Friday, July 31, 2009


New mini card designs are now available at the Armato Design Etsy shop along with this and this design. Just let me know which one you want, what color, what font and what information and you're set with 100 cards for just $85 {plus shipping and sales taxes if you are in Minnesota}. All letterpress printed on 100% cotton paper measuring 2" x 2".

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Just try to find a good Parisian macaron state-side. Try it, I dare you. Of course I'm writing as a mid-westerner. You would have no problem in San Francisco or New York, I'm sure. But here in Minnesota they don't seem to carry the same mystique as in Paris. Maybe that's ok. Maybe there are certain things you should only have while you're in Paris. I'm not ready to say that about the macaron just yet. Thank goodness for on-line ordering. The above photo is from Paulette of Beverly Hills. Gorgeous, no? They will ship next day air so you get them nice and fresh. And wonderful for a colorful favor spread. Or how about these from L'Epicerie, if you want to create your own packaging.

These two beautiful photos {here and here} are from a blog I just discovered, La Tartine Gourmande. This is a blog from food stylist, Béatrice Peltre. Her work is gorgeous. Great for inspiration of all kinds. The top photo are macarons from Pierre Hermé, the bottom are from Lauderée. Both only available in Paris, *sniff*.

Ok, time to drown my no Paris, no macaron sorrows in another cup of coffee. Who knows, maybe my husband will read this and think what a great substite for a birthday cake macarons would be. Here's to hoping!

Monday, July 27, 2009


I have often been inspired by 100 Layer Cake's color boards. It's great to see the unexpected combinations not to mention the beautifully styled photos.

Friday, July 24, 2009


I am deep into a logo redesign for Armato Design & Press. I've got the bug. So today a quick link to a great Handmade Weddings post on calligraphy: different ways to use it and tips on working with a calligrapher. Happy weekend all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I'm highly in favor of buying things for a wedding that also serve a purpose after the wedding, even if this means they will just sit on a shelf quietly reminding you of your great and wonderful day. Enter these very sweet cake toppers from Goose Greese. They can be purchased as a pre-designed set OR {my favorite} you can order a custom set and send them pictures of you and your to-be-wed. So nice.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I'm thinking about fonts today and how they really are the first thing I go to for inspiration and guidance when designing a custom invitation. Nosing around My Fonts and Veer {find the link to the above font, Zanzibar, below} here are a few script fonts that may be perfect for a wedding invitation. None of them are traditional, per se, but have a classic feeling to them. In future font related posts I hope to show other font options, less classic, more artful. These are a great start.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I am so very excited to share my feature in Minnesota Bride Magazine {on newsstands now}. I feel like I've arrived. I have been featured on various blogs {here, here and here for example} but seeing one's work in a bright, big, glossy magazine is a totally different experience. I'm hooked.

The featured invitation is one I did for a good friend of mine. I talked about the favor here last week. This was a very urban wedding. Kristin and Darren love minimal design but they also wanted a classic touch to the invitations. I accomplished this by using a combination of classic and modern fonts, an un-traditional layout and minimal ornamentation. They decided to go with a reply postcard and a map as well. I illustrated the map in much the same way as the invitation and reply. A mix of modern in the illustration of the streets, and classic in the place markers and ornamentation.

The cd favor is a bit of a departure from the stationery suite in that I added a script font and there are many rotated elements in the layout, but the ornamentation remains as does the overall feeling of the rest of the pieces. This design is available as part of my semi-custom Wedding Collection where the design stays pretty much the same yet wording, fonts and colors are up to the bridal couple to chose.

Thanks to Minnesota Bride for featuring one of my favorite works.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Etsy has a lot of up and coming designers just waiting to make a veil or dress for your big day. What an incredible opportunity to have a couture dress or veil at NOT couture prices. I just happened to find these two. They fall in the category of "if I were getting married today" and "UGH, I wish Etsy would have been around when I got married".

Veil by Austie. Dress by Sarah Seven {actually the one in the veil photo below is Sarah Seven as well but is not currently listed in her shop. I bet you could persuade here to make one though}.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Ever since I took this picture on my honeymoon in Nice I have wanted to see if I would be any good at hand type illustration. Maybe it's time to get on that. Perfect for an invitation, no?

Friday, July 10, 2009


Deciding on a custom invitation can be an exciting... and daunting decision. You have decided that pre-designed invitations don't describe your story or your style, but now the pressure is on to first find a designer that can do that for you and then communicate enough to said designer to allow her to represent you as a couple and your upcoming wedding. A good designer can do a lot with color, fonts and layout, but she can not read your mind or know your history without a depth of input from you. Armed with this knowledge a "pretty" design becomes a great design that tells your story.

I offer as an example the cd favor above. Kristin and Darren wanted to give music as their favor and they chose songs that meant something to them as a couple. In talking to them about the cd insert and sleeve I found that they not only had a number of great songs that described them, but a long list of inside jokes between them. I had them send me that list and I put together a typographical illustration with the central theme of "Introducing the Garretts". These were set on the plate of each place setting at the reception. They not only were gifts to guests but they were a great conversation starter with people asking each other if they knew what "System 9" meant, etc. Not only that but the insert is a framable piece, their first piece of art for their home.

Custom invitation designs begin with a simple conversation about you as a couple, the type of wedding you envision and styles you are attracted to. This conversation is an essential part of finding the perfect expression of your individual wedding. Though it is not a very romantic notion, it is helpful to remember that wedding stationery, like business stationery, is more successful when there is a single, unifying theme and look to it. That is what a designer is there to help with. You can make this process more effective by considering the following:

1. Tell me everything! How did you meet? What do you like doing together? Is there a specific motif or symbol you would like to include on the invitations? This could be anything from the lace on your dress to your location to a private joke you have between you. What kind of feeling do you want to convey with your invitations? Are you a formal or casual couple? Will it be a formal or casual wedding? Why did you choose your wedding location? What are the colors you are using? What flowers will you have in your bouquet? Your maids' bouquet? What do you want to avoid with your invitations? Do you have an interesting story about how you met? how you were proposed to? how you live as a couple?

2. What components do you want? Will it just be an invitation and reply card? Will you include a map/directions card, accommodations card, reception card? What about save-the-dates, programs, thank-yous? Will you need place cards, menus or packaging for your favors?

3. How many invitation sets do you need? Always order at least 25 more than you need. Keep in mind that it is better to have extra than to have to go back on press, which is expensive and time consuming. Also people close you often request a second copy for scrapbooks and/or framing.

4. Carefully consider the wording of each piece. Will it be formal or casual? Traditional or modern? Are there menu items to be included on the reply card? We will also need the addresses to be included: both the return address on the invitation and the mailing address on the reply if they are different.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


This is a great wedding or shower gift idea for the girl who loves dishes and serving pieces. Lorena Barrezueta's Gourmet Collection "reintroduces the ubiquitous disposable tin food container in fine porcelain as a way of addressing our perceptions of quality, value, and high-end design."

She now has three different collections to compliment any style: fresh, classic and lush. So fun, SO creative and no way the bridal couple will see two of these when they're opening they're gifts {unless you give them two}.

Monday, July 6, 2009


This is not only one of the best invitations I've seen in a long time, {sadly, I did not design it, go here to see the whole invitation as one and with reply card, etc.} but it is a perfect illustration of a couple using their story as inspiration for their wedding stationery. I will address this more on Friday but wanted to post this specific invitation for the inspiration file. I'm just waiting for a client like this to come along and let me help them tell their story. Is it you?

Friday, July 3, 2009


How about these for your wedding thank you's? With both of your names at the top these would be perfect for thank you notes and beyond. I have sold more than a few of these as a gift for the newlyweds. They would also be great for bridesmaids and groomsmen.

All are letterpress printed on heavy, bright white card stock in your choice of font, ink color and envelope color. $85 for 50 cards and envelopes. Here they are.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


It is often difficult to find good gifts for the guys in a wedding. Do they really use money clips? ties? Maybe, but here are a few more ideas that are a bit more unique, all are handmade and all are very useful {well, the mustaches may not be useful but are super funny and will give you some great photos}.

Mustache on a stick from Something's Hiding Here.

Deconstructed wallet from Scabby Robot. I love this wallet. Very guy and very stylish.

Palm wood cuff links from Lotus Jewelry Studio. Wear them at the wedding and beyond.

Sterling collar stays and guitar picks from Chris Parry. No one NEEDS sterling versions of either but giving your guys a touch of luxury will make them remember your wedding and how important they are to you.
And finally, who couldn't use knitted brass knuckles? This is a knitting pattern, so if you're crafty this is a must {though I would hazard a guess that you could order the finished product from the designer if you ask nicely}. From Needle Noodles.