Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Do You Ponoko

I love these business cards my pal Brian Boucheron made recently with Aussie company Ponoko. Do you know about this site? It's a great resource for realizing an idea when you can visualize it, but not physically produce it.
You create your design and send it to Ponoko, then choose from a variety of materials (felt, corrugated card, leather or acrylic) and a number of "making hubs" all over the world (the company attempts to match you with the production house closest to you, so there is less environmental impact caused by shipping). You can then enjoy the item you designed, or start selling the item on the ponoko site! Neato.
You can either design in an imaging program like illustrator, or just draw by hand and take a photo!
Here's a video instruction of the latter:

I've come across lots of crafters using Ponoko to make (or help make) their products lately, and I wonder what the diehard DIYers have to say about it. I DO see the point that these products are definitely NOT being hand made by the artist. But at the same time, the tshirts I sell are only hand PRINTED by me, not hand SEWN by me (I use two sweatshop free companies based in California)... so if there's a finger pointing toward ponoko users calling them out as non-DIYers, I suppose the finger pointing should extend to me too. (Though in this case, could you go on to say that a painter hasn't made a painting completely by herself, because she didn't stretch the canvas personally? Maybe...)
The good news is, in both cases, an independent artist has designed something themselves and gone through the trouble of reproducing it in order to support him/herself with their art. Can't say it bothers me personally... but maybe I'm biased. In any case, I think resources like this open a huge door to new possibilities in product design, and I'm all for it.
Wanna see more awesome products created with the help of Ponoko? CLICK HERE.


Olga said...

Thank you for your story mentioning us!

Btw, you can follow us here:

Big Blog -

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Looking forward to reading your next installment :)

Thanks again,


Red Prairie Press said...

thanks Olga!