StationeryHQ

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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Do you need custom sizes in small quantities? We got you.

We know how designers like to create original everything so now we have an option for that. If you want a non-standard size in a flat, one-sided format in small quantities, our new DIY Sheet with Cutting is for you. DIY

Here’s how to set up files in Illustrator:

  1. Create a 12″ x 18″ document, either landscape or vertical.
  2. Add guides for the print area: 11.5″ x 17″
  3. Create artwork in desired sizes and fit into print area, place all pieces at 90 degree angles, we cannot cut odd angles.
  4. Make a square or rectangle in the size you want, select it, then go to Objects > Create Trim Marks.
  5. If you have color or images that bleed off the edge, expand them to go at least .125″ beyond the trim marks.

Tip: Leave at least a 3/4″ between pieces for best results.

Minimum: 25 sheets, $1.77 per sheet (if you have a wholesale account)DIY_after

DIY Sheets with Cutting is a great option for a set of odd sized cards, wedding place cards, custom sized postcards, disposable coasters and whatever else you creative types can come up with.

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!

Keep calm and order on

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We’ve had some people report that their connection wasn’t secure on the StationeryHQ checkout page. It didn’t make sense since all of our security certificates are up to date, so we got right on the case! We did quite a bit of research and here’s what we found:

http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/85830/why-is-symantec-verisign-ca-appearing-as-an-invalid-authority

It has something to do with a user’s system certificate chain storage. We’re not going to pretend we fully understand this, but thought we should share the best research we found. We believe our site is as secure as possible and since we don’t store credit cards, you should be good.

We hope this helps.

Beef up the bottom line with flat cards for the holidays

toolsMost of us creative types are all about the design, the message and the media. We aren’t crazy about the math, it’s usually not in a Top 10 priorities spot when we are brainstorming. Here’s the thing though, understanding the bottom line is kind of, you know, crucial. Flat cards from StationeryHQ are a great way to be well-compensated for your talent and efforts.

If you are a wholesale customer, a two-sided, full color, flat A7 card will start at  $.43 each. So for the sake of argument, let’s say you order 50 for a total cost of $21.50 + shipping. Flat cards on fine papers sell on major retail sites for OVER $2.00 each. That’s $100 for a set of 50, leaving you with $79.50 per order. Do 10 orders like that per week (pretty easy workload, right?) and you’re making about $3,000 a month without breaking a sweat. If you did the same number of cards/orders with folded cards, your margin would be closer to $2,000 per month and you had to work a little harder to set up the artwork. See how fun the math is now?

A few more $ tips:

• Requiring a minimum of 25 or 50 as opposed to 10 gets you more profit with exactly the same amount of work.

• Charge a premium for extras like rounded corners, still no extra work for you but a sassier product and better margin.

• Offer incentives for large orders, many customers will “order up” when they know they are close to a discount or promotion.

• Encourage your clients to order early to save on shipping costs. And so you can enjoy the holidays.

Cheers!

I feel the need – the need for a bleed

You’ve designed a fabulous card and now you want StationeryHQ to print it! You saved a PDF/X-1a, just like the SHQ File Setup Guidelines say, but your file doesn’t fit the preview area. What happened? It could be that you didn’t account for bleed in the file.

Bleed is essential in print so the image goes all the way to the edge of the card. Without bleed, you’ll get white strips around the design that aren’t meant to be there. Even if your card has a white background, it can still be cut the wrong size if a bleed is not included.

There are two ways to add bleed to your file. This example uses Adobe Illustrator, but this process is universal with Adobe software.

Method 1: Add bleed to file by calling out a “Bleed”

The screen shot below shows how to set up your file from scratch using this method. When creating a new document, plug in the size of the final card size (we used 5 x 7) and then call out the bleed below. SHQ requires a .25 bleed to both width and height, so you’d add .125 on all four sides for a total of .25 to both dimensions.

bleed1

 

The screen shot below shows how the file you just created should look. The artboard is 5 x 7 and has a .125 bleed all the way around. Your design should go all the way to the red line around the 5 x 7 to cover the bleed area.

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Then when you go to save your fab design, make sure to check the box “Use Document Bleed Settings” in the pop-up window.

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Method 2: Add bleed to file by including bleed in the size of your artboard

The screen shot below shows how to set up your file from scratch using this method. When creating a new document, plug in the size of the final card size including .25 for bleed. We made a 5 x 7 card, so the dimensions would be 5.25 x 7.25. Leave the Bleed section alone because the bleed will be added in to the size of your art board.

bleed2

The screen shot below shows how the file you just created should look. The art board is 5.25 x 7.25. Your design should go all the way to the edge of the art board to cover the bleed area.

bleed2a

Then when you go to save your fab design, do not check the box “Use Document Bleed Settings” in the pop-up window. You’ve already added the bleed to your final size, so you’re good to go.

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And for good measure, don’t forget to outline fonts, change all Pantone colors to CMYK and save as a PDF/X-1a.

Now when you upload your 5 x 7 card to the website, it should fit perfectly into the preview!

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]

brooklyn detail_website

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

gatsby collection_website

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.

CMYK – The More You Know

Around these parts, we like four colors. Not three and certainly not one. EW. Stationery HQ files should be set up with CMYK, not RGB or Pantone/PMS colors.

To make it easy, we made a visual guide to show you where to convert colors using three different Adobe programs.

InDesign:

color_ID

Illustrator:

color_AI

Photoshop:

color_PS

When in doubt about how to set up your files, please check out our File Setup Guidelines.

 Note: We’re using the Adobe Creative Cloud version of these programs, so they might look slightly different than yours. 

You asked and we delivered – Envelopes from Waste Not Paper® on StationeryHQ.com

Waste Not Envelopes

Waste Not Envelopes

You asked and we delivered – Envelopes from Waste Not Paper® on StationeryHQ.com Waste Not has had a great reputation for many years in the fine stationery marketplace. We knew our designers wanted us to provide a low quantity option for Waste Not envelopes in sassy colors. Cuz you yelled it from the rooftops. Really loud.

So Scott started working on a partnership with Waste Not so that our customers could do one-stop shopping for their stationery needs. We are very excited to be able to provide that experience. Many of you probably want these with liners, with printing, and with Waste Not’s entire color lineup (which is amazing). We are starting with three sizes and six colors and if they sell like hotcakes we’ll add more colors and more options to make your envelopes as fabulous as your card design. We have A7, A2 and 4Bar Euro Flap envelopes in these colors:
Pure White
Pool
Peacock
Coral
Slate
Luxe Blush
The Luxe Blush is on order, should be available in late in May or early June. I sure hope you like these and that they help your business grow and be more profitable.

USPS: Cost-Ineffective?

The holiday season can be a stressful time of year. Not only are we hustling and bustling, but we try to stay within a budget to make sure that we cover everyone on our shopping lists.

As stationery and gift makers, we have to add punctuality to that mixture. Shipping with USPS helps to shave some extra expenses, but at what cost? Is saving a few dollars worth not giving your loved one’s gift on time? Is it worth the wait?

Everything boils down to the value of time. Unlike money, once it’s gone, it’s gone.

To help weigh the costs, I’ve placed two mugs and a canvas gallery wrap in my StationeryHQ shopping cart, a fitting gift for my grandparents. Upon checkout, I can choose from the following methods to ship to Fremont, California:

  • USPS Priority Mail 1-Day® ($8.20)
  • UPS Ground ($9.22)
  • UPS 3 Day Select ($12.98)
  • UPS 2nd Day Air ($16.76)
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver ($27.59)
  • UPS Next Day Air ($31.77)

I can spend $8.20 for USPS to ship it in “1-Day”; however, their reputation proves that “1-Day” may equal to “1-week” (or more).

Screen-Shot-2013-12-10-at-10.14.09-AM-300x133Screen-Shot-2013-12-10-at-10.15.45-AM-300x196UPS, on the other hand, delivers on-time with options for notifications of your package’s journey.

At a little over twice the cost of the USPS option, I am guaranteed to have my package delivered in two days. If Christmas were two days from now, I wouldn’t take that risk.

Would you?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!