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Article: How to design an ex-libris?

¿Cómo diseñar un ex-libris? - Les Tampons de Roser

How to design an ex-libris?

If you are thinking about making an ex-libris, you are in the right place. I have been making this kind of stamps for almost 10 years, and thanks to my experience in the market I can clarify the main doubts that arise in the process of creating an ex-libris. In this post I will try to clarify some common doubts.

Can ex-libris be customized with specific images or designs?

Yes, ex-libris are typically personalized with specific images or designs that reflect the owner's tastes, interests or personality. 

In fact, personalization is one of the main features of ex-libris. In my store all ex-libris are personalized, some with just the name of the ex-libris owner and others custom made from what the reader has asked me for. The design can also be created by the owner himself or by an artist hired for that purpose. 

In most cases, the designs include the name of the owner of the ex-libris, along with an image representing his or her hobby or profession.

Do ex-libris have to be designed by a professional artist?

Not necessarily. Although some ex-libris owners prefer to hire professional artists to design their ex-libris, it is also common for people to create their own designs, even if they have no prior artistic experience.

Some people create their designs using graphic design programs or freehand drawing, while others prefer to use images or symbols that can be easily reproduced, or that are already created in a file base. In my workshop I usually adapt designs that people create so that the stamp is perfect, with the idea that the owner had in mind. 

The important thing in the design of an ex-libris is that it represents in some way the owner of the stamp, reflecting his personality, interests or profession. Therefore, the value of an ex-libris is not necessarily in the artistic quality of the design, but in its personal meaning for the owner and in its rarity or historical or cultural relevance. 

Custom ex-libris stamp

How can I design my own ex-libris?

There are many ways to design a personalized ex-libris. Here are some suggestions on how you can create your own design:
Draw freehand: you can freehand draw a design that reflects your interests, hobbies or profession. If you don't feel confident in your drawing skills, you can find an image or drawing and trace it or send me your first sketch that I will adapt without any problems.
Use graphic design programs: If you have graphic design skills, you can create your design using programs like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or Canva. There are many design templates available online to help you get started.
Use digital images: You can use digital images that represent your interests, such as photographs of places you have visited, illustrations of animals or images related to your profession, or send them to me so I can adapt them to create your seal.
Hire an artist: If you are a big fan of an artist's work you can always try to get in touch with them and hire them to create a design for you. If you like my style of illustration remember that you can ask me, I have been doing custom stamps for more than ten years.
If you don't know how to get inspired, you can always start by looking at a bank of customizable ex-libris like ours, and choose a design that you like. If it is one of my designs I can add your name or your initials so that you can have your own ex-libris. 
Remember that the design of your ex-libris should be personalized and reflect your interests or personality. Think about including a graphic resource, your name, initials or any other text you want. Contact me so that I can advise you on your custom bookplate.


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