February 17, 2013 - No Comments!

One Inch Wonders

Over this past year I found out about Pure Buttons and kind of went off with reasons as to why I needed to make tons of tiny little pins; restaurants, art shows, friends, vacations, and whatever else just happened to come up. No one really NEEDS buttons but it’s these little 1″ circles that make people happy for some reason. There is something awesome about such a small space, there’s no room for any tricks, long ass headlines, or bullshit. Just unbelievably simple colors, icons or words.


I was involved in a Frank Furness Street Art show a few months back curated by StreetsDept and hosted by Art in The Age. The piece I did was out there in University City and I knew not everyone would get around to see it and with pastes even when you have permission you never know how long it will last. So I took the eagle graphic from the piece and got a few buttons made just for the show and gave them out for free. Not a single one was left and I was seeing them pop up all over instagram. It’s these super simple things that make people happy and when you’re getting them for about ten cents a button you don’t feel horrid about giving them away.


I’m going to Paris in May and I wanted to make a little something special for my luggage that way I would recognize it in the baggage claim. Something better than the blue painters tape I have around my bag now. So I made this little Paris pin, something special that only I would have and again because of the price I’m not kicking myself in the ass about it. I just made it and didn’t think anything of it.


Nicole, from HipCityVeg, asked me to make something for all the hats that her employees wear, something fun but branded. We both landed on the idea of buttons, that way the customers could get in on it as well. Super small, super fun, family friendly and completely on brand. She hasn’t started selling them yet, but she plans on it very very soon so stop on by and scoop a few for yourself.


I was talking my friend Pat Furey about the way people eat up these tiny little buttons and he asked if I would make some for him to send to his clients with their photos. No charge, just a small little something that people would remember him by. A tiny tiny piece of branding. The small stuff that shows that you care.

In a time where 95% of personal design ideas live on dribbble, it helps to actually make stuff once in a while. It’s a great feeling getting something in the mail, even if it is as tiny as a 1″ button. It’s a piece of you and an idea that you saw through. If you ever want a make something that will put a smile on your friends/clients/book bag buttons are the way to go. Work out a swap or a show or whatever just make shit. Some will have a story attached to them and some will be purely aesthetic, but you can put them on your jacket or you bag and they can act as a small reminder that you’re a little bit different than everybody else.

The economy is rough, make buttons.


On an unrelated note, I got patches for Paris as well. Not too hyped on the craft of em, but they still came out pretty neat.


Published by: Mike Smith in Design, Philadelphia

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