A couple of years ago I read a blog article about the importance of finding your signature style as a creative person selling your work. Immediately it made me question, as a wedding stationer, what was mine? What set me apart? What do I do differently?
I initially thought this might be the way I produce my stationery. After running my own greetings card company for 6 years – relying on printers and then agents to sell my work to shops – I was very keen (within my new wedding stationery venture) to be responsible for the entire process. From conception of an idea, through the design stage to printing, cutting and scoring all the stationery myself. Stamping wax seals, lining envelopes, punching holes – you name it – I wanted to be solely responsible for it. Taking total control of communication with my clients was another area of change. Quick responses to calls and emails, clear and concise instructions at every stage of the ordering process – I felt this would be of utmost importance to brides and grooms embarking on the (often mammoth) task of planning a wedding. And my customer feedback has certainly reaffirmed this idea.
But going back to the idea of a signature style…
Does this actually make my work recognisable? Well unfortunately ‘no’ is the answer. Certainly being solely responsible for the process means mistakes are more easily avoided and I can assure the highest quality at all times, but surely there needs to be something about the design itself which ‘brands’ my work. An important stage in discerning my signature style was realising that I don’t need to excel at EVERY style. It is tempting in our digital age to be overwhelmed by how many different ideas and images are online; certainly I am influenced by what other wedding stationers are doing on Pinterest etc… But just because there is a massive range of different styles available doesn’t mean I need to try and excel at all of them. That would be impossible!
There was definitely a cross over period, moving from greetings cards into wedding stationery, when I was receiving a lot of requests for invitations with hand drawn elements in the cartoon style I was known for. Dogs, partners, surfboards, teepees, festival sites… to name a few. Looking back, I guess this was a natural progression. Following this, it was all things vintage – my own wedding included. My desk, along with many others I’m sure, was awash with recycled kraft card, burlap and lace!
Over the years my style has changed, inline with trends, to become increasingly floral. I began to notice that while previously I had always designed bespoke work around a client’s concept, theme or palette (please note – I am still able to work from all of these!) I was receiving more and more enquiries from bridal couples requesting a bespoke design to specifically mirror their wedding flowers. Having dabbled with floristry in my early twenties, I suddenly realised that I was now getting another stab at this – a chance to put floral displays together – but on paper! And in the relative warmth of a studio!
Bouquets and floral centrepieces now inspire both my bespoke projects and new custom collections. I am passionate about flowers and there seems to be no limit to the creativity in wedding floristry. I love working with watercolour illustrations to bring these alive on paper, pairing them with bold patterns for a vibrant, contemporary style or simply with a beautiful calligraphy font for a more elegant look.
I am always working on a range of projects, at various stages of development at any given time and the breadth of tastes and styles which couples are looking for keeps my work diverse, enjoyable and really rewarding. Variation is the key to a happy life after all! And I always enjoy a new challenge. But when I think about my signature style or niche – perhaps I have found mine with floristry on paper.
Do you have a floral style in mind for your wedding stationery? Please do get in touch. Send any ideas or images to firstname.lastname@example.org and I promise to get back to you sharpish!