Monday, May 4, 2009

An initial concept starts it all...Part 1

I'm often asked how our custom design invitation process works so I thought maybe this would be a good place to share with you some behind the scenes action on our custom processes.

Before we even begin working with our custom clients, we ask for them to complete our price quote form. This is important for a few reasons, namely it gives the client a snapshot of what their invitations or variations of the invite will cost. Every client is different and has different invitation needs so the pricing is tailored to each person that contacts us. With so many options for custom invites, general pricing is not available so getting the specifics really helps to guide everyone along the way!

When we get the green light from the client that they are interested in our services, we move forward with the design fee payment. The design fee is a non-refundable contract for our design services and is in addition to the cost of printing the custom invitations.

Upon payment, we ask each client to send us any and all inspirations photos that best describe the vibe of their event. This could be anything from cake designs, flower designs, artwork, photos, anything. While we would never copy someone else's designs, we can certainly create something that has same feel but that is totally unique to that client.

Within a week or so, we get to work on the client's designs. We compile all of the inspiration sent to us by the client and design at least one or two initial concepts. We post them on our private works in progress page for the client to view. The client provides feedback and direction and we then create the next design, taking their thoughts and putting them into the design. This process continues until the client falls in love with a design! It is so important for the client to give strong direction up front so that THE design is created sooner in the process to avoid any time delays.

When a final design is chosen by the client, we tweak the wording or details to make it more finished. We also create coordinating elements as requested by the client in the same manner as the creation of the invitation design. The client's input is needed along the way! Without the concepts and ideas from the client, the design process is at a standstill!

Once all of the required elements are designed and approved by the client, we are ready to begin the printing process! The time frame for printing depends on the print method selected by the client. Digital printing takes up to 3 weeks, 4 weeks if it requires us to do any assembly. Other more complicated print methods like letterpress or Gocco can take up to 7 weeks, 8 weeks if assembly is needed. It is so important to get started earlier rather than later on custom items. While rush services are available in most cases, it can get very expensive for the client, which many mean blowing the budget for invitations!

Interested in seeing a visual of the custom process? Check back tomorrow for Part 2!

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