Public Demesne: Using Public Domain Images to raise funds - Library as Incubator Project
scann's bookmarks 2018-11-13
In early January 2016, I started a fundraiser for the Society of American Archivists Mosaic Scholarship, which was made to encourage diverse entrants into the field. I wanted to contribute, but didn’t have money to spare. Instead, I created a print-on-demand store with Society6 to sell items with designs I had made. Of course, I don’t have artistic skill, either, so I modified existing illustrations from the public domain.
I’m here to document what I did, in order to show how easy it is to get a shop up and running. The benefits for cultural heritage institutions are multiple: make some cash, promote your collections, enrich the world with beautiful vintage visuals, print your own art for your walls, and learn a new skill!
The process I employed to generate profitable clothes, home decor, phone cases, and a bunch of other cool stuff is pretty straightforward:
- Identify awesome images in the public domain
- Get the highest-quality version you can
- Use Photoshop to turn the paper transparent and thicken up the ink lines
- Use Illustrator to vectorize the image and scale it to a desired size
- Use Photoshop to generate various versions of the image, depending on what products you want to sell
- Upload each version to your print-on-demand shop according to their instructions
- Promote to your pals and your library’s patrons
- Make money for your library!