Archive for Wednesday, August 9, 2000

Buttons hold fair images

August 9, 2000

The 93rd annual Vinland Fair marks the 15th year Jan Nitcher has been designing buttons (and t-shirts) for the fair.

This year's design is of the fair barn, which was also the subject of the button 10 years ago.

"I included the scarecrows out in front to make it a little different, and the colors are different," said Nitcher, referring to the unique scarecrows constructed at the fair.

The button from 10 years ago sold out when a group of architects visited the fairgrounds. The 1990 button can still be purchased as part of a complete set of buttons. All of the other buttons are still available individually.

"This year is the fair building again," said Nitcher, an artist from rural Vinland. "They ran out of these and wanted to do it again."

Over the years, Nitcher said the buttons have ranged from her drawings to clip art. Subjects have included grapes (Vinland was named after a vineyard owned by the town's founder, she said), a quilt, a sheep, the tractor pull, the pet parade and other images from the fair.

"They are images of Vinland Fair events, so when you get a whole collection together, you have an idea of what happens at the fair," Nitcher said. One of her sons was the model for the pet parade, and the sheep was owned by her son. "Sometimes they are autobiographical."

Five hundred buttons are ordered every year. They end up all over the world, she said.

The buttons are $1 each. The set of 15 buttons is $10. T-shirts with the fair designs are also available.

Nitcher and her husband, Bob, run a sign and graphics business from home, Farm Fresh Graphics. They specialize in school graphics. She also works part-time as a graphic designer for the University of Kansas.

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