addition to other fabulous online classes from industry leading instructors are available to purchase and download from Qualatex Online Education at Vimeo - Click HERE for a direct link or go to

Can you learn from YouTube?

There are so many great tutorials available on YouTube, but for every quality video there is one that gives bad or ill-informed information You can easily learn really poor skills and techniques which is not a great way to start your ballooning career. I have used YouTube myself to learn how to make different styles of bows, and other non-balloon related techniques, so it's definitely not all bad. Just use discretion when browsing YouTube!

My advice to you would be to seek balloon artists whose styles and designs you like, and follow them on their Facebook and Instagram pages. If they have videos, which many do, then those are the ones that you want to watch.

Qualatex has their own YouTube channel - Q Corner, and I would certainly recommend that you check it out, as it is packed with many great tutorials and training videos - click HERE for a direct link or visit

If you would like to learn more about the elements and principles of design, and how it will help you with your balloon designs, I have written a number of blog posts that will help you greatly:

Part 4: Beginners Guide to the Elements & Principles of Design - Rhythm

And of course, don't forget to tune in to Happy Hour with Cam & Eve, you can find that on Mr Q's Facebook page LIVE every alternate Tuesday at 1pm CST. You will need to check your international clocks if you want to watch it live, or you can catch-up afterwards as they are all available to watch, all you have to do is visit Mr. Q Facebook Page and click on videos! 

I hope that this is helpful to you, and keep checking The Very Best Balloon Blog as it too is packed with great information and so many helpful resources! 

Happy Ballooning! 

Follow me @suebowler