5 Ideas For Aspiring Invitation Designers
I may not be an invitation designer, but I work with the best of the best of them and am lucky to call a few of them close friends ... being a stationery designer is no joke .... it's stressful, time consuming, incredibly detail oriented, and has major deadlines that won't care if you are sick in bed with the flu ... I'm not here to tell you how to be a badass in this field, but there are a few things I thought I'd share if you are gearing up to start your own invitation design business ...
1. SPELL STATIONERY CORRECTLY
Honestly, this is huge ... if you are calling yourself a STATIONARY DESIGNER then not one single person will be able to take you seriously .... I've blogged about this before, but there are two ways to spell this word ... stationEry with an 'e' which refers to pretty papers ... and stationAry with an 'a' that refers to standing or sitting still ... if you aren't a strong speller, that's ok!!! But this is one word you just need to train yourself to spell correctly if you are going to work in the paper business.
2. ALWAYS MAKE A FAKE
When you are designing invitations for a real client always create a 'fake invitation' for yourself and for the photographer and wedding planner to style up for the wedding invitations. Use a fake address, fake names, etc ... that way you won't have to worry about a private address being made public and pissing someone off ... it's also nice to have a copy of each invitation you create to keep for your own reference or to show clients!
3. STAY IN THE KNOW WITH STYLING TRENDS
Make sure you are constantly treating your brain to eye-candy across the industry ... pick up on the current styling trends so when you do style up your stationery for your portfolio you are doing it in a way that attracts the type of client you want hiring you! Trends, especially in this industry, are always changing ... it's important to try to stay ahead of the curve and keep things moving ... NEVER GET COMFY with one style because that's how you will become dated quickly.
4. DON'T WORK WITH SH*TTY PHOTOGRAPHERS
I'm sorry, did I offend someone??? Too bad. If you are growing your portfolio and business you need to take GREAT CARE in only hiring the best photographers to capture your work for your website, social media, etc ... I'm not talking about the photographers you can't control (the ones your clients hire) ... I'm talking about the ones you CAN CONTROL ... if you are in this industry you need to CONTROL how your work is displayed. Take your fakes and hire a badass photographer to come and photograph each suite ... style them up, make them beautiful, find or create the 'dream lighting' ... and then use them in the environments you can control: your website, your social media channels, your advertisements, your newsletters, your marketing materials ...
5. NOT GETTING HIRED FOR IT? MAKE IT ANYWAY!
This combines #2 and #4 ... if you aren't getting hired to design what you want to design, then make a bunch of fakes, have them photographed, and have a killer website designed with the photos ... looking for a killer website??? We should chat ;)