10 Tips for Designing Wedding Stationery by About to be Hitched0
Posted on 12th September 2017 by Hilary Pullen
Top tips from industry experts www.abouttobehitched.com on designing wedding stationery for yourself or to sell if you are considering setting up or currently run a wedding stationery business.
About to be Hitched is a Wedding Stationery Market Place. This means that we sell lots of other designer’s stationery as well as our own and so have lots of experience both in creating our own wedding stationery products and handling those of which have been created by other talented designers. We would therefore like to share with you some helpful tips and if after reading this article, feel you would like to get started you can always look to sell your beautiful creations through our online market place.
Whether you have design experience or just enjoy art & crafts in your spare time, creating wedding stationery can be very enjoyable, rewarding and can be taken as seriously as you need to. For those who have design experience and wish to design wedding stationery as a profession or a paying hobby, then yes, it’s serious (but still enjoyable!) You may find you use these tips more of a guide line, rather than a few helpful hints. For those of you who just wish to design for yourself, making your own wedding stationery for example, then following these tips will help you think of the design aspects that you may not have considered and therefore your design technique may improve without the stress of trying to ‘make it up by yourself’.
Inspiration is everywhere; all you have to do is look! Having a good research session is a brilliant way to start off a new project. Look at other wedding stationer’s designs for ideas. There is so much scope to find designs that you like on the internet, the choice is vast! Another aspect of research is of the materials and methods that you may use. Think about card – its thickness and quality. Will you be using art materials such as watercolour paints? You could use additional items such as ribbon, stick on gems or use a personalised rubber stamp to bring a personal touch to your stationery; you can even stamp your envelopes with it! And then there’s the software, Adobe Illustrator, Photo Shop and InDesign are some of the brilliant design packages out there that are used for creating design masterpieces.
Firstly, you need to decide what size your product will be. It could be A7, A6 or A5 for example. You may have multiple items to match of which may be different sizes, and you need the sizes to work well for their purpose and appearance, so all this needs to be considered before you start designing. Don’t forget about your envelope sizes too and any wraps or pocket fold wallets.
When you open a new page to create your design digitally, make sure you have put in the correct canvas size (this is usually the size of what your product will be when it is printed). You also need to ensure the resolution is high enough for print and that you have included a bleed allowance and crop lines. If your stationery will be folded you need to design accordingly, and design for front and back. Some printing companies provide downloadable templates that include bleed areas and so-on, so that’s something for you to check out. It makes the printing process more straightforward too. Remember to use the inbuilt rulers as guides and to create new layers for design aspects.
Go for a specific style, a look that inspires you to create your designs upon. There are hundreds of different styles to go by. Some styles won’t appeal to your taste, but there will be plenty that you do like and work with your creative style. Some styles are more traditional; You will find plenty of florals with classic fonts. Some styles are very artistic and use watercolour and calligraphy. The other end of the scale is more contemporary where design feature more structured imagery, blocks of colour and modern fonts. Vintage and shabby chic themes appeal to a lot of people and a completely different style and technique is by using alternative materials such as wood, creating a rustic, tactile piece. These are just some of the many styles you can work with when designing your wedding stationery.
Don’t be afraid to be experimental
A big part of the design process is experimenting. Be prepared to spend plenty of time on the design process and don’t be afraid to try out different looks and effects. As long as you save your changes regularly and use layers, you won’t have to worry about making lots of changes as you go along.
Dare to be bold! If you fancy doing something alternative your wedding stationery will stand out if it is seen to be unusual or uncontroversial. You want your designs to be admired, but don’t play it safe if you don’t want to.
The use of colour can be very powerful. The same design created in one colour can look really different to the same design created in an alternative colour, so feel free to experiment with your colour schemes. You may wish to offer the same wedding stationery product in different colour schemes and you can even offer the opportunity to your customers to request their own colour scheme.
Bear in mind the theme of the piece you are designing when selecting your colour scheme, and be mindful of which colours work together, this can certainly come into play when you are designing wedding invitation packs as they are presented together.
Imagery and artwork
Using some of your original illustrations or imagery can really make your designs unique and personal to you. Free yourself up to try different ways of presenting your artwork within your designs and remember you can adapt them digitally afterwards. Hand painted Watercolours look divine, especially when used to paint flowers. Pattern also brings stationery to life. It can be used on large areas such as the back of your invites or for decorating smaller spaces. It can create visual division. You can try presenting it in different coloured ways too.
Using different fonts is an easy yet really effective way to make wedding stationery visually stimulating. Using two or three fonts on the same design can look fabulous. Using text fonts that suit your theme can really compliment your design. Typography is a very on trend theme currently. This gives you the opportunity to have fun with lots of different fonts and the overall appearance looks effective. Remember to try out using a variety of font sizes within your design too!
Balance and Spacing
In most cases, wedding stationery looks at its best when it is well balanced, especially when there is a lot of text to read, like on an invitation. Position your visuals carefully and check that everything that is supposed to be centred is perfectly centred. It will not look good if your design looks ‘off to one side’. Use rulers to guide you and create little spacing blocks of colour on a separate layer so you can make them visual only when you need them. Don’t ever think you’re taking too much time over placing everything correctly. It is very important and does take time and patience.
Simple yet effective
Do not over decorate your designs. There is no need to overdo it. Wedding stationery indeed needs to look pretty and pleasing to the eye, but it also carries important information about the big day, so overcomplicating the design visually can make it look messy and can bring the eye away from picking out the main details of the piece. Show your designs to a family member or friend for their opinion. A bit of feedback can go a long way. Opinions will always be personal but it does help to hear what someone thinks when they look at your designs with fresh eyes.
Attention to detail
Once you have finished your design and are pleased with the whole look it is now time to check everything. A bit of a boring process, but it’s crucial. Zoom in to your design and check all the edges are smooth, everything is placed correctly and that you are pleased with how it all looks. You also need to check your spellings for every single word. Once you have converted your design for printing (into a PDF for example), check every part of that over too. The checking process also comes into play once your wedding stationery has been printed. Check every item is as it should be.
So good luck, and have fun designing!
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