Swiss Cottage Designs: Day of Wedding Stationery Inspiration

image 4.1A Swiss Cottage Designs: Day of Wedding Stationery Inspiration

I can’t believe it’s already our final blog post of this week – time is just flying by these days. It’s been a great week posting here on Oh So Beautiful Paper! Thank you to all the lovely readers for stopping by and a big thanks to Nole for the great content. We’ve had a blast! – Courtney of Swiss Cottage Designs

Back to the paper! With the summer wedding season upon us, many of our conversations have been moving towards the topic of day of elements. What are those you ask? These are all the little bits and pieces that really help make your wedding day special. You can go traditional and create lovely menus, place cards and table numbers that match your wedding theme or you can get creative with unique cocktail napkins, tote bags, custom buttons or even rub-on tattoos. The possibilities are endless! I really believe that the day of items are almost just as important as your wedding suite. They help create the look and feel of your big day while leaving your guests with something to remember. Below are some fun ideas and inspiration for brides planning their big day:

image 4.1 Swiss Cottage Designs: Day of Wedding Stationery Inspiration

Photo by Edyta Szyszlo Photography via 100 Layer Cake

Coasters and matchbooks make great little take-home pieces for guests. They’re useful around the house without being cumbersome in the least and serve as a fun reminder of the special celebration.

image 4.2 Swiss Cottage Designs: Day of Wedding Stationery Inspiration

Photo by Hello Love Photo

Cocktail napkins make an awesome day of item. They’re the perfect blend of design and function (so long as you don’t mind them getting a little dirty!). I’ve even seen people use them as pocket squares at weddings – creative!

image 4.3 Swiss Cottage Designs: Day of Wedding Stationery Inspiration

Photo by Kristen Marie Photography via 100 Layer Cake

A well-styled wedding is all in the details. Custom table signage may seem like a small consideration, but goes a long way to unify the style and mood of the occasion.

image 4.4 Swiss Cottage Designs: Day of Wedding Stationery Inspiration

Photo by Joe Mikos

Welcome bags are a lovely gift and greeting to guests who have come from near and far. They also establish the tone of the festivities to come. A personalized tote, travel mug, water bottle and custom map of the area are just a few of the items you can include.

image 4.5 Swiss Cottage Designs: Day of Wedding Stationery Inspiration

Photo by Joe Mikos

I love this idea – fly your flag high and proud on your big day! Banners are an adorable day of addition, especially for outdoor tented occasions. Plus, they can serve as a signal to guide a wayward guest back towards the party!

image 4.6 Swiss Cottage Designs: Day of Wedding Stationery Inspiration

Photo by Max Wagner via 100 Layer Cake

People always say your wedding day will fly by and they’re right! This great idea takes the standard guest book to the next level with credit card sized photos and personal messages. Re-living your guests excitement and well wishes is a priceless gift.

image 4.7 Swiss Cottage Designs: Day of Wedding Stationery Inspiration

Photo by Trent Bailey

Guests may not notice every detail, but you can bet they’ll be looking at the menu! Such a key part of the reception is a perfect place to provide both information and continue the aesthetic of the celebration. This menu was designed so you can place the napkin over the content but the pattern still pops out on the sides.

image 4.8 Swiss Cottage Designs: Day of Wedding Stationery Inspiration

Photo by Hello Love Photo

Tote bags make an excellent day of item. Guests will inevitably have lots of bits and bobs to carry around during the weekend and will appreciate the extra help. I personally like making the design more neutral so guests are able to use it after the wedding weekend.

image 4.9 Swiss Cottage Designs: Day of Wedding Stationery Inspiration

Photo by Weddings by Two

Remember how fun it was to put on temporary tattoos when you were a kid? Now you can bring that awesomeness to your big day! Tattly has tons of fun designs to choose from for weddings of all kinds. I made custom ones for my big day and they were for sure the sleeper success of my wedding.

image 4.10 Swiss Cottage Designs: Day of Wedding Stationery Inspiration

Photo by Weddings by Two

I love when a favor is something that your guests can use again and again, it makes it worth the effort! I’m obsessed with mugs and created custom ones for my wedding favor. Perfect for coffee, tea, or water on those days when everything else is in the dishwasher. Your guests will always remember your big day when they use it.

image 4.11 Swiss Cottage Designs: Day of Wedding Stationery Inspiration

Photo by Weddings by Two

As a teenager, pins were arguably the best way to let everyone know what we liked, from music to brands. Guests can don these little guys are the reception or take them home for later. We used them to break up “Groom” vs. “Bride” (though some guests picked Switzerland to be neutral).

image 4.12 Swiss Cottage Designs: Day of Wedding Stationery Inspiration

Photo by Joe Mikos

 Programs are one of the most traditional day of elements. I am all about making pieces that will work for you again. I like to make the investment count! If you do an illustrated program, you’ll have this art as a way commemorate your big day for years to come.

We hope these ideas have your creative ideas flowing! Thank you again for letting us share our two cents over here on Oh So Beautiful paper, see you next time!

{images via their respective sources}

Getting Started in the Stationery Industry

image 3.1 Getting Started in the Stationery Industry

When I was first starting out with my business, I would frequent different design blogs for inspiration and guidance on the industry. I’m lucky to be in Brooklyn with so many other talented designers. Being part of that community was amazing but it’s still tough going solo! I thought it’d be fun to share some tips on getting started in the stationery industry today. Now, I’m certainly no expert and am always learning more and more as each day passes, but below are a few things I’ve picked up over the last few years that might help inspire some of the young talent out there! – Courtney of Swiss Cottage Designs

image 3.2 Getting Started in the Stationery Industry

1. Have a plan: I know this sounds pretty basic and obvious but it’s surprisingly challenging. Decide what your end game is and how you want to get there. It’s so easy to get distracted and quickly drawn off course which is why it’s important to identify your strengths that set you apart and then really make them work for you. Once you’ve established the big picture of where you’re headed, you can start to hone in on smaller details and little side projects. It’s certainly easy to get overwhelmed by everything, but I’ve found having a solid plan and really sticking to it helped me greatly in the early days.

2. Reach out & ask for help: Don’t feel like you have to do it all on your own. When I made the decision to go out on my own, I reached out to other designers in the area who were all were so incredibly helpful and supportive. Their amazing work and kind words inspired me even more to pursue my goal. A community is key! I’ve met some great friends this way. It’s fun to chat with people who understand what you’re going through and who have been there themselves. Also, ask for help! I used to think staying up late and trying to do everything myself was me hustling, when in fact it was the exact opposite! I was tired all the time and burning out at a rapid pace. Have friends and family help you in the beginning and when you get more established, hire help! It makes everything so much better.

image 3.41 Getting Started in the Stationery Industry

3. Have the resources: Nailing down vendors and resources ahead of time is big. It’s important to have vendors who you can trust and that you work well with. With the paper industry, your printer becomes your best friend. Also, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify and have different vendors for different items and timelines. I find that keeping my options open helps alleviate stress! I really love working with local vendors which is why we get most of our goods right here in New York City. Any extra bits and bobs we try to source off small Etsy shops.

4. Expect to make mistakes: As much as we all wish we were perfect, we ain’t. Believe me you when I say, expect to make mistakes! Nothing makes your stomach drop like seeing a typo on your final printed pieces. Oye! But it happens. It’s how you handle the mistake that will make you better. Take a deep breath and then focus on the solution. There’s no going back in time, so it’s best to keep your eye on the prize and keep moving forward.

image 3.5 Getting Started in the Stationery Industry

5. Know Your Audience: You can’t appeal to everyone, it’s just not possible. Know the kind of clients and customers you want to appeal to and cater to them. I’m not very traditional, so I know requests for a more classic style of work aren’t always in my wheelhouse. Every time I try to create work like that, I always come up short. That’s why it’s best to know what you do well, stick to it, and trust that the rest will fall into place.

Photo Credits: Swiss Cottage Designs

Swiss Cottage Designs: A Peek at Our Process

image 2.1A Swiss Cottage Designs: A Peek at Our Process

Every designer has a unique method that works for them. With so many different ways to arrive at the final product, there is always room for experimenting with different styles, supplies and ideas; it’s all about trial and error. Illustration is a process that is near and dear to my heart. I studied illustration at Syracuse University and it’s been the consistent force in my life (sorry flair jeans). I thought I’d share our illustration process here and give you a few tips on how we go about our projects. – Courtney of Swiss Cottage Designs

This one is a fun one: it was a crest for a client’s wedding invitation suite. Her last name is Buck and his last name is Scott, so they wanted to play off that and personify drawings of a deer and scottie dog to represent them. I was in love with this idea right from the get-got! Here is how we started Marie’s crest.

Tools

Every good project starts with your most tried and trusted tools. The ones shown here were not all used for this project but I thought I’d share a few of our favorites:

image 2.1 Swiss Cottage Designs: A Peek at Our Process

1. Pentel Brush Pens: I bought these while in London recently and they blew me away. They are amazing for loose sketches and lettering.

2. Poketo Ballpoint Pens: I couldn’t go a day without these guys. They have a fine point and make marking up proofs pretty neat and tidy.

3. Micron Pens: The amount of Micron pens I have is unhealthy. I color code them with Washi tape so I know which points work better than others.

Step 1: After I get my supplies sorted out, I like to start with sourcing a few inspiration images. While the internet can be both blessing and a curse (who hasn’t fallen down a Pinterest black hole before?), it’s a wonderful resource to get started! I always remind myself that I don’t have to create in a vacuum. If I’m struggling to draw a deer, a million source images are only a few clicks away. One of the lessons I’ve had burned in my mind from college was photographic reference. It helps bring a certain likeness to the drawings.

image 2.2 Swiss Cottage Designs: A Peek at Our Process

Step 2: Next, I sketch out a few options in my sketch book. I love using Straedtler pencils, I find they erase nice and clean so I don’t end up with a muddy mess before it’s all over. If you find yourself at an art supply shop, there are loads of options for leads, colors, weights, etc. so you can find what works best for you and your drawing style.

image 2.3 Swiss Cottage Designs: A Peek at Our Process

Step 3: Once I’m happy with the sketches, I’ll redraw them on vellum tracing paper using micron pens. Micron pens come in every thickness and weight under the sun, so I never have trouble creating the line style I’m after. Line weight change is key! The beauty of this step is that is allows me to add or subtract anything I wasn’t wild about from the original sketch.

image 2.4 Swiss Cottage Designs: A Peek at Our Process

Step 4: Next I head over to my trust scanner! This little guy is key in the whole process. While I love digital illustration, nothing beats drawing by hand. Without my scanner, I wouldn’t be able to translate anything to digital. I scan in each image at a high resolution and always in black and white as I find it maintains the line integrity better.

image 2.5 Swiss Cottage Designs: A Peek at Our Process

Step 5: Now that everything has been scanned, I can start working with color and placement. When I draw, I tend to illustrate everything in smaller pieces. This provides more flexibility in terms of adding, subtracting, or moving elements around. If I drew everything in one large image, it’d be more difficult to edit it down the road. Photoshop brushes are my best friend! It’s astounding how many textures and styles you can achieve using them. For this particular project, I’m looking for a softer, watercolor wash effect. This is the really fun part as it allows for experimentation. If I don’t like it, I can always undo or delete the layer.

image 2.6 Swiss Cottage Designs: A Peek at Our Process

And finally (drum roll!) I’m all done and ready for the client to have a look.

image 2.7 Swiss Cottage Designs: A Peek at Our Process… an illustration from start to finish! Some days I might bust out the watercolors or my trusty brush pens depending on the project, but it’s always great to experiment with what works best for you and refine your process as you learn. It’s always a lot of fun and very exciting to see the end result.

Photo/Image Credits: Swiss Cottage Designs

Swiss Cottage Designs: Hello from Brooklyn!

image 1.1 Swiss Cottage Designs: Hello from Brooklyn!

Hello from Brooklyn! I’m Courtney from Swiss Cottage Designs and I’m stoked to be guest blogging this week on our most favorite paper blog, Oh So Beautiful Paper! I’ve been a huge fan of Nole’s blog since the early days so it’s really fun to be able to contribute back to such an inspiring blog. Thanks for having us!

I thought it would be fun to start our week of guest blogging with a peek into our life here in Brooklyn. I founded Swiss Cottage Designs in 2009 after working in the design industry for 4 years. While those years were filled with amazing professional experiences, I always knew I wanted to work for myself. Thus, SCD was born! We specialize in illustration, invitations and custom branding. In the last 5 years we’ve had the pleasure of working with brands such as Warby Parker, Crown Publishing, and Paperless Post as well as many, many wonderful couples and planners. I feel so lucky to be in such an amazing and inspiring industry!

image 1.2 Swiss Cottage Designs: Hello from Brooklyn!

image 1.3 Swiss Cottage Designs: Hello from Brooklyn!

We’re located in Carroll Gardens, a Brooklyn neighborhood of tree lined streets, historic brownstones and about a million places to grab tasty treats (it’s kind of a problem, really.) We have a home studio which means the neighborhood becomes sort of like a co-worker. Lucky for us, he’s not that annoying guy who breathes too heavy in the next cube over.

image 1.51 Swiss Cottage Designs: Hello from Brooklyn!

Photo courtesy bigriffith

image 1.4 Swiss Cottage Designs: Hello from Brooklyn!

 Photo courtesy of Shiny Bright

A day typical day (if there is such a thing) around the studio consists of lots and lots of emails, drawing, scanning, painting, designing, packaging, eagerly awaiting shipments from the printer, opening said shipments with bated breath, more emails, drawing, packaging and of course illicit amounts of coffee and tea. Running a business is the most incredible experience yet can be just as equally frustrating! There are days when the printer jams all your envelopes, a FedEx package goes missing and a press run comes back wrong and you just want to phone it in. Then you have days that are better than anything you could have imagined. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

image 1.7 Swiss Cottage Designs: Hello from Brooklyn!

image 1.6 Swiss Cottage Designs: Hello from Brooklyn!

image 1.8 Swiss Cottage Designs: Hello from Brooklyn!

Our clients are constantly inspiring us! Because all of our projects are custom, we’re constantly exploring different methods of art and design. We love that no two jobs are alike. Here are a few recent projects we’ve worked on:

image 1.13 Swiss Cottage Designs: Hello from Brooklyn!

image 1.12 Swiss Cottage Designs: Hello from Brooklyn!

image 1.11 Swiss Cottage Designs: Hello from Brooklyn!

image 1.10 Swiss Cottage Designs: Hello from Brooklyn!

image 1.9 Swiss Cottage Designs: Hello from Brooklyn!

We can’t wait to share more with you! Stay tuned to Oh So Beautiful Paper this week and in the mean time, say hi to us on Twitter and Instagram. Looking forward to meeting you all!

Photo Credits: Swiss Cottage Designs, except where noted

Bid adieu to Ladyfingers Letterpress with a Stationery Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who entered!

Dear Diary. Day 5 of blogging on OSBP. Energy levels good. Eyeballs a little dry from staring at the internet for so long. Not enough ice cream. But spirits are high. Psyched to read the comments and make new friends. Sad that this is our last day guest blogging. Been a good go. Wondering if Nole will ask us to come back? Note to self: send a Thank You card.

Well, it’s been fun, guys! To celebrate all of the good times we’ve spent together for the past five days, we’re doing a Very Special Stationery Giveaway. See, although we’ve been all chatty about custom wedding invitations, that’s not all we do! This past May, we had our first ever booth at the National Stationery Show where we debuted our brand new line of social stationery! We had a blast meeting our favorite stationer friends, shops, printers and designers and were psyched with the response to our work. You can now find our work in over 50 stores across the country (and the world!) – but also on our newly redesigned online shop! Before we get going with the giveaway details, we’d like to share with you a recap of some of our best sellers from NSS 2013. –Arley-Rose and Morgan of Ladyfingers Letterpress

psyched grande 300x370 Bid adieu to Ladyfingers Letterpress with a Stationery Giveaway! koozie grande 300x370 Bid adieu to Ladyfingers Letterpress with a Stationery Giveaway!

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otter grande 300x382 Bid adieu to Ladyfingers Letterpress with a Stationery Giveaway! bottoms up gold grande 300x363 Bid adieu to Ladyfingers Letterpress with a Stationery Giveaway!

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Now for the info you’ve all been waiting for! To enter our giveaway, visit the Ladyfingers Letterpress online shop and browse the collection of social stationery. Select your 3 favorite single cards, flat or folded. Then come back here and leave a comment with your selection! You’ll have until 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, July 23rd to enter the giveaway. One winner will be selected randomly and notified via email.
*This giveaway is courtesy of Ladyfingers Letterpress. Giveaway only valid for mailing addresses within the United States. Official sweepstakes rules here.