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Art Licensing by artist Joan Beiriger: I'm happy to share art licensing info but please
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Licensing Art to the Paper Partyware Industry

Licensing art for the paper partyware industry (also called paper tableware) is viable even though many of the images on the products are sport and entertainment brands. But before contacting a potential licensee, an artist must do her/his homework and make sure that the art style and subject fits the manufacturer's product line. For instance, if the art style is fun and playful and images for children, it is not likely that the artist will get a deal with a manufacturer that specializes in elegant designs for formal occasions. Hint: If a manufacturer does not show many examples of their products on their website, google their name to find retail stores carrying their products.

Look at the manufacturer website to see what themes they have in their product line. Do they only use art for nonspecific occasions, for several special occasions, or for a whole gamut of themed parties (luau, baby shower, wedding, patriotic, summer fun, sports, fiesta, etc.) and holidays (New Years / Mardi Gras, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, 4th of July, etc. It is best to only submit designs that fit in the categories the manufacturer already carries. Also, an artist has a better chance in getting a deal if the work is a collection of art, already formatted for product shapes, and converted into digital product mock-ups. The image at the top of this article show mock-ups of partyware (plates, napkins and cup) that was created digitally in Adobe Photoshop. Read "Photoshop Tip - Making Mockups Look Realistic" to see how the plate mock-ups were created.

Paper Partyware manufacturers generally want art that:
1. is in collections of cohesive designs for their products such as a small (about seven inch) round plate, a larger (about nine inch) round plate, a square napkin, and a cup. Note: Most manufacturers produce round plates but some also produce square. And some manufacturers produce napkins that are long and narrow instead of square.

To make the collection more appealing, the same piece of art should not be used for each product shape. For instance, the small plate should have different art than the large plate but the art needs to complement one another. See the image at the top of this page. It illustrates a cohesive collection of candle art using different images with the same icons. Hint: Get a better chance in signing a contract by going an extra step. Add additional images to the collection so manufacturers can choose among a variety of images.

2. is in themes and colors that are popular with consumers. Most party themes use bright and bold colors with some exceptions such as for weddings, baby showers, and formal occasions.

3. the artist is willing to edit (change colors, remove icons, reformat) to the manufacturer specifications.

Paper Partyware Manufacturers:

Caspari - Some artists say that Caspari licenses art.  But many of Caspari's products has © Caspari, Inc. by "artist name" printed on them. Thus, they may buy all rights to the art and not license it.

Creative Converting

CR Gibson 

Design Design


Read more articles about manufacturers under the Topics section on the side bar.

I welcome any comments and additions to the manufacturer list. Please click on comments section to write your comment.


  1. Great article Joan.. I was just going through the May issue of Giftware News that I picked up at Surtex and I've been telling myself to focus on the market recently. Timing couldn't have been better. Thanks.

  2. Thanks Joan! I really like your candle party designs. Best of luck with them!

  3. Thanks Joan
    You must be very successful. Your work is very fresh, colorful and suitable to partyware plus you have the saavy to license well. I did get a deal with Creative Converting for the Fall that I am thrilled to have. It has pumpkins, baskets and fall leaves with pine cones. It's not often they use photo-real so I am thrilled. Best

  4. Thank you for posting such a helpful article about how to submit to partyware companies.

  5. Thank you for the excellent common sense advice. I'm now a new subscriber.

  6. Thank you Joan for the always very useful editorials. I was just looking at partyware the other day, as part of my research into art licensing. Love your designs, too!