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Inside Gumtoo

  • How to Design Temporary Tattoos

    From Cracker Jack prizes to fashion accessories, temporary tattoos have a varied history. Non-permanent ink has now made its debut on the red carpet at the Met Gala and on the runway of New York Fashion Week. This renaissance has brought temporary tattoos into the adult world. Even Beyonce has been seen sporting a metallic-inked armband now and again. There is magic in something temporary, quirky, and just plain fun.

    metallic-fake-temporary-tattoo-jewelry Metallic temporary tattoos can be used as a fashion statement in lieu of jewelry and other accessories. Designed by Ori Chalbaud for Gumtoo.

    Businesses are using temporary tattoos as a means of engaging their customers in new, innovative ways. There are even brick-and-mortar temporary tattoo shops. Gumtoo, a Singapore-based company, has made temporary tattoos its entire world. Pranjal Taneja, founder of Gumtoo, has noticed an increase in retail and e-commerce stores selling temporary tattoos, an explosion of designs, and many new ideas emerge in the last several years.

    "We have seen innovative products coming to market — from metallic temporary tattoos used as a beautiful beach accessory, to perfumed tattoos that emit fragrance when applied, to glow-in-the-dark tattoos that literally light-up your night parties," Pranjal says.

    Other organizations, like the Irish Foundation, are using temporary tattoos as a means of brand and social activation, running campaigns around temporary tattoos in order to raise funds.

    irish_foundation_heart_custom-temporary-tattoo For each donation made to The Irish Heart Foundation's "Show Some Heart" campaign, donors received a temporary tattoo.

    The best part of temporary tattoo design may just be that anyone, no matter your design expertise, can dive in and create beautiful projects. Here's how to get started.

    Digitizing your tattoo designs 

    You can use any number of materials and techniques to create the original tattoo design. Some designers like to sketch out ideas with paper, pencil, and pen. Others prefer to hop into an application like Adobe Illustrator and draw or paint a project digitally. No matter how you choose to start your design, in order to get your tattoos printed, the final product must be digital.

    If you favor creating your artwork on paper first, we recommend using a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to achieve the best digital results.

    1. Scan your artwork and bring it into Photoshop, or use Adobe Capture to auto-scan and bring directly into a Creative Cloud library.
    2. Use either "Brightness/Contrast" or Levels adjustments to increase the contrast of the image and make your lines really pop.
    3. Move your design into Illustrator. Use Image Trace to trace the object and create a clean tracing.


    Add or adjust color 

    After you have a clean tracing, you can add or adjust your color directly in Illustrator. When designing temporary tattoos especially, considering color and how it will look against skin tones is important to make a design "pop."

    "Even if you want to use a color as the base that matches a specific tone, put a thick outline around the design," says Pranjal. "When using metallic colors, try to use at least two contrasting colors — like metallic gold and black — for maximum impact."

    gumtoo-lion-temporary-tattoos-with-and-without-tattoos In this example, you can see how the outline will make the yellow pop on lighter skin tones. Designed by Agata Krolak for Gumtoo.

    As you look for color inspiration, two tools will prove particularly useful. The first is the Color Guide panel, which can be opened from the window drop-down menu. The Color Guide panel allows you to pick one color and see several color story options based on your choice. It will display several options of complementary colors, analogous colors, or even just different ways to look at how other color choices would go with the color you’ve selected.

    The second tool is the Recolor Artwork tool found in the Properties panel. This tool is a great way to experiment with many different color options and compare your results. Simply select your tattoo artwork and click “Recolor.” You can try new color combinations (even ones you discovered through the Color Guide Panel) and even make the whole design darker or lighter. Just be sure to save the original artwork and any versions you might want to revisit as you go.

    Line weight

    Another important consideration when designing tattoos is line weight. “Designers can create intricate designs,” says Pranjal. “But make sure to use denser lines and strokes as colors will be more visible.” Some designers utilize Illustrator as a way to create graphics and adjust line weights, but even if you’ve created your design by hand, there are tools in Illustrator that can be helpful.

    The first is a tool called “Select Same.” It can be found in Illustrator under the Select menu by selecting the “Same” command. You can choose the same fill color, stroke color, and stroke weight, and it selects all the line work that matches your selection. This can make it much more simple when you’re trying to adjust similar features uniformly.

    temporaryt-tattoos-by-anna-szostek Inspiration for temporary tattoos can come from many sources, like these designs that reflect the culture and nature of Poland. Designed by Anna Szostek.

    The other tool that can be useful is the Width tool. When you trace artwork in Illustrator, each line is going to be considered a shape. This tool actually allows you to select a path — a line — and stretch it so that it has a curve. By doing this, you can make it so that each of the lines become exaggerated. The Width tool is commonly used for caricatures and cartoons to give the art that signature "cartoony" feel.

    Let the consumer guide your designs 

    When designing your own temporary tattoos, there are so many different ways to begin. No matter what subject you decide on, whom you are designing for is key — and will determine a lot of design details. For example, if you are designing a temporary tattoo for kids to enjoy, designs would need to fit a young audience. Pranjal says this is typically a 2-inch-by-2-inch design.

    Nani Brunini, an illustrator who has done her fair share of tattoo designs, lets the person she is designing for inspire her concepts. "I love how playful and cheeky temporary tattoos can be for adults," she says. "And for kids, I like anything that will let their imagination soar."

    temporary-tattoo-on-kid As you design your own tattoos, keep your consumer in mind. Be as fun and as free as they are. Design by Nani Brunini.

    This flexible fun is exactly what makes temporary tattoos a great project for any designer. Anna Szostek, a Polish illustrator, offers this last, very important piece of advice: "Just do what you do best, and don't try to imitate anybody's work. It's good to think about trends and fashion, but don't let them stop your imagination."

    This article was first published on the Adobe Blog.
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  • How Gumtoo creates custom tattoo designs for brands

    Temporary tattoos are fascination and liked by almost everyone. Customised tattoos are one step ahead of the normal ones, in a way that they can actually be a representation of one’s choices, moods, personality etc.

    Gumtoo offers a vast range to customised tattoos designed with consent and approval of the brand. Many brands often use temporary tattoos side by side during their promotional events and marketing.

    The designing and manufacturing of temporary tattoos for brands by Gumtoo is a refined step by step process. The steps are elaborated below:

    First expression of the client:

    The making of custom temporary tattoo is initiated by the background of product and use of tattoos by the client. They are asked to summarise the business following by their expectations with the tattoo to be used.

    For instance, AC Ryan, one of our clients, a Dutch brand which creates products for the music and entertainment industry, summed up its plan to use tattoos.  They were keen on using a fresh design, related to Karaoke for their new launched ‘Karaoke Sound Bar.’ The product was to be showcased in a prominent trade show at Singapore where the company aimed to attract the audience with temporary tattoos as icing on the cake.


    Design Requirements:

    Brands often have their creative team, which gives the pre-requisites of their requirements in the designs. They specify the key ingredients to be used in the art form which has to be manufactured and also tells about the final message which the tattoo must convey. As in the case of AC Ryan, they made it very clear that the promotional tattoo must contain Clients logo and a Karaoke Image. The custom design had to be vibrant as the theme set by them was ‘FUN.’


    Proposal based on demand:

    Next is offering a blueprint on the basis of demand put up by the client. Gumtoo takes the client’s wishes on a very serious note and considers every minute detail while drafting tattoos. We often put up more than one proposal in front of the clients. For AC, Ryan Gumtoo came up with three exclusive design drafts which it tabled before them to choose from.


    The final selection:

    Gumtoo believes in giving its customer a privileged experience. Hence, we consult them at every step and welcome suggestions for any changes. The final design thus is a pictorial representation of the customer’s thoughts about the tattoo. The following design was finalised by AC Ryan after we added their additional suggestions to it.


    At, Gumtoo we believe in doing things the Customer’s way. ‘Celebrate Life with Gumtoo’ is our motto and we stand by it every single time. Right from the designing stages of the custom tattoo to the manufacturing ones, Gumtoo does make sure that fun never ends!!!

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  • Gumtoo in Kids India trade fair

    India is the land of surprises, even for an Indian. Kids India was Gumtoo’s second professional B2B trade fair in Asia. It took us a while to understand that trade fairs (the good ones) are the best place to meet new distributors/ retailers in a market, but on retrospect we think it is also essential that a company should reach a stage of maturity in terms of its product development before any trade fair can truly generate meaningful business leads.

    Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC)

    We flew into Mumbai on 17th September the day before the fair opens its door to visitors and first surprise began when we reached Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre at 1400 Hrs to take ownership of our booth to set it up with our display. The place was a kaleidoscope of workers, wood, display pieces, dust and chaos. Well, we knew India generally pulls off the last minute transformation (the great Indian wedding syndrome), but we truly believed its mission impossible to get the place ready in time for the start of the trade fair on 18th Sep 10am. But slowly but steadily the work progressed and by 6 pm we were hopeful that they might just pull it off. And they did in spectacular manner!

    Gumtoo booth  at Kids India trade fair Gumtoo booth at Kids India trade fair

    The next surprise was witnessing the flexibility in the Indian project management system. Well, we had asked for wooden display stands in our booth and the lighting in the booth did not actually suit the product display on them. So we gently inquired if we can replace the wooden stands with glass ones? The display contractor shook his head (which actually is a yes) and it was done in a whisker.  We were happily surprised with the ease of getting through this last minute change request!

    Professional trade fair was organized by Spielwarenmesse eG Professional trade fair was organized by Spielwarenmesse eG

    The morning of 18th Sept was when we were surprised to see the complete transformation of the venue. It was unbelievable; no one could have imagined what the place looked like a day earlier! The trade fair was a very successful one for Gumtoo. We were pleasantly surprised to get lots of footprints in our booth and we practically interacted with potential retailers, distributors and collaborators through out the trade fair without a break!

    Kids India trade fair Talking to retail prospects in Kids India trade fair.

    Kids India 2014 was organized by Spielwarenmesse eG, who are one of the most professional and experienced trade fair organizers in the world. In our conversation with them, we understood that they also have accepted “The Indian Way”. All in all, it was a memorable experience and we would love to visit Kids India again sometime in Future!

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  • Project - Gumtoo Tattoo Comics

    SOS whale temporary tattoos comics Gumtoo Comics - Nautical

    We got a very interesting mail one day -   “I'm not a designer  I'm not professionally trained, and neither do I possess the natural talent that transforms plain white paper into pieces of art. I however, have a burning passion for design and would just like to unabashedly try to wriggle my drawings into the awesome temporary tattoo lands of Gumtoo.“

    This was Chow Liying.  After looking at her work (The Little Great Realizations) we realized that she has a great quality of combining doodles and intelligent content. I met Liying and she was very keen on designing tattoos but I wanted her to work on something unique - Gumtoo Comics.

    The idea was to use Gumtoo's pics and doodle on them to make them fun. Liying came up with very interesting doodles.

    nautical whale temporary tattoos comics Gumtoo Comics - Nautical
    Alien Space Temporary Tattoo Comic Gumtoo Comics - Outer Space
    joker party temporary tattoos comics Gumtoo Comics - Party Joker
    elephant party temporary tattoos comics Gumtoo Comics - Party Elephant
    alien angel space temporary tattoos for kids Gumtoo Comics - Outer Space

    Check out more Gumtoo comic pics here

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  • Setup your own Temporary Tattoo Booth - Gumtoo DIY Kit

    DIY Temporary Tattoo Booth Kit for kids birthday parties Happy Birthday - DIY Tattoo Booth Kit

    “I am last in the queue” were the words of the kid standing in a long queue to get his face painted at his best friend’s Birthday Party. It was only after 45 minutes that the kid was happily running with the Spider Man painted face.

    That was the eureka moment! "Why not create a kit that could be used to set up a temporary tattoo booth?" It’s should be fun, easy to setup and most importantly economical.

    To test our hypothesis we launched the Party Box online (Read the beta PartyBox launch post). Four months into the beta and the sales were good. Parents loved the idea and asked us if they could buy the Party Boxes in the retail stores.

    We would like to introduce Gumtoo Party Box. It’s a complete DIY kit to set up your own temporary tattoo booth. The party box contains

    • 20 themed temporary tattoos
    • 1 Bunting banner
    • 10 Cotton balls for applying tattoos

    I wish we could also include water in the box :)

    Nautical DIY Temporary Tattoo Booth Kit Gumtoo's designers showcased on the Party Box packaging
    Tattoo Booth Bunting Banner Bunting Banner made from premium craft paper is included in the Party Box


    Soft Launch of Party Box Party Box launch at the Mint Museum of Toys


    Tattoo Booth Bunting Banner Gumtoo team at work

    Party Box comes in 5 themes - Nautical, Animals, Space, Monsters, Happy Birthday. We would launch more themes in the coming few months.

    With the addition of Party Box to our portfolio we are working towards our vision of changing the way temporary tattoos are consumed and retailed. It feels good :)

    Which other themes would you like to see in the Party boxes.  Leave your comments in this post and let us know.

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