Free Vintage Labels?

by Julia Hummel

iDiY, ‘I do’ it yourself. A website designed for “do it yourself” projects. I came across a page on the site with ‘free’ vintage labels. I wasn’t sure what to think when I read ‘free’. First I navigated my way through this page looking at the very attractive vintage labels. Perhaps I was attracted to these labels because I really enjoy the vintage look. However, each of the these labels is creative,  has beautiful typefaces, and classy ornementation. I really enjoy the idea of have these beautifully designed vintage labels for homemade products. These labels could be very useful to those who make their own pickled beats, or even homemade jam. However what does this word ‘free’ exactly mean? I wasn’t sure, so I clicked on the link where one could receive these free labels and sure enough there is a pdf provided with the design. However I don’t agree with the notion of giving these beautiful designs away for free. I think this is a very innovative and creative idea that could have potential of being very successful. It astonishes me that someone is giving away their designs and ideas as a ‘freebie’. As a designer I appreciate the work that went into the design of these labels, however how can the regular consumer appreciate the work, creativity, and effort put into these designs if they are just perceived as ‘freebies’. Sometimes these ‘freebies’ could be  a way of getting your work and talent our there making other products more sellable. However I think sometimes this ‘strategy’ ends up working against us, it devalues the importance of Graphic Design work. I know for a fact, my mom as a cook and baker, would be interested in purchasing these designs so that she could label her homemade goods in a classy way. I do enjoy the idea of providing people with ideas, and inspiration for ‘do it yourself’ projects, however at a cost that will benefit you as well. Perhaps this website provides this designer with compensation for her ideas, or maybe not? Something to think about.