design

Let Your Design Shine

Need a little “glam” for your next piece? In case you didn’t already know, we offer foil stamping in an assortment of colors to add that special shine. Here are a few words from Red Pearl Designs:

The foil printing turned out beautiful! I was extremely impressed with the quality and fast service I received from StationeryHQ. Thank you for the great work!

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So, what are you waiting for? Let your design shine now.

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

Trends: What’s Hot in Design Now, part 2

All the designers we know have a unique way of seeing the world—they notice fine details in typography, color, texture, pattern. And that visual inspiration comes together when they’re crafting their designs in paper.

The Write Stuff recently chatted with one of our favorite designers, Erin Sarpa of Simon+Kabuki and the blog Designer Droppings, about the cool trends she’s seeing right now.

Erin focused on four key design trends. Check out the previous post on typography and color. Here, we’ll cover texture and pattern. Use these ideas to inspire your own design work!

Texture

Natural materials continue to drive the trend in texture — think of linen fabric, burlap, grasscloth and the like. While traditional linen-textured paper is an obvious choice for stationery designs, look at adding other decorative elements with embossing, which can create a more obvious tactile quality to an invitation or notecard. Textures can be embossed over an entire piece or added as a border, like a bamboo or rope pattern. (Ask us about Stationery HQ’s embossing capabilities.)

Sources for texture inspiration:

Texturemate.com — here’s a free source for textures that you can download and incorporate into your work, including fabrics, metals, stone and other materials.

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Pinterest.com  — scan through the Home Decor category on Pinterest to find interesting textures in textiles, tile and wood.

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Pattern

Looking at fashion, graphic design and home decor, Erin is seeing a big resurgence in what we’d consider old-fashioned patterns: herringbone, houndstooth and chevron. (These patterns can be embossed into paper to create a remarkable touch and feel; ask us about Stationery HQ’s embossing capabilities.) Patterns like this are especially interesting when they’re used at a huge scale. Think: a tiny houndstooth check blown up to an inch square or larger.

Another hot pattern trend: Moroccan tile. These ancient patterns are intricate, bold and distinctive — and gorgeous. Moroccan motifs can be used for corner embellishments, frames and other graphic details in stationery and papergoods (think of how cool a sheet of wrapping paper would look with a repeating tile pattern).

Sources for pattern inspiration:

Media coverage of fashion week  — since fashion is so influential, it makes sense to pay attention to major media coverage of American and international fashion weeks for inspiration. You’ll see everything in designers’ collections, from pattern to texture to color.

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What design trends most intrigue you right now? Please share what you’re loving!

Trends: What’s Hot in Design Now, part 1



Pantone-screen-shotAll the designers we know have a unique way of seeing the world—they notice fine details in typography, color, texture, pattern. And that visual inspiration comes together when they’re crafting their designs in paper.

The Write Stuff recently chatted with one of our favorite designers, Erin Sarpa of Simon+Kabuki and the blog Designer Droppings, about the cool trends she’s seeing right now.

Erin focused on four key design trends, and we’ll start with the first two here. Use these ideas to inspire your own design work!

Typography

Type is at an all-time high, Erin says, in terms of its prominence, diversity, accessibility and style. Look around, and you’ll see a huge trend in type as art—where lettering isn’t just for communication, it’s the decoration. The buzz-y “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster design is just one example of that; you’ll also see beautiful typographical treatments of song lyrics, quotes and people’s names. Erin’s also loving the trend of hand-drawn lettering and highly customized type, and interesting combinations of typefaces.

Great sources of type inspiration:

Typography.com  — this website shows off the gorgeous fonts from foundry Hoefler & Frere-Jones, including some typefaces originally designed for Martha Stewart and now available to the public. You’ll recognize H&F-J’s lovely typeface Archer — it’s everywhere right now.

LetterheadFonts.com  — a great source for super-stylish lettering (and for visual inspiration), this site offers fonts for sale and shows a gallery of their type in action.

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Color

Erin predicts that a deep, rich red is going to be the “big, gigantic color” in the coming season — in fact, she’s seeing lots of muted jewel tones like dusky navy and pine-y green or olive. These rich accent colors are being paired with interesting neutrals, like not-quite-grey and not-quite black. For inspiration, Erin suggests looking at trendy nail polish colors: greys and super-dark, almost-black purples are hot right now.

In papergoods, she’s seeing lots of muted pastels: soft pinks, peaches and warm creamy tones that convey a vintage feel. Also on-trend? Metallics — but now, they’re warmer, like gold and bronze instead of cool silver. (Talk to us about metallics: Stationery HQ can create beautiful metallic foil enhancements for your designs.)

Great sources of color inspiration:

Pantone Color Forecast  — of course, Pantone is the design world’s go-to source for all things color, and their seasonal fashion color forecast is a must-see for print designers. Fashion is a great predictor of color trends, as designers reveal new collections as much as a year ahead of season.

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ColourLovers.com  — this website and community for designers is all about color; users can post color palettes and find inspiration from a huge library of color combos.

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Where do you turn for visual inspiration to fuel your papergoods designs? We’d love to know about your favorites; please share links here!