What happens when two local stationers give each other the challenge of creating an invitation suite based on a design of each others choosing? Amy Masand of Everly Invitations and Anika Loewen of Wedding Design By Anika did just that. Each designer created a Pinterest board for the other, with the goal of putting together an inspiration board completely out of their challengers’ usual style. The challenge board for Anika was ‘modern urban wedding’ and the challenge board for Amy was ‘modern retro wedding’. Read on to see how the finished products look and what this experience was like for each designer.
Tell me a little bit about your company and your design philosophy.
Anika: I am a freelance graphic designer moving towards primarily designing wedding stationery. I’ve been a designer for nearly 9 years, and have been doing wedding stationery for the past three years. My design philosophy is to provide unique and high quality design solutions for my clients. This is part of the reason I am drawn towards designing for weddings – each client and wedding is unique, and I get to be as creative as I want to be.
Amy: I’ve been designing for almost four years. My design style is very classic and elegant. It’s very important for me to create designs that are timeless, while always bringing a hint of the current trends into my work. I specialize in pocket folder invitations, and love figuring out how to make all the inserts harmonize from a design standpoint, while presenting all the key elements of the event to invitees. It is also important to me that the invitation design is cohesive with the event as a whole, and that it functions as both something beautiful as well as a communication tool.
Explain the design challenge and how each of you approached it.
Anika: My theme was ‘modern urban wedding’. One of the things that really drew me to this design style was the cement in a lot of the photos on the inspiration board (couples amongst skyscrapers and in urban landscapes). I was also inspired by the geometrical and strong elements. I usually go for flowery and colourful designs, so this style was certainly a challenge for me. Using geometric patterns and shapes was something new to me. I found a picture of a modern chandelier with a unique shape, and this was the inspiration for my invitation design. I decided to create a flip book with a perforated RSVP card, which was unusual for me, as I usually use layered cards and pocket folders in my designs.
Amy: My assigned theme for the design challenge was ‘modern retro wedding’, which was about as far from my normal style as you can get (thanks Anika!). When I looked at the inspiration board, I noticed lots of mixing of typography and not a lot of negative (blank) space. Since my design process often begins with colour (for example, a couple has their wedding colours selected), I also started with colour in this case. When I started researching colours, I first thought of the type of aqua blue that you would see on a classic car or on a retro sign. I though a good compliment to this colour would be a bold red. I wanted to bring a fun feel to the suite, so I added a velum (transparent) envelope and brown mixed fibre paper as some interesting details.
What would you say to a client who is trying to choose a stationer? What makes each designer unique?
Anika: First of all, stationers have their own style and point of view. This was one of the benefits of doing this challenge – going outside of my normal style & comfort zone. Each stationer has a different philosophy when it comes to paper, how he or she make their packages unique and also what kind of value they want to present to their client. I encourage my clients to contact different stationers and get quotes. One of the challenges stationers face is a client who want to DIY their invitations. There are a lot of additional costs besides purchasing paper such as printing, trimming and assembly, let alone the time to select the right papers and design, and have everything look cohesive. I am happy to try to work with a client to find a solution that fits their needs. Because of the time involved in custom design, though, you will be looking at a higher price point than ready-made options.
Amy: I think there are a lot of misconceptions that stationers face. There is a lot of competition from mass retailers. The main value that a stationer adds is their expertise when it comes to design, printing, materials and so on. When you hire a designer, you are really paying for their point of view & style. It is so important to review a designer’s portfolio. Always remember that the portfolio is a meeting point between a client and the stationer. What this means is that every design may not be what the designer would choose, but each design represents a solution that the designer was able to create with input from the couple, and bringing in their own expertise. When you are viewing the portfolio, look to see that the designs are pleasing to you visually, and observe the quality of the papers and printing. Personal compatibility is also critical when purchasing a custom product. You will be spending a fair amount of time in consultation and emailing back and forth, so make sure your stationers personal communication style works for you.
What will you take away from this design challenge?
Anika: This was so good for my personal growth as a stationer. It was more challenging than working with a client, because there were so many different directions I could have gone with the design. Compared to working with a client, where they have a certain style and colour palette, and the process is generally more streamlined. It also helped me think outside my standard way of creating invitations!
Amy: For me, the greatest value of the challenge was having someone else to reflect upon your own style. Sometimes as an artist or a creative, it is very obvious to define someone else’s style, while defining and understanding your own can be tricky. Anika and I have very different styles, which is one of the reasons we both wanted to do this challenge. This experience reinforced how important it is to be adaptable to the client, and so open to their vision. The more you can listen to the client and really understand their event, the better the final product will be.
Amy and Anika are both currently booking for summer 2016 weddings.
Contact Anika at: weddingdesignbyanika.com
Contact Amy at: www.everlyinvitations.com