Creating an Identity, Part III

How many times do you receive business cards and put them in your pocket only to find them crumpled and completely chewed up in the washing machine?  Well, that's happened to me so many times I've lost count.  I am notorious for forgetting to empty my pockets before doing laundry.  So, then, what's the point of spending money for nice business cards, you may ask?  Well, I wondered that same thing, and here's what I've come up with: my goal of giving someone a business card is to leave an impression with them.  I want them to remember that card that's in their pocket and go check out the information that's on the business card, i.e., pull up my web site next time they're on the computer.  I'm not leaving stacks of cards at coffee shops hoping that random people will pick them up.  I'm selectively giving cards out to prospective clients, other wedding vendors and hopefully wedding bloggers and editors.  This means that I need my card to stand out, not only to encourage people to remember it and use it, but also because it's often other people's first impression of my style and aesthetic, and we all know how important first impressions are.

Therefore, Emma and I decided to make a card so thick there's no way someone will forget about it in their pocket.  I also read that the more texture your card has, the more of an impression (literally and figuratively) it will make on someone just because they end up touching it more.  So, here they are.  They were created by Twig and Fig in Berkeley.  The back of the card is letterpress with Emma's hand sketched floral illustration, and the front is flat color printed, all on recycled paper stock with soy based inks.   Check 'em out:

I know I went a little overboard with all the photos, but they are really beautiful, and since most of you can't see them in person, I figured I'd overload you with images.  : )

Stationery is up next.  I send out handwritten cards to clients and other wedding vendors.  Since Emma had created such lovely paintings - the purple one is acrylic and the yellow is watercolor, it was pretty easy to use both as the fronts of my cards.  We used the purple painting for flat cards and the yellow painting for folded cards.  The cards were printed by Brandes Printing Company, also in Berkeley, and also printed on all recycled paper stock with soy-based inks.  I picked up the envelopes from Xpedex Paper Store in Berkeley, and again, they're 100% recycled - do you see a trend here?

Here are the mailing labels that Emma designed.  The smaller ones are for the stationery cards - they fold over so that my return address is on the back (Emma is so clever!), and the larger labels are for boxes that I send out.  I actually printed these at home on sticker paper and then cut them out.  Hooray for DIY!

Emma made some stamps for me.  You can never have too many stamps, right?  I'll use them for all different things - envelopes, labels, boxes, hang tags... there are endless possibilities!

For some reason, I knew from the beginning of this process that I wanted to use fabric flowers to adorn my print packaging.  I found a small piece of fabric with almost all of my colors at an independent store in Berkeley, and followed this tutorial on making fabric flowers from 100 Layer Cake.  The only missing color in the fabric was yellow, but some bright yellow buttons solved that problem.  Unfortunately, the fabric I have is not unlimited and so once I run out, I'll be on the hunt for different fabric.  But that's OK, searching for salvaged fabric is part of the fun, and I like that my look can be eclectic and evolving.  As an extra benefit, I glued on pin backings to the backs of the flowers so they can double as pins for sweaters, purses, hair pieces....

The photo boxes are probably the most boring part of my packaging.  They're 100% recycled Kraft photo boxes from here.  I scoured the internet for other interesting and *affordable* options, and to be honest, there's not really a whole lot out there!  However, it's more important to have my photos arrive safely and in perfect condition than to arrive bent but in a pretty box.  Hopefully with some creative accessorizing, I've spiced them up a bit.

To complete the look, I found beautiful natural wood hang tags that have each been stained by hand with an environmentally friendly wood stain and hand-dyed cotton from this amazing shop in Indiana called Olive Manna. I encourage all crafty brides to check out this shop as there are lots of ideas for DIY wedding pieces.

And that's it!  The only thing I didn't show is my DVD packaging, which I didn't get around to creating and photographing yet so I'll have to save that for a later post.  This is the last of my "identity" series.  Like I've said, I had a really fun time working with Emma, who is just so creative, and I can't wait to put my new look to use for clients!