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I am working on a slogan for a new furniture website that will feature furniture made by different individual makers and English isn't my first language, so I was wondering if this slogan made sense:

furniture made by makers

Does that make sense? The idea behind the slogan is that it's furniture made by small makers rather than big brand furniture makers like IKEA, etc. But I didn't want to use the slogan furniture made by small makers.

Is this an acceptable and understandable and acceptable usage? My concern is that obviously big companies are also makers.

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    Hand-crafted furniture, Furniture made by craftsmen, Furniture crafted by artisans, etc. As it stands, I find "furniture made by makers" a bit weak (and redundant).
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 16:55
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    It gives the same feeling as "food cooked by cooks": it invites the question "who else would make furniture, if not makers?"
    – oerkelens
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 17:08
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    It doesn't grow on trees. Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 17:14
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    It makes sense in the same way food grown by farmers works in narrow contexts. On one hand, all growing of food is done farming, but on the other, most people exclude industrial-scale, corporate-managed agricultural operations from their image of it. The conceit of food grown by a farmer is that it is grown by a yeoman or homesteader. Similarly, if your audience interprets a maker as someone other than a manufacturer or other industrial "maker," it could work, but I agree with Dan that maker has no strong associated imagery, so it is weak for a slogan.
    – choster
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 17:29
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    The term makers seem to me to be too generic, too vast, and too impersonal. If your intention is to say something akin to "small is beautiful" and "Smaller equals greater care and attention" I don't think your slogan fits.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 18:06

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All furniture is made by someone - even if it's produced in a factory (possibly in China) by mass production methods. The only furniture NOT produced by someone would be an objet trouve; some suitably shaped piece of rock or timber lugged in to be used as a chair, table or some other article of domestic furniture.

Dan Bron is absolutely right:

"Hand-crafted furniture, Furniture made by craftsmen, Furniture crafted by artisans, etc."

HOWEVER:

"As it stands, I find 'furniture made by makers' a bit weak (and redundant)."

is totally untrue!

"A bit weak", it is not "a bit weak", it is not even weak! It is pusillanimous, flaccid to the point of being almost meaningless. This is ADVERTISING we are talking about. Being "weak" in advertising is inexcusable and, I'm sorry, 'furniture made by makers' falls well below being merely 'weak'.

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  • Do you work in the advertising trade, perhaps? (You should put your two cents in on "hype job".)
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 18:03
  • Thank you very much. That was very helpful. I'm back at the drawing board now! :) Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 20:26
  • @user1227914 - Here's a tip. read up on the Arts & Crafts movement (c:1870-1920) which was a reaction to the "Machine Age" of the C19th. Lots of good names to bandy about - William Morris, Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Liberty's. Here's a quote to start you off (I pinched it from The History Today Who's Who in British History): "---Morris's dream of a society 'in which...all were good handcraftsmen in some kind & the dishonour of manual labour [was] done away with altogether'", when commerce was made for man rather than man for commerce
    – dmk
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 14:52
  • @user1227914 The slogan of Morris & Co. was, 'Fine Art Workmen in Painting, Carving, Furniture & the Metals' - but you have to remember, this was in 1869. Another place you should look is: gordonrussellmuseum.org/gordon-russell.aspx Russell, born in 1892, started with Arts & Crafts, applied those skills to mass production in the '30s, & Utility Furniture during WW2 to, eventually, become Director of (what became) the Design Council. What I'm trying to get you to develop is a language which tells the value/tradition/romance of manufacture & design. Difficult in a SmallAd
    – dmk
    Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 14:03

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