I’ve dealt with hanging banners from my tent at the beginning of every festival, and taking them down at the end of every festival, for long enough.
I’ve always dreamed of getting a Raj Tent, but since I have neither limitless funds nor an army of strong people following me around to my festivals to help set up these oldschool not-pop-up-at-all tents, it is not the best choice for me.
I thought about getting one of those fancy Italian Master Tents with the hexagonal frames and fancy awesome features. I almost went for it, really I did. It has has a cool place to put a flag at the top of it, making it the most visible tent from the farthest away. Yes, I was almost sold. But what if part of it breaks, and I have to wait for a new part to come (maybe from Italy)? What if they go out of business, and I can never get replacement parts again? Also, what if I don’t really think it’s worth it to put down all that extra money, when the next best thing is not *so* much worse?
So then I came back to my good-ol’ standby company, who I’ve been buying tents from for years. EZ-Up tents, once you know to buy the real ones (Commercial or Professional grade, never ever ever recreational grade), will last for years and years. There’s really nothing wrong with them. They aren’t sexy and they aren’t fancy and special and awesome, but they totally work.
Plus, since they really are the industry standard, accessorizing them is super easy. Everyone assumes your tent is probably an EZ-Up when they try to sell you custom created side walls, half walls, railings, flags, banners, etc, etc, etc. Sure, they can probably fit the accessories to whatever tent you’ve got. But it’ll probably cost you, or it won’t fit quite right, or, or or…
So I’m going with the ol’ standby.
And now I’ve got to get to the task of designing it.
I imagine you’ve found this blog post because you’re thinking along the same lines as me. You want to design this baby yourself. While it’s no Raj Tent or fancy Italian job, it’s not small peanuts either. This is a big investment. And if you’re going to invest this much, it had better be good. And if you want something done right, and you’re an artist with some graphic design experience, chances are you’re going to like the end results best if you do it yourself.
So you need to design an awesome tent top.
Step one – make it functional. The whole point of getting a printed tent top is to never deal with hanging and taking down banners ever again. Your tent has to be your banners. It needs to be super legible. It needs to scream “THIS IS WHAT THIS TENT IS ABOUT” from as far across the festival as the eye can see.
So, for me, that means finding a way to write “henna” on the tent as big as I possibly can.
While I could go all crazy and come up with clever ways to do it using all of the peak (the triangular part) and all of the valance (the rectangular part in the front) space, I’ve got a deadline to get this done by, and I’m not feeling quite that creative. (Perhaps you can tell that, by the way I am procrastinating on this by writing, rather than just going for it…)
So what I have decided I really need is a font that will fill up as much of the width of the valance as possible, without looking ugly or ridiculous.
Finding the right font, or, more probably, designing it from scratch, is going to be the biggest, first hurdle to get over in designing this tent.
So, I made this template page. Unlike other templates out there, it’s not the peak and valance together. It’s just a whole bunch of valances. So that you can sketch, resketch, tweak, and vigorously cross out multiple versions of your design all on the same page, without wasting tons of paper.
And that’s why I’m writing this blog post. To share the template for designing the valance of a custom-printed EZ-Up tent.
So here you go.
Here’s a JPG, as a preview:
But what you really want is this PDF: EZ-Up Tent Valance Template – PDF