March 31, 2008

Martha Stewart Living

Look! A friend spotted my Happy Anniversary card used as a prop in the April issue of Martha Stewart Living (lower left). This makes me very happy.

March 20, 2008

Hot Off the Press: Sneak Peak

Just a little peak at the beautiful ornamental scrollwork that was used in a new custom design.

(Custom Wedding Invitations above by Blue Ribbon Design)

March 19, 2008

Reading List : Invitation Wording & Etiquette

As a stationer, I am often asked to guide customers through the sometimes daunting task of wording their invitations. My approach to invitation etiquette: know the rules so you can decide when to bend them. It helps to have some time-honored references to turn to. That said, here are some of my favorite resources.

The Wedding Invitation Handbook, by Julie Holcomb
Indispensable. I turn to this book regularly for it's balance of traditional etiquette and contemporary style. In addition to providing sample wording for all types of situations, this book reinforces the idea that it's o.k. to bend the rules when the situation calls for it. It's also one of the first mainstream invitation guides I know of to provide sample wording for commitment ceremonies. Available from Plus And Press.

Crane's Wedding Blue Book
A wonderful reference for traditional wording and etiquette. It is particularly helpful with diplomatic and military titles. I bought mine at Kate's Paperie in New York, however this title is very common and should be available at any well-stocked bookseller. (Crane's also reproduces most of the content on their own website,

Emily Post's Etiquette, by Peggy Post
A great all-around etiquette guide. Skip the abbreviated wedding version - this is a general reference every well-mannered household should own. The current 17th edition is available from

Wedding Invitations, by Jennifer Cegielski
I often recommend this beautifully illustrated book to anyone who is just beginning their invitation search because it does a wonderful job of explaining the many printing, paper and style options used for modern wedding invitations and offers sound advice on what to expect from your stationer. This guide also includes more information than most about how to address, assemble and mail your invitations. Also available from

March 12, 2008

Taking a design from start to finish

I am often asked about the inspiration behind specific designs, so here is an example of how one greeting card progressed from inspiration to realization.

It all starts when I see something that catches my eye. In this case, I was taken by an illustration for one of Paul Poiret's most famous ensembles, "Sorbet." (Georges Lepape illustration for Gazette du bon ton, 1913, via The Metropolitan Museum of Art,

What appealed to me most were the stylized rosettes and the black & pink colorway. I made several sketches and eventually came up with a stylized rose of my own. The sketch was then scanned and cleaned up in Illustrator.

Once the line art was created I started working on the layout. I love patterns and thought that this rosette would make an elegant repeat reminiscent of early twentieth-century textiles.

In keeping with the Moderne mood, I choose a typeface smiliar to those seen in period advertisements. VoilĂ , the finished product.

March 5, 2008

Hot Off the Press: Another Sneak Peak

I won't show the entire suite until after the wedding, but as you can see from these detail shots, this custom design uses a mix of classic borders to evoke elegant Old New York. I particularly love these border designs because they remind me of the decorative ironwork that adorns so many New York brownstones - very 19th-Century New York.

(Custom invitation design by Blue Ribbon)

March 3, 2008

New Moderne Notes from Blue Ribbon Design

Our new Moderne Notes are now available online!