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How to design wedding stationery: a step-by-step guide

As a freelance Artist/Illustrator, I create artwork for use in many areas of the art and design industry. More recently, I have received requests for bespoke Wedding Stationery.

I began by working on invites for people by creating a design, printing it to size on water colour paper, cutting and sticking to cards myself. All the companies I had approached didn’t print on anything other than shiny, glossy papers, which just didn’t fit or enhance my work whatsoever! However, hours spent printing, scoring, cutting, and sticking hundreds of pieces of paper together resulted in lots of paper cuts, a floor full of wasted scraps and the slight fear that I was becoming a card-making robot!

I eventually stopped being stubborn and researched a few more printing options. I was delighted to find printed.com used a much more exciting range of papers and saved me many hours of labouring, even from having to choose and order all my envelopes separately. This leaves the focus purely on the design and hands the responsibility of the final finish over to the professionals!

Now my approach isn’t limited by printing — couples are free to create a design that can be adapted to their personal style. My most recent clients are planning a classic, laid back day with a vintage twist. The bride-to-be requested black and white from the start, with the emphasis on delicate lace and a font that felt hand-scripted and personal.

My ideas at this early stage evolved from complete scribbles and manic note writing (often random words which I question the meaning of afterwards!). I usually form an image in my head from listening to the client describe the details of their day; the setting, the flowers, the music etc. translating this into a size and format of their choice.

 

Once the frenetic attempt at trying to get all the images in my mind onto paper before they run away is over, I begin to neaten up the elements which I like and feel will work for the design.

I have started creating text and decorative pieces separately these days, to allow lots of room for playing with layouts. There is nothing worse than drawing up a design to the exact size and format, only to feel disappointed that you didn’t leave a little more space, or draw that flower slightly more to the left! Correcting these little things is much easier for me if the design is in bite-sized chunks.

I then scan in all these parts of the image and begin to arrange them in the chosen size. Postcard style formats are a popular choice recently, working well for almost any type of invite. I make a template of this size using Photoshop and then begin to piece together my scans in the arrangements I had originally sketched out.

I usually play around with many options at this stage to make sure I have considered everything, only to almost always go back to my original plan anyway!

Once I have a design that I am pleased with, I will send it out to the client for approval. When given the go-ahead I create a PDF of the design ready for printing. printed.com make this part very easy by providing templates with each of their formats, thankfully, as I still seem to struggle with simple concepts such as adding a bleed after hours of editing and drinking too much tea.

 

All that is left to do is upload to printed.com with one click and wait for the postman!

And here they are, ready to present to the happy couple….

 

The paper we chose for Alex and Doug’s invitations was Tintoretto Gesso. I have used this for almost all my projects so far as the texture and weight lends itself very well to my drawing and painting. It keeps its shape well in the post and feels like a keepsake piece, ready to display on the mantelpiece. I can’t wait to try out some of the other new luxury papers printed.com has just launched too!

Jasmine Foster is a freelance artist and illustrator. You can find out more about Jasmine and her work by visiting http://www.jasminerebecca.com/


Comments

Cherry Sealed
28 Nov 2013 21:32
They are beautiful, job well done!
Alex Wilkie
29 Nov 2013 10:24
terrific
And a great insight into designing

thanks
David Brookes
29 Nov 2013 15:02
Great tips, I also design wedding invitations and highly recommend the tintoretto gesso card.
Stepehen Mark
29 Nov 2013 16:36
Nice little blog, enjoyed the points.Thanks
Wraggamuffins
01 Dec 2013 02:11
Great post! Thanks for sharing
Cheryl Anne Adamos
03 Dec 2013 12:56
These are fantastic ideas! Inspired to start using printed.com more to help me print my art work into greetings cards and postcards!
Kitty P
15 Feb 2014 16:32
Beautiful design and useful tips re paper choice. Very inspired to start designing my own invites!
Barbara
24 Feb 2014 15:31
Lovely invites. Tintoretto Gesso is a lovely card stock.
Stuart Glegg
16 Jan 2015 08:17
Great post, there's some great resource on here

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