Friday Finds: Invitation Designers – You NEED to Read This! Seriously.

April 1, 2011 § 6 Comments

Have I lead you astray before? Of course not!

So when I post about something on The Invitation Blog – whether it’s another vendor, a product, whatever – you know it’s the real deal.

The real deal today is Paper Clique and Let’s Talk Stationery. If you are an invitation designer, you will want to stick around for this. Trust me.

Up-front, honest-to-goodness truthiness: I have been a member of Let’s Talk Stationery for about a year, and was one of the very first Paper Clique members. So yes, you are getting an insider point of view, but I have not been and will not be compensated in any way for posting this information. Sharing it’s sheer awesomeness with other designers is what prompted today’s post!

Paper Clique is a game-changer in the invitation design business, hands down. As the new prestigious, premium membership section of Let’s Talk Stationery, Paper Clique is offering the best tools out there to stationers and designers: lots of freebies [membership to Wedding Clipart Studio, Tutorial Kits, Action Sheets, Guides, Ebooks, How to articles etc.], premium giveaways [gift certificates and more], premium discounts [myGrafico, Local Traffic Builder, Catprint and more] and weekly updates [The hottest blogs, newest discount codes, success tips]. All members are heavily vetted to ensure that the information shared among Paper Clique members is safe and secure.

Sounds good right? But you haven’t heard the best part yet. As a Paper Clique member, you have access to a huge library (currently more than 100,000) of Digital Stationery Engineering Templates. Yes, I hear you asking yourselves, “what the !@#$ are digital stationery engineering templates”. Ever spent an hour measuring and drawing a pocketfold in Illustrator? Cursing trying to match a paper colour on screen? Being stumped at how to accurately represent a patterned stock? Paper Clique’s exclusive templates (Currently available for Envelopments and Do It With More Options, with additional vendors coming soon) take all the guesswork out of putting together realistic, perfectly-sized and accurately-scaled mockups. Fantastic for custom designs, and an amazing tool for those who sell to DIY clients – not only can it save you time when designing, but imagine sitting with a client and literally showing them how their invitation will look (while switching out colours and options) on the fly.

A picture is worth thousand words, right? Well here are some to prove it to you:

Click for a larger, more detailed view

You can also view a video of how Paper Clique Digital Stationery Engineering works on the Paper Clique homepage.

I’ve been using the Paper Clique Engineering Templates to do mockups for clients for the past couple of weeks, and it has been amazing – I never realized before how much time I was wasting just setting up mockups, and now it’s a breeze (and actually kind of fun too!). The great thing is that there is no software to install, no drain on your system resources, no steep learning curve – the Paper Clique Engineering Templates are available via download from the Paper Clique website in .png format, and can be used in any graphics program, in whatever way you like. Whether you need to create a custom sized cardstock layer, add items or manipulate a colour, it’s possible directly within the design programs you use every day.

The Paper Clique Digital Engineering Templates are the brainchild of the fabulous Renae Judkins, owner of Paper Clique and Let’s Talk Stationery, and all around awesome chick.

Paper Clique Digital Stationery Engineering is still growing – Renae’s goal is to double the current number of graphics to 200,000 by this time next year with more manufacturers, ribbons, graphics and backgrounds. And word from Renae is that the next evolution for Paper Clique will be a software plugin that will allow you to access the Engineering Templates directly from your favourite design program (Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop etc.). I know I’m super-excited at the prospect of this tool getting even easier and more efficient to use!

And what about Let’s Talk Stationery itself?

Have you ever wished there was a community of stationers and designers out there that you could look to for help, guidance and support. Where you could find out about the newest suppliers, the best printers and the answers to your toughest production questions. Where you could just talk…stationery? Well, that’s exactly what Let’s Talk Stationery is – an exclusive forum for stationery designers and vendors that brings together all aspects of the industry in a safe, supportive environment.

Let’s Talk Stationery has made such a huge impact, professionally and personally, on Hip Ink in the last year. When I have any kind of question, problem or issue it’s the first place I go – okay, these days, when I wake up in the morning it’s the first place I go. I have learned a ton, found great new suppliers, and uncovered the answers to questions I didn’t even know I had. Most of all though, I have made so many great ‘friends’. Friends who are generous with their advice, who I know understand what I’m dealing with in this industry day-in and day-out and that I know I can count on for support when I’m having “one of those days”.

So, yes…I’m on my vendor love soapbox in a totally different way this Friday.

I.heart.Paper.Clique (and I’m betting that you will too!).

§ 6 Responses to Friday Finds: Invitation Designers – You NEED to Read This! Seriously.

  • Excellent post Sarah – I couldn’t agree with your more. Paper Clique has been an INVALUABLE resource for my business and not only makes my job easier as a designer, but lets my clients get a better picture of the invitations they’re paying for. It’s easy to forget as designers how simple it is for us to see an overview of the project in our head, but not all clients are that creative – this gives the client a detailed preview of their actual invitation. I’ve gotten rave reviews from the clients I’ve sent mock-ups to using the Paper Clique Engineering Templates.

  • Sarah –
    You’ve done it again! I couldn’t have said it better myself (no, really, I couldn’t have. You write it from the heart).
    I’ve been part of the LTS community since last summer and have gained so much knowledge, support and love from the entire community. When Renae launched Paper Clique, I jumped at the opportunity. I have been an Envelopments dealer/designer since 2005, and I have many out of town clients who would love to see a layout that is more than just a text proof. Paper Clique really accomplishes that with such realistic texture and customization capabilities. It really is made for designers and I am so grateful to Renae for putting it together.
    Thank you Renae, and thank you Sarah for giving props to 2 great resources in the invitation, stationery and design community. I’m sure that we will be hearing a lot more about LTS and Paper Clique in weeks and months to come!

  • Great post Sarah! In agreeance, the LTS forum has expanded my knowledge tremendously about this industry. I love that I have a safe space to go to where I can learn from others in the field and share some of my tips and tricks. As for Paper Clique, I could not wait to join! The engineering templates have made my work so much EASIER!! I have saved so much time on proofs and the end results are so exact! The before and afters are right on the mark, I love it! Thank you Renae! And thank you Sarah for this post!

  • Melissa says:

    Great post and glowing review! Thanks for the insight and info!

  • My Choi says:

    Definitely agree with you on the PaperClique Engineering Template tool. It’s given me a new level of engagement and rapport during my consults that I didn’t have before. Say it out loud: ENGAGED… so was your designer when she was showing you your mock-up. Thanks for the post!

  • Ladylynne says:

    OK, I see the light and have subscribed to LTS and will apply to Paper Clique shortly. I’m a newbie in this part of the industry, and am looking forward to getting to know others in the business and sharing knowledge. Can’t wait!!

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