CT-Designs

Friday, March 30, 2012

Fun With Wedding Stationery Folds

There are so many cute folding options out there for your wedding programs and other "day of" stationery! Want you to be aware of some commonly used folds, which should be affordable and familiar to your printer. Also, for you D.I.Y. brides, just make sure you score your stock before you fold or you will experience cracking.

The most commonly used folds...


8 page Concertina fold
From: Indigo Bunting

6 page Concertina or Z-fold
From: LCI Paper

Four page single fold
From: Etsy

8 page Concertina or double parallel fold
From: Etsy

Take care til' next time, I'll be back on Monday!
--ct



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

3 MORE Guest Book Alternatives

I shared three of these last month, but I keep seeing such cute ideas out here, had to share three more! Enjoy! --ct
Cute way for you to interact with your guests
later on an important day in THEIR life...
From: Paper-Source Blog

A little directory with blank cards so you can write a personal note
with matching bunting is stunning...
From: Gifted Occasions

Writing on puzzle pieces is a new trend... You can put the puzzle pieces
together and later frame it.
From: Bella Puzzles

Monday, March 26, 2012

Invitation Spotlight: A Marriage of Chevron and Florals

Happy Monday! Want to share a delightful coral and teal 50th Birthday celebration invitation we produced. At first you might think the peony is too much, but I think it fits right in.

Invites are coupled with envelopes featuring digital calligraphy. I think the mixing of script fonts and block fonts is interesting, can be more legible and is an adorable way to distinguish your envelopes from everyone elses.


DesireƩ Dent of Dejanae Events (collaboration on design) | Sandy Podborny of Letter Perfect Designs
made the envelopes come to life!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Boarding Pass Save the Date: Pink and Grey

Happy Friday! I am STILL executing Save the Dates! Its amazing. Wanted to share the latest... A destination wedding in December to a U.S. location. So fun. You don't have to be headed to an exotic location out of the country to employ a boarding pass. As long as you are packing a bag! Congratulations to Cara and Nathan!

Boarding Pass Save the Date in a soft pink and grey with matching #10
pink envelope by Wasau. Will make this one available on my Etsy shop soon!

Have wonderful weekends and I'll be back on Monday! Busy, busy week ahead!

Take care,
--ct


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wedding Color Inspiration: Aqua and Yellow

Working on Aqua and Yellow this week... Very soft and delicate color palette that I love. Lots of possibilities and its tough to take your eyes off it!

Shoe: blueweddingshoes.net  | Table Number: Etsy.com | Floral: WeddingBee | Tags: Etsy.com

Happy #WeddingWednesday!

Take care,
--ct


Monday, March 19, 2012

Your Wedding Envelope Return Address: A Primer

Happy Monday everyone! Hope everyone enjoyed the weekend. Time to focus once again on your event and your invitation components!

Today, I thought I'd tackle an element that, for some clients seems to be an afterthought. Your outer envelope's RETURN ADDRESS. Don't even think about NOT doing one, and labels just won't do. I know that some feel labels are just fine, but a hastily applied (and sometimes inkjet smeared) label on the back of your outer envelope will say more about your event than you want it to. If your event is important, and once-in-a-lifetime, it should look and feel that way.

To clarify, I'm not talking about Save the Dates. Those are more fun, cool, hip, etc. I am strictly talking about the formal wedding invitation. Not only should the appearance of the return address correspond to your invitation, you want to have it in case there is a breach in your guest list. The U.S.P.S. will destroy invites sent to an inaccurate address if there is no return indicated.


1. Purchase a custom rubber stamp
I can't think of a better item to invest in at the outset of your wedding planning. This address can be used on SO many items. Especially if your event has a ton of moving parts that require separate invitations and mailings, i.e the bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, etc. There are also so many different styles, readily available and simply waiting to be customized with your names and location.

Antiquiara.com
Etsy.com
Etsy.com


2. Letterpress your back flaps if you've letterpressed your invites
Letterpress return addresses are not as cost prohibitive as you think they might be. A great resource for letterpress in Chicago is Accucolor.

From: Calliespondence.com


3. Emboss your back flaps
Similar to the rubber stamps, great investment as you will use this again and again. Great thing about the embossing method is that there is no messy ink to manage.
Embosser from Paper-Source.com


Other return addressing tips...
Return address CAN feature address only

Return address with design motif/ornaments

  • Determine sooner vs. later exactly WHO will be receiving the returned envelopes. (i.e. You, the mother of the bride, the wedding coordinator, etc.)
  • If you elect not to use your first and last name with your return address, the U.S.P.S. will STILL deliver
  • Be sure to indicate suite or apartment number if you live in a multi-unit dwelling
  • Typically, digital calligraphers will print up to 3 lines on the return address. Additional lines will add to your costs so be brief
  • Colored ink will typically cost more than black ink
  • Careful when using colored envelopes. Standard inks are for the most part translucent. If you try to print a light colored ink onto a darker envelope, you will have legibility issues
  • If you are passionate about printing white on say a navy or black envelope, you will have to pay for a more expensive printing method... Like foil stamping or screen printing... 
  • Consider having a design around your return address. If the motif has been used on your invitations, better still. It will tie everything together nicely... Be sure to ask the printer if there is a  minimum and maximum size for this artwork before getting your heart set on a design that cannot be acheived
That does it for the return address! Take care guys and enjoy your week. I'll be back on #WeddingWednesday!

--ct

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Roundup: 3 Things Making Me Smile This Week

Still clearing the gigantic pile of work off of my desk... Invitation and calligraphy season has come in a relentless fashion this year. I have found lots of reasons to smile however, beginning with this 5 day weather outlook for Chicagoland:

This is for the city of Chicago. In March. Take a moment and appreciate this people...
I don't think I EVER remember the weather being this mild in March.
Not for this long anyway. Amazing and its officially pedicure time! 


Three MORE things to smile about:

#1. Pinterest has a new look...

Have you guys been to Pinterest lately?? They changed the look and its HOT!
They have made the thumbnail views of your boards more interesting, your stats
are listed across the top vs. that left hand gutter and indicated
in the upper right corner is the source of your most recent pins... I LOVE IT!

#2. WEDBash Invitation 


Wed Bash, hosted by Wedding Guide Chicago is coming up on March 28th
and HOW REFRESHING WAS IT TO GET A PHYSICAL INVITATION IN THE MAIL???
So much is reduced to EventBrite now. I get it, but this was a nice touch.
This gorgeous, bellyband styled creation was done by Carol Woldhuis Designs.
Nice work Carol and I can't wait to attend!!!

#3. Bulls 36-9 after beating Miami Heat Without D. Rose!

Purely self indulgent portion of the roundup... The Chicago Bulls beat the Miami Heat
WITHOUT the reigning league MVP Derrick Rose this week. Please stop a moment and offer
the proper amount of reverence for this spectacular feat! Go Bulls!
Lets be the last team standing in the end! :-)


Have GREAT weekends guys and I'll be back on Monday!
--ct

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Your Wedding Invitation and the Die-Cut


Happy #WeddingWednesday! It is gorgeous in Chicago today by the way... As a "winter-tough" Chicagoan, I don't quite know what to do with myself inside this unseasonably warm weather. Just enjoying and marveling that we are having a real Spring for a change.

I got to thinking about more intricate wedding invitations and thought it would be fun to introduce you to the process of die-cutting. Die-cutting will add to your invitation cost, however the delicate, intricate shapes and unexpected touch will go far in distinguishing your stationery.

The tools of traditional die-cutting:
Steel rule die and a die-cutting machine or press...

What is a steel rule die?
A steel rule die is a board with sharp steel blades, flanked with a spongy material referred to as steel "rules."

It looks funny, but when this steel rule die is pressed into the
paper during the die-cutting process, it is only THEN that the
rules (spongy material) are pressed flat and the steel blades between
the rule get exposed and the shape is created 
What is "die-cutting"?
Die-cutting is the process of marrying a steel rule die with your selected paper or stock. Similar to the letterpress process, the die is pressed into the paper to make the desired shape and the excess paper falls away.

Should I consider this process?
Clients who elect to have their wedding stationery die-cut are typically those who are really fans of paper, are designers themselves or folks simply looking for the most unique invitation.

I think the results of die-cutting can be stunning. Take a look at some of the following die-cut materials:

ElizabethAnneDesigns.com

WeddingChicks.com


Bridalbarblog.com via LuxeFinds.com


Laser cutting is also a more modern form of achieving uniquely shaped paper. Laser cutting involves a high-powered laser, via computer, to be aimed directly at the paper to be shaped. More can be done with laser cutting as well, as the detail and intricacy using this method seems to be unending:

SevenSwans.co.za

Notes for designers:
  • I recommend you be present for the die-cutting portion of the project just as you would for the printing portion. Sometimes, blades can be dull and your shape will have visible debris on the edges. Debris on the edges of your stock can only mean that the blades used were not sharp enough.
  • If the steel rule die that you need is a standard shape (i.e. circular), ask around to see if one exists that you can use. You will be able to create some cost efficiencies by not having your client purchase a die that is pretty common.
  • If possible, you should also look to create efficiencies by purchasing directly from the bindery/die-cutter. This eliminates a layer of management when you elect to have your printer outsource this function, and it will also cost less since you won't have to worry about your printer's markup.
  • "Kiss-cutting" is also a term to familiarize yourself with. Kiss-cut just means that the paper is "kissed" with the blades, but not punched out all of the way. You can then offer up blank shapes for re-sale, especially for Etsy shop owners. Blank paper tags are one of the more popular shapes to sell in a kiss-cut form. You will also almost always see sticker sheets kiss-cut for easy removal.

Let me know if you've got any other tips and tidbits on achieving shapes for wedding invites!
--ct



Monday, March 12, 2012

5 Free Wedding Fonts


Wanted to share these free fonts with you today! So many different kinds of wedding invitations out there, I'm sure you can find a style that works with your big day.

  • AltastGreeting - Formal, but bubbly enough to still be fun
  • Jenna Sue - Laid back, handwritten font
  • Hagin Caps Thin - Contemporary, clean style
  • Lavanderia Delicate/Regular - Almost a "poor mans" Feel Script. Beautiful and dramatic.
  • Valencia Light - Art Deco, Parisian feel 

DOWNLOAD:
AltastGreeting | Hagin Caps | Jenna Sue | Lavenderia | Valencia

Friday, March 9, 2012

For The Color Critical Wedding: Understanding Pantone


Happy Friday! As we continue to go through invitation season, it bears keeping in mind that many brides will be shown several swatches throughout this process. There are swatches for linens, bridesmaids dresses, cake toppers, dyes, etc. These colors will eventually be introduced to the wedding paper world, especially by clients that would like for the ink colors on their invites to critically match other elements of their big day.

Pantone® is a universal color matching system and is the best guide to referencing swatches. It is the most widely referenced color system, and you should use it to match other swatches you may be given... There are categories for Fashion + Home, Graphics and Plastics. Its a great way to communicate and match colors quickly and accurately, across multiple platforms.

Common suffixes for Pantone colors and their meaning:
  • Pantone TPX - Pantone TPX stands for Pantone Textile Paper eXtended (Fashion + Home)
  • Pantone TCX - Pantone TCX stands for Textile Cotton (Fashion + Home)
  • Pantone C - Ink on coated paper (Graphics)
  • Pantone U - Ink on uncoated paper (Graphics)

The Dessy Group (a popular bridesmaid dress and formal gown company) has even gone so far as to create chips or "chiplettes" for brides to use as reference for their products. I just had a client refer me to what the Dessy Group calls fuschia. The "chiplette" they provide has a corresponding TPX number you can reference. There is also a QR code that will lead you back to the Dessy Groups website.

Dessy Groups Pantone Chiplettes

For design/graphics purposes, it helps to know how the fashion + home color system corresponds to the graphics system. Here are a couple of tips to find that color:
  • The Pantone home page is where you should begin: www.Pantone.com
  • There is a color matching system tool within their site called the myPANTONE X-ref (Color System Cross Reference)
  • Here, you are able to indicate the TCX or TPX number that you have and then find the corresponding graphics color. There is even an option to match colors within the plastics color system.

This tool will bridge the gap between Textile colors and Colors that will
translate to the graphics world. Try it out!

Have fun with all your wedding colors and I'll be back on Monday! Have good weekends!

Thanks,
--ct

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Closer Look At "Printables" For Your Wedding

Happy #WeddingWednesday! Wanted to discuss printables with you today. I'm sure that if you've started researching wedding paper at all, you've come across this term. Thought I'd do a primer of sorts to help navigate this process and also list some pros and cons.



What are printables?
"Printables" refer to pre-designed templates including, but not limited to place cards, photo booth signage, reserved seating tents, invitations, favor tags, cool backgrounds, etc. I've seen places where you can actually customize your printable and a file is generated for you to download, and also blank templates for download that you yourself have to customize.

Should I consider utilizing them?
I think printables are smart and cost-saving. I know that I should be coercing you into having ALL of your wedding and special event paper customized by myself, but I really don't think its necessary unless there is a theme woven through all of your materials. If there is not, and your event does not dictate everything to be "matchy-matchy", then there are thousands upon thousands of pre-designed templates that you can and should consider.

Pros
Element is already designed. No lengthy proofing process to go through. In some instances you can even customize the printable prior to downloading. Time saver and affordable. Tons of variety to choose from.

Cons
If you have already begun with customized stationery, then the rest of your elements should pivot off of what you started. Also, you will have to have some computer savvy to customize some of the printables that are available. Finally, be mindful of the equipment that you use. Many a lovely printable has been compromised by a low quality output.

I started a pinterest board gathering the best printable resources found on the web!
Check it out and start following as I'm always adding cool finds...

Take care and have productive days! I'll be back on Friday!
--ct


Monday, March 5, 2012

Happy 175th Birthday Chicago!


This past Sunday marked the day the Chicago was incorporated — March 4, 1837. We are officially 175 years old! Events were held all over the city to mark the occasion. I thought I'd put together an inspiration board of Chicago brides and themed stationery! Enjoy our great city. 
Clockwise: DavidEttinger Photography | Allori Photography | VSPhoto | OneWed
Carnival Studios | Elizabeth Anne Designs | Save the Date | PaperRantlerHappienestPhoto

Happy birthday Chi-Town and I'll be back on Wednesday!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Vintage Wedding Paper Ideas

Happy Friday! Been finding so many paper "nuggets" on Pinterest lately I thought I'd share some... Check out these cool ideas for a vintage themed wedding or special event!

Romantic Vintage Heart Confetti from: Etsy.com
Doily/Lace and Kraft paper tags with hand lettering... Adorable.
From: Etsy.com
Check out these adorable favors w/bakers twine, brown paper and clothespins.
From an Australian wedding featured on: Ruffledblog.com

Enjoy these ideas and let me know what you thought! Have great weekends everyone!
--ct


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