The Fussy Designer Unleashes a Collection of Damask Envelope Wraps

We’ve moved! Check out this post at our new home, and don’t forget to check out our current giveaway!

Design Help for the Graphically Stunted

A designer, I am not. Yet, I love creating stuff in PhotoShop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.

I still haven’t gotten the hang of live trace or vectorizing stuff on my computer, so I use a brilliant cheat.

I needed a vector image for my letterpress printing plates, and I was somewhat horrified at the aspect of me trying to figure out HOW to make it look good and not waste 73 hours working on it (my learning curve is… steep on these programs).

I stumbled onto Vector Magic one day, and I have to got to say that I use it frequently. All you do is upload your image, tweak the settings (super easy!), choose the colors you want (you can use the colors pre-selected by the program, or your own), and vectorize it. Usually, I mess with it to create a few different versions before I download the final product.

If you’re designing your own invites and using a photo or other piece of art, it’s truly a godsend.

Here’s my path to vectorized tree for my wedding invitations:

The original photo — I purchased this stock image online.
Post-PhotoShop (trimmed it down, removed background) — don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be “perfect”

Believe me, I know I’m not even sub-par at this… but I’m satisfied with the results, and that’s what really matter 😉

Stay tuned… you might even see our wedding invitations with this tree in action 🙂

Not Your Traditional Monogram

I don’t think I ever mentioned our monogram!

We worked with Krystan Santagata — R found her on Etsy. She designed a fun, non-traditional monogram for us. She was pretty flexible and great to work with. We told her which font we wanted (to match our invitations) and she worked her magic, coming back to us with about 16 different options!

We whittled those down to finalists and decided upon our perfect (for us) monogram.

Once that dirty work was complete, we sent her design to Made to Order Stamp and Seal. These awesome folks turned around a custom embosser in a matter of days. Now, we simply have a stack of Crane envelopes waiting to be calligraphied, embossed, lined, stamped and sent. Phew!

Darn You Local Copy/Print/Ship Store!

I had it all planned out. I ordered my Crane Lettra paper in 23×30 sheets – in an effort to trim some invitation cost, since letterpress isn’t exactly a “budget” invitation process.

I’d heard time and again about brides bringing their sheets of paper to their local (national chain) print/copy/ship store and having the friendly workers trim it down to their exact specifications, all for $7 or less. Excellent.

Well, I hauled my package of Crane sheets in to said copy/print/ship store, and discovered that their trimmers don’t go beyond 20 inches! The guy working kindly offered to let me trim them myself — by hand, on the giant hand trimmer. Sigh.

That’s about 110 5×7 and over 300 3.5 x 4.75. Ack!

I know I could trim down the first cut or 2 until they fit, but then I worry that my handiwork will be… inaccurate and will destroy then entire stash.


Looks like I’ll be dedicating 3 hours to the paper-trimming process.

Your Wedding Map

What a brilliant idea! Wedding Mapper lets you customize a Google Map for your wedding day! It takes in all your relevant information — wedding reception and ceremony sites, hotel site, etc. And makes a cute little map with directions and icons. Fabulous.