How ready are we to celebrate now that winter is officially over and event season ready for kick-off? The outdoors beckons us. It’s landscape shifts to renewed green footing, with branches overhead opening to buds and scented blossoms, bulbs pushing steadily through the soil and songbirds trumpeting joyfully, lifting us out of our slumber. The event season beckons too and with that our couples and clients are announcing their celebrations and inviting their most beloved ones to join them.
So, what’s on my minds aside from a million details to get them to their day?
I N V I T A T I O N S
Although working alongside of our clients on the planning and management of their event is our primary objective, we pride ourselves in focusing on printed and often, handcrafted details, starting with an invitation suite that reflects their personal style, their event vision, and their budget. We believe that the first impression a guest receives in a beautifully crafted envelope with the perfectly appointed postage stamp (and hopefully their names elegantly handwritten in ink with a calligraphy quill), should be opened with delight and express all that is to come along on the celebration day with a heartfelt sense from the couple that says...
“You are special to us, and we would be honored to share our day with you!”
The conversation begins with Digital vs. Print
Getting our clients focused on their guest outreach, starts with the pros and cons of digital verses mailed invitations. If our clients want to communicate digitally, they will most likely use their wedding website or software designed specifically to send and track. Great options for this DIY, eco and budget friendly invite process that also saves production and mailing time are Paperless Post, Evite and Punchbowl, to name a few. If clients cherish paper and tradition as much as we do, we talk about the variety of options available in creating a suite—a collection of cards that are mailed together to invite your guests to your celebration, be it a wedding, mitzvah or milestone.
A suite typically contains all or a combination of these elements:
Defining the Direction
As a designer over the course of my career, I am well versed in the many ways to work through a creative process be it wholistically or in combination with other resources. Understanding our clients personally and their end goals, allow me to guide this process seamlessly.
We begin with identifying their...
Design Processes & Options
1 | Stationary Lines
Not every client wants or needs to start from scratch in terms of design, even though we are ready and eager to work from a clean slate. They may find it easier and more convenient to focus on stationary lines that exist and ones in which they can add customization. We work with several lines to offer these options and also partner with local stationary shops that have more extensive collections with a broader range of styles. There are also online options that allow clients to build out their suites based on designer created stock art and who can also offer some customization with their lines. Minted, Zazzle, Shutterfly and The Knot, are among a few. If this is a path that our clients take, we support their process in an advisory and resourcing role to ensure that they land comfortably in budget and styling.
2 | Illustration Artists
Researching a perfect fit can be time consuming. There are event-focused artists that can work directly with clients or planners to create custom watercolors, collages and line art. They have a process that guides from organizing the plan, through custom execution to printing and imprinting guest names. Each artists has a their own particular style and strength. We can work with clients in resourcing the perfect fit and once the process is underway, we are on the sidelines to assist with proofreading, scheduling, and making sure all the details have been addressed graphically.
3 | DIY
For clients that have the ability, talent, time, desire or simply need to cut costs, we applaud their willingness to take on the challenge of creating their own suites. We are always happy to act in an advisory role, offering proof reading and making recommendations on stock and processes.
4 | Our In-house Design Studio @ Your Event | Paula Smith Designs Inc.
Visit Paula Smith Designs Inc. Portfolio
I have personally spent my career designing both graphics and packaging for retail and wholesale high end markets. I understand the level of details it takes to make an impression and to align with a client’s vision. With a range of illustrator resources, a keen understanding of typography, the ability to resource uniquely curated detailing, I am comfortable starting with a blank slate, and taking the process through to production processes that elevate, be it embossing, letterpress, die cutting and utilizing unique closure with materials such as ribbon, wax seals (or other less traditional methods) and of course, incorporating the art of writing, hand lettered calligraphy throughout the suite.
We pride ourselves with knowledge, resources, and the ability to create bespoke suites. Extending a customized design that originates with a suite and carries the theme through to other elements is a luxury and an artist-planner’s dream project.
The Line Extension
Once invitations are on their way to guests, we expand the conversation to the line extension. How do we carry the aesthetic from the invitation suite regardless of how we arrived at the design (stationary line, illustration artist, DIY or in-house creative) and extend graphics and production methods to other components that will be used for guest welcomes through restroom hospitality baskets? With care, consideration, intention, strategy and technical wizardry.
Some of these are optional, some are required, and it has much to do with each couple’s vision and how their unique day is being presented. Whichever path they chose to arrive at their invitation suite, we are well versed in leveraging design and extending through the components so that the collection is unified and cohesive throughout all visual art components.
Have a peek at some of the creative fun we've had mirroring our client's celebration with ink & paper...
We’d love to start a conversation even if you are not one of our event clients.
Partnering directly with couples who have DIY events in the works or are working with a planner are just as welcomed. If you feel we can support this creative aspect of your event, we'd be delighted
for you to be "our" studio guest.
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Wishing you all the best as your celebrations unfold!
May they be filled with all the details that make each guest truly feel like your guest of honor.
Video: Courtesy of Marjorie's Letters
A true talent with a huge heart, a creative colleague and exceptional artist, who is cut from the same cloth as I am--
loving and committed to the art of hand lettering and personal correspondence with paper, pen and a good old fashioned stamp. I adore her!
Event Planner & Designer