Paula Scher

I recently watched "Abstract The Art of Design" on Netflix. I fell in love with all of the 8 designers from the series. Paula Scher was especially inspiring... here's her story as one of the top graphic designers world wide.

PAULA SCHER.jpg

Paula Scher moved to New York City and took her first job as a layout artist for Random House's children's book division. 

CBS Records
In 1972, she was hired by CBS Records to the advertising and promotions department. After two years, she left CBS Records to pursue a more creative endeavor at a competing label, Atlantic Records, where she became the art director, designing her first album covers. A year later Scher returned to CBS as an art director for the cover department. During her eight years at CBS Records, she is credited with designing as many as 150 album covers a year. Some of those iconic album cover designs are Boston (Boston), Eric Gale (Ginseng Woman), Leonard Bernstein (Poulenc Stranvinsky), Bob James (H), Bob James and Earl Klugh (One on One), Roger Dean and David Howells (The Ultimate Album Cover Album) and Jean-Pierre Rampal and Lily Laskin (Sakura: Japanese Melodies for Flute and Harp). In addition her designs were recognized with four Grammy nominations. She is also credited with reviving historical typefaces and design styles.

Russian Constructivism
She left CBS to work on her own in 1982. Scher developed a typographic solution based on Art deco and Russian constructivism, which incorporated outmoded typefaces into her work. The Russian constructivism had provided Scher inspiration for her typography; she didn’t copy the early constructivist style but used its vocabulary of form on her works.

Koppel & Scher
In 1984 she co-founded Koppel & Scher with editorial designer and fellow Tyler graduate Terry Koppel. During the six years of their partnership, she produced identities, packaging, book jackets, and advertising, including the famous Swatch poster based on previous work by Swiss designer Herbert Matter.

Pentagram
In 1991, after the studio suffered from the recession and Koppel took the position of Creative Director at Esquire magazine, Scher began consulting and joined Pentagram as a partner in the New York office. Since then, she has been a principal at the New York office of the Pentagram design consultancy.

Educator
In 1992, she became a design educator, teaching at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York. She received more than 300 awards from international design associations as well as a series of prizes from the American Institute of Graphic Design (AIGA), The Type Directors Club (NY), New York Art Directors Club and the Package Design Council. She is a select member of Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) and her work is included in the collections of New York MoMA, the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the Museum für Gestaltung, Zurich and the Centre Georges Pompidou". As an artist she is known for her large-scale paintings of maps, covered with dense hand-painted labeling and information. She has taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York for over two decades, along with positions at the Cooper Union, Yale University and the Tyler School of Art.

Print
Paula Scher has contributed to numerous issues of Print. Her first Print cover was with her friend Steven Heller. Together they created a parody issue in 1985, a genealogy chart of graphic design.

Branding & Identities Systems
In 1994, Paula Scher was the first designer to create a new identity and promotional graphics system for The Public Theater, a program that become the turning point of identity in designs that influence much of the graphic design created for theatrical promotion and for cultural institutions in general.

Based on the challenge to raise public awareness and attendance at the Public Theater along with trying to appeal to a more diverse crowd, Scher created a graphic language that reflected street typography and graffiti-like juxtapostion. In 1995, Paula Scher and her Pentagram team created promotional campaigns for The Public Theater’s production of Savion Glover’s Bring in’Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk that featured the wood typefaces used throughout The Public Theater’s identity. Scher was inspired by Rob Ray Kelly’s American Wood Types and the Victorian theater's poster when she created the cacophony of disparate wood typefaces, silhouetted photographs and bright flat colours for the theater's posters and billboard. Scher limited her colours to two or three while highlighted the play’s title and theater logo that surrounded the tap artist in a typographical be-bop. The design was to appeal to a broad audience from the inner cities to the outer boroughs, especially those who hadn’t been attracted to theater.

From 1993 to 2005, Scher worked closely with George C. Wolfe, The Public’s producer and Oskar Eustis, who joined as artistic director during the fiftieth anniversary in 2005, on the development of posters, ads, and distinct identities. As part of the anniversary campaign, the identity was redrawn using the font Akzidenz Grotesk. The word “theater” was dropped and emphasis was placed on the word “public”. By 2008, the identity was even more definitive as it used a knockout font called Hoefler & Frere-Jones which provided affordable and accessible productions.

New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park
In 1994, Scher has created the first poster campaign for the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park production of The Merry Wives of Windsor and Two Gentlemen of Verona, and was borrowed from the tradition of old-fashioned English theater style. This laid the foundation for the new overall identity and visual language that came to define the Public Theater for the rest of the decade and beyond. The designs for the Shakespeare in the Park campaign went all across New York, like the buses, subways, kiosks, and billboards.

Scher’s Shakespeare in the Park campaign had become a seasonal tradition in the city. The identity has progressed over the years which redesigned The Public Theater logo in 2005 and 2008. The campaign in 2008 for the productions of Hamlet and Hair, utilizes the strict 90 degree angles of a De Stiji-inspired grid, a pattern in Manhattan’s streetscape. The identity is like New York itself, constantly evolving.

In 2010, Scher designed the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park poster has presented powerful productions of The Winter’s Tale and The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino as Shylock. Scher’s festival promotional campaign focuses on the reminiscent language in both plays by pulling lines from each production to meet in a dimensional expressive of words and typography. This campaign was award for Print Regional Design Annual 2011.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is one of the most recognizable logotype in the museum world. In 1964, the Franklin Gothic No.2 logotype was originally designed by Ivan Chermayeff. By 2004, Matthew Carter redrawn a new custom typeface named MoMA Gothic. Although MoMA core identity is well developed iconic museum but the applications like the web, print, and physical environment has not been unified or visionary like the museum itself. In order to continually carry the spirit of the institution, the museum hired Pentagram to design a more powerful and integrated comprehensive system.

To create a new approach that modernizes the institution’s image, Paula Scher designed a complete methodology for the new system to work at any scale, from an exterior banner to a print advertisement in the newspaper. Scher designed a strong grid to uniform placement of images and types. The artwork is being cropped to maximize visual and each quadrant of a page or a banner has specific function. A particular image is selected as the signature focus for an exhibit and list of upcoming events unrelated to the featured into a text block. The black on white logotype placed at vertically position whenever is possible and always bleeds off an edge. Julia Hoffman, MoMA’s creative Director for Graphic and Advertising and her internal team have used the new system and brought the system to life in applications from larger banners and subways poster to the website.

The Metropolitan Opera
Paula Scher and Julia Hoffman has designed the new identity for The Metropolitan Opera. The Metropolitan general manager, Peter Gelb proposed to rebrand the institution and reach a wide audiences like the younger generation that never set foot inside the opera hall. The identity is set in Baskerville and Avenir and the campaign features performance of “Madama Butterfly”. The print ad campaign launched on August 20, 2006 and according to Thomas Michel, the Metropolitan’s marketing director, it was a successful sales day in the history of the organization.

New York City Ballet
Paula Scher has designed a new identity and promotional campaign for the New York City Ballet, one of the largest and well-known dance company founded in 1933 by Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine. Scher designed with Lisa Kitchenberg of Pentagram and the NYCB’s Luis Bravo, to create an identity that links the company’s legacy and location to a modern and dramatic new aesthetic. The logo is set in the font DIN that appears slightly stacked on each layer. The palette is composed of black, white and silvery grays, in the way it resemble to the buildings of New York appear sometimes. It has a softened transparency and a subtle gradation of colour that will include shades of blue blacks, green blacks and red blacks. Scher also cropped the images of City Ballet dancers to create more tension and drama. The new identity and graphics appeared on bus shelter, subway poster, magazines and newspapers ads, in the company’s programs and website, and in environmental graphics at the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center where the company performs.

Environmental Graphic Designs
In 2001, Paula Scher created an interior design for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. In the design, there are words running along the walls; tubes and balconies reflecting with vast letters that gives a joyfully effect to represent the shows performance in the building.  It was signature and environmental graphics for the Lucent Technologies Center for Arts Education, a school affiliated with NJPAC.

Achievement First Endeavor Middle School
For the Achievement First Endeavor Middle School at Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, a charter school for grades 5 through 8, Paula Scher has created a program of environmental graphic that helps school interiors to become a better learning environment. She created vibrant space with bold typography font of Rockwell and simple paint to change the life of its students. With the help Rogers Marvel Architects, who designed the school as a refurbishment and expansion of existing building. The design was based on Endeavor’s teaching philosophy and series of motivational slogans used by its teachers. Scher has enlarged these concepts into super-graphics that help define the interior spaces. The graphics appear as an equations form (“Education = Choice”, “Education = Freedom”) in the hallways and quotations running around the wall of gymnasium and staircase which encouraging student to do better and create a unique environment of their own.

Microsoft
Scher designed a new logo for Windows 8 and also the logo of Office 2010.

Maya Stendhal, The Maps
In 2006, an exhibition at Maya Stendhal gallery in New York City, Paula Scher painted two 9-by-12-foot maps that resembled patchwork quilts from afar, but contain much textual detail. She created lines that represented the separation of political allies or borders dividing enemies. Scher created the maps into layers that reference what we think when we think of Japan, Kenya, or the Upper East Side.

For instance, The United States (1999) was painted in blocky white print and full with list of facts that comprehend when we think about cities. Africa (2003) represented in a stark black and white palette, hinting at a tortured colonial past. The land of the red rising sun represented when we think of Japan (2004).

This was Scher's first solo exhibition as a fine artist and sold every piece between $40,000 to $135,000. The Maya Stendhal's owner decided to extend the exhibition for four weeks, until January 21. Therefore Scher decided to produce silk-screened prints of 'The World' that contained large-scale images of cities, states, and continents blanketed with place names and other information. It's full of mistakes and misspellings and visual allusions to stereotypes of places such as South American, painted with hot colours and has two ovaries on the sides. It was not created to be a reliable map but convey a sense of the places that are mediated and mangled.

NYC Transit & Manhattan
In 2007, Paula Scher had created screen-prints of NYC Transit and Manhattan that is printed on hand-made deluxe Lana Quarelle paper. NYC Transit portrays the island of Manhattan as a busy destination crisscrossed by a subway system of loopy, colour-coded lines and stations. It also shows the Manhattan night famed neighborhoods.

Limited Edition Print Map
In 2008, Maya Stendhal released a limited edition print map of China and renowned artist Paula Scher. The map is 48.5 x 40 inches, printed on deluxe Lanaquarelle paper, hand-made in the Vosges region of France. Scher collaborated with Alexander Heinrici to convey the hand-painted map to represent the rapid economic growth, booming industry, the success of Olympic bid, and superpower status on China.

Personal life
In January 1970, Paula Scher first met Seymour Chwast when she was a senior at the Tyler School of Art. They met each other through an interview at Pushpin, arranged by an art director named Harris Lewine, where she took her portfolio to him. In 1973, she and Chwast married, and divorced five years later. They remarried in 1989.

Awards
Art Directors Club Hall of Fame 1998, Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design 2000, AIGA Medal 2001, National Design Award (Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian) 2013 Honorary Doctorates from Corcoran School of Art, Maryland Institute of Art and Moore college of Art.

Awards for graphic design; American Book Award nominations for best book design, and for best compilation of written and graphic material, both 1981, both for The Honeymoon Book: A Tribute to the Last Ritual of Sexual Innocence.

The School of Visual Arts grants a Master Series Award, showcase of Make It Bigger
Awards: Print's Regional Design Annual 2011 for Shakespeare in the Park 2010 campaign, Map Murals for Queens Metropolitan Campus, and Environmental Graphic for Parking Garage at 13-17 East 54th Street.

And finally I'm including a series of logos Paula designed as well as a few other famous pieces you may recognize.

Stuffing Your Wedding Invitations 101

If you're getting close to picking up your super glam and perfect invitations you may want to ask your stationer about stuffing these fabulous little packages the right way. Here are tips I pass on to all of my brides and grooms.

Tips Post Stuffing

Stamps
Have you gotten your stamps yet? You may want to have a look at what Canada Post has in store. There could be a stamp that somewhat goes with your invitation design and colours. If not you could look into getting custom stamps made by Canada Post. I recently had a bride who had stamps printed with different patterns in blush and grey tones to match. It looked super fab!

Size + Weight
Before purchasing all of your stamps you might want to have your invitations weighed and sized. Canada Post does have size and weight restrictions. If you're after something super custom including a box mailer or larger size invitation please consider additional mailing cost will apply. 

Addresses
If you're hand writing your guest and reply addresses you may want to consider purchasing extra envelopes from your stationer. You may also want to get all envelopes addressed before you begin stuffing them. Print off your guest list that way you can go back and check off the full list making sure you didn't miss anyone.

Reply Stamps
If you have guests in the US or overseas it can get a little tricky grabbing stamps from that part of the world. If you have family living over there you can ask them to send you the amount needed. Canada Post also sell vouchers which you can insert under each flap of your reply envelopes. Or leaving these without stamps would be okay too.

Stuffing your Invitations

You're planning your assembly line and ready to stuff.  Here are step by step tips that might be helpful.

Step no. 1
Add stamps on all of your reply envelopes / top right hand corner. This way they will not be forgotten before sealing everything.

Step no. 2
If your packages require gluing this would come up next. Its always a good idea to let items glued dry over night placed under a pile of books. This simply assures strong even gluing.

Step no. 3
If you have any other assembly work to apply for example tying satin strings with tags this would be a good time to do it. If you're getting ribbon please make sure you get lots of extra. You can always us it on your big day in more ways then one.

Step no. 4
Pulling all cards together and stuffing inside your envelopes.  Presentation is key, your stationer may have ideas feel free to ask.

Step no. 5
Sealing your envelopes. You may want to use a damp sponge or Q-tips and water to seal each flap. I personally like to use a small glue stick.

Step no. 6
Adding Canadian, US or International stamps to outer envelopes to the top right hand corner.

Step no. 7
Check your guest list assuring no one is missing.

Helpful links:

Canada Post Creative Stamps

How to Seal Wedding Invitation Envelopes

 

5 Influential Patterns for Wedding Invitations

Depending on what I'm working on I often find adding a pattern or two to my custom invitations personalizes and finesses the overall look of each package. I love mixing organic and symmetrical patterns together as it creates a great contrast. I recently did a search for new and interesting patterns for 2017 and I was happy to find new innovative patterns. I'm personally finding those trendy water colours and certain painted florals are started to look dated. The patterns below I find are fresher and different then what's out there. Have a look it may influence you to add something similar throughout your wedding invitations and stationery design.

Meadow

Great combination of wild floral mixing, botanical studies, minute flowers, floral bouquets and romantic styling. 

 

Jungle 

Beautiful trendy seamless  jungle patterns. Colourful  tropics, palm leaves, plants, hibiscus in bouquet and exotic print.

Tibetan

From Tibetan rugs and fabric, large variety of patterns and symbols. Iconographic design patterns and rules, weaves, florals, elements of nature and strong geometrics.

Geometric

Balancing colours, prints, and textures in a seamless manner. The bold pattern creating a minimal unique modern look. 

Vintage Outlines

Often seen in wallpapers and clothing from the 60's. This pattern brings back the past with funk. The outline creates a bolder pattern with definition. 

Discover more at Pattern Bank a website featuring hundreds great pattern of all styles and colours.

Cake and Lace Feature

Carte Blanche worked with a team of Toronto vendors this past winter on a style shoot titled "White and Greenery Classic". The shoot made it into the fabulous Cake and Lace - how exciting! A romantic indoor winter shoot with greenery, soft tones and hints of luxe gold. Please see more about vendors involved below.

DSC_3067.jpg

Cake and Lace January 26, 2017 feature:
White and Greenery Classic

List of talented vendors involved:
Coordination & Planning
Lindsay Plank Events

Table Decor & Decor Creative Direction
Tableauscapes Coordination & Planning

Cake Design
Cocabella Cake Studio

Floral Design
Mint and Magnolia Floral Design

Hairstylist
Dylan Dias

Makeup Artist
Amy Pigeon

Photography
Verveine Studios

Dress Designer
Catherine Langlois

Jewelry Designer
Laurajaynebride

Stylist
Ashley Galang

Model
Vasy Corestone Models Inc. 

 

 

 

Choosing Your Wedding Colours

Often the bride and or groom will choose the colours that they like best for their wedding day. But choosing a colour isn’t about what you like, it’s about what your stand for as a couple. Colours carry incredible psychological power. You probably know that celebrities sit in a green room before performances and that McDonald’s uses orange to stimulate your appetite.

Therefore, instead of choosing your favourites, choose colours that will suit the style of wedding you will be having mixed with your personality as a couple. For example, if you stand for innovation, choose red, orange or yellow — don’t use a traditional colour like navy or a simple colour like brown. Seem obvious? It will become more obvious once you have your venue picked out along with decor, floral etc... Using multiple colours can get tricky, make sure there is a nice tasteful balance throughout? Colour is most powerful in large doses; however, sometimes using neutral with a splash of one colour can also do the trick! 

mismatched-bridesmaid-dresses-33.jpg

Understand the Psychological Impact When You Choose Your Colours

Here are some traditional meanings of popular colours:

Navy – Conveys importance, confidence, power and authority, as well as intelligence, stability, unity and conservatism. Like black, it carries a sense of elegance and sophistication.

Blue – Associated with tranquility and calmness. The colour of the sky and water, it
symbolizes sincerity, trust, wisdom and truth.

Green – The colour of nature. It symbolizes harmony, safety, growth, freshness, and fertility. It’s a restful colour that suggests stability and endurance.

Red – An emotionally intense colour. It’s associated with energy, strength, power, danger, and passion. It’s highly visible and enhances human metabolism, increases respiration, and raises blood pressure.

Orange – Combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It’s associated with enthusiasm, joy, stimulation, attraction, creativity and health. It’s considered a sporty colour.

Yellow – The colour of sunshine, yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy. It’s associated with joy, happiness, vibrancy, intellect and energy.

Purple – A unique colour that combines the stability of blue and energy of red. Generally associated with royalty, purple symbolizes luxury, wealth, power, and dignity.

Brown – The colour of earth. It’s associated with genuineness, simplicity, dependability, and friendliness.

Black – Associated with power, mystery, elegance, strength and formality. Black can be very formal, elegant and prestigious; it adds depth when combined with other colours.

Grey/silver – Has similar connotations to black, evoking dignity, wisdom, and responsibility.

Gold – Associated with success, money and wealth; it can evoke comfort and quality.

Once you’ve selected your colour theme, you’ll need to choose PMS, CMYK, RGB and HEX colour formulas:

PMS = Pantone Matching System: Ink colours. If you’re printing only two colours on your business cards, your printer will probably use your two PMS colour inks.

CMYK is the formula for creating the colour using a combination of cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink during four-colour printing.

RGB is this formula is used in electronic documents – it’s the amount of red, green and blue used to create the colour.

HEX is a colour code used in HTML programming for your website.

It can be difficult to match your chosen look in different printing & electronic mediums, but a professional designer can help you choose the closest formulas.

2017 Colour of the Year is Greenery

pantone-2017_0.jpg

We thought it could not get any better, but it’s time to wave goodbye to 2016’s Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue shades. As the Gods of Colour have spoken and “Greenery” is the Pantone Colour of 2017. The colour, named Greenery, is described by Pantone as a tangy yellow-green often seen in foliage. Bringing forth a refreshing take, Greenery is a tangy yellow-green that speaks to our need to explore, experiment and reinvent. Illustrative of flourishing foliage, the fertile attributes of Greenery signals one to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.

The colour “greenery,” similar to chartreuse, is well represented in the first buds and grass blades of new spring, but it also plays out in history at times of major cultural shifts, including the suffrage movement and flapper era of the 1920s and the war and racial justice protest movements and psychedelia of the ’60s and ’70s.

In addition to the emerging recycle-and-share economies, we have green rooftops, green spaces and indoor vertical farming. In home decor, there’s a trend to connect with the elements outside through open spaces and vast windows, and a desire to bring nature inside through forestry murals and living moss walls.

This uplifting, organic and energizing shade symbolises nature, new beginnings and spring.  We could not be more excited!

Greenery is a refreshing and revitalizing lime green shade that is symbolic of new beginnings and evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. It is a very versatile colour that works for all seasons and colour combinations. Brides and wedding planners can be playful by adding Greenery to your colour palette. This fresh shade can work alongside metallics, pastels, deep hues, brights and neutrals in many different ways.

 

Carte Blanche Design - Wedding Invitations Toronto

Hot Colours of 2017

The collection this year is quite a vibrant one but has been cleverly mixed with some more relaxing colour that give designers and stylists a great range of colours to choose from. 

Primrose Yellow
y contrast, Primrose Yellow sparkles with heat and vitality. Inviting us into its instant warmth, this joyful yellow shade takes us to a destination marked by enthusiasm, good cheer and sunny days.

Pale Dogwood
ontinuing the tranquil mood, Pale Dogwood is a quiet and peaceful pink shade that engenders an aura of innocence and purity. The unobtrusive Pale Dogwood is a subtle pink whose soft touch infuses a healthy glow.

Hazelnut
Rounding out the spring 2017 colors is Hazelnut, a key neutral for spring. This shade brings to mind a natural earthiness. Unpretentious and with an inherent warmth, Hazelnut is a transitional color that effortlessly connects the seasons.

Island Paradise
Island Paradise is a refreshing aqua that calls to mind a change of scenery. A cool blue green shade that speaks to our dream of the great escape, Island Paradise is emblematic of tropical settings and our desire to unwind.

Greenery
Bringing forth a refreshing take, Greenery is a tangy yellow-green that speaks to our need to explore, experiment and reinvent. Illustrative of flourishing foliage, the fertile attributes of Greenery signals one to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.

Flame
A red-based orange, Flame, is gregarious and fun loving. Flamboyant and vivacious, this wonderfully theatrical shade adds fiery heat to the spring 2017 palette.

Pink Yarrow
Tropical and festive, Pink Yarrow is a whimsical, unignorable hue that tempts and tantalizes. Bold, attention getting and tempestuous, the lively Pink Yarrow is a captivating and stimulating color that lifts spirits and gets the adrenaline going.

Niagara
Comfortable and dependable, Niagara leads the PANTONE Fashion Color Report as the most prevalent color for spring 2017. Niagara is a classic denim-like blue that speaks to our desire for ease and relaxation.

Kale
Evocative of the great outdoors and a healthy lifestyle, Kale is another foliage-based green that conjures up our desire to connect to nature, similar to the more vivacious Greenery. And, just as we see in nature, this lush and fertile natural green shade provides the perfect complementary background to the more vibrant tones in the palette.

Lapis Blue
Conveying even more energy is Lapis Blue. Strong and confident, this intense blue shade is imbued with an inner radiance.

 

Carte Blanche Design ~ Wedding Invitations Toronto

Winter Weddings

Winter if here and I thought I'd feature ideas for great looking winter weddings. Winter wedding can be unique as they have a certain peacefulness and elegance about getting married in the winter. 

The following photos feature a winter blue palette. Sophisticated and elegant these colours will keep your wedding cool calm and collective. For the bride who wants to add a little colour to her winter wedding.

Golds will create a warm romantic setting. Sparkles and metallics will take this neutral colour to another level. The use of lots of lights or candles will make your ceremony or reception look absolutely spectacular. For the bride who wants to shine in more ways then one.

White and winter greens for an outdoorsy elegance. I love how the winter greens are strategically place in each picture... from outdoorsy to country to glam it all works like a charm. For the bride with a green thumb.

Icy blush, gold and eggplant is a great combo for a winter wedding if you're looking for something cool yet a bit different. This is a good example of mixing cools and warms. For the bride who likes to think outside the box.

Melissa & Jeremy's Wedding Invitations

Chic, ornate and classic... is what Melissa and Jeremy's wedding invitations were designed to say as this is what their big day was all about. We started with the development of a personalized monogram. A wedding monogram is a great way to make your mark as a couple. Looking at their monogram design they went with an ornate script with a lovely old fashion illustrative ornament. Together these elements create depth and a great sense of style. The entire invitation package and wedding day stationery was composed of a classic frame along with a bold french toile pattern. This unique design was printed on a silver card stock and addresses printed on matching envelopes. I really like how this couple chose a bold rich red and a bold charcoal mixed with silver given they had a winter wedding. Heavier colours I find work well during cold seasons. 

Wedding Invitations - Carte Blanche Design, Toronto

 

 

 

Michelle & Mark's Wedding

Michelle and Mark's wedding was filled with a timeless and elegant vibe. Their wedding took place outdoors at Michelle's family residence located in the Collingwood area. This is a great example of a classic backyard wedding.

M&M-photo1.jpg

Michelle browsed though my "off the rack" collection and decided to go with the design shown above. She added a map card showing where both the ceremony and reception were to take place. We printed her guest, reply and retuned addresses to match with the rest of her wedding invitation package. We glammed up this classic design by printing everything on a thick shimmer champagne stock with matching envelopes. Her invites looked really sharp and the thick stripes found on the back side of both invitation and reply cards added a great finishing touch. 

Beautiful photos by Christine W. Photography

Fall Colours

Riverside
Earmarking the importance of Blue in the palette, the new blue shade of Riverside undeniably takes precedence in the fall collections. Cool and calming, strong and stable... it displays a subtle vibrancy and sophistication. Borders on exciting, yet maintains a sense of constancy.

Potter’s Clay
An added degree of sophistication and layering. Elements of russet Orange in its undertones, gives a grounded feeling that’s anything but flat. Neutral earth tone; expected for fall and winter palette. A shade with real substance; a strong foundation.

Aurora Red
This colour adds a welcome punch. A bold Red that is warm, sensual and immediately pleasing to the eye. Gets the metaphorical blood of the palette pumping... exciting and dynamic, breeds unmistakable confidence

Spicy Mustard
Bounces elegantly off other colours from this year's Fall colour palette. An exotic addition adding another splash of uplifting vibrancy. A spicier, zestier Yellow than previous seasons... unexpected and unusual. Comes through in both the abstract and geometric accents that designers employ.

Lush Meadow
This colour brings fresh botanicals and foliage to mind. Rich and elegant, vibrant and sophisticated... this shade displays a brightness, panache and depth of color that elevates it from more natural greens. Elevates the overall elegance woven through this season’s collections.

Bodacious
Bodacious speaks to the gender fluidity we continue to see. Lends itself to vibrant colour combinations. This colour is unexpected in fall. Its versatile; can be used with Pinks and Reds. Bright, rich Purple, with hints of a more sophisticated Pink. Turns fashion accents into fashion statements.

Airy Blue
Lofty nature evokes feelings of lightness and freedom. Designers seeking weightlessness in a world heavy with conflict. Blue tones appear in nearly half of the designs. Airy Blue nods to Serenity.

Warm Taupe
Hearty, pleasing and approachable neutral that pairs well with each of the top 10 shades of the Fall 2016 season. Suggests reassurance and stability, trusted, organic and grounded. Departs slightly from the foundations of the Fall 2016 palette... timeless.

Sharkskin
There’s an edge to Sharkskin, and yet it manages to remain neutral. Pair-able with almost any fall color, bright or muted. A color that the rest of the palette can literally and theoretically rest on. Showcases practicality through a dependable but contemporary lens

Dusty Cedar
A fall and winter version of the Pinks we’re used to seeing in spring. Dustier rose-toned Pink shade with some complexity. Exudes warmth and welcome.

Top 5 Wedding Colour Mistakes to Avoid

My Job is to assure my brides are suggesting tasteful and timeless colour palettes from the get go. When it comes to colour there are the classics and there are the trends. Possibilities can be endless and overwhelming… its all about finding the right balance and what is appropriate for your big day.

No. 1 Consider Your Venue Colours
Take a look at your reception space. For instance, if you’ve chosen a reception area with burgundy and gold carpets, a color scheme of lime green and fuchsia will surely clash, and there’s really no way around it. 

Tip - Use the venue’s decor to help guide your color palette choices. Or, you could simply choose a space that lacks a lot of color so that you don't have to worry about a potential clash.

No. 2 Printed Proofs
Make sure your stationer offers you printed proofs prior to getting all of your invitations printed. Colours you see on your computer screen are often very different then what your final invitation are set to look like printed.

Tip - If you stationer does not offer printed proofs make sure you ask them and pay offer to pay that extra fee. This could save you time and money in the end.

No. 3 Wait Too Long to Make a Decision
In my opinion, selecting your wedding colours is one of the most important element of wedding planning as they set the tone for your big day. However, if you don't decide in a timely manner, be prepared to potentially find yourself scurrying around in a desperate attempt to find items that will match or coordinate. This can be especially true if you've chosen a more unique color palette.

Tip - Give yourself a deadline! Maybe check out Pinterest or Google Images for inspiration.

No. 4 Consider Contrast
Contrast is important to many aspects of your wedding day. If you have too much of the same colour you may end up with a flat uninteresting look and feel. Go for a more subtle contrast or perhaps bolder look depending on your personality and wedding style.

Tip - Keep contrast in mind when selecting your attire, invitations, table linens and more. Think about the big picture and note that each of these layers should not all be the Same. Exact. Color. A few varying shades will go a long way!

No. 5 Bridesmaids Dress Colour
Sadly, this happens a lot! The truth is that not every color is a great pick when it comes to dressing your bridal party. Some hues wash some people out while others simply aren't flattering on anyone.

Tip - When selecting a bridesmaid dress, consider the varying skin tones and body shapes of your favorite ladies. For instance, not everyone is going to be able to rock a cocktail-length dress in chartreuse. Take your girls to the bridal shop and narrow down a color that complements the majority of your attendants.

Addressing your Wedding Invitations

The basic rule of thumb, the outer envelope of your wedding invitation should be addressed in a more formal manner, with titles and full names. Whether you are addressing them yourself with a fancy pen, having a calligrapher do their magic or having them printed to match with your invitation design they should look fabulous, be accurate and legible. See examples below...

To a Married Couple
Mr. John and Mrs. Samantha Holt
or
Mr. and Mrs. John Holt

To a Married Couple Who Uses Different Last Names
List the person you're closest with first. If you're similarly acquainted with both, list them in alphabetical order.

Mr. John Holt and Mrs. Samantha Thuente

To an Unmarried Couple Living Together
Mr. Joseph Hirsch and Ms. Rebecca Strecker

Same Sex Couples
Ms. Celine Elgin and Ms. Jacqueline Purcell

Or list their full names without titles
Joseph Hirsch and Rebecca Strecker
Celine Elgin and Jacqueline Purcell

To a Married Woman Doctor or Two Married Doctors
If a woman uses her maiden name professionally and socially, the envelopes should read... Dr. Anne Barker and Mr. Peter Underwood

If she uses her husband's name socially...
Dr. Anne and Mr. Peter Underwood

If both parties are doctors, you can address the outer envelope...
Doctors Anne and Peter Underwood

To Those With Other Distinguished Titles

Apply the same rules for military personnel, judges, reverends, and so forth that you
use for doctors. If both titles don't fit on one line, indent the second line.

The Honorable Jane Kelly and Lieutenant Jonathan Kelly, U.S. Navy
or
Captains Jane and Jonathan Kelly,
U.S. Navy

To Children and Families
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Abraham
Daniel, Jeffrey, Miss Brittany and Miss Kelly

To Children 18 and Older
They should receive their own invitations (unless they live at home with mom and dad).

Ms. Audrey Abraham
or
Mr. Jack Abraham

Note: If you don't include each child's name, you're implying that children are not invited. 
That said, don't be surprised if some guests still mistakenly assume their children are
welcome. If you're concerned this will happen with your guests, ask your immediate family
and bridal party to help spread the word that the wedding will be adults only. In the end, 
you may have to follow up with guests who don't get the message via phone to gently
explain the situation.

 

Carte Blanche Design ~ Wedding Invitations Toronto

Jennifer & Tim's Wedding Invitations

Living an urban life in Toronto Jennifer and Tim wanted their wedding to be casual and outdoorsy. Sharing their engagement in Niagara on the Lake they decided to have their big day at the beautiful Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery. Jennifer was an easy going bride with great ideas and good taste. Together we came up with the following design. My creative process usually includes 5 steps... take a look below:

No. 1 - COLOUR 

Jennifer & Tim's colour palette was composed of soft champagnes, blush pinks with greys. Soft colours were found in the floral pattern with a bold charcoal when it came to fonts.

No. 2 - STYLE / THEME

Jennifer and I discussed a more casual look with a vintage flare since their big day was to take place at a vineyard. We kept the overall style simple, classic and whimsical.

No. 3 - DESIGN

Jennifer had a specific look in mind… she wanted to have a certain amount of floral without making to much of a bold statement as well as keeping the overall look light and casual. Once she found the perfect pattern she sent it my way so I could redraw it to fit within her custom package and convert to her unique colour palette. I really like the fonts found in this invitation design. Jennifer purchased a font she fell in love with… a lovely calligraphy font full of personality.

No. 4 - PAPER GOODS

Being from the US Jennifer had plenty of guests coming from a far. That said we had lots of info to include in this invitation package such as invitation and reply cards, map cards as well as accommodations. Once I made sure the over design flowed nicely from one card to another these were all assembled and inserted into soft champagne pocket enclosures. 

No. 5 - SPECIALTY FRILLS

A simple craft colour twine was tied to the exterior of the pocket enclosures in order to keep each package nicely sealed. Craft paper outer envelopes were ordered keeping the over all look on the more casual side. Blush pink reply envelopes where also ordered. I love mixing two different colour envelopes when it comes to the outer and reply envelopes. I find it adds a little more depth and fun.

Katherine and John's Wedding Invitations

Being world travellers Katherine and John recently hosted their wedding in Monemvasia, Greece at the beautiful Kinsterna Hotel. Sending out over 150 invitation packages for their destination wedding one year in advance these guys were after some serious attendance for their big day overseas! Below is a little poem found amongst the couples invitation package. I thought it would be fun to share some of Katherine and Johnny's story...

In the fall of 2011 two people crossed paths on the other side of the world. They knew immediately that it wasn’t just a chance meeting. This was the start of something much more. The beginning of a love and friendship fuelled by adventure. Two people addicted to travelling the world. Two people addicted to experiencing the new and unknown and most importantly, two people addicted to each other. As our first chapter comes to a close, we’d like to welcome you to join us in celebrating as we turn the page and begin our next chapter...

 

 

 

 

Toronto Weddings Invitations

Over the years I've designed invitations and stationery for many weddings in Toronto. Being a designer in Toronto makes my job that much more interesting given the large amount of cultural variety and the large scale of wedding venues. I connect with brides with new ideas, brides open to creative concepts, brides who appreciate good design and most of all brides who make tasteful choices. Custom designs are often set with a personal brand for all of my couples starting with a monogram or personal icon or theme... we then explore colour and appropriate design elements such as pattern textures and decorative graphics, paper goods, printing etc... Below are examples of some of my Toronto weddings.

Andrea & Ian's invitations from my "off the rack" collection. The couple's wedding was hosted at Bohmer Restaurant on Ossington Avenue just West of downtown Toronto.

Jennifer & David's Distillery inspired invitations. Both ceremony and reception took place at the Fermenting Cellar in the Distillery District in the East end of downtown Toronto. 

Arden & Tyler's invitation package for their downtown wedding taking place at Toronto's Luxurious Shangri-la Hotel. 

Meaghan & Ben's Breakfast at Tiffany's inspired wedding invitations for their big day taking place that the Old Mill Inn and Spa in the West end of Toronto.

 

 

 

Tracy & Rob's Invitations

This past weekend Tracy and Rob got married! They had a 4 day event at Deerhurst Resort up in Muskoka with a ceremony at Hillside Farms. Since this was an out of town event their invitation package was sent out mid March. For out of town weddings, invitations are generally sent out 3-4 months before the wedding date. This gives guests plenty of time to plan.

A personal monogram was initially designed making this invitation design uniquely for Tracy and Rob. At our first design consultation Tracy and I established a pocket enclosure was a must. Since these guys had lots of info to deliver to all of their friends and family. A pocket enclosure is a great way to display and well package your wedding invitations. This piece usually works best when a couple needs to include 3 cards or more. So that said along with their invitation card Tracy and Rob had a reply card, detailed map card and an events card.

These guys really went all out... they had a "welcome dinner" the first night, a golf tournament with beach party and lobster cook out on day 2 along with their big day followed by a "goodbye brunch" on the last day. 

Their design theme was very Muskoka... I found an old fashioned map of the Muskoka region with lovely graphics and illustrations that suited their outdoorsy theme. Blues were used a favourite colour of the couple followed by browns to keep everything nice and casual.

T&R-photo4.jpg

Reply Card Wording

When it come to your reply cards there are many wording options. Best to choose wording that will work well with the type of wedding you will be having. That said maybe your choice is more traditional or maybe fun and casual?

There are four critical elements when it comes to your RSVP's:

No. 1 - Reply Date

Ask your guest to reply by a certain date. The norm is to choose a date one month before your wedding date. I usually suggest choosing a weekday since Canada Post only operates from Monday to Friday.

No. 2 - Guest Names

Its important to know who the RSVP is from when you receive it. This way you can build a solid guest list. Traditionally your guests will enter their names after the "M". This "M" stands for the first letter of Mr., Mrs., or Miss.

No. 3 - Accepts or Declines?

Another important part of the RSVP card is knowing who is coming and who isn't? Depending on the type of event you are having you may also want to include other associated events such as rehearsal dinner or next day brunch?

No. 4 - Meal Selection

This section will depend on what you're serving at the reception. If you're opting for a buffet, chances you can leave this section off altogether. If you have multiple entrée options, list the options, and ask your guests to tally the entrée preferences.

Meal selections can be written out with a line beside each option or graphic icons can be inserted to make the overall look more fun. Here is a visual example below...

Wording for the ‘RSVP By Date’ Section

There’s a handful of ways to word your call to action asking guests to RSVP by a certain date:

The Favour of Your Reply is Requested by May First
Please Reply By 05.01.2107
Kindly Reply by May First
Reply by 05.01.2017
Kindly Let Us Know By 05.01.2017
RSVP By 05/01/2017
Please Respond By May First

Accept/Decline Wording

Traditional

Accepts with Pleasure
Declines with Regrets

Delighted to Attend
Regretfully Cannot Join You

Contemporary

Can’t Wait!
Sorry, Wish I Could Be There 

We Will See You There!
Sorry To Miss Out

Let the Good Times Roll!
You’re Going to Have to Carry On Without Me

Bags Packed, Ready to Go!
Hate to Say Can’t Make It

Deal Me In!
Sitting This One Out

Excited to Celebrate with You!
Sad to Miss All Fun

Fun Text

Fun text options can also be added near the bottom of your RSVP cards. A common one is "Can't wait to Celebrate with You!" or "Please Request Your Favourite Song Below" or even "Words of Wisdom to the Future Married Couple". These make a great keepsakes.

Email or Website Replies

If you are thinking of doing a wedding website these often have on online reply option which can also include a meal choice. In the past few years I've been doing a bit more of these types of reply cards. And for the couples who don't have a wedding website email replies are sometimes requested. But overall the traditional send back by post is the most popular as it is the most traditional way to use RSVP cards. Hey after all you only get married once!

French Antique Flare

Earlier this year Carte Blanche Design was part of an elegant photo shoot that took place at beautiful Hart House in Toronto. After having a conversation with Hart House's event planner Valary Thompson I was given a colour palette, a few words and sent a Pinterest board. This French inspired elegant stationery included menus, place cards, ceremony programs, mini dessert cards and more...

Photos were published in Elegant Wedding Magazine based out of Montreal.

Given the team had never met or worked together the overall outcome was quite stunning! The team of wedding professionals involved in the shoot were photographer Christopher Jay of Boston Photography, stylist Valary Thompson at Vivid and Vogue, fashion stylist Felicia at the Fashion Conspiracy, make up Tanya at Brides Etc... and beautiful floral design by Covers Couture.

BOSTON-2.jpg

Invitation Wording

Your invitation wording may vary depending on the type of wedding you will be having and depending on the type of families you both have. Now you need to ask yourself... are you and your fiancé(e) hosting your wedding? Are both sets of parents hosting? Are you hosting and both sets of parents are helping? These days everyone's situation is different. I'm listing many examples below from traditional to fun and casual...

Traditional Wording - In its simplest form, this is the standard wording template:

Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan River [proper names of those hosting]

request the honor of your presence [request line]*

at the marriage of their daughter [list relationship of the bride to the host]

Elizabeth Anne [bride's first and middle names only]

to Joshua James Smith [groom's full name]

Saturday the sixth of May  [day of the week, day and month of wedding]

Two thousand and sixteen  [year of wedding]

at six o'clock in the evening [time of wedding and time of day]

Plaza Hotel [name of the location of wedding]

New York, New York [city and province where wedding will take place]

Reception to follow [reception line]

 

The above gives you the basic verbiage... I've added more options and variations:

Bride's parents hosting:

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith

request the honor of your presence 

at the marriage of their daughter 

Isabella Marie 

to 

Edward Jonathan Callahan

on Saturday, November 27

at half past eight o'clock in the evening 

153 North Rosewood Street

Toronto, Ontario

 

Bride's parents, divorced:

Mr. Charles Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Dwyer 

request the honor of your presence 

at the marriage of their daughter 

Isabella Marie 

to 

Edward Jonathan Callahan

 

Bride and groom's parents hosting:

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith

and 

Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Callahan

invite you to share in the ceremony 

uniting their children

Isabella Marie 

to 

Edward Jonathan Callahan

on Saturday, November 27, 2004 

at half past eight o'clock in the evening 

One Nob Hill 

San Francisco, California

 

Bride and groom's parents, divorced (example 1):

Mr. Charles Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Dwyer

together with

Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Callahan

invite you to share in the ceremony 

uniting their children

Isabella Marie 

to 

Edward Jonathan Callahan

 

Bride and groom's parents, divorced (example 2):

Mr. Charles Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Dwyer

request the honor of your company 

at the marriage of their daughter

Isabella Marie 

to 

Edward Jonathan Callahan

son of

Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Callahan

Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Mason

 

Bride and groom's parents, divorced (example 3):

Please join our families 

on this special occasion 

when our children

Isabella Marie 

and

Edward Jonathan Callahan

will be married

 

Bride, groom, and parents hosting (example 1):

Together with their parents 

Isabella Marie Smith

and 

Edward Jonathan Callahan

request the honor of your presence 

at their marriage

 

Bride, groom, and parents hosting (example 2):

Isabella Marie

and 

Edward Jonathan 

together with their parents 

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith

and 

Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Callahan

invite you to share in the joy 

when they exchange marriage vows 

and begin their new life together

 

Bride and groom hosting: 

Miss Isabella Marie

and 

Mr. Edward Jonathan Callahan

request the honor of your presence 

at their marriage

 

Bride, groom, and children hosting (example 1): 

Miss Isabella Marie Smith

and 

Mr. Edward Jonathan Callahan

along with their children 

Anne and Peter

invite you to join in the blending 

of their families through marriage

 

Bride, groom, and children hosting (example 2): 

Anne and Peter

invite you to the ceremony 

that will make them brother and sister 

and that will make their parents 

Isabella Marie Smith

and 

Edward Jonathan Callahan

husband and wife

 

And yes there is more.... you maybe also want fun, casual and simple examples:

Sweet and Simple

Together with their families

Alexis Lee West

and

Taylor Eliot Keegan

request the pleasure of your company

at the celebration of their marriage

Saturday, the seventh of June

two thousand seventeen

at half past four in the afternoon

The Prospect Pavilion

409 Ocean Parkway

Brooklyn, New York

Dinner and dancing to follow

 

Fun & Irreverent

Alexis Lee West

and

Taylor Eliot Keegan

Are Gettin’ Hitched!

Please join us

For a celebration of love, friendship,

laughter, and family

Saturday, June 7, 2016

at 4:30 in the afternoon

The Prospect Pavilion

409 Ocean Parkway

Brooklyn, New York

Fabulous food, fun, and festivities to follow

Creative

Your love and friendship have

helped us become who we are.

Together with our parents,

we invite you to share our joy

and support our love,

as we exchange vows and

celebrate our marriage.

Sophia Lee Rutherford
and
David Michael Davis

Sunday 23rd August at 2 o'clock
The Ashes, Endon, Staffordshire

A celebration with dinner, drinks
and dancing will follow.