Inspiration

White Ink on Colored Envelopes, yea baby!

We are pretty sure you are going to love this option as long as you know how to set up your files for print. For now we are only printing addresses on the front of the envelope, stay tuned for addressing + back flap – we are working on it!

For variable data with white ink:

1.    Create a multi-page, 7.25″ x 5.25″ document with each name and address on a single page for the A7 envelope.

2. Create a new swatch called SpotColor_White. This example is in InDesign.

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3. All artwork, including each name and address should be assigned SpotColor_White.

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NOTE: WE DO NOT PRINT BLEEDS ON ENVELOPES, MAKE SURE YOUR ARTWORK IS AT LEAST .25″ FROM ALL EDGES

4. Save the file as a high resolution, multi page pdf file.

5. Upload the file.

6. Proof your artwork (you can view as many pages as you’d like).

7. Complete your order.

Order your White Ink Variable Data Envelopes today!

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The Craft Paper Look for Less

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The bride loved the sweet look of craft paper for an outdoor winery wedding but only needed 60 invitations and really wanted to keep a tight budget for invitations. We used Natural Savoy Cotton for a nice textured finish, very similar to craft. Most of our flat cards come on Natural Savoy and the envelopes are a perfect match. To create the small hang tags, I used a 4Bar card and set up the files with two cards that I could cut down after printing 30 originals. Tags_Front

I ran a DIY test print with various craft paper photos to make sure that the color was right and it really looked like craft (to non-designers who wouldn’t inspect the edge of the card to see if it was legit).

This solution is not for the purist, but it’s perfect for a quick turnaround, very affordable white-ink-on-craft-paper-look wedding suite.

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can’t. get. enough. shine.

RoseGoldYep, we added more foil options on StationeryHQ.com because we know you’re obsessed. And so are we. You can already order foil with digital printing through our website. Now you can order foil on A7, A2 and 4Bar size without digital printing on:

  • 130#/21pt Environment Wrought Iron Raw Cover
  • 130# Classic Crest Smooth Cover – Epic Black
  • 130# Classic Crest Smooth Cover – Patriot Blue

And since Rose Gold is a smokin’ hot trend, we added that too. It’s perfect for wedding invitations, save the dates, small art prints and party invites. Turnaround time is 5 business days, find pricing here and don’t forget to log in so you see wholesale prices!

Shout out to Brit Tucker for generously sharing her totally fabulous typographic genius with us – thank you!

Foil continues to shine

You designers have made foil for online automated ordering one of our fastest growing categories. The rest of the world is still falling in love with this look so be sure to include in your 2015 holiday collection. Keep in mind that it takes 7 – 10 business days as opposed to 3 days to produce. Order early so you don’t have to stress about getting them out on time.

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Silver foil on Natural Savoy. Boom.

Things to know when you are designing for foil:

– Foil reproduces best on smoother papers, if you want to use cotton or felt, keep it big and bold

– Make strokes 2pt or bigger

– Simpler, solid artwork will reproduce the foil best

– Comes in A7, A2 and 4bar

– File set up is a little different, check out file set up instructions, you’ll find them under the white card preview

Silver foil on Ice Pearl. Mmmm, so shiny.

Silver foil on Ice Pearl. Mmmm, so shiny.

Available foil colors.

Available foil colors.

Get your shine on and post your foil design pics on our facebook page so we can celebrate your sparkle

Guest Post from a Kick Ass Designer

Hello, I’m Melinda Hartz McElroy, founder and creative director of billet-doux. I’ve been dreaming up couture stationery, invitations and wedding suites since 2005. I love telling personal stories through something tangible, tactile and visually stimulating. But, as I was realizing visions for couture clients, I started to wonder, “How do you stay relevant in the broader marketplace?”

So, I decided to do something completely radical – launch my first ready-to-order wedding collection. What a novel idea! Having previously only collaborated with clients on a custom project basis, I threw caution to the wind and designed suites for imaginary brides and grooms. I immersed myself in fresh and current wedding trends and created a comprehensive collection across a variety of style categories.

It’s easy to get caught up in each and every delightful trend happening in our industry right now, but I kept focused with my targeted list of on-trend must-haves. Mixed typography, handwritten fonts, hombre color effect, monograms, polka dots, lace, floral patterns, and rustic and rhinestone details are among them. But, what are my top obsessions these days? [queue music]

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1) All Things Whimsy

Whimsical elements will forever be at the tippy top of my list. At the core of who I am as a person and a designer, I love the element of surprise and the unexpected. The Brooklyn suite is a sharp detour from my typical design aesthetic; yet, it’s ironically my favorite of the collection. Brooklyn is modern yet whimsical, and perfect for the bride throwing an untraditional, offbeat wedding. [I heart that girl!]

Brooklyn Wedding Suite – billet-doux Spring 2015 Bridal Collection  Printed by StationeryHQ

Brooklyn Wedding Suite – billet-doux Spring 2015 Bridal Collection
Printed by StationeryHQ 

2) Glam/Art Deco/Metallic

So, I squeezed three trends in one, but let’s face it – they all go together like peanut butter and jelly. Dare to kick up the glam by adding to something that’s already glamorous in its own right (that’s you, gorgeous bracket die-cut pocket enclosure!)? Selecting a rich metallic color palette and pairing it with mixed typography (another design mainstay) in simple colors creates an added layer of formality. But it’s the gorgeous glam rhinestone embellishment that transports guests of this Gatsby suite back to the Art Deco era.

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Gatsby Wedding Suite – billet-doux Spring 2015 Bridal Collection Printed by StationeryHQ

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3) Dreamy Paper

I find leveraging beautiful paper to be an uber refreshing design tactic. I mean, why reinvent the wheel with every card? Let thoughtful typography or custom monograms punctuate a suite, and rely on fine papers and gorgeous prints to take the lead in setting the tone. Together or on its own, printing on dreamy double thick paper can easily add a lot of impact and take your design to a whole other level. (Thank you, StationeryHQ!)

Petal Wedding Suite – billet-doux Spring 2015 Bridal Collection Printed by StationeryHQ

Juliet Wedding Suite – billet-doux Spring 2015 Bridal Collection Printed by StationeryHQ on double thick card stock; Rifle Paper Co. floral bellyband

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Petal Wedding Suite – billet-doux Spring 2015 Bridal Collection Printed by StationeryHQ

Enjoy my portfolio and billet-doux’s complete 2015 Spring collection at www.couturestationery.com. Keep in touch on Facebook at www.facebook.com/billetdouxinvitations or at melinda@couturestationery.com.

melinda headhsotAbout Melinda McElroy

Melinda Hartz McElroy is founder and creative director of billet-doux. From fêtes to gratitude, billet-doux has been spicing up mailboxes with one-of-a-kind cards since 2005. Melinda is the former National Marketing Director of a multinational billion-dollar accounting and consulting firm. Melinda oversaw marketing and advertising campaigns for 42 offices across the United States.

By pairing clients’ individual style with billet-doux’s unique brand of creativity, Melinda dreams up pieces that even make wallflowers bloom. Whether creating something couture from scratch or selecting from readymade collections, all items are fully customizable without limitations. billet-doux’s service offerings include wedding suites, social and business stationery, party and corporate event invitations, event details, baby announcements and holiday cards.

Designing for Back to School

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Rainbow Chevron collection by Simon+Kabuki

Summer has historically been a quiet time in the design business but we’ve developed a really nice bump in orders since we started creating back to school products. StationeryHQ.com offers binders, folders, notebooks and lunch boxes for resale so you could be enjoying this extra revenue too. Back to school supplies are a $27 BILLION business in the U.S.

When I’m not working on SHQ’s product line or marketing efforts, I’m working on licensed art. Our collections have graced back to school products at Office Max and Target and we do a lot of personalized school stuff for frecklebox.com.

Here’s what I know about designing for school:

– Bright colors outsell muted colors. By a lot.

– Kids are super trendy, so even if you hate owls, foxes, peace signs or whatever they’re into this year, include those elements in your art and someone will buy them.

– If you’re doing personalized stuff, make sure the kid’s name is the focal point. The moms who are buying love their kids’ names. Subtle won’t sell, particularly when the customer is seeing a thumbnail on her iphone.

I really hated the owl trend. And this design has made use more money than any other. Ugh.

I really hated the owl trend. And this design has made us more money than any other. Ugh.

– Think about design in terms of how it can represent a kids’ interest or personality in a positive way. That’s something we can all feel good about.

Workin’ it: building your stationery biz

awesomesauce copyAside from being the Creative Director for SHQ, I’m a stationery designer just like you. I got started way back with online custom stationery when we launched with TinyPrints.com and now our brand – Simon+Kabuki – is carried by Design Design, Target Stores, Leanin’ Tree and others. So when I was forwarded an email by one of our awesome reps with a link to a good blog article about ways to get around purchasing the full Adobe Suite (if you aren’t ready for the commitment or can’t afford it yet) it occurred to me that we have lots of good info and resources to share with you guys.

Here are a few things that I know:

1. I could not make my living without Adobe software so I throw down the big bucks about every other upgrade but if you need a workaround solution, it’s out there. Check out this article: http://lifehacker.com/5976725/build-your-own-adobe-creative-suite-with-free-and-cheap-software

2. The National Stationery Show in NYC should be attended at least once in your career. You’ll meet awesome people, be inspired and get a good understanding of what the competition and marketplace is like. You kind of need two days to really walk the show or a really comfy pair of super cute shoes. If you are traveling, book a hotel early to get the best deal and walking distance location. Getting a cab at certain times of day sucks.

3. If you’re really serious about your stationery business then having a booth at the show should be considered. We had a 10 x 10 booth for Simon+Kabuki and the cost of booth space, travel, furnishing, samples, and presskits was in the neighborhood of $15 – $20k. But we were coming from California and we kind of really went for it. If you’re considering showing, there’s a group of smart designers that have a workshop called Tradeshow Bootcamp to help you prepare for the show and learn more about your business.

4. If this is how you make your living, you’ll need to design for what will sell, not just what makes you happy. Save the happy stuff for your personal collection so you don’t have to get pissed when a junior level team member with an accounting degree tells you that she doesn’t really like green, it reminds her of vegetables. And remember that what sells for one partner or region may not be the same as in another place. Your customers will push for what they believe will sell so if they are asking for it, it’s not a bad idea to deliver. We’ve been totally shocked by some of our designs that made us the most money. Sometimes our partners knew better than us. Crazy, I know.

5. Relationships with your peers and vendors are as important as the ones you share with your clients. Get involved in some good online communities, read the best publications (you probably already read Stationery Trends, but if you don’t, you should) and develop a relationship with your suppliers. The paper peeps, press repair guys and ink suppliers at StationeryHQ.com are really important to the health of our business, the more they know us the better equipped they are to help us out when there’s a rush or let us know when we could be doing a better job.

And last but not least, don’t ever quit designing. Whether it’s for cold hard cash or to warm your crazy heart, it’s what you need to do be you. I told my husband this morning that I’m going to paint our perfectly nice kitchen cabinets. He replied, “Cuz you’re a psycho and you need another project?” and I said, “Yes.” Then he said, “okay, just wanted to make sure there was a good reason.”

Check out our sassy print work in Martha Stewart Weddings.

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A bold wedding suite set the tone for a beautiful occasion.

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Great use of our different products to go along with an amazing event.

Designer and super awesome client Katie Evans has had quite a year. First she tied the knot, then she had her wedding and designer fabulousness featured in MarthaStewartWeddings.com. Katie took advantage of our high quality digital printing and double thick paper to make a statement, along with bold, happy colors and truly inspired typography. She also took advantage of our stickers to put on cute treat bags and our large sized gift wrap to do a ginormous menu and photo backdrop. Great ideas to continue a theme and stay in budget!2014MSW_spring

You Design. We Deliver. An NSS Perspective from StationeryHQ.

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Having just returned from NSS in New York, I thought it appropriate to share my take on this year’s show. This was my fifth consecutive show and each year I’m thrilled to have a chance to see and meet so many of our existing customers. There’s nothing like putting a name with a face and hearing about customer experiences with our company. Yes, even the bad ones.

The show, like all shows (and orders for that matter) seemed to come in waves. From 10am to 11am we wondered if anyone would show up this year, and from 11am to 3pm we wondered how many people walked away without getting to speak with a representative. If that happened to you, we apologize and hope you had a chance to come back when we weren’t slammed.

As always, I love the “Best in Show” display. My favorite new product was a beautiful hand-sewn leather journal. The incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail was amazing. In general, besides the always fantastic lines of greeting cards, the popular items seemed to be unique journals and wrapping paper. The unfinished look of bound journals was very prevalent and wrapping paper was everywhere. Letterpress remains very strong and the foil trend continues with a vertical trajectory that we rarely see in the industry.

Overall, the crowd was good, the booths looked great, and everyone seemed to be upbeat about the marketplace. From my perspective, I’m glad we were there, and I am eager to help make existing and new stationer’s dreams come true.

Scott Feldman, SHQ Sales Manager

 

Fresh Ideas from Daring Designers

We love a challenge at StationeryHQ so when a Designer calls and starts with “I don’t know if you guys can do this, but…” we get all excited. Seriously, our heart rates go up, and we break out in a light pre-game sweat over the possibilities. We got such a message recently from Cara Rank of xowyo paper and press.


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The paper does the talking with this totally unique design.

We asked Cara what inspired her to design a kraft wedding suite with white ink, here’s what she had to say,

“I have printed on kraft before. I find that people, especially here in Jackson, love the rustic, handmade feel of kraft paper. So I use it a lot for my clients. But when I print in house, I can only do 80, maybe 100 lb. stock. And since I have an ink printer, I can only print in CMYK. I have never been able to print white on kraft without the added expense of screen printing. The offline order was a great option for my company because I could offer the look without the added expense. Yes it was more expensive than your regular ordering system, but it was definitely less than paying my screenprinter to do it (and I didn’t have to do any cutting or folding). Stationery HQ saved me a lot of time with the trifold!”

Kraft_1Two gorgeous designs using the same process: kraft paper with white ink

When asked if designing a custom project with white ink was tough, Cara replied,

“Setting up the files was really easy. It took just minutes. My rep, Leah, was great. I told her my vision, and she suggested the paper stock. She basically did all the work for me. Because one of the jobs was kind of rushed, she even snapped photos for me to approve via email. Stationery HQ did send me color proofs for approval, too.”

IMG_1223_w4151Sassy coasters designed for beer tasting in the bar at a dinner party

We also ran our first double thick, double sided coasters recently. I am the creative director at StationeryHQ so I get a sneak preview of what’s coming down the pipeline. I was practically drooling when I found out that we were adding this option to the SHQ menu. I love to entertain and fully believe that custom coasters are a necessity at every occasion (think weddings, anniversary, birthday parties, bbqs, holidays). This particular coaster design was created for beer tasting before a business dinner at my home with guests from all over the world. The design was inspired by the California theme that was part of the whole evening and my appreciation for a good laugh at almost any cost. You can see more photos and the round coasters I designed for the event at simon+kabuki.com/designerdroppings. Yes, I had double thick custom coasters in the bar AND round custom coasters on the dinner table. I really just couldn’t help myself; they are so much fun to design.

To check out coaster options on StationeryHQ.com, go to http://www.stationeryhq.com/coasters. Don’t forget to login to see your wholesale pricing! And if you want to do something that you don’t see on the site, please contact us so we can get all excited and create something new just for you! 1-800-384-0910