Personalisation and creativity in stationery is becoming more and more desired. Beginning with calligraphy, to intricate prints to laser cutting stunning details and a fully designed collection – we love it all! We have spoken to our Curated Suppliers, the experts in gorgeous stationery, for their top tips and advice when designing your parties this year.
“I have long appreciated the impact a hand inked element can bring as it elevates stationery to another level – personal and special.” – Henrietta, The Styled Writing Co.
“As a calligrapher I am often asked by clients to work with them on the overall creative of their stationery. With a background in event management, I have long appreciated the impact a hand inked element can bring as it elevates stationery to another level – personal and special. These calligraphic details can be so important to set the tone of an occasion as well as weave through a creative thread.
When invitations land, they deliver a first impression of the occasion and give guests a glimpse of what lies in store. The invitation might be traditional and classic, whimsical and playful, understated and chic. Every style is beautiful in its own right as it is true to the host and reflective of their tastes and their dreams for the special event. Stationery in particular offers the perfect opportunity to reflect personality, by bringing unique ideas to life.
Once the style has been decided, the next task is to bring in the different elements. I might be asked to calligraph the names of the guests to create an additional ‘pop’ against the rest of the invitation design. I often work with illustrators to create a motif or a border, again reflective of the day, perhaps a water-meadow flower scene as created here by Sophie Roberts. Or perhaps a stylish cactus motif reflecting a host’s love of Mexico designed by Minty Curci.”
“Once the design is complete, the next stage is to add additional details that can enhance the overall look and feel of the stationery. Mount Street Printers offer a range of gorgeous tissue linings for the envelopes. This is a lovely detail that adds an extra wow factor as recipients open up their invitation. The mix of colour and interesting details really sets the tone and importantly lays the foundations for the rest of the stationery thread. I spend a lot of time experimenting with different inks and sometimes mixing my own to create a bespoke colour to match or tone with the colours in the design itself.
In conclusion, what I think is so special about calligraphy is that essentially it serves a functional purpose, to give information. But what it actually achieves is to elevate create and to ultimately weave a narrative and personality through your stationery from the first impression to the last.”
“Day stationery is a fantastic way to add personality… laser cut lizards really have been used as place cards before!” – Helen, Cutture
“You can get personality into your stationery through colour, design, ink, laser cutting as well as photographs. If you love it – tell us all about it!
With stationery, if you are designing for corporates or private clients these are two very different briefs. However, both have a concept behind them. The notion of adding personality to work is really where the concept comes into play. How do Cutture do this? Adding personality to stationery is really what we are all about, our whole beginning was establishing a gap in the market where storytelling wasn’t anywhere as a bespoke product at the time. We were, and still are passionate, about creating stationery that is all about your personality, not just the colour scheme!
In the age where we are creating a ‘brand’ for ourselves we are already beginning to see people create their own style and aesthetic on social media. So, for private clients, we begin with illustrations, we can draw anything to do with a life story which are synonymous to the hosts. We then use laser cutting to really enhance the illustrations or patterns, injecting personality via typography, finishing details, colour ways and paper finishes. The main objective is to create a piece that is indescribably YOU, once it all comes together it tells a story and oozes personality.”
“When designing for corporate clients, the same rules apply. Not only do we have the literal brand guidelines to adhere to, we usually have a brief as to why they are hosting an event. We will have an original design concept for the whole product to work from, that is usually really interesting and can be quite off the wall! So our task is to then marry the brand with the concept of the event or product to stay true to the story and values. For example, by using a brand’s heritage it means we really can tell a story through illustration and finishes or it’s totally unrelated and just referring to a marketing campaign that stems from the brand but forms into something totally different.
Ultimately adding personality to design is what a bespoke commission is all about, it’s the best brief for us designers to work on and when a client phones to say they cried when they received the invitations (in a good way!) it means you’ve done your job well! To create that emotive response is fantastic and exactly what a design with your personality should do.”
“No matter the occasion or event, we all want our stationery to stand out, to make a statement as well as to reflect our personality” – Vaishali, Ananya Cards
“Whether your style is contemporary or traditional, you have a wealth of choices in terms of fonts, colours and textures. If a luxurious look is what you are after, cardstock with a pearlescent sheen gives it an understated opulence. Crystals and pearls make the stationery come to life and if bling is your thing, then the more the better. Sure, to be noticed!
At Ananya, we find typography very effective. Using fonts of various sizes, punctuation marks and italics can make a bold, dramatic statement. Calligraphy can also give that personal touch – a traditional technique of putting pen to paper yet in a modern style.
As well as typography, lined envelopes can instantly turn what could be a plain envelope into a glamorous package. Use block colours, modern geometric patterns, words from your favourite book, bespoke illustrations, textured foil, bold prints or delicate motifs. Either match, complement or contrast the visuals of your stationery. Lined envelopes transform simple stationery into chic and elegant as well as being a pleasure to open.
Having a milestone birthday or event? Why not inject your personality into the invite using wording relevant to the event? Ananya recently designed a stationery suite for a fabulous 50thbirthday, with a dress code “all about the hat” – and a request to enclose favourite tracks to dance the night away. Who can resist such an invitation?”
“I LOVE stationery, there is nothing more exciting than receiving a beautifully designed and finished invitation through the post.” – Sophie, Mophy Design Studio
“Stationery is often an after thought when planning an event, whether it be a party, wedding or corporate affair, your stationery is the thread that ties the whole thing together. Your invitation is the first point of contact, so this is your chance to set the tone of what’s to come! I always think that it’s the attention to little details that make any event feel more memorable, therefore it is great to build upon the scene you set from that initial invitation. Little touches that emphasise and build upon your narrative keep your event flowing harmoniously!
Top tips and tricks
There are so many mediums to choose from, below are a few thoughts on how you can inject a sense of personality into your stationery;
Photography – Whether it’s colour, black and white or duotone, images can be used to set a scene or depict a precious moment. Like they say ‘a picture paints a thousand words.’
Typography can be used with as much graphic effect as photography. A minimal piece of typographic design letterpresses onto thick paper stock would whisper of something elegant and sophisticated. Alternatively big shouting blocky type might suggest a more playful and bold event.
Colour can be used with such wonderful effect, a block muted colour pallet paired with minimal typography has a really clean feel. The use of neons on an invitation works really effectively, it evokes a sense of energy and warm.
Illustration has endless possibilities, from soft dreamy water colours, to the very personal feel of an intricate pen a sketch. Illustration is the perfect medium to create something truly unique.
Fancy finishes such as foils, paper cuts and wax seals are indulgent and feel opulent, they elevate your stationery from being just a two dimensional thing to a piece of theatre, that excites and intrigues.
And finally (but no means least!), creative materials used in a clever way can make something that feels really special, you don’t have to be limited to traditional paper and card. Our favourite examples below!