Resources, Stories, Wedding

Custom wedding invitations – are they right for you?

July 15, 2016
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Let’s face it, when it comes to wedding invitations there are so many different ways to invite people to your wedding! For many couples, it’s about easy-of-use. They would much rather send everything electronically either through a wedding website or an Evite service. For some couples getting the DIY printable kits from Michaels are a great option or going through an online dealer where they can purchase cost-effective templates works too! But for other couples they can’t picture inviting their friends and family any other way than with beautiful, custom wedding invitations. Are you considering custom wedding invitations or aren’t really sure which format works best for you? Here are a few reasons why custom wedding invitations could be the best option for you:

Expertise
Having a designer create your invitations isn’t only about having unique invitations, it’s also about the expertise and guidance a designer can provide. Often times couples don’t know where to start. Your designer can educate you on the different sizes, paper options and insert pieces available and make suggestions based on your specific wedding. A designer can also provide insight into the etiquette for wording, RSVP deadlines etc., which can massively decrease your stress level when planning your entire wedding (which is sometimes well worth the extra money!).

Unique
Your love is unique, your wedding is unique and your invitations should be unique. If you’ve scavenged the Internet and haven’t been able to find templated invitations that fit your tastes or requirements, hiring a designer could be your solution.

The Details
For some couples, it’s all about the details. Does the colour on the invitations perfectly match the bridesmaid dresses? Or perhaps you require a bilingual wedding invitation to match both of your cultural backgrounds? Perhaps you need two versions of the invitation for guests coming just to the ceremony and the ceremony and reception. Each couple has their own requirements and a designer can accommodate those requirements with ease.

Custom wedding invitations also help with the brand of the wedding. From the invitations to the table numbers, to the menu and seating charts, a designer will assist in maintaining a cohesive look for your big day.

Time
With everything that you have to plan for the big day, sometimes you don’t have time to DIY every detail. After the initial consultation, a designer will go to work putting together all of the details. Generally speaking, the only commitment required of the couple is the approval process (saying yes, to that beautiful calligraphy).

Do you believe that custom wedding invitations are right for you? If so, contact me!
I’d love to hear about your wedding plans and to prepare a quote for you. 

Featured, Invitations, Wedding

Gold Foil Letterpress Wedding Invitations

May 25, 2016
Gold Foil Letterpress Wedding Invitations

Every designer has a bucket list of things they’re excited to design or to try. For the longest time mine has been foil letterpress invitations. This past winter I was fortunate enough to meet Angela and Brian in a quaint coffee shop in Bowmanville, Ontario for a wedding invitation consultation. Within minutes of our discussion, Angela stated that she wanted to do letterpress printing and that she wanted to incorporate gold foil. I have to admit, fireworks were going off in my head.

Once they informed me that it was a brunch wedding at the Century Barn in Cavan, Ontario, I was over the moon excited about the project. Personally, breakfast is my favourite meal of the day (brunch, even more so) and, as you’ve read before, I love wedding’s that are personal and unique to the couple. We set to work creating the wedding stationery suite and this is the result!

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Featured, Invitations, Wedding

Navy, Gold & White Wedding Invitations with Gold Glitter Envelope Liners

April 27, 2016
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Sabina (the bride) came to me last year to discuss Save the Dates for her July 16th wedding at Penryn Park Estates in Port Hope, Ontario. I designed classic navy and gold save the dates that went with their classic and elegant theme. The bride contacted me again in early Spring this time to design her wedding invitations. We matched the design of the original save the dates; however, we used the gold as a feature by putting gold glitter envelope liners inside of the matte navy envelopes. Although the invitations were simple, the statement was in the details. I loved how these came together (even if it meant my office was covered in sparkles!).

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Save the Dates, Wedding

Rustic Save the Date Magnets

April 23, 2016
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What could remind guests of the date of your wedding better than a magnet stuck on their fridge? Sydney and Cory thought the same thing when we sat down to discuss their Save the Dates for their September 3rd wedding at Polmenna Barn in Campbellford, Ontario. Enter: Save the Date Magnets. I also designed a custom stamp for the couple, which tied in the fonts from their Save the Date with the address on their envelope. This is also something they can use when addressing their wedding invitations or even their thank you cards post-wedding!

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Featured, Invitations, Wedding

Blush, Ivory & Gold Wedding Invitation Suite

April 20, 2016
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Shari (the bride) contacted me in February regarding their June wedding at Penryn Mansion in Port Hope, Ontario. Shortly after a few emails back and forth I soon realized she was engaged to Travis, whom I had met years back while in University (I tend to get excited when there’s a personal connection, as it makes working together a bit easier). We met at a busy Tim Horton’s in North Toronto to discuss the couple’s vision for their wedding stationery. Shari had a colour scheme and a few ideas, but she relinquished the creative direction to me. With some clients this can be horrible, but lucky for me it was wonderful, as Shari was very open to ideas and let me explore.

Shari was super collaborative throughout the process and we routinely text messaged ideas back and forth (there was even a run to Michael’s for ribbon where Shari and I collaborated and came to a decision through photos and texts). It was when she shared a photo of the bridesmaids dresses that the creative direction solidified in my head. I’m SO incredibly happy with how these blush, ivory and gold invitations turned out and so thankful that Shari and Travis chose me to do their invitations.

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Design, Featured, Websites

TuesdayLiveWell Website Redesign

April 11, 2016
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Tuesday and I met about a year ago while I was working as a Community Manager at Turnstyle, a tech startup in downtown Toronto. I worked with her partner Paul who she would bring smoothies and healthy lunches to every once in awhile. I think I bonded with her margarita flavoured smoothie before I bonded with her (yes, it was THAT delicious). So when Tuesday contacted me about working on a website redesign for her business TuesdayLiveWell, I knew I had to work on the project.

“As the founder of Tuesday Live Well, Tuesday integrates her skills from the kitchen and expertise as a Holistic Nutritionist, to create a unique support experience for all age groups. Tuesday Live Well is based in Toronto and Mississauga but helps people remotely worldwide via Skype consultations.”

We set out on a journey to bring to life the beautiful food and recipes that Tuesday creates and marry it with the education and services that she offers her clients. After months of email chains, Google docs and Saturday coffee shop meetings, it’s finally here – the newly redesigned TuesdayLiveWell.com

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TuesdayLiveWell Website Redesign

TuesdayLiveWell Website Redesign

TuesdayLiveWell Website Redesign

Design is a Job, Stories

Letterpress Workshop at Graven Feather

April 2, 2016
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When I’m not busy designing or doing Recruitment Social Media Strategies at Bell, I teach Innovative Design and Production and Design part-time at Humber College. This past week I had the incredible opportunity to take my 3 sections of 100+ students to Graven Feather in Toronto to learn about the art of Letterpress printing.

Lettepress printing is experiencing a reemergence, especially in the wedding industry. It’s interesting because the embossed impression in the paper was actually considered a defect in the printing process. By today’s standards the defect is actually the most highly coveted part of Letterpress printing.

The students had the opportunity to work with mono type on 3 different types of printing processes to create customized prints. The workshop reinforced having an eye for detail, as well as the manual labour involved in printing. Most of the costs associated with Letterpress printing comes from the labour involved in pressing each individual print (not to mixing the ink to that perfect shade).

Thank you to Pam and Erin at Graven Feather for hosting us!

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Featured, Thank You Cards, Wedding

Classic Black & White Thank-You Postcards

November 13, 2015
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For those of us in our twenties and thirties, it seems like the parade of engagements and weddings are never ending. Just as all of my friends started getting engaged and married, so have a few of my sister’s friends. It’s not everyday though that one of your sisters best friends gets married. Christina, probably on more than one occasion, has witnessed me, covered in glitter and glue, assembling some sort of stationery. Once Tim finally popped the question, it was only a matter of time before Christina, my sister and I were fully immersed in talks of paper, save the dates, envelopes and invitations. Although this is only a slight glimmer into the stationery in our future, these engagement party thank-you postcards are classic and simple, yet elegant and functional.

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Featured, Programs, Wedding

Destination Wedding Paddle Programs

November 10, 2015
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Yesterday Brittany & Evan tied the knot in beautiful Domincan Republic! Although their wedding was primarily gold and white, Brittany wanted to include tones of blue (they did, after all, get married by the ocean). The paddle programs were relatively simple in nature; however, the detail was in the woven paper texture. All-in-all I’m really happy with how these turned out and I’m sure the guests were even happier having something to fan themselves with in the warm Domincan sun.

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Featured, Wedding, Wedding Party Favors

Watercolour Bridesmaid Ask Cards

September 10, 2015
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With the summer coming to an end I’m already starting to miss the bright colours and long sun-filled nights. When Steph reached out to me to do her Bridesmaid Ask Cards I knew I had to incorporate bright colours and big florals, as she hadn’t completely come up with the colour scheme for her wedding. I sought out a heavy cardstock to complement the watercolour flowers. The 300lb luxe textured paper was perfect and had this incredible tactile experience. I have to say this project was the perfect way to end the summer.

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Featured, Save the Dates, Wedding

Muskoka Wedding Save the Date Magnets

September 3, 2015
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It’s been just over 5 years since the girls of 1500 Richmond Unit 102 went their separate ways all on different adult adventures. It’s crazy to think that it’s been that long because it certainly doesn’t feel like it. I swear it was just yesterday that we were all dressed from head to toe in purple celebrating Western homecomings together, devising what we thought were legitimate excuses for not going to class, cheap movie nights, cheap drink nights, surviving break-ins armed with Swiffers and brooms and all of the craziness that was 5 girls living in a house while going to University. Fast forward 5 years later and we’re all in full-blown careers, settling down and getting married (well, some of us). And to believe that during all of the chaos, partying and studying, Brittany and Kyle happened. I still remember the first weekend that Kyle came up to visit us in London and I also remember thinking that Kyle was different. Over the years of adulthood (post-Western) Brittany and I kept in touch, consistently using our cheap movie nights as an excuse to sometimes drive up to an hour to see each other. Brittany would talk of traveling, going back to school for a post-grad and of course, Kyle, this sweet, quiet companion (he’s probably going to hate me for saying these things). Throughout it all I kept thinking was how good Kyle and Brittany were for each other. Now, around 5 years after that first visit in London, Brittany and Kyle are tieing the knot in at Windermere House in Muskoka in 2016. When I sat down to go through their engagement photography, it was literally impossible to choose a few photos. I wanted to use them ALL! Ultimately we landed on one gorgeous photo of the two of them out on the rocks by Brittany’s cottage in Georgian Bay. What’s unique about this type of save the date is that they’re actually fridge magnets! I’m so excited for the two of them to start their lives together – but first, great stationery to celebrate the momentous occasion!

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Design, Featured, Logos

Branding for Modern Mary

July 31, 2015
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In the 6+ years I’ve been working in media I’ve had the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented individuals. One of those people was a former co-worker of mine, Teresa Santarsia. When I worked with Teresa she was a brand manager for our consumer food and beverage show. I had the opportunity to work with her on some of the marketing material design for the event and immediately I knew, this girl was driven, talented and DEFINITELY had an eye for detail. After giving birth to her beautiful daughter, she contacted me to work on a personal project and side business. Due to our work history together I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to work with her again.

Teresa’s vision for her brand was simple; clean design, functional and fashionable. After sending me a beautiful story about her Grandmother (after whom the brand was named) the identity of the Modern Mary brand started to take shape.

“Modern Mary launched in early 2015, founded by Teresa Santarsia a Canadian fashionista. Modern Mary produces a line of luxury lunch bags for adults. Today, Modern Mary continues to offer the only stylish food clutch of its kind. Our collections are gender neutral, timeless and offer on-the-go adults a trendy resource for transporting food. Modern Mary bags are manufactured in Canada and sold across the globe.”

For the logo design and identity branding we stuck with an elegant, yet modern approach. Having a logo that Teresa could integrate onto the product itself was important for brand recognition, but also having something that could be used in print, web and at event activations was priority as well. I couldn’t be happier with the result and seeing the logo on the bags was a pretty humbling moment for me. Congratulations Teresa on the launch of your company – all the best in the future!

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To purchase one of these stylish food clutches visit modern-mary.com
and follow Teresa on Facebook or Instagram!

Featured, Invitations, Wedding

Rustic Linen, Navy, Gold, Ivory & Kraft Wedding Invitation Suite

July 29, 2015
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Almost an entire year in advance this bride contacted me to ensure I could do her wedding invitation suite for her September 2015 wedding. After learning that her wedding was to take place at the Ganaraska Forest Centre in Port Hope, Ontario, I knew the invitations were probably going to have a few rustic touches. Within a few days Katelyn’s ideas landed in my inbox complete with organic finishes and personal details. If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know, I’m a sucker for personal touches. When Katelyn mentioned the opportunity to create a personalized stamp for their invites, I was ecstatic.

We veered away from the traditional flat matte card stock and infused a little bit of luxury by utilizing a linen finish for the main invitation and the RSVP and accommodation cards. This juxtaposed nicely against the kraft envelopes and the slightly metallic navy envelopes for the RSVP cards. Katelyn and Nicholas’ wedding invitation suite borders between traditional and modern, in that they stuck with a traditional RSVP card, but went with more modern finishes in their paper and font choices. The hand lettering definitely gave it that rustic feel they were looking for. The bride, being up for doing a bit of DIY, hand stamped/embossed the return addresses on the envelopes with a black ink on the invitation envelopes and then a gold finish on the RSVP envelopes. To complete the look she wrapped twine around the invitations. It was such a pleasure to collaborate with Katelyn over the 8 or so months we worked on this project together!

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Featured, Invitations, Wedding

Modern Green & Black Square Wedding Invitation Suite

July 9, 2015
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When it comes to weddings, invitations and their colour schemes, they come and go with the trends. As much as I love designing to those trends, it’s also nice when a couple approaches me with their own tastes and ideas. Amy and I (and then Jon) met at a coffee shop in Old Toronto. I love that area of the city. There are so many beautiful design shops, not to mention Terroni and the Chef’s House (what can I say, food and design: two of my favourite things). Jon was running a bit late, so Amy proceeded to fill me in on their day-of plans. They’re getting married and having the reception at Le Papillon Park, a French restaurant in the Beaches, where they’ve shared some of their biggest celebrations together. Immediately I was swooning, as the concept was so intimate and meaningful. They weren’t planning on having a wedding party. Instead, they decided to simply have two witnesses. For them the day is about celebrating with friends and family and they wanted their invitations to be indicative of that. They wanted to keep the colour scheme simple – green and neutral and Amy loved the idea of a square wedding invitation with a postcard-style RSVP card. I started with a unique hand lettered version of their names and had some more fun with the food selection on the RSVP cards. These two have proven to me that weddings can still be intimate and that they haven’t lost their meaning among the flowers, trends and ballgowns. modern wedding invitation modern wedding invitation modern wedding invitation modern wedding invitation modern wedding invitation modern wedding invitation

Featured, Invitations, Programs, Reception Stationery, Save the Dates, Thank You Cards, Wedding

Romantic Blush, Grey & Burlap Summer Wedding Invitation Suite

July 2, 2015
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Just over a year ago I got to spend one of the most amazing days celebrating the marriage of two of my favourite people: Jess & Ty. It only seemed fitting that this #tbt goes out to them and their wedding. It’s not everyday that your best friend marries their best friend (literally). Jess and Ty have been friends probably longer then Jess and I have been friends, so getting to stand up and support her was an absolute no brainer. It was also an easy, “Yes” when she asked me to design their wedding invitation suite, as well as some favours for their big day. Her vision was simple: blush and burlap with just enough grey to keep Ty happy. Not only did we do the traditional wedding invitation suite, but we also created Thank You Donation Cards, Wine Bottle Labels, Water Bottle Labels (not photographed) and Paddle Style Programs. I still think back to the day and get butterflies.

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Wedding Photography by Rachael Joy Photography

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Featured, Save the Dates, Wedding

Navy, Gold & Ivory Save the Dates

June 23, 2015
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Sabina’s vision for her save the dates (and wedding stationery) was very clear; classic and elegant. Her and her fiance Chris are getting married at Penryn Park Estates in Port Hope, Ontario amongst large, beautiful trees with the back drop of the Penryn Mansion. Nothing says elegance like traditional Breton stripes and unique ornaments on these save the dates.

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Featured, Invitations, Wedding

Black & White Rustic Wedding Invitation Suite

March 18, 2015
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When I first met with Kate and Ryan and Kate explained the vision for their wedding, I knew that clean invitations (as part of a larger wedding invitation suite) with simple rustic touches would be perfect for bringing their Polmenna Barn wedding to life. The bridesmaids and groomsmen were both wearing grey, so sticking to a neutral colour palette was a must. Because Polmenna Bar is in a fairly remote location, it was very important to have a direction card so family and friends didn’t get lost on the way to the wedding. Doing a traditional RSVP card in a non-traditional postcard was also fun and played into the fun-loving nature of the couple. I love how this suite came together – I only wish I had it photographed and up on the blog sooner!Black White Wedding Invitation Suite Black White Wedding Invitation Suite Black White Wedding Invitation Suite Black White Wedding Invitation Suite Black White Wedding Invitation Suite

Design is a Job, Featured, Stories

Design is a Job: #tbt Styling a Photo Shoot

February 6, 2015
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Staying grounded has always been very important to me. Working in media you come across some pretty interesting characters whose feet aren’t anywhere close to the ground. To keep things in perspective I always ask myself, “What would my 16-year-old self think?” This tends to be effective, as my 16-year-old self was stuck going to high school in a small town, dreaming about the life that would hopefully someday become a reality. I would hang pictures on my bedroom walls and curate my MySpace and Friendspages with graphics of my imaginary “life-to-be”. So when I had the opportunity to assist in styling a backyard barbeque photo shoot complete with a chef and a prop budget, I jumped at it. I remember standing in the backyard and asking myself, “What would my 16-year-old self think?” and I know she would’ve been pretty ecstatic.

In the weeks leading up to the photo shoot the photographer and I spent hours purchasing/borrowing props that we thought would pull together a great, summery, backyard barbecue. When it came to the shoot day, it was a little overcast, a little dreary, but there was no way you were dampening our spirits.

PS. Photography by the talented Brandon Gray. Follow him on Instagram @brandonmichaelgray and floral arranging my amazing Mum.

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Baby Shower, Design, Featured

Construction Theme Baby Shower Invitations

February 4, 2015
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It’s not everyday I get to sit down and put my illustrator chops to work. It’s also not everyday that I get to play around with a Bob the Builder-esque baby shower theme. A repeat customer of mine wanted cheery, construction themed baby shower invitations and thank you cards for her nephew. I decided to use bright “crayola” colours and a cute bulldozer as the centre piece of the invitations and thank-you cards. The yellow envelopes set the tone for the shower even before the recipient opened the invitation. I think we pulled together fun, unique invites that brightened even the snowiest of days.

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Design, Featured, Invitations, Wedding

Navy & Gold Winter Wedding Invitations

January 2, 2015
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When you come from a small family that’s spread out across the country, weddings are so important. Not only does it give you a reason to celebrate, it also gives you an opportunity to reconnect with family members you don’t otherwise see all that often. The first of my cousins’ is getting married this February in Ottawa, Ontario at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. She’s embraced the winter wedding theme by using navy as the primary colour on her invitations with hints of gold. The navy envelopes with gold hand lettering and crisp, clean invitations pay homage to the laid back, yet stylish personalities of my cousin and her fiance. They decided to forgo traditional RSVP cards and went with a wedding website instead. Not only does this save on cost, it also helps with organization. Your guest list is always up to date and you eliminate the chance of an RSVP getting lost in the mail. These invitations once again prove that beautiful stationery doesn’t have to break the bank.

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Design is a Job, Featured, Stories

Design is a Job: What I learned from Teaching a College Design Course

December 18, 2014

I’ve always joked that once I was done with the crazy rat race that is the media industry, that I would settle down, have a family and become a college professor. The opportunity to teach came knocking on my door step sooner then I expected. Starting in September, I was hired to teach the Innovative Design course in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Humber College Lakeshore Campus 9 hours a week. I started the semester all bright eyed and bushy tailed with colour coded binders, pretty attendance sheets and all of the cool office supplies a teacher could ever need. All of the organization in the world didn’t prepare me for what I encountered in that classroom and through everything the experience was invaluable. Here’s what I learned from teaching a college design course:

1. Stick to your guns. Whether it’s a 5% deduction because of a missing rubric or no food in the computer lab, it’s important to lay down the ground rules early. I learned that this is so important in and out of the classroom. After being able to set ground rules in my classroom I’ve now been able to set ground rules in many personal and professional aspects of my life.

2. Empathy goes a long way. To put it lightly – sometimes shit hits the fan. Students will use any excuse to get out of an assignment or to leave early, so for the most part you’ve got to stick to your guns (see above). There is the odd situation where a students laptop gets stolen or they throw out their back at work and you just have to roll with the punches. I learned that being empathetic and understanding went a long way in gaining the respect of my students. This new understanding of empathy has transferred into my personal life as well.

3. Confidence is everything. I’ll be the first to admit when I don’t know something, but when standing in front of 30+ students who all think you’re the expert, you have to play that role. I learned that if you walk into a room, command attention, speak clearly and with confidence, people 9 times out of 10 will listen. Not only will they listen, they will value what you have to say.

4. Collaboration transcends. Creatives (for the most part) are naturally collaborative, so when I started teaching I wanted to foster an environment of collaboration and creativity. Instead of being the instructor, I wanted the students to look at me as a resource, rather than an autocratic fixture in the room. I found that collaborating with the students resulted in increased focus and determination, even when they were struggling with the technicalities of piece of software. Seeing students collaborate and bounce ideas off of me made me realized how much I personally thrive in a team environment, rather then working in an individual vacuum.

5. Be a person. People relate to each other. Speaking candidly and being authentic is the most important part of being a teacher. Using my personal and professional experiences to help guide students was something that made me so appreciate of the position I found myself in as a teacher. When students did well I rewarded them and when students were falling off the face of the planet I took notice. Yoga has taught me to ‘be present’ and teaching has taught me to take notice, to step up to the plate and to exceed expectations.

6. Status quo is not acceptable. Just because something is the norm doesn’t mean that it’s right. As a creative I’ve learned to always go up and above expectations because mediocrity is unacceptable. The same thing applies in the classroom. Responding to students e-mails in a timely fashion, giving lots of feedback on assignments, assisting after class if necessary became the norm for me. Maybe it was my naivety or the fact that I’m new at this, but I did everything to the best of my ability. Although I only taught 9 hours a week – the job of teaching was constant. Whether it was responding to emails, marking or preparing course material there was always something to be done. It taught me that anything good takes time (and lots of it).

Although it was sometimes tedious and exhausting, I absolutely loved the experience of teaching. I loved it so much I’m teaching again next semester!

 

Featured, Programs, Wedding

Fall Vintage Wedding Paddle Programs

August 25, 2014
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When Erin contacted me she already had her invitations printed and sent out, so lucky for me a lot of the leg work was already done. What Erin needed were simple wedding programs for the ceremony. She opted to go with a paddle style program, as they were getting married outside at the beautiful Polmenna Barn in Campbellford, Ontario in September. With her colours of golden rod and tones of grey we pulled together all of the key information for the evening, complete with a unique illustration of the bride and groom and my favourite, an adorable food truck icon.

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Featured, Invitations, Save the Dates, Wedding

Vintage Country Wedding Stationery Suite

August 25, 2014
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This summer I was fortunate enough to be a part of two of my best friends weddings. The second being this past weekend at my best friends parents beautiful farm just north of Port Hope, Ontario. I knew in the months building up to the wedding that her elegant, but earthy style would come through in all of the details of the wedding. I could rant and rave about her attention to detail, her loyalty to her vision and most of all the importance that everything reflected her and Alex’s personalities and love for one another, but I won’t. I will let the images speak for themselves. (Note: I was fortunate enough to steal my bouquet from the wedding – flowers from Wild Lark Studio, Toronto).

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Reception Stationery, Wedding

Romantic Travel Wedding (Lina + Graham)

August 19, 2014
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Theme parties and weddings sometimes have a way of becoming tacky and tend to get out of hand very quickly, but when I met Lina I knew… this wedding was all about the details. Clean and inviting touches of blush, champagne and ivory. Vintage luggage to hold gifts and cards. A vintage map for a seating chart and miniature luggage tags for escort cards. The couple added a personal touch by using places they had traveled to as the table names. As you can see it was all about the details.

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Photography taken by and courteously supplied by Liz Beddall.
Menu and thank-you cards designed and printed by Jordan Beresford Creative Design.
To see more stationery from this wedding click here.
Wedding venue – Bloom Field Gardens.

Save the Dates, Wedding

Black, White & Blush Save the Dates

March 1, 2014
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i am inquisitive by nature. i’m pretty sure i was that kid who asked too many questions and i’m pretty sure my parents could only ever come up with answers to half of the questions i asked.
so when i asked my dad how he knew my mum was “the one” – the answer was so genuine it kind of blew me away. “she’s my bestfriend – everything is better when she’s around.” so on st. patrick’s day 2012 when my very close friend jess told me she was dating another childhood friend of ours tyler – this was the first thing that came to mind – bestfriends.

i remember the first time i saw “it” and by “it” i mean the spark. our bar nights had changed from wild nights we could barely remember to nights out with our significant others with cider instead of shots and jeans and boots instead of dresses and heels. jess and tyler were giggling to themselves, talking in funny accents, cracking inside jokes and being their normal selves and in that moment i thought to myself – this is the happiest i’ve seen jess in a long time.. and then my internal babble slapped me in the face and said – “holy shit – this is it!”

you can tell in everything that they do that they’re bestfriends. from adopting two beautiful dogs and renovating the house they bought together, to their shenanigans (sober and drunk!) they epitomize my dads answer – bestfriends.

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photography by brandon gray

Save the Dates, Wedding

Modern, Rustic Save the Dates

February 22, 2014
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a couple of years ago, on a warm summer evening, i remember sitting on my parents back patio talking to my mum about who of my friends i thought were going to get engaged first.
there was no question in my mind: my bestfriend miranda and her boyfriend alex.

after witnessing, first hand, their ‘courtship’ and then their budding relationship, i knew – alex was the one and the love that they share is real.
it’s funny because i think friends and family know the outcome of a relationship before the person who is actually in the relationship does.

when he finally proposed i cried. i literally sat on my couch in my condo and cried.
not because i was sad, but because i knew it. i knew it. i knew it. i knew it. i called it!
they’re so perfect and wonderful together – i couldn’t have asked for a more perfect match for my bestfriend.

when we finally sat down to discuss the vision for her save the dates and wedding invitations words like rustic, vintage and classic kept coming up. they’ve traveled all over the world together, planted trees out west together, recently moved to calgary together and have this rustic earthy style that’s indicative of their interests and personalities. i absolutely love these save the dates, but not nearly as much as i love who they’re for:

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Invitations, Wedding

Modern Letterpress Wedding Invitation Suite

January 26, 2014
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i know i’ve said this before, but i’ll say it again – i’m so fortunate to have such amazing clients.

when i first met with lina (the bride-to-be) she had a vision for her wedding, a vision that started with a complete wedding stationery suite that was vintage and elegant, but with a modern look and feel. after talking with her (and getting a sneak peek at her pinterest wedding board) her vision really came to life for me.

one night (during the design brainstorming phase) lina, her fiance graham and i were sitting around their kitchen table deciding on envelope colours and discussing details for the invitations. lina had her laptop out and we were perusing ideas and looking for details that would make their invitations unique and personal. graham (who had been relatively quiet, while lina and i excitedly bantered back and forth) quickly interjected our conversation and put forth an idea that would end up being the perfect detail we were looking for. (see guys do have great ideas too!) needless to say i came away from that meeting probably happier (and more surprised) then i’ve ever been.. and these beautiful invitations were the result:

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Design is a Job, Stories

new adventures.

January 12, 2014
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tree-lineDR2014 is the year of new adventures.
at the beginning of last spring when the weather began to change and cobourg started to come to life again – i thought that this is where i’d root myself. with wedding season on the horizon i was busier than ever doing invitations and wedding stationery. i looked into starting my own business and making it a full-time job/ownership. the one thing stopping me; however, was my growth and development as a designer. yes, i went to university and got a degree in media and yes, i had 3 years of full-time design under my hat, but i was only 24. most people don’t become creative director until their late 20’s/early 30’s and that’s after years of busting their ass and pushing themselves working for someone else. i felt that by starting my own company i’d be limiting myself. my role in the business wouldn’t wouldn’t be about designing (which is what i love to do) it’d be about running a business, accounting, business development and acquisitions. i’d become a creative director not because i had worked for and earned it, but because i owned the company. this idea went against everything i believe in as a person – i believe in working your ass off and earning your right to be on a masthead or to have credentials.

autumn rolled around and cobourg lost its summery lustre and charm and my commute to toronto grew to 3 and a half hours one way. while sitting in dead stopped traffic one day i finally asked myself, “what the hell are you doing?”. i put over a thousand kilometers on my car a week driving back and forth, i’m exhausted, i feel like i’ve aged five years in one year, i work 8 hours, drive 4+ hours and then do freelance for 3 hours once i’m home – i don’t have a life. i immediately posted on facebook that i was looking for a roommate.

within a week of deciding i was going to start looking for a roommate/apartment my boss presented me with the idea of making my role a hybrid between social media and design. i attended the CM1TO conference and connected with a ton of young professionals who all do the same thing as me – community management and online editing. i started to realize that toronto is the hub. it’s the hub for design, advertising, marketing, social media, publishing and a whole whack load of other components of this media industry i’ve called home for over 4 years. this is where i need to be to become the person that i dream of being.

so this is it – i’ve taken on a new adventure.
as of february 1st i am moving to toronto to whole-heartedly pursue my goal of becoming a creative director. i’m still going to do freelance design on the side and my focus will be clients in cobourg; however, my home base will be toronto. i’ll be back and forth a lot – i promise.. because lets face it – my heart will always reside in cobourg.

Stories

dear 2013.

January 4, 2014

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dear 2013;

you taught me that sometimes something great has to fall apart so something even better can fall together. in my case someone had to leave my life and that simple action served as a massive catalyst for change.

you introduced me to yoga and allowed me to see how strong i really can be. it taught me that looking inward can have immediate results (and so can side plank – haha).

you brought my focus back to the things that really matter: friends and family. this landed my butt on the beach every sunday playing beach volleyball, where my family watched (and sometimes played) and my friendships grew. we spent weekends as a family on the boat – drinking and relaxing. it’s not surprising – a little sunshine can do a lot of good.

you pushed me creatively (surprise, surprise). i prop-styled my first photo shoot, was involved in the launching of a new consumer food and beverage magazine, was handed the reins to two trade publications and my freelance business grew in leaps and bounds. you’ve now pushed me into social media and online management where i can only continue to grow and learn.

you showed me that relationships aren’t always simple, but if you focus on the positive, and what you want, the outcomes (however big or small) can be amazing. always expect the unexpected, like 25 red roses on your 25th birthday.

you made me explore (in a storm no less) and my appetite for adventure grew. running down the beach in my bikini, in the worst thunder storm of the year, holding my bestfriends hand, thinking i’m going to die was exhilarating – you should try it sometime.

you helped me believe in love again. seeing my two bestfriends in amazing, loving relationships, taking on the world one renovation and new job at a time made me see that relationships aren’t one sided and that real love does exist. it also made me excited for the future. i’m not in a relationship now, but think of all the amazingness i have to look forward too (yes, amazingness is a word).

you brought my random, craziness back. whether it was through geocaching, having dance parties with my friends, dressing up as garth for halloween or just being an all around dork – it’s back – and it’s never leaving, ever again.

you got me out of my comfort zone. i got rid of my problem-ridden car, bought the SUV i’ve been drooling over for years and signed a lease on a beautiful brand-new condo in toronto.

you made me realize that if you do what you love, with people that you love, anything is possible. work hard and good things will happen. be patient. love yourself and never let anyone dull your sparkle.

i’m a huge believer that if you start off the year on a positive note, the rest of the year will fall in sync, so this NYE i just wanted to spend time with people i love doing something fun. my sister, her boyfriend and i headed up to a cottage in calabogie for snow tubing, drinks, board games and outdoor fires with a couple of friends. at the stroke of midnight we lit sparklers, counted down from 10 and screamed happy new year at the top of our lungs. needless-to-say i think 2014 is going to be an amazing year.

Stories

friday faves.

January 4, 2014

fridayfaves_jan3maybe it’s because my world has been under a deep freeze for over a week and i’m missing summer like crazy.
maybe it’s because the idea of having a 100+ square foot balcony come february has started me planning all these incredible ways i can create green space at my new place.
whatever the reason – my friday faves are definitely garden inspired.

1. Threshold barcart Target
2. Do More of What Makes You Happy Poster Jasmina Bylund of Today I Love This
3. Ash Wood Garden Tools Anthropologie
4. Terrarium Urban Outfitters

Design

Family Holiday Cards

December 24, 2013
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for months my mum had been bugging us to do family photos, but of course life gets in the way and you never seem to find time.
finally, for her birthday, we decided it’d be the perfect time.
the extremely talented rachael joy photography shot us by the beach by our family home.
i took those family photos the converted them into our family holiday cards.
needless to say we love them!

merry christmas and happy holidays!

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Stories

drool worthy: kate spade desk accessories & stationery

November 20, 2013

Anyone who knows me (or works with me) knows that I like to nest. By nest I don’t mean in the normal way, but in the extreme stuff hanging from the ceiling, desk covered in knick-knacks kind of way. If it weren’t for my career choice of designer some would find it mildly unprofessional. Lucky for me I chose a career where having a boring desk is frowned upon. Also lucky for me Kate Spade has now invaded the ‘desk space’ and has come out with some of the cutest items to fill your work day. Normally I wouldn’t endorse a product, but once you see the ‘drool worthy line-up’ I’m sure you will agree these are must have stocking stuffers for the desk-decorator in your life (even if it’s you).

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1. Silver Street ”Keep it Together” Paperweight
2. Brightspot Avenue iPad Sleeve
3. Pop Fizz Clink Holiday Card Set
4. Expletive Paper Clips
5. Eat Cake for Breakfast Mug
6. Patterned Erases

Baby Shower, Design

Las Vegas Themed Baby Shower Invitations

October 26, 2013
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There are moments in your life that are meant to be celebrated and rejoiced and this is where I generally step in to help communicate the details of that celebration. The wedding industry isn’t as traditional as it once was and brides-to-be are veering away from traditional themes/ideas making my job as a designer more interesting. There are other celebrations; however, that haven’t taken that total leap from their traditional roots – case and point baby showers. Pink, blue and yellow. Duckies. Rattles. Men don’t even want to be around on the day to celebrate simply because it is such a feminine event to attend with all of the soft pastels and cute cartoon decor. With my cousin due at the end of January my aunt has already started the baby shower planning, but she wanted my cousins fiance (the daddy-to-be) and other male participants to be just as comfortable celebrating as us women are. Here are the invitations for my cousins Las Vegas themed baby shower. Not only are the invites awesome, but the shower is going to nothing short of amazing!

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Palettes, Stories

Palette Inspiration: Shine

October 24, 2013
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I’ve always been attracted to the oddest things. As a kid I loved my grandmothers gold ‘museum’ shoes (as I liked to call them) and I’d clomp around her house in my pajamas with them strapped as tight as possible. I loved them with every fiber of my being. This palette is definitely derived from my grandmother’s ‘museum shoes’ and all of the other odd, but beautiful things that I love.

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Design, Invitations, Wedding

Hybrid Green and Brown Wedding Invitation Suite

October 9, 2013
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A lot of brides find themselves in a paradox; they want a wedding stationery suite that looks beautiful and professional, but they don’t want to pay the exorbitant costs associated with professional stationery packages. Being a wedding stationery designer and also a friend of those getting married I see both sides of the argument and I hear the pro’s and con’s lists loud and clear. Hands off vs. complete DIY. Letterpress vs. home printed template. When I first met with Ashley I totally understood where she was coming from – she wanted to save money on her wedding stationery suite, but she also wanted it to look amazing and be functional. She wanted what I like to call a ‘hybrid wedding suite’. She hired me to do the design elements, but used a templated suite of paper and envelopes, that she had purchased, to pull the entire thing together. I think it turned out beautifully and I wish her and her hubby-to-be best wishes, as they tie the knot this weekend!

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Thank You Cards, Wedding

Amethyst Wedding Thank-You Postcards

September 28, 2013
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this was the second time i had the opportunity to work with this client.
the first time i did programs for her wedding ceremony and this time i did postcard style thank-you cards! her wedding photography was stunning so it was very easy (and also hard because i couldn’t pick just three) to design the cards. the back was blank so the bride and groom could write a personalized message and she chose an amethyst, metallic envelope to tie in her wedding colours.

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Stories

happiness & passion.

September 28, 2013

when i woke up early this morning. i wasn’t mad that it was early (it’s saturday after all – i should be sleeping in). i was comfy but eager. i was relaxed but inspired. i jumped out of bed “bright eyed and bushy tailed”.
i quickly got ready and drove out to the country to a clients beautiful home to drop off personalized stickers for candy bags for a wedding. upon handing her the bag full of goodies, she opened my traditional client thank-you card and she says to me, “it’s so nice to see that you’re so passionate about what you do.”
she nailed it on the head.

the leaves are changing and highway 45 is slowly turning into a spectacle of autumn-ness. i love fall – it’s my favourite season, so naturally a smile spread across my face and genuine happiness spread throughout my entire being. in my new anorak jacket (which makes it feel even more like fall) i picked up a coffee and headed to pick up some flowers for a photoshoot. with city and colour and the cinematic orchestra cranked i spent the morning arranging flowers and shooting thank-you postcards i’d designed for a client. all i kept thinking was, “i seriously could not be happier right now”.

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my passion brings me so much happiness it’s kind of ridiculous. i could never be a singer, or a labourer, or a waitress because those things don’t permeate through every part of my existence.
my passion and true love is design and creativity. when i’m bored that’s what i go to. i take pictures of my food. i prop-style and photograph products i’ve created for clients. my room is entirely co-ordinated. my clothing emanates who i am – down to every detail. who i am radiates from everything i do. my passion is who i am.

believe it or not i wasn’t always comfortable with all of this creativity busting from my body. boyfriends (obviously now ex’s) have been known to stifle this (this is only a recent realization) so i tried to hide it and contain it, rather than embrace it. when your passionate about something, be passionate. wake up early and spend hours doing it. make it your job – have it be a big part of your life. when you’re passionate about something and happy – people can see it and it’s infectious.
be infectious.
be passionate.
be happy.

Resources

letterpress printing in 2 minutes.

September 25, 2013

As a designer letterpress is the be-all and end-all of printing (for me at least). When you design something in a digital publishing suite you are truly disconnected from the art of printing. You don’t feel the paper, you don’t have to move the characters so they’re perfectly aligned and there really isn’t any physical assertion going into what you’re creating.

Click. Click. Click. Computers have truly revolutionized printing and design.

Letterpress is so classic and in the world of weddings and fine stationery – it reigns king. When I feel a business card that’s letterpress – I feel nostalgic and appreciate it just that much more. So watch this video. I think it will really open your eyes as to why letterpress is so amazing and thus so expensive. I have a sneaking suspicion you’ll appreciate it just that much more.

Palettes, Stories

Palette Inspiration: Cafe

September 23, 2013
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Today is the first day of fall, which for me means the onset of over-sized knitted sweaters, riding boots, warm cups of coffee and nights spent under my favourite afghan reading until I fall asleep. Today’s colour palette is really inspired by everything I hope the fall of 2013 will be.

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Stories

change.

September 21, 2013

For my entire (not incredibly long) life I’ve been an addict of change. I love new places, new people, new hair styles, new- new- new- change. This ‘change addiction’ has never allowed me to stay in one place for very long, date one person for any length of time or stay focused on something for more than 2-minutes. I believe this need for constant change has been a crucial factor in my successes as a designer. I don’t silo myself into a certain type of design and I love working on different projects (whether it be for web, print, or packaging – the sky is the limit really). I received the latest copy of Designedge Canada today, which has completely undergone a re-design (which I quite honestly love – kudos!) and an excerpt from Mark Busse‘s (founding partner of Vancouver-based strategy, brand and marketing consultancy Industrial Brand) article on reinvention really resonated with me, so I thought I’d share:

No one reading this should be surprised that learning and change are a designer’s constant companion. But designers should recognize the value of major shifts of focus and the impact those experiences can have on careers and personal lives. One thing that I push myself to do—unless it is literally silly or impossible—is when asked to do something new and scary, I say, “Yes.” These opportunities often involve tremendous effort and are not financially rewarding, but the learning opportunities have been invaluable… Sure, not everyone is suited to saying yes to scary opportunities. Some folds quiety seek less dramatic career paths, and that’s okay. But it doesn’t negate the need to stretch, learn and evolve as the design industry (and the world) changes. Every time I dive into something new I emerge feeling smarter, stronger and happier.”

Design is a Job, Stories

design is a job: getting paid.

September 12, 2013
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with my full-time design job i’m salaried. i get paid the same amount, semi-monthly.
the money comes in. the money goes out. it’s like clockwork.but with my freelance business the money comes in when i chase it, not always when i invoice it.
if i want to get paid it’s on me.
so if you’re thinking of beginning to freelance or you’re setting up your own design shop – watch this video.

Stories

WOTD.

September 8, 2013

vector graphic

Unlike JPEGs, GIFs, and BMP images, vector graphics are not made up of a grid of pixels. Instead, vector graphics are comprised of paths, which are defined by a start and end point, along with other points, curves, and angles along the way. A path can be a line, a square, a triangle, or a curvy shape. These paths can be used to create simple drawings or complex diagrams. Paths are even used to define the characters of specific typefaces.

Because vector-based images are not made up of a specific number of dots, they can be scaled to a larger size and not lose any image quality. If you blow up a raster graphic, it will look blocky, or “pixelated.” When you blow up a vector graphic, the edges of each object within the graphic stay smooth and clean. This makes vector graphics ideal for logos, which can be small enough to appear on a business card, but can also be scaled to fill a billboard. – Tech Terms

Stories

QTOD: Manifesto

September 4, 2013

today a new blog launched and since it’s launch this morning it has become my new favourite blog (i’ve literally read the whole thing today).
Clementine Daily is one of the cleanest and the most beautiful ‘lifestyle’ blogs that i’ve followed in a long time and their manifesto kind of resonated with me, so i thought i’d share!

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Birthday Invitations, Design

1st Birthday Invitations: Hungry Caterpillar Theme

September 2, 2013
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As I get older more and more friends are having absolutely adorable babies. When an old friend of mine came to me about creating first birthday invitations for her daughter I assumed the usual cute, colourful invitations would be what she wanted. Absolutely not. My friend reminded me a lot of myself when she started explaining what she wanted for the invites: sparkle here, leaf cut out, hungry caterpillar. With those few words mentioned I knew I had to create these invites. The backs (what would be the outside) of the invites are a heavy sparkle card stock with the front of the invites (what would be the inside) a white 80lb. cardstock with the invitation information printed inside. I’m so happy with these invites and I can’t wait to see pictures from the actual party.

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(Photo supplied by the very creative Mum whose grand idea it was to create these amazing invitations!)

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Stories

pantone fashion colour report 2013.

September 2, 2013

colors

Ever wonder who decides which colours are going to be popular next season? Fashion tends to be at the top of the colour hierarchy and then other markets (such as stationery and graphic design) tend to be further down the totem pole. Trends trickle through various markets and once multiple markets pick up say a colour for instance, it becomes a trend. Pantone is THE greatest resource for colour trends for upcoming seasons. Layout 1
Direct from Pantone’s website: Pantone LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated, is the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries. The PANTONE® name is known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer.

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Every season Pantone showcases that seasons hottest, on-trend, colours. Visit Pantone Fashion Colour Report Fall 2013 to learn more about this Falls hottest colours and how you can incorporate them into your designs.

Stories

WOTD.

September 1, 2013

Stock photography

The supply of photographs licensed for specific uses. It is used to fulfill the needs of creative assignments instead of hiring a photographer. Today, stock images can be presented in searchable online databases. They can be purchased and delivered online. – Wikipedia