As a wedding stationery designer, I am often asked by clients and others in the industry where to start to find inspiration for a wedding stationery design.
The first thing I always say is that you have to be passionate about what you take your inspiration from, so definitely come up with a theme or design that means something to you. Although keeping an eye on trends helps you to stay commercial, picking a trend for the sake of it – when it’s not something that immediately grabs you or that you love – is never going to result in a satisfactory design.
Having said that, I am a total magpie and constantly changing my ideas about interiors, fashion and so on, so most trends do tend to appeal! I always aim to work these ideas into something more ‘Knots & Kisses’ and put my own spin on things.
Generally, my inspirations come from art, museums, gardens and fashion, and they often have a foot in the past, as I love vintage fashion and interiors.
Walking around museums or galleries can be a great way to start, as a particular painting or exhibit may click with you and get your creative juices flowing.
For example, my Sketch range of wedding stationery was inspired by a trip to the Natural History Museum. Seeing beautiful botanical and scientific illustrations made me want to create stationery with a hand-drawn motif, so I sketched out a butterfly, bird and apple as motifs to use as a header for the stationery. I also wanted to give it a rustic feel, so I layered it up and tied it with string.
Often it helps to start the design for a scheme or an invitation with a colour. Many couples who contact me for a bespoke design don’t initially have much of an idea of a theme for their wedding, but they will invariably have a colour scheme in mind.
When designing the China Blue range of stationery, my only initial intention was to design something with a blue and white colour scheme, as I felt it was a colour missing from my existing ranges. I then found more inspiration from some old vintage blue and white china I stumbled across while browsing in an antique shop, and from there the ideas for China Blue started to form. Add in the fact I was decorating a guest bedroom in exactly the same colour palette at the time and – bingo!
My other ‘go to’ place for inspiration is haberdashery shops. More often than not, a piece of floral fabric or a scrap of lace is enough to start me thinking about a design. My Country Garden range came from a scrap of floral fabric and some pink gingham ribbon that I found.
I find it’s important to always carry a sketchbook with me wherever I go! My friends are quite used to me suddenly finding inspiration for a new wedding stationery design and scrambling for my pad and paper to sketch it down before I forget. I have lots of sketchbooks filled with scribbles of designs. Many of these never become fully fledged new ranges, but they can often be great to refer to when I am designing something bespoke for a couple. You never know when something you came up with in the past may be absolutely perfect for that couple’s wedding now!
Nikki Ward is the designer & owner of Knots & Kisses Wedding Stationery. You can find more of her wedding stationery designs at www.knotsandkisses.co.uk and also buy greetings card designs from her Etsy shop.