Cigar bands come in many sophisticated colors and designs that are intricately worked, emblazoned with long dead business logos and famous personalities. Starting in the early 1800�s, cigar bands were used by manufacturers as a way to differentiate their brand of cigar from another and to tell the buying public that the authenticity of the product was guaranteed.
Manufacturers poured much work and talent into showing that the quality of the design translated into the quality of the cigar, hoping that this combination would spell massive sales, because surely, a cigar wrapped so intricately and fabulously styled must be indicative of a product of the highest quality.
On a commercial level, with the advent of cigar band designing we see the early genius of marketing via a branded design that spoke visually to a population that oftentimes could not read, yet were able to remember these stunning and remarkable designs and thus became loyal customers of one brand versus another. It is unclear how and at what time the cigar band became synonymous with the band of labeling used for handmade soaps. Regardless of the time this practice started, it has sustained its momentum and modern day soap makers all know that the term cigar band refers not to the labeling for cigars but refers to the band of labeling used on soaps.
The remarkable thing about soap cigar bands is that there are limitless design possibilities, that as a cost to soap makers it is negligible, and that even without fancy equipment one has the ability with simple desktop publishing and graphics tools to produce a finishing to a product that is both professional and cost effective to make.
Practically speaking though, a cigar band does more than hold a bar of soap in a decorative wrap--cigar bands are labels, which can have as much information as one wants. Oftentimes though, cigar bands highlight the wonderful ingredients the soap bar contains, and is not limited to actual ingredients but can be sublime, telling a story and creating an aura around the humble soap product.
Below are instructions to make soap cigar bands in Microsoft Publisher. The sample bar to the left is the actual label made using that template. See below for links to graphic and paper sources.
Materials and software programs:
card stock paper sized 8.5� X 11� � color wheat or kraft
1. Open Microsoft Publisher and create a new file � FILE_NEW_BLANK_PUBLICATIONS_FULLPAGE
2. Change view to landscape
3. Set layout guides
4. Set grid guides � Setting grid guides will help you to center the elements on the page correctly, e.g. logo/graphics, ingredient list, and other additional information
COLUMN_5 (OR 4 depending on the width of the cigar bands)
SPACING_0.2� (This allows 0.2 inches of space between each cigar band)
5. View boundaries and guides
VIEW_BOUNDARIES AND GUIDES
6. Insert pictures and text. Once picture is inserted in file, you may resize and reposition it. If you are not certain where the picture should go, then insert it anyway and print out a test page to see the layout of the cigar band elements and how those elements may be altered to suit your needs.
INSERT PICTURE_FROM FILE
7. Once picture is inserted and positioned correctly, copy picture and paste it in the other four boxes. Edit font size, type and color and enter text into text box.
8. View print view to make sure all the graphics and text are lined up properly.
9. Save file and print out a test copy. Edit if needed.
For a fascinating view of cigar band history visit:Up in Smoke - Cigar Band Museum
Click Here to download sample cigar band template. Graphic used in template should be replaced with your own graphics. Logo in sample is created from digital brush "Remember Seals" purchased from Scrap Girls. It was purchased for commercial use and then altered.
Card stock paper can be found at your local crafts and scrapbooking store or online at The papermill. They have one of largest inventories of card stock and have great deals on bulk orders.
If you are on the west coast in Orange County, California
The Red Bee in Tustin has wonderful papers of all varieties, classes on beading and decorative paperwork and a fabulous, friendly staff willing to help you to find anything you need.