3 Things You Should Do When Someone Copies Your Work

This morning, I woke up to see that someone new to fonts on Creative Market had started using the same formatting and city-title concept that I've been using for months. I literally did a double-take when I saw it, thinking "I didn't make this, right?" Bummer.

So, as could be expected, I got into a little bit of a rage and started thinking of ways I could get this person to stop. I mean, I'm seeing this only two days after my entrepreneurial father warned me that people would try to knock off my stuff soon. Won't people notice??

As I cooled down, I started to remember the countless marketing books I've read and what they all say about this – don't waste your time, make better stuff.

I realize every situation is different, but this morning, here are 3 things I'm doing to handle this situation:

 

1. BREATHE + ASSUME THE BEST

Settle down, take a deep breath, evaluate the situation. This person has two fonts. I have 30. As long as I keep doing what I'm doing, they'll struggle to catch up to the amount of content I have. Also, it could be that this person, new to the game, saw my work on several pages and figured that's what cover images needed to look like for their fonts to be successful. Doesn't explain the city-name thing, but still. Assume the best.

2. BEAT THEM AT THEIR OWN GAME

Content is king, people. Put out more content than your copy-cat can keep up with. Consumers will gravitate toward familiarity, and if you keep putting out great content consistently, they'll see you more and trust you more. 

3. GIVE THEM TIME TO FAIL

I read a great quote in an article today as I was going about my justice-fury: 

And as you are steaming ahead in growing your business, let them struggle with the realities of getting a business off the ground. Because, let’s face it, if you’re so lacking in imagination that you have to steal someone else’s idea, then you don’t deserve to be successful, and probably won’t be. - Hannah Martin

The people copying you are obviously not that creative if they feel the need to rip you off. We're dealing with the same issue in our other businesses at the moment as well. People see what we're doing, are maybe "inspired" by the model, and blatantly copy it almost immediately after we announce what we're doing. Imitation is flattery, I suppose, but they'll quickly realize that what works for us may not work for them. And the same goes for you!


So! Take a deep breath, keep doing what you're doing, and let it run its course. Odds are, if others are blatantly copying you, you're doing something right.

- jen wagner

 

Baton Rouge | A Flood Relief Font

Hey everyone!

A little bit of bad news, then some great news.

At the beginning of September, I released a font on Creative Market that for the month of September would 100% benefit the Louisiana Flood Relief Fund. I told my customers that I'd post a blog updating them on how much money was raised!

Unfortunately, Baton Rouge is the only font that has made a whopping zero sales. [this screen shot was taken on October 4].

I plan to rerelease the font under a different name to see if perhaps it was a branding issue, but was still super bummed overall. I tend to get into "save the world" mode and it rarely goes as you plan.

But here's the good news!

Creative Market has partnered with participating shops to donate a percentage of our earnings to All Hands Volunteers, who are working to help not only those affected in Louisiana, but in Haiti and other countries around the globe.

So! For the month of November, I'll be donating 20% of my total earnings on all items in my store to this cause!! So if you've been waiting to pick up some of my new fonts, do it in November to help benefit this amazing cause!

Thank you all so much for all the love and support with this new venture! Here's to great things!

 

jen wagner

My Favorite Hand Lettering Tools

Hello my friends!

I've started some short YouTube tutorials answering your questions! This week, I'm discussing a few of my favorite hand lettering tools and showing you how I use each of them.

Have any questions you'd like me to answer in my next video? Leave them in the comments on this blog post or on the video!

 

Watercolor Brush 3/0

Micron 03 Pen

Tombow Fudenosuke, Soft


-JW
jen wagner

"Advanced" Hand Lettering Begins This Monday!

Hello my friends - old and new!

If you're looking for a unique way to set your business apart from the crowd, then you're gonna love this Lettering eCourse! Hand lettering is one of the biggest new trends that spans across dozens of different markets and demographics. This class will teach you multiple types of calligraphy and hand lettering in depth, going from letter to letter. It also includes a free downloadable workbook with over 50 pages of practice exercises! Many lettering courses charge anywhere from $30-$60 per hour of material. In this course, you'll get over 5 hours of video material plus the workbook for only $48!

There are many fonts out there now that imitate the look and feel of hand lettering, but they're becoming more easily spotted and disregarded by consumers. Everyone's lettering style is unique, just like everyone's handwriting. Who knows? Your style could be the next big Etsy seller or West Elm feature! But first, you have to start!

Learn how to register for my hand lettering course here and I'll see you all on Monday, June 13th!

-jw
jen wagner

Hand Lettering eCourse

"Advanced" Hand Lettering eCourse | Freebie!

Hello my friends!

I am so excited to announce that I'll be teaching another lettering eCourse with the fabulous Jeanne Oliver! The class launches on June 13th and includes some really awesome printables and a workbook I've been working on for *literally* months. I'm really excited to be able to give that resource free to everyone who registers (sign up here!)!!

Now, I've had some people freak out a little bit when they saw the "Advanced" part of the course title. It's "Advanced" in the sense that this is a real class where we'll discuss details of how to form your letters, words, and phrases in not just brush lettering, but a bunch of other lettering forms and mediums. On the other hand, the "Intro to Hand Lettering" class I taught last year was a brief introduction to brush lettering with an emphasis on DIY projects. So if you're ready to get in depth and learn a lot about what lettering is really about, the Advanced lettering class is the way to go!

Because the class doesn't launch for another 6 weeks, I wanted to gift you guys a freebie worksheet and Mug project video from the Intro class. Get practicing and I'll see you all on June 13th!

Lowercase Letter Brush Hand Lettering Guide

Freelancer's Calendar

Hello my friends!

I'm so excited to finally share the Freelancer's Calendar with you all! I've been working for the last few months to get feedback from everyone I could – including web designers, photographers, & entrepreneurs – so that only the best version of this would be made available!

So far, it's available as a digital download through my Etsy shop (you can find it here!). And just for you, take 20% off your download price with the code FREE20 (expires 4/30/16).

I would love to do a physical version, but we wouldn't be able to make it into a physical book unless we Kickstarted for the money or got at least 100 pre-orders. But it's definitely a possibility for the future!

What do you think of a physical book? Should we Kickstart, pre-order, or skip it altogether?

freelancer's calendar - physical concept
freelancer's calendar inside pages


jw
jen wagner

Freelancer's Calendar printable download

Pantone 2016 Grapefruit/Floral Gin & Tonic

I'll be honest, I wasn't super excited about the 2016 Pantone colors when they first came out. But I do love pretending to be a mixologist, and enough messing around with some beautifully-colored mixers created this stunner!

Pantone 2016 Grapefruit/Floral Gin & Tonic

It's been my goal this week to get creative with this year's colors, and - I must say - they make for quite a delicious drink. Check out the recipe below and enjoy this slow sipper with a side of spring sunshine!


Ingredients:
.5 oz Creme de Violette
2-3oz Tonic

1 oz Gin (I used Hendrick's)
4oz Grapefruit soda (the closer to that beautiful Rose Quartz color, the better)
Rosemary (for garnish)

Directions:
• Fill tall glass with ice. Pour Creme de Violette and tonic over ice. Mix to get your cool "Serenity" blue.
• Carefully pour 1oz of gin on top of tonic mixture (this will create a barrier for your grapefruit soda to sit on, so be careful not to mix with the tonic to avoid blending later).
• Slowly pour your grapefruit soda on top of the gin to rim of glass.
• Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and enjoy!


JW
jen wagner


Pantone 2016 Grapefruit/Floral Gin & Tonic



our studio moodboard

We're getting so close to being able to really create the home studio we've wanted! Funny enough, our writing room (a place that should be super inspiring) has become the most dull room in our house. Now, 8 months later, the end is in sight and we're finally taking steps to transform a tiny second bedroom into a creative paradise. 

Here's what we're thinking: clean, minimal, desert boho (that's a thing, right?). Anyway, we can't wait to update you with the process and before/after photos in the next month or so!

music studio moodboard boho desert

our bathroom moodboard

I've been so distracted lately with the idea of redoing our downstairs bathroom. We intentionally picked low-cost options when we designed the house for that small half-bath because we knew we'd eventually want to redo it. And now that we're snowed in, I extra want to do it. 

My first step to actually making it happen is assembling a moodboard for the room. It helps me get a sense of what the finished product will feel like and helps me balance out the color options so it doesn't end up being too minimal or dry.

So, without further adieu, here is the finished moodboard for our downstairs bathroom with all the sources! I'll post renovation updates when we actually get started (hopefully soon!!).

 

jw
jen wagner

modern and minimal bathroom moodboard

1. Wall sconce from Restoration Hardware
2. Walnut mirror from Target
3. DIY sink idea | Sink from IKEA, wood from Home Depot
4. Towel ring from Restoration Hardware
5. Black hex tile from Amazon
6. Toilet paper holder from Restoration Hardware
7. White square tile from Home Depot
8. "Ocean Avenue" print from Minted
9. Vintage rug from Ebay