Tuesday, January 13, 2009

You are your own worst customer?

For me, this was especially true. Last November, my oldest son became a Bar Mitzvah. As a stationery designer, I was continually getting comments from friends, relatives and customers, such as, "Oh, I can't wait to see what you do for your own son's invitations." Boy did that put the pressure on. For about a year, I had a design in mind that was a square invite and included several layers of metallic cardstocks and metallic hand marbled papers. Maybe I was looking at it too much or maybe I just realized that it didn't fit with the style of the event we were planning, but about six months before, I completely changed everything. The size, the shape, the papers, everything. I have worked before with this wonderful handmade papermaker and when I saw the "recycled" paper that he makes, it was instant love. It is made of cotton rag and recycled bits of catalogs. It could serve as a fabulous decorative paper as well as a fabulous letterpress paper. And it really went a long way to emphasize how important it is to us as a family that we think about the evironmental impact of everything we do. I was sold.

So here is what I ended up doing. Square layers on top of rectangular layers with a pocket on the back that held a forever cascading set of extra enclosures. Surrounding the text of the invite, was a quote in both English and Hebrew. One that graces the Bimah in our synagogue and really captured how we felt on this occasion. Because we had two separate parties, a afternoon luncheon for family and adults, and a kids party for my son's friends at night, there were many enclosures in the back pocket. So in all, besides the five layer invite, there were two reception cards, two hand drawn maps, and two different response cards. Plus, I custom die cut the envelopes out of the "recycled" paper with a layered return address card attached.

And there were Thank you notes. And the letterpress journals that we handed out with a cityscape design on them to coordinate with the sweatshirts and sign in board for the Skyscraper exhibit at the Liberty Science Center where we had the kids' party.

All in all, it was a huge amount of work, but I wouldn't have changed a thing. Did I go overboard? Maybe. But it was a true labor of love.


  1. The love that you put into all that labor definitely shows. I love this set, especially that unique "recycled" paper!

  2. It all turned out so beautifully! Truly a labor of love.


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