If you follow me elsewhere on the internet, you’ll know that back at the beginning of October, I made the leap to open my Etsy Shop again. I’ve started small, and have designed two really cute desk calendars. One features penguin in all sorts of cute situations and the other is a more minimal, typographic design. Each of them sit on a little wooden easel and are a perfect addition to your desk or office, with Christmas just over a month away, they’d made an ideal stocking filler.
Alongside the Calendars, I’ve added some Christmas cards and notecards that I had left over from previous attempts at an Etsy Shop, they are reduced for now to make space for new products in the new year. Plus, you can get 10% off on orders over £10 by using the code SALE10 until the 31 December 2016!
I am so proud of these and they have been quite successful so far, in my opinion anyway. I’ve had a few attempts at running an Etsy Shop in the past and I’ve sold four times more over the last couple of months than I ever did in the previous 6 years.
When we were planning our wedding, it was without a doubt that I was going to design our Wedding Stationery. It made sense because I’m a designer and it’s something that I always assumed I’d do myself.
I did however find it quite a daunting task. They say that being your own client is the worst and combine that with being the bride as well and you have a nightmare! Well, in my case, I found it very difficult. Family and friends were telling me that I’d do an amazing job of making the whole day look amazing, but it felt like such a big task. I felt the pressure of being “the creative one” of the family and didn’t know where to start.
Choosing a “look” for our Wedding was my first hurdle. Would we have a theme? Would we have just a colour scheme? Can I find Bridesmaid dresses to match? Will it all look amazing for the photos?
Regardless of style or colour, I started the Wedding stationery design in the way that I do with every design project and that is, with pencil and paper. Being a lover of hand drawn lettering, I just started writing our names over and over and tried many different styles of ampersand. I loved that our wedding stationery gave me the perfect excuse to draw hundreds of ampersands!
Meanwhile, I decided that I wanted to design a Save the Date. Most people knew the date anyway, but being a print designer and someone who loves keeping ephemera as a memento – I just had to design a save the date! We gave them out in September for our May wedding, people started to get excited about our day and I got an idea of how people reacted to the design, especially from some of our closest friends, who are all creatives too.
Once we were happy with the way that our names looked, I brought them into illustrator and started to re-draw them. I remember spending a lot of time getting the “o” in Robert right and the leg of the “R” was troublesome. Our names became a lock-up and were carried through to most of the printed items that we used for the wedding. I decided to add some floral details into the mix and by the time we finalised the design of the invites in January, I had chosen the bridesmaid dresses. They were very floral, so after all the anxiety previously, it was all coming together nicely. I absolutely loved the style of the bridesmaid dresses and picked out a lot of the different colours in them to create the colour scheme for the whole wedding.
I then created an information sheet and created a map as part of it, just because I wanted to draw some maps and it might be useful for guests that are not familiar with the area, to know where to park etc. Hand drawn lettering had featured a lot on the main invite and the save the date, but the word that I had the biggest problem with was the word “map,” such a small word and yet so troublesome! I must have re-drawn it about ten times and tweaked it in illustrator a thousand times and after all of that, I started to doubt whether it was even spelled correctly!
The information sheet was A5 and the main invite was slightly smaller to allow them to sit together nicely in an A5 envelope, I strategically placed all of the information and a floral pattern so that the information sheet almost formed a border for the main invitation.
Once it was all checked a hundred times and printed, I collected it all together with a belly band, which had the same lock up of our names, the date and a small floral detail. I found that this was a better value solution than most of the others that I looked into. I’m a big fan of stationery and paper products but also a firm believer in keeping things simple. The belly bands were a simple way of keeping both sheets of the invites together and although they took a while to fold and put together, it was a lot less hassle than constructing each invite from scratch.
All was posted together in white envelopes with a small sticker (which was also branded with our names) and this little sticker was the one thing that most people mentioned to us as a nice detail they wouldn’t have thought of themselves.
I really enjoyed creating our wedding invitations and it is still a favourite project of mine and a project that I’m most proud of. I would really love to branch into designing wedding stationery for other couples someday and it’s something I look forward to adding to my Etsy shop in the near future.
You can see the final Wedding Invitations in my Portfolio.