I'm Back!

Wow, 2013! That was the last time I had an entry?! I'm sure seeing this makes you believe I had given up on custom designed life events stationery. Not true! 

What actually happened is that we spent the end of 2013 and into 2014 planning out our own life event. My husband and I had twin boys in December! I'll be creating a post about their nursery and how I designed it and what inspired it. I also have a couple of other projects I've been working on that I can't wait to share. While I haven't been doing any original stationery design, I have been busy working on past favorites for new brides with a color change here and a font change there. 

The twins definitely keep us busy and until they can take reliable naps, I don't think it's likely I'll be able to spent too much time on personal work, but client work is always a welcome sight! 

In August, we'll finally be having their blessing celebration! We're having a non-denominational gathering of close friends and family to welcome the twins into our lives. They're already 7 months old and we wanted to make sure we had a celebration marking their arrival (albeit 4 months later than we would have liked). We picked a date and I had to make an invitation, quickly!

I fired up Photoshop and Illustrator, went to Creative Market (no time to create original elements, so this is the next best thing in a pinch) and got to designing. 

I designed this in just a day and obviously there are things I would have liked to be different, but I'm pretty pleased with it in general. 

Since I didn't have much time, I decided to make the boys the main focus (they should be anyway!). I decided a banner was in order and since I just needed to get this done, off to Creative Market where I got the Pretty Watercolor Ribbon Banners set by Holly McCaig Creative. Could I have designed my own banners? Of course, but in a pinch, there are a lot of very good designers who sell their work and it's great for personal projects like this. 

I then needed a couple of fun but legible fonts. Also on Creative Market, I used Everlie Handwritten Font by SweetLittleMuse  and "Understated" a sans-serif typeface by Printable Wisdom

I played around with various Instagram-style filters for Photoshop. I ended up combining a few plus I photo edited a little bit myself to come up with the final look. The element that I was able to get done quickly was the little birds. I quickly came up with a silhouette, I applied some ink brushes and played with opacity until I got the desired effect to kind of match the banner. 

Like I said, I could have done a few things differently, but I'm really happy with how this came out given my active twinsies and lack of free time to work on personal projects. More to come soon!

Autumn Update

Oh what a whirlwind of a Summer! 

Invitation and place card at the Wedding

Invitation and place card at the Wedding

I spent most of June prepping for my Cape Cod bride's wedding. Simply gorgeous! I saw some photos taken at the Wedding and I am in awe of how perfect the venue matched her style!

She has posted so many awe inspiring photos on her blog. Take a look at this post as well. There's a video at the bottom of the post that has a couple of shots of my work! 

Definitely one of my favorite Weddings to date. 

I'm currently working on a Christmas bride and an Autumn Bride, so lots of fun entries will follow for those! 

 

July was a strange month for me. I had left my full-time job back in September to focus on some personal matters, but it was time to return to work. I spent July focusing on updating my personal site and my resume, applying for positions and contacting my agencies. Knowing it was probably going to be my last month at home full-time, I took advantage of the time and the weather to visit the lake a lot. I met up with friends for lunch, drove to visit friends I hadn't seen in awhile and trying to get into the working mindset again. 

I was right about it being my last month at home. I found a new position and began in August. I went from designing my own stationery to designing for the financial markets. It's a good position to get reacquainted with the workforce. I'm dusting off my design skills I haven't gotten to use in awhile and even learning new skills. It's been hard, but, I think, worth it. 

That brings us to September... 

Castaway Cay. The best place I have ever been.

Castaway Cay. The best place I have ever been.

September was an incredible month, but the pinnacle was our first ever cruise. We're Disney fans, so we opted for going out to the Bahamas on the Disney Dream. That ship was exceptional, but my absolute favorite part of the vacation was going to their private island, Castaway Cay. It was beautiful, relaxing and just absolutely perfect! This is exactly the trip I needed after a whirlwind Summer.

October was spent meeting with new brides and continuing to comfortably acclimate back into the workforce. Now that it's October, I'm finishing up my Christmas bride and getting ready to deck the halls! Even though I live in New England and it's now below freezing in the mornings, I always love Thanksgiving and Christmas. They're such warm holidays and I enjoy decorating whenever I can. 

That ends my Summer Round-Up post. I hope you got a good idea of what's been going on at An Inkling Design and I can't wait to share what's in store this year! 

 

Vintage Postcard Inspired Save-the-Dates

Monika and her husband eloped while he was in the Army. They didn't have the time to put together a wedding, they just knew they wanted to be married while he was serving. Mark is returning home and they FINALLY get to have the wedding they've wanted so badly. 

With all of the traveling Mark has done over the past couple of years, Monika thought it would be perfect to have the save-the-dates resemble a vintage postcard. They wanted the card to show their journey to this special day as well as honor their family and friends. The save-the-date is comprised of the main card as well as an accommodations card as they want their guests to be able to book the hotel as soon as possible since summers in Ogunquit, ME are very busy.

The front of the save-the-date has important dates and events in their relationship. When they met, got engaged, joined the Army, eloped and now, they're renewal. On the reverse side, Monika & Mark chose to write a personal note to their family and friends as though it were a real postcard. I created some additional stamp imagery from places that mean something to the couple to complete the look.

These were really fun to work on and I am excited to start on their invitation suite!

Blowing Leaves Birth Announcement

This is the first official baby announcement for An Inkling Design! I have made some other baby/toddler event stationery, but this is the first announcement and I couldn't be happier with how it came out!

Jacob's Mommy wanted to have a theme inspired by his crib bedding. However, I wanted to make sure that this announcement had Jacob as the main focus. I decided to take a loose interpretation of his bedding in using the shapes and colors, but not the main jungle theme.

I first placed his photo on the card to ensure he was the sole focus of this announcement. I then interpreted a leaf graphic from his bedding and made it a bit more modern and used it as an accent element for the card.

Next, I focused on the text. I wanted his name to be bold, playful and young. I used a bright green that kept with the colors from his nursery and chose a sunflower yellow as the accent color to tie everything together. We kept the copy light and to the point, allowing plenty of space for your eye to focus on Jacob's photo. The font used draws your attention and with the detailed shadow, becomes very playful. 

I rounded the corners because I wanted soft edges to reflect that softness a newborn brings into our lives.

Congratulations Lisa & Stew!

Summer on the Cape

It's been awhile since I've gotten to do a local summer wedding. This year, I get two!

First up is the adorable bride, Brittany. She is on trend with fashion and very much a Cape Cod girl. Prep and style! Her wedding is at the gorgeous Wychmere Beach Club overlooking Nantucket Sound. I was thrilled when she told me that she wanted to do a modern nautical theme.

Her wedding colors are navy and green. Classic, but with the color green we chose, it adds a modern punch I'm thrilled with. Her venue needed to know what each guest was ordering for their entrée, but the venue offers such wonderful dishes, she didn't want to just say "chicken or beef." We needed a way to have a clean and simple response card without losing a ton of white space making it crowded. I came up with the perforated RSVP card. The bottom portion is the reply card and the top portion shows the menu items on the back as well as a site reminder on the front.

The bride wanted one thing more than anything else, a custom illustrated map. I am always up for a challenge and being a Bay Stater myself, I love the shape of Cape Cod. The coast line is a great one and needs showcasing! I illustrated the land and the major roadways, added cities and little icons here and there. I love how it came out and so does the bride! On the back we placed the written directions and because the front was so heavily illustrated, I wanted to keep the back clean and simplified. 

These are, by far, my favorite custom invitations I have done to date! I am thrilled with how they came out and even more thrilled with the bride's response. I'll be working on other wedding paper goodness for Brittany so keep an eye out for those!

Monograms

Monograms are essentially the logos of Weddings. A monogram is a symbol used throughout the Wedding to represent the couple. You will usually see a monogram on the Wedding program, on the menu, seating chart and maybe even the thank you stationery.

It's something that isn't necessary, but makes the event even that more cohesive and special.

Here are a few examples of monograms I have created in the past, including my own!




Pinterest

I've had a secret obsession for the past few months and I'm sure a lot of you have shared in this obsession with me. Pinterest!


It's a fantastic site. I've used it to post my own designs, mark designs I can use for inspiration or product ideas, as well as pin what I want to do with my office, house, bathroom, etc. It's a fantastic place to come up with, find and search for ideas for you Wedding, holiday, celebration or any other life event.

Please follow me!

Golden Winter Wedding

Kim and BJ are having a beautiful winter wedding tomorrow. I can't think of a more fantastic way to start off the new year and every other new year following!

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Kim's bouquets feature baby's breath as the main focal point and wanted the invitation to reflect this often understated flower. I wanted to make sure that the invitation reflected the winter season, so I had the petals fall off the branches as if they were snowing down over the words.

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Kim wanted her wedding colors to be a part of the invitation as well. The gold tones come from warm firelight and the brown hues are inspired by the couple's love of a comforting cup of coffee. Knowing the influence of coffee on their theme, I made the font flow and the swashes extend like steam from a fresh cup. I enhanced this idea by placing the main copy on a diagonal to make it seem as if the words were rising from the paper.

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I wish Kim and BJ a lifetime of wedded bliss, health and happiness. Good luck tomorrow and congratulations!

The Creation of a Brand

An Inkling is a whisper of an idea. It's that little voice in the back of your mind telling you something big is going to happen, even if you're not sure what's coming your way. In the most literal sense, An Inkling is a drop of ink. For every special occasion or thought of a loved one, paper and ink are there. Wedding invitations are sent. Baby announcements are made. Thoughts of you are mailed. Notes are taken. Thanks are given. I love you is said.

While planning my wedding in 2005, I had a hard time finding good quality, modern and unique invitations. Frustrated, I took on the task of designing my own Wedding Stationery. Since I was trained in graphic design, my skill set transferred well and the invitations were a success. Friends and family loved what I had created and soon were asking for their own special occasion design and then their friends and family were asking for their own designs and so on. With every event I did, my love of this craft grew until I realized this is what I was meant to do and I truly love what I do.

Quite a few referrals later, my designs have been used in many celebrations and special moments. After being told time and again I should go into business, that's exactly what I have done.

I started dreaming of making a brand out of An Inkling back in 2006 when I was working on one of my first referrals. I made a logo that, at the time, suited my needs. I did very few sketches. I wanted it to be clean and modern with geometric lines, so I went with a pre-established font and added a simple "drop" to the dot of the "i."


In 2010, I realized that I had a logo, but not a brand. I refocused and realized I needed a logo that would match what An Inkling Design was all about. While I love working with geometric lines and modern fonts, that's not the message I wanted to convey with my logo. I spent more time sketching and took plenty of time exploring various looks. Finally I landed my current logo.

It's reflective of what I would like my brand to represent. It's unique and an extension of myself because it's my own handwriting. In fact the drops under the "k" were actual drops the pen made while I was sketching. It's also versatile. I can adjust colors depending on the background. It works at large or smaller sizes and is expressive. In short, what I want all my work to be able to do.

In addition to redesigning my logo, I also redesigned my website, my blog and began exploring designs that worked well with the style I want to portray. In that first year of my refocusing my brand, I increased my sales and began to see more clients coming from other sources unrelated to prior clients. In 2011, I filed for and received my business license.

As for the future, I have large dreams and will continue making strides toward them.

Liz's Boston Elegance

Living in New England, there are a lot of Autumn themed weddings come September. I should know, mine was one such wedding. Liz, however, wanted a truly classic, refined invitation with Boston elegance that would astound during any season.

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 The colors for the wedding were navy and ivory and with such gorgeous colors, it was easy to stay elegant and refined. We wanted the invitation to be traditional, but not boring. I added a satin ribbon accent and backed each card to give it extra dimension.

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 With the incorporation of the ribbon, I was able to turn a traditional accent into a modern utility. Instead of hiding the ribbon behind the card backing, I allowed it to remain visible and act as a folder, holding the additional inserts. There was no risk of an insert going unread or thrown away because it was accidentally left in the envelope. All the inserts were held onto the back of the invitation itself.

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 Liz's invitation suite set the tone for the wedding. From the moment her guests received these beautiful invitations, they knew they were attending an elegant wedding. An invitation should match the tone and theme of the wedding, guests not only appreciate that, they will compliment the bride on her thoughtfulness for years to come. Liz definitely hit the nail right on the head with this style and I hope she and her guests love these invitations as much as I do.

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