Whether you’re into Valentine’s Day or not we can both agree that giving a card can be a big deal on this day.
What it’s going to say, how you’re going to give it, or if you choose not to give one at all can all mean very different things. Like I mentioned in my last blog, that’s one of the things I love most about stationery, the meaning part. Every little aspect that goes into crafting these moments between you and your loved ones (or not loved ones) starts the moment you pick the perfect card.
Well, plot twist, those moments start long before that. As you probably know the Valentine’s Day series is one of my favorites. After the Flower series it’s the second full collection I ever made so it has a special place in my heart (no pun intended). I figured in this blog we’d talk about how a series comes to be step by step by way of the Valentine’s Day series; give you a little look into how many of those little moments go into crafting these cards.
Step 1: Inspiration/Concept
For me every card starts with some sort of initial concept. That can be a simple as a shape, circles are a common theme for me, or as complex as something abstract, like ‘love’ or ‘thankfulness.’ When I created these, I was really inspired by typography and playing with the shapes of letters. There’s a lot of overlapping, filling the letters with different shapes & patterns, that type of thing in these. Sometimes the concept doesn’t come to me for a looong time and I have to force one in a way. Just sit myself down and say, “alright, you’re making a card now. Come up with something.” Nine times out of ten that's the way it goes.
Step 2: Sketching
Fun fact: I don’t sketch very much. A lot of designers swear by sketching or ~have~ to sketch to start their process. Most of the time I head right to the computer. When I do sketch, I use a grided notepad. It helps keep my product line consistent in look & feel, I think. I didn’t sketch for these and you can definitely see my geometric base. The Geo Hearts card is probably the best example (and is probably my #1 favorite card).
Step 3: Designing
This is where the real work happens; you get to see what works, what doesn’t, and what unveils itself along the way. The best part about this process is when an idea comes to life perfectly, maybe even better then you pictured it. The opposite, as you can imagine, is the. Absolute. Worst. It always happens that the ideas that I fall in love with that work in my head ~never~ work how I want them to on paper. Such is life huh?
Step 4: Ordering
After I’ve printed them out, checked for scale, adjusted the design if necessary (repeat this step many times sometimes), decided if it makes the cut, and assigned an envelope color to it, it gets sent to print! I used to print and cut all the cards myself but now I work with a local printer whom I love. They use recycled paper and I pick them up instead of shipping so it’s a win-win all around.
That’s it! Of course, that’s a fairly basic explanation. There’s lots of trouble shooting, feedback discussions, cups of tea, ‘this is awful. I should just quit now’ moments, and much more. A card isn’t just a rectangle of paper with some ink thrown on it, there’s a lot more to it – a lot more love that goes into it.
If you’d like, check out the Valentine’s Day series. This isn’t a sales pitch, promise, but just to take a clsoer look and see all the things I mentioned; the play with typography, the overlapping, the shapes. It’s all in there along with the love.
Happy early Valentine’s Day! No matter how you celebrate (or don’t) I encourage you to send a card with heart – not just in message but in craft too.