From The Studio: And Now We’re *Finally* Live on Etsy!

March 7, 2012 § 3 Comments

Whew – what a whirlwind the past week has been!

I’m happy to announce a few things:

1. Hip Ink Paper Co.’s Etsy shop is finally live, with sample and deposit listings for all 20 Hitched by Hip Ink design collection invitations (and more to come over the next few months!). Currently Etsy is the only marketplace where you can purchase Hitched by Hip Ink, so do mosey on over and check it out, y’all.

2. That means that I can officially stop pimping out Hitched by Hip Ink designs on Wednesday, and get back to showing off some really cool custom designs. But don’t worry, I’ll be featuring one of our Hitched designs every Friday, with an in-depth look at the design and the inspiration behind it.

On a personal note, launching this design collection has been a labour of love, and I use the word labour on purpose. It’s literally been about 9 months since I made the final decision to design and create a Hip Ink invitation collection, and it’s been 9 months of growth, change, nervous anticipation, joy, sadness, doubt and everything in between. But now my babies are out in the world and I couldn’t be happier.

Most of all, I’m thrilled to be able to share my designs with a much wider audience. As a custom designer, I can only work with a limited number of couples every year, to insure that they receive the best quality product and experience possible. While I absolutely love creating custom designs, I realized that I was turning away so many clients because of a tight schedule, or a modest budget, and I realized that many of the potential clients didn’t necessarily need a completely custom invitation, but rather were after that Hip Ink signature look – something fresh and modern, and something not available in every invitation album or big box store out there.

So that’s when Hitched by Hip Ink was conceived – an invitation collection that takes the best of what I have to offer as a designer, and makes it accessible to anybody, anywhere (and for any event).

Here’s the low-down:

The Hitched by Hip Ink collection is digitally printed on your choice of extra-thick specialty paper:

White Matte (110 lb) – paper has a smooth flat texture
White Metallic (111 lb) – paper has a metallic sheen and sparkle
White 100% Cotton (118 lb) – paper has a soft luxurious texture, tree-free (eco-friendly)

The basic Hitched invitation set includes the following:
* Main Invitation and matching envelope
* Choice of response card and matching envelope, or large enclosure
* Digital PDF proofs with up to two rounds of revisions, personalized with your wording and choice of style for response or insert card
* Choice of paper

Many designs also include choice of colour(s) from over 40 available standard ink colours (custom colours are also available for an additional fee).

In addition, we’ve got lots of add-ons and upgrades available (including addressing) and invitations are available without response/enclosure cards as well (for use as Save The Dates, shower/engagement party invites etc.).

Prices start at just $4 per set (based on quantity ordered and paper selection), so what are you waiting for?

I’m so thankful to everyone who encouraged, supported, nudged or downright pushed me to complete this collection and I hope you’ll find a favourite somewhere amongst these new designs too!

Announcing Hitched by Hip Ink: Eye Candy Part 4

March 2, 2012 § 1 Comment

Whew! Thanks for sticking with us – proud to show off the last 5 designs of the brand new Hitched by Hip Ink invitation collection!

SAKURA

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ROSES

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MAGNOLIA

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ANEMONE

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BIRDCAGE

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Stay tuned – more details on Hitched to come next week :)

Announcing Hitched by Hip Ink: Eye Candy Part 3

March 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

And we’re back…lots more eye candy to come!

LEAVES

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GLASSES

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GALLERY

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BIRCH

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MODERN

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Finally, we round out the rest of the collection in just 15 minutes :)

Announcing Hitched by Hip Ink: Eye Candy Part 2

March 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

Ready for more? Here we go!

WATERCOLOR

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SILHOUETTE

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CHEVRON

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GARLAND

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HEXAGON

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Next up, Part 3 in 15 minutes :)

Big News: Hitched by Hip Ink Has Arrived…Sort Of!

March 2, 2012 § 1 Comment

Have you ever had one of those days? When it seems that technology has forsaken you? Yep…that’s today (and yesterday, and most of the day before), which so happens to coincide with the launch of our brand new Hitched by Hip Ink invitation collection.

Sort of…I say sort of because our new Etsy store that was supposed to be ready to show off all our fab new designs is not quite ready for it’s big debut – that will be early next week though, I promise!

But, I won’t let some pesky tech issues keep me from showing off our twenty new Hitched designs…nuh uh. In fact, I am going to post them right here, right now over four posts – so get ready y’all ;)

First up, some of my favourites:

LOVE

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STRIPE

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AMPERSAND

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BANNER

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MOROCCO

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Woo – 5 down and 15 go. Watch this space over the next hour for 3 more posts full of Hitched eye-candy just for you!

Workshop Wednesday: Sneak Peek At Our Brand New Hitched by Hip Ink Collection

February 29, 2012 § 1 Comment

Ok, so the Invitation Advisor took a break from doling out pithy commentary on invitations and etiquette this week to get our brand new invitation collection, Hitched by Hip Ink, ready for launch on Friday!

And so normally what you’d find on Workshop Wednesday is some photos of one of our custom invitation project – today what you’re going to get is a sneak peek at one of our new Hitched by Hip Ink designs…

I am really excited to finally be able to share this collection – it has been months in the making, through many trials and tribulations, re-designs, throwing out ideas, bringing them back, wanting to give up, feeling elated – what a roller-coaster ride it has been.

But, I’ve kept on because I think there is room out there for some hip, funky modern invitation designs that fit today’s wedding – the kind where anything goes. Casual, backyard affairs to ballroom extravaganzas and everything in between!

On Friday, we’ll have a full launch post, with many more details on the line and a link to our brand new Etsy shop where you can purchase Hitched by Hip Ink.

‘Till then…here’s a look at one of our new designs, Hexagon:

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Click on the image for a larger version

Click on the image for a larger version

Each invitation design includes a matching RSVP and additional insert card design, and most designs can also be used for other wedding-related paper needs including showers, engagement parties, save the date cards etc. and will be customizable in a wide range of colours to suit your event.

We’ll be adding to the collection over the next few months as well – exciting times ahead!

In order to give each of the new designs a little time in the spotlight, we’ll be upping blog posts to 4x weekly (yes, 4 times!) and shuffling things a bit.

We’ll keep Tips n’ Tricks Tuesday (home of The Invitation Advisor) exactly where it is, as well as Workshop Wednesdays (showcasing recent custom work from the studio), but we’re moving our encore posts to Throwback Thursdays and introducing Feature Fridays, when we’ll be featuring one of our Hitched collection designs weekly.

Really excited to share all this new stuff with you…soon. The countdown is on!

From The Studio: Purple and Yellow New York Wedding Invitations

February 22, 2012 § 1 Comment

Happy Workshop Wednesday y’all!

I’ve got lots of eye candy coming up over the next few weeks, but I realized the other day that I hadn’t featured an invite on the blog yet that I just loved working on!

Kathy (also a graphic designer!) emailed me from Miami to let me know she was having a New York themed wedding and searching for the perfect invite for their celebration. She found my original blog post on Kristy & James’ New York invitations (pictured below) and the rest is history. We had such a fun time working out the details of their suite, taking their NYC transportation theme and all-purple colour scheme to the next level!

While generally speaking our custom work is “from scratch”, we do from time to time have couples that fall in love with a certain suite and want to use that as inspiration for their own. In this case we re-used some of the elements from Kristy & James’ invite, as well as the general layout of the main invitation, and combined that with Carlos and Kathy’s more specific theme.

Here’s a reminder of what Kristy & James’ New York themed invites looked like:

Kathy loved the look of the middle invite panel, and wanted a very similar look for her invite as well (and although they loved the tri-fold idea, they were looking for a slightly more traditional panel invitation). Kathy and Carlos’ colours were strictly shades of purple and grey, so the original design called for those colours only.

But, after looking at the finished suite, there was that little *something* missing. While I love the look of modern and monochromatic, it needed a little…BAM! Enter the perfect complement to a beautiful regal purple – a hit of bright sunny yellow. So, we took the colour of the NYC cab (which was used on the back of the RSVP, not pictured) and brought a little bit of that signature pop of yellow into every element in the suite, to bring it all together.

Speaking of bringing it all together, we also added a belly band and address label with a checkboard pattern to complete the look!

One of my favourite parts of the suite was the custom map/timeline I created to continue the subway theme – with subway-sign style markers for the ceremony and reception, and a subway-stop timeline to let guests know about the evening’s activities.

While it certainly wasn’t the most original invite I worked on last year, it was one of my favourites – I just loved the colours, the theme and most of all the couple!

Congratulations Kathy and Carlos!

Friday Rewind: Tellin’ It Like It Is, The Invitation Blog Style – A Video Blog

February 17, 2012 § 2 Comments

Soooo…been hearing crickets on this blog on Fridays, huh? Yeah…I know. It’s not you, it’s me. The will is strong but the time management is weak ;)

Now that The Invitation Blog is rockin’ over 200 posts, I though it would be great to bring back posting on Friday by re-posting a past gem every Friday – after all, who want to dig through pages of archives for the good stuff, right?

So, to kick things off, I’m reposting a video blog I made last year, below.

I’m talking budgets, pricing, value and vendor comparison – important stuff for all the newly engaged couples out there.

If you’re looking for sugar coating, you won’t find it here. But you will find some solid advice *pinky swear*.

For more of my views on the above topics, you can check out the following post:

Day 8: Why Are Wedding Invitations So [bleeping] Expensive?

See y’all next week!

From The Studio: Vintage Rustic Glam Winter Invitations featured on Style Me Pretty

February 15, 2012 § 1 Comment

All images in this post by Blynda DaCosta Photography

Hope everyone has recovered from Valentine’s Day – remember, now is the time to stock up on chocolate ladies ;) I’m sure there were also lots of romantic proposals yesterday, so congratulations to everyone who became a soon-to-be-newlywed!

Today I’m thrilled to share some images from a creative shoot I participated in recently with some truly talented vendors: Alanna and Dawn, the event pros from Eph*ra Event Design; fab photog Blynda, from Blynda DaCosta Photography; florist Marissa, from Ruffles and Twine; Natalie, from Cupcake Diner; makeup artist Megha Sawhney and model Cheryl, as well as a number of other ladies who made the shoot a success.

We were so excited to have wedding super-blog Style Me Pretty feature our shoot last Friday, and so today I wanted to share some of the images of the paper goods I created for the shoot.

Sadly, I don’t have room to show you ALL of the amazing images (flowers, cakes, decor…oh my!), so I’d urge you to check out the full gallery on SMP for all the great details!

Now, for the paper…

The concept for the shoot (shot at the beautiful Berkeley Church event space in Toronto) was a mix of rustic, vintage and glam elements with a warm and cozy winter feel. Participating in this shoot was fun, as I’m sure we’ve all seen the icy winter look before (even at my own winter wedding!), but it was nice to create a warmer feel with winter whites and creams and rustic touches of beige and brown. I must admit though, I did sneak in just a little ice blue – didn’t seem quite right without it!

The invite I created for the shoot was an oversize 6″x9″ invite nestled in a cream silk box. The front of the box was decorated with twill tape (a nod to the rustic feel of the shoot), feathers (did you notice the birds here and there in the decor?) and a bit of bling with a fleur de lys brooch.

Inside the invite design was a multi-layered panel, mixing different neutral shades and textured papers to create a substantial invitation with a light airy feel. My original concept for the design and layout of the invite was inspired by the look of a vintage french apothecary jar label, so that was the basis of the formal yet whimsical graphics and type.

To add a bit of glam detailing, I used both Swarovski crystals and pearls to give the overall design a little sparkle and bit of vintage charm, but my favourite detail of all was the small mother of pearl button that adorned the ribbon holding the response card – the shimmery blue-grey was the perfect complement to the ice blue highlights of the invitation itself.

I also created a petal fan program which reproduced the look of the invite throughout. Petal fan programs are a perfect fit for vintage weddings, with their timeless romantic feel.

I also created table numbers, escort cards, favour tags and a sweet table sign, which were all featured as part of the decor. Here’s a couple of quick shots:

I am always honoured to be asked to work on creative shoots, and so excited to see our work featured. A big thank you to all the ladies who worked on this gorgeous shoot!

Update: Hitched by Hip Ink, Our New Website and more!

February 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

From makeundermylife.com

Have I mentioned how much I love this time of year!?! Tons of new clients coming and chatting with me about their upcoming weddings, tons of amazing ideas and inspiration, and tons of nights up late designing. It’s great to see everything come together a few months down the road, but I love this part of the process too – having to run downstairs in the middle of the night with a design idea, well…maybe not so much!

But, I digress…

Workshop Wednesdays are usually about what’s going on at Hip Ink; but, I’m a bit bummed to say that this week it’s more about what *isn’t* going on.

First up, Hitched by Hip Ink, our new wedding invitation collection. I was hoping to have launched at the end of January, but we’ve hit a few snags that are delaying things – most of the line is designed, but I still feel like I need to “edit” a bit more, and I felt the need to step away from it a bit and come back with fresh eyes. The other matter complicating things is…

I’ve had to unfortunately part ways with the web designer we hired to create the new Hip Ink website. I’m sure we’ve all been there – it just wasn’t working, the timeline was pushed back etc. and I had to make a decision that was really disappointing, but for the best I’m sure. I’m in the process of hiring a new design team and am really excited about launching a new site, although at this point it will likely be summer before that happens.

The lack of a new website means it’s very difficult to show off the new collection, based on limitations of our current site. So, that was also part of the reason I felt I could take some time to “make it right” before we launch – while our local customers can see all the designs in person, I’m going to have to come up with a stop-gap until our website is completed (which will likely be our new Etsy store!).

So, in the spirit of keeping it real on The Invitation Blog, I thought it only fair that since I was so excited to write a post about all the stuff that was happening and launching soon, that I don’t leave that news hanging with no pay-off.

“Stuff” happens to the best laid plans sometimes – I hope the end result with be worth sticking it out ;)

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