What to Expect When Working With an Invitation Designer

1 Nov

Inv2Emmaline Lamond from letterpress stationery designers Coco Press guest posts this week about how to get the best result when creating your wedding invitations with a professional designer.

So you’re knee deep in wedding plans… or maybe it feels like you’re in it up to your neck? So many choices, so much inspiration… how to choose? Today I want to help make one of those decisions a little easier. I want to talk to you about working with a wedding stationery designer and what to expect through the design process – besides great invites, of course!

As a letterpress stationery designer myself I have experience working with couples to help them to create their perfect wedding stationery. I have to say that, from my experience, the key to achieving the wedding invitations of your dreams is choosing the right designer in the first place.

Step 1 – Choosing a Designer:
Do your research. Its easy to do nowadays, as everyone has a website or at the very least a Facebook page or Etsy shop promoting their work. Spend some time getting familiar with these sites, and get a feeling for what’s out there, and what you like and don’t like.
Look for a designer whose work reflects your vision for your wedding. Keeping it formal? Look for a designer who creates beautiful formal invitations. Trying to make a statement or want something a little different for your wedding? Look for a designer whose previous work speaks to you. This way you are more likely to choose someone who understands your vision for your wedding.
Consider your communication style. Do you prefer to meet face to face? If so, you might like to find a designer who lives nearby. Or are you happy communicating via email, Skype and phone? Well, in that case, the world is your oyster, baby! You will feel comfortable working with a designer who lives down the street or across the globe.

Inv1Step 2 – Initial Consultation:
So you have chosen a designer, exchanged a few emails, maybe had a brief chat over the phone, and now you are off to meet up for the first time. What now?
Come prepared. Bring some inspiration; if you already have a definite idea of what you would like your invites to look like, great! Bring some reference pics, sketches, or whatever you can. Not quite sure how you want your invites to look? Don’t worry, you can still provide inspiration! Think colour swatches, pictures of your dress or bridesmaid dresses, a photo of your ceremony location… basically anything that will help your designer understand more about you and your wedding.
Ask questions. Get a quote, find out how long the design process will take, if you can make changes to the design down the track, how many free design changes are included in the quote, if your invites can be customised with guest names, how long until you get your finished invites, and so on. You get the idea: ask every question you can think of! This process helps to ensure you and your designer are on the same page.
Provide information. As a basic, I like to get the following information from my couples: date of wedding, when you would like to post the invites to your guests, how many invites you will require, if you want extras (like RSVP cards and save the dates), information you want on your invitations, and finally the size of your invitations. Specifically as a letterpress designer, I also need to know how many colours you would like as this also affects cost. I often get all this information confirmed prior to completing final quotes in case of changes.
Remember you are building a relationship with your designer, so take your time: have a coffee or a glass of wine, relax, and chat about your wedding. I know I love hearing all about weddings; it helps me make a connection with the couple, and most importantly it gets me inspired to design something truly amazing.

Inv3Step 3 – Communication:
I tend to only need one face-to-face meeting with a client; after that I stay in contact via email, phone and text, and I also like to send progress pics during the printing progress. This communication forms the bulk of the designer/client relationship and can proceed something like the following (remember things may progress slightly differently with your chosen designer).

This process will include a lot of back and forth between you and your designer to finalise the following points:
Final price of your stationery package.
Final wording of your invites.
Final design of your stationery.
Delivery date of your invitations.

Remember these are your invitations for your big day; so don’t be afraid to speak up during the design process. If you’re not happy with something or you want to make changes, make sure you communicate these to your designer, though it is important to do this before the design process progresses beyond the point of change.

I hope this helps you to better understand the design process and to choose the right stationery designer for you, so that you end up with beautiful wedding stationery you will treasure as a keepsake for years to come!

Fox AvatarEmmaline is a printmaker who lives and creates beside the seaside in Mornington, Victoria, and who specialises in linocut and letterpress art and paper ephemera. She does all her printmaking in her home studio on her vintage printing presses. A self-taught printmaker, Emmaline tends to stay away from traditional stationery designs, preferring to create quirky original art, cards and invitations. Heavily influenced by the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, her style also references vintage inspiration resulting in a unique point of view that she translates into each new project she tackles. Visit www.cocopress.com.au or follow Coco Press on Twitter.

(Images supplied by author.)

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