Circus Glam. Take 1 on Circus Themed Invitations.

21 Feb

One of the most stressful parts about my job, surprisingly, is not the actual creation of the invitations but hitting the send button on an email to a client for them to see my design for the first time.  EEEK!

I feel so much pressure and worry.  “What if they don’t like it!?”

Really, it’s pretty hit and miss.

Often I am given a sentence or two description of what a client is looking for.  “Old Hollywood Glamour with pink, charcoal, and black for colors.”  Or “vintagey, circus glamour using purples and chartreuse and pops of red and turquoise.”  That’s great, but I always want to just interrogate them for more information.  🙂  Do you want an accordian style invite?  A booklet?  Separate pieces all layered into an envelope?  Do you hate stripes?  Are you opposed to animal silhouettes?  Do you like this look more than that look?  What about wording; more formal or more casual?

Instead, I take what I get and just use as much as I can to inspire my ideas of what I think they want to see.  Always in the back of my mind I know that I might be totally off!  And I know that most likely there will be changes!  And that’s okay with me…because I can only do the best I can do with what I’ve been given to work with…and changes are to be expected!  There’s no way I can nail all of those elements perfectly the first time around, especially when I don’t even have all the details like the spouse’s name, or the time of the event, so I can’t take it personally.  I’ve had to learn that the worst case scenario is the client might tell me they are looking for something more like “such and such.”  Then I can go ahead and make exactly that- so I end up getting what I wanted in the first place: more description and specifics.  Right!?  That’s really not so bad.

Really, my job would be a lot easier if I was just told exactly what to make!  Duh, because the hardest part of my job is the research and coming up with the idea and the look.  If only I could just be the middle man- you tell me exactly what you want and I’ll make it, but no thought has to go into it for me.  Fabulous.

Nah…I really don’t want that.  The BEST, most FUN, and most REWARDING aspect of my job is the hardest part….and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve realized that my job really is to use my ideas and personal style to create invitations for my clients that are stylish and “in” right now, and to create something my clients may not have been able to envision themselves- as I am finding out is often the case.  As time goes on I am becoming much more aware that my clients often don’t know what is “in” or exactly how they want their invitations to look.  This is such a foreign concept to me because as I planned my wedding, my invitations…and even now as I plan my house remodeling…I know EXACTLY what I want the end result to look like and I am very picky about not liking certain elements!  I guess I just assume when I send my first draft of invitation ideas on to a client they will be that way too!  So far, not the case.  How cool!

That’s what being a designer is I think.  At least to me, a designer is someone who puts their own vision & interpretation of an idea onto paper (or canvas, or wood, etc right?).  People come to designers to have THEM create the look, to do the work for the client instead of the client doing it themselves!  It’s a lot of trust really for a client to hand off the design of something important, whether it be invitations or a logo, to the creative genius of someone else.

So, when I create an invitation or a logo or anything else, I create it as if it was my own.  I put my whole heart and soul into it as if this was the invitation I would be sending for MY birthday or the logo I’d use for MY business, and that way every piece of work I do is not only one hundred percent completely me and my vision of my clients description, but more importantly is created as if it was the most important assignment I’ve received.  I hope my clients are able to see and feel that passion!

Here’s a sneak peak of the initial Circus Glam Invitation suite for the uberly stylish Jeanne E.  You can click it to view a larger version.  Some names & personal information such as the address have been changed to prevent a bazillion uninvited guests from appearing on Jeanne’s front door for the party!  🙂

First draft…here we go with hit and miss, right?

My thought is those bottom accessory pieces will be laser cut in that fun shape.  They will be inserted into a brown Kraft envelope that will be attached to another card with the purple striping on it.  Fun fun!

Of course, this invitation could change a ton, or maybe not at all, depending on if I hit it close or not.

In the meantime, the anticipation is nerve wracking!  Hope YOU like it at least!  🙂


2 Responses to “Circus Glam. Take 1 on Circus Themed Invitations.”

  1. Kristen February 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    As someone who’s in the middle of trying to get wedding invitations I love, I have a little perspective from the other side. First, remember that shows like Bridezillas and true stories of bridezillas leave normal women a little terrified to express a strong opinion or be at all ‘pushy.’ So for you – be pushy.

    Insist on talking to people yourself and use some of the excellent technology we have available – like Skype and GoToMeeting – to show people their options. Ask them all of these questions you have while you brainstorm/pull a draft together.

    Personally, I have a notion of what I like when I see it but even though I don’t possess the kind of creativity it takes to make up what I want. That’s why I need a professional I can rely on that can feed me some ideas, ask questions, and come up with more ideas based on that and hopefully, produce something that I say, “YES! That’s what I was thinking but didn’t know I was thinking!”

    I’m having a heck of a time with our invitations right now. The poor girl has come up with about 8 renditions all of which I’m going “mehhhh” on and I am apparently unable to tell her how to change them to make them something I’m excited about all while I look longingly at sites like Style Me Pretty wondering how those people get such great paper goods. And now, I’m to a point where I don’t know what to do because I feel like I’ve sort of unintentionally jerked her around but I’m still not happy.

    So from the client standpoint, call us up and make a GoToMeeting date to show me what you have and discuss reactions. Help yourself not go insane doing a bazillion renditions while they feel like they get what they’re looking for without driving you nuts.

    By the way, these are fabulous!

    • lifeworkmediablog February 22, 2011 at 8:07 pm #


      Thanks for writing! Super great to hear your side of things.

      I love how you phrased so perfectly that aha moment when you see exactly what you want but you didn’t know how to get there. You’re right, that is definitely the job of the designer…and hopefully if they’re good, they are able to read you well enough to understand what your vision is! It’s tough to get the feel of what someone wants, especially when they don’t even know what they want- and I think it takes a certain person and designer to be able to understand the client’s vision better than even the client understands it themselves. Hopefully I have that ability, or am developing it at least. That’s my goal.

      I’m sorry to hear your invitation process has been so difficult. I feel for the designer, but I feel more for you! All I can say is you have to think about you- these invites will be with you forever (in pictures…on the bookshelf) and even if you feel you’ve jerked her around you’ve just got to get what you are dreaming of!

      I guess from the designer perspective…she must really just not understand what you want exactly. Maybe there is a way you can very clearly show her, but that means viewing her more as the professional that will just create what you relay to her instead of as the professional that will create the vision for you. Kind of a bummer because I really think that’s what being a designer is all about and I’m sure you were hoping to just be shown the perfect design that you couldn’t verbalize, but since you are so far in it I guess this is the way to make the best of it and still get what you want. I think you should gather images of invitations or graphics, etc on the internet and tell her exactly what you like in each image and ask her to replicate those elements. Or have you already done that? Heheh. If so, come to me!! 🙂

      All kidding aside, I agree with you about checking in and asking questions. Way better to really “get” it than be way off. One thing I do – if the client seems like they have a specific look in mind but isn’t able to verbalize it – is send a custom PDF “look book” with a few different styles I’m thinking of & some inspiration boards of images backing up each look. This works really well because clients can just tell me what they like or don’t like, which gives me a much more clear idea of the direction they want to go. Did your designer do this? If nothing else, she must be really nice because I think if I started getting a lot of changes I would resort to the ole interview & interrogation method to get more description outta them! Heheh.

      Hope your invites work out and your designer is able to nail your dream. Let me know if there is any way I can help you!


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