How to Make a Custom Signature Stamp
How to Make a Custom Signature Stamp
I was browsing drawings on ebay and a really cool artist signature jumped out at me. Some peoples' signatures are a work of art in themselves, but this particular artist had a beautiful custom stamp alongside his signature. I looked at more of his work and he stamps every piece. They make his artwork look more professional and I'm sure also help ensure buyers of their authenticity.
I did a few searches online for an inexpensive and simple way to create my own sig. I decided to give Simon Stamps a try, was happy with the results, and have used the stamp when making ACEO cards. So here I'll order another one to show you step by step how to do the same.
Materials: The only thing you will need is image editing software. I use the free program Paint.net. If you want to draw your own design freehand as I do, a computer scanner, a computer drawing pen (graphics tablet), or a digital camera is necessary.
1. The first thing you need to do is determine the purpose of your stamp. I intended to use a stamp for branding purposes, uniqueness. I didn't want my signature to become part of the artwork itself so I used it just for the backing on my drawings, combined with my actual signature. You may want to incorporate your sig into the artwork itself. For example, if you draw medieval fantasy topics exclusively, you may want to create a dragon with your initials on it. It's completely up to you. For this example, I've decided on a fiat money design stamp, for drawings of political cartoons. I am only a casual artist, so this example will be less-involved. If you take your work more seriously, spend more time thinking about what you want to accomplish.
2. Put some sketches together. Once you determine the purpose of your stamp, throw down as many ideas on paper as you can. Pour over reference images. How large will your stamp be? Will you print your name? Initials? What fonts will you use? What color ink will you use? How best to compliment your artistic style? Will your design enhance or distract from your work? Keep in mind that you will not have much detail to work with. Scan the drawing you are happy with into your computer. It's best if the pencil lines are erased and it's done in black ink.
3. Now clean up the image in your editing software until you're happy with it. On my drawing I erased and redid all of the straight lines, circles, and ovals. I darkened the lines black. I also erased and re-applied the text. The more time you spend perfecting your initial drawing, the less time you will have to spend editing it. I also cropped the image to get as much detail into the space provided as I can. My initial sketch was 819 x 601 pixels at 96 pixels/inch and I saved the final edited image at 827 x 597 pixels at 300 pixels/inch (as I understand it, the more pixels per inch means the more detail you will retain when the image shrinks down to stamp size).
4. Our image is ready and we go to the custom art mount stamps page where we pick what size we want to make the stamp. The size options are anywhere from 1/2" to 5" tall. Hopefully you already know roughly what size you want your stamp to be. I planned on my stamp being about 1 1/2" high. Now you're given the option of picking the width size, anywhere from 1" to 8". My image is wider than it is tall but I'll choose 1 1/2" anyway because I want to get the smallest size stamp I can. Click on "Graphics" and upload your image.
Now it's just a matter of playing around with the settings until you get what you want. I leave "Optimize available space" checked, I use 100% zoom, and I leave the horizontal and vertical aligns right where they are, at center and middle.
As I figured, the image got distorted since it's wider than it is tall. Just click on "next bigger".
2" will probably work, but I'll go one size bigger just to be safe. Click "next bigger".
Cool, 2 1/2" wide should do the trick. You'll notice that as you go bigger, the price of the stamp rises. The cost of this stamp will be $13.50. There may be better deals online for this sized stamp, I don't know. But I think that's a very reasonable price for a custom stamp, so I'm happy with it. Click "next".
When satisfied, click "add to cart". If you don't have any ink, they sell that as well. I got a Green 9051 Type S1 Stamp Pad for $3.65. You need to register with Simon's Stamps to place an order. This order total comes to $20.50 after shipping. Standard delivery shipping says 1-6 days. We'll time em and see how good they are. My last one got here in only 3 days if I remember right. Oh yeah, they also accept Paypal.
My stamp arrived very quickly! I ordered it 2:07 AM on Friday and received it in the mail on Monday (delivered from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania).
The first thing you notice when you receive your stamp is the smell of the fresh rubber. I like it! As you can see, there is a clear plastic decal of your image attached on the top and of course mounted on the bottom is the stamp.
I was slightly worried when I placed the order that the text "Federal Reserve Note" would be too small and unreadable. My worries were unfounded. Here's what it looks like on paper.
I'm very satisfied with the stamp. The only thing I notice is that some of the solid blacks in the drawing did not fill in completely when stamped. I think this could have been avoided when I placed the order. Once I uploaded the graphic, a window popped up and read
"The logo graphic you uploaded had to be converted to black/white, due to product requirement. If you do not like the result please change the logo graphic yourself in a DTP Program and/or upload a black and white version again."
I am not at all familiar with DTP programs so I just clicked "OK" and went with it. For my particular graphic, I think it looks just as good this way. You have to decide if that's okay for yours. If not, maybe a graphic designer can help you out. If you know of any good program, or other easy way to correct this, please let us know.
The height of the stamp is exactly 1 1/2".
The width is slightly over 2", maybe 2 1/16". It looks to me like they took the exact height match of 1 1/2" and then stayed true to the proper proportions of the drawing. This is good. If they stretched the image to match 2 1/2" wide, it would have distorted the image.
You don't necessarily have to use these just for artwork signatures. Other uses could include envelope/stationary stamps, hand stamps, books, albums, anything really. If you have any additional uses, tips, or tricks, please let us know in the comment section. Thanks for reading.
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