Monday, April 25, 2011

Emerson's Ice Cream Parlour

I've been waiting FOREVER to blog about this recent invitation design....a few months ago Janeen Donati owner of Paige-Reese Designer Bakeshop emailed me about invitations for her daughter Emerson's upcoming sundae themed birthday. I've included Janeen in many of my blogs because we often work together on design projects but also because hands down she is an incredibly talented designer and as you know when I like something I like share it. I was excited to design this invitation but REALLY excited to see what Janeen would create to coordinate with it. I wanted the invitation to have a vintage ice cream shop feel so I began with a color palette of bubble gum pink, chocolate and white. I knew Janeen wanted coordinating signs for all the condiments in the sundae bar as well as the water bottles.....therefore I felt this party needed some branding... WELCOME to Emerson's Ice Cream Parlour. There is no way you can design for an ice cream sundae party and not have glitter somewhere on the invitation so I created an adorable ice cream sundae using clear glitter on the whip cream and of course red on the cherry! Next up........the envelope, who says an envelope should be plain! I used a pattern of swiss dots in bubble gum pink for the background and placed the vintage style frame from the logo on top but replaced the wording with each of the guests names that would be invited to the party. The envelope design was completed with a bubble gum pink envelope liner which looks stunning against the invitation backer of chocolate brown.

Now that my part is done lets talk SWEETS....I first need to start with the ice cream sundae shaped cookie favors the amount of detail on them is truly impressive but I would expect nothing less from Janeen. Each cookie was individually wrapped with a custom tag that had a message and the the glittered sundae from the invitation. Next is the spoon......seriously the most adorable item I have ever seen but notice the "E" monogram on the bottom of the spoon it's practically identically to the font I used on the invitation. That right there is why I refer to Janeen as a BAKING GENIUS and LOVE working with her, she truly cares about the little details. If you want to know where you can get Emerson's adorable shirt it was custom made by Modern Frills.......too cute!

When she sent me the photos of the party I was truly in awe of the amount of styling that went into this birthday but nearly fell off my chair when I saw the cake..........simply elegant and equally stunning.......I mean would just look at the cherry on top there are just no words for this. I follow a lot of cake blogs because it's a part of my industry but also because I would LOVE to someday learn how to do be cake designer.......who says you can't do an internship when your in your thirties. I highly recommend taking a peek at Janeen's blog you too will be blown away by her designs:)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Georgia and Chad........ENGAGED

I may be a little biased because of my chosen profession but getting engaged ranks in my top five most memorable life moments. I can honestly remember every single detail of when my husband proposed to me over 14 years ago. For me every bride I work with is important but this one is different because she's family.  Thirteen years ago at just 17 Georgia was a bridesmaid at my own wedding so I was over the top with excitement to hear the news about her engagement to Chad but even more excited and honored when she asked if I would design invitations for her up coming engagement party. Honestly, so much has changed since I got married.....especially with regards to custom invitations, I look back at my own wedding invitation truly would never know that I had just graduated with a degree in graphic design but like everything in get better with age.

When I met with Georgia and her mother she really didn't have a color palette or theme in mind, I suggested picking what you like and I would do the rest. Square has been really big this wedding season for me, it seems everyone is gravitating towards it. The main component of the invite is a 5x5 envelofold with the pattern on the interior instead of exterior. The main invite is white linen with a deep shimmery chocolate brown backer called bronze, the reply card we kept simple by continuing the use of the white linen. I always talk about the little details.......postage has taken the wedding world by storm recently giving brides plenty options, you will notice the custom stamps used are an exact match to the pattern in the invite itself which is gives everyone a little peek of what's to come.

Most often than not any invitation having to do with a wedding embodies some kind of symbolism, some are obvious to everyone while others might be more subtle. Saying "YES" I believe has a lot of symbolism, if you think of all the important things you say "YES" too in your life.  For example what  college you will decide to attend or what fabulous job offer will you take, being asked out on a date, deciding to get married or have children........all of these questions that you answer "YES" too will ultimately change your life and send you on a new path. Georgia said "YES" to Chad when he asked her to marry him, next up...........saying "YES" to the DRESS.........equally as important:)

It's rare that I'm on location for the event I designed invitations for but lucky for me this time around I am part of the family. I'm so excited because I usually only see the completed vision through photos after the party is over........this time around I will get a front row seat......which is nice for a change. I would like to wish Georgia, Chad and their families and huge CONGRATS!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


If you know me well enough then you know I believe "SHARING IS CARING" so what does this have to do with a blog titled "Field Trip"........actually A LOT! When I first started BeeCustom Design I discovered early on that very few creative professionals SHARE information and a few might even try and lead you in the wrong direction. I truly believe no two designers are alike, we all have tons of original artwork or designs however it's what you do with it that will make you different. Two years ago I set out for my first New York Stationery Show and was so excited to be amongst my fellow creative professionals. I wanted to find a company that could produce some of my artwork on melamine plates and bowls and figured I would be able to find a source there...NOT A CHANCE...NOBODY would share anything. I finally spoke with a woman that represented a very large company and I asked her what the deal was.....her response was yes most creative professionals will not share because it may impact their business. Every plate or bowl in that entire stationery show that I saw clearly was made by one company but what made them all different were the designs....some designers have a whimsical look, some have a preppy look my point is no two designers are alike so sharing information with another creative professional should not impact your business and any good designer wouldn't dream of copying another designers work. On the last day of the show I spotted a plate in a display case that someone forgot to put their logo sticker on the back and I was able to copy down a phone number. When I look at my plates and bowls they don't look like any other designers because it is my artwork and my style on them.  After that show I promised myself that I would never do that to another creative professional, I would share because we are not re-inventing the wheel people we're all just all trying to make it our own.

I recently was talking with a potential client who wanted a specific look for her wedding invitations, she wanted blush pink ink on navy card stock I knew this would have to be out sourced to a printing company. I called a few different ones asking how I could achieve this look, I was told I could not because all inks are transparent except for metallic inks. Feeling a little annoyed and defeated I kept searching the internet........FINALLY I stumble upon something online ENGRAVING........this method of printing will allow you to print using light ink on dark card stock because the ink is not transparent. Funny thing is I went back to the websites of the company's I originally called non of them offered engraving but I find it hard to believe that as professional printers they didn't know this printing method existed....I guess they were not willing to share.

I'm the type of designer that if I am going to allow someone else to handle the printing of any of my work then I want to not only know them but physically be able to meet them which meant I needed to find a local printer. I came across the Artcraft Company located in North Attleboro, Massachusetts I was impressed with their website so I emailed Michelle Wagner their social stationery manager who was very prompt in answering all my questions and providing me with a quote. She then invited me to come down and visit the company.........I was thrilled!

A few weeks ago I went on a field trip to The Artcraft Company and it was by far the best professional four hours I have ever spent, so much so that I wanted SHARE what I learned with all of you. As I sat in Michelle's office she showed me all the work they have done with multiple kinds of printing methods. I learned that if you are designing for letterpress make sure your lines have some thickness to them if you have a design that contains a lot of fine lines have it engraved......engraving LOVES fine lines. The more Michelle spoke the more I realized if you're a designer your printer should not just be a company you send your work too, they should in a way be your creative partner......their knowledge of printing methods will essentially make you a better designer.

Michelle was able to give me a personal tour of the print shop.......OMG it was incredible to see all the equipment in full operation.....our first stop was to meet Steve Ladabauche and Jim Petrarca who are the plate makers they were kind enough to stop and show me what they were doing and why. In short Steve and Jim receive a negative from the pre press department.  They in turn make the copper plates (one plate is necessary per color for engraving) which are then processed in an acid bath. After the plates are made, Steve and Jim hand tool any areas that require extra depth or fine-tuning in any way. Watching them fine tune someones design by hand was truly amazing and just re-affirmed how essential it is to know your printer and their peeps. Next up was pressman Phil Havey who also took the time to stop and not only explain but show me the engraving process as a job was being done. As we continued on through the printing facility I was able to see business cards being cut and completed orders getting ready to ship. One of my favorite spots on the tour was the seeing all the tubs of inks.......hundreds of colors, Michelle explained a lot of times to achieve the exact color is not as simple as just picking one color but the art of mixing a few. As I look at all the colors I spotted a shelf of PINKS and in the middle of all them was the perfect blush pink ink.......who knew that a simple request would have lead me to one thing I had been searching for......a really good printer.

My visit to The Artcraft Company has changed me as a designer I feel like I can offer so much more to my clients now.  To any creative professionals out there I encourage you to know your printer they have A LOT of knowledge that can and will make you a better designer. If you do not have a printer I will share mine because "SHARING IS CARING"  I feel I have found a partner in The Artcraft Company, I know now when I send a design for Michelle to look at she can tell me the best method of printing to use in order to achieve the ultimate finished product. The only thing I regret about my day at Art Craft was not bringing my camera.......thank you to Steve for taking these photos for me to share with all of you. I wanted to share one last photo of an engraved letterhead printed by Artcraft, before I contacted them I was on their website and came across me it was a SIGN because I actually received my degree in Graphic Design from Mount Ida College.

I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone at The Artcraft Company very making my field trip first rate.