Chances are that most of the invitations you get these days are either via email or Facebook and text message in the most disconnected cases. Now, imagine you get an actual invitation in the mail. So much more exciting, tangible and real…no? I may be old-fashioned (no, I AM old-fashioned) but I love invitations, handwritten thank you notes and letters so much that now, as they become dinosaurs, I collect them! Award-winning graphic designer and invitation wizard Bonny Katzman was lovely enough to share her thoughts on the soul of an event and the way it is communicated in actual, tangible letterpress and exciting, custom-invented invitations!
“Imagine having a job where you create products to bring people together. The tools of my trade? Cool paper, fun type, and the kind of toys you would find in a cracker jack box. It’s my job to create something out of nothing, and I have a fabulous time doing it! I feel so lucky to be in an industry where I use my creativity to help people come together for a cause or a celebration that enriches their lives.
Yep, you guessed it… I create custom invitations.
The art of communicating through actual mail has almost become extinct. Instead all you get is a quick e-mail, shot right to your phone. Electronic communication simply lacks the intimacy and human connection of physical mail and nothing compares to the thrill of opening the mailbox to find a personalized invitation.
Last year, I had the pleasure to work on a wonderful invitation project that was all about personal connection. The owners of Sunglow Ranch, a unique hideaway in Arizona, were hosting a weekend inspired by Parisian salons. This was not your typical celebratory event as attendees were to present a 10-minute talk about one of their passions. People were invited to talk about anything, from how to envenomate a Mojave rattlesnake (very carefully!) or the impact of string theory on our view of the early universe (gulp).
To entice guests to attend and inspire topics for their presentations the invitation was literally cutting edge. Utilizing the latest technology, the word “salon” was laser cut from wood and enhanced with colorful 3-dimensional inspirational icons to add an interesting tactile experience. The invite was housed in a wooden box and branded with the custom event logo. The brown outer box conveyed a feeling of nature, the parchment paper label was reminiscent of the desert sand and the “INSPIRATION ENCLOSED” sticker certainly sparked curiosity!
My work with Sunglow Ranch is just one example of how invitations can be used to make or deepen personal connections. There are certainly ways for you to bring this level of panache into your everyday life. Why not invite people for a salon style dinner party? You might learn something unexpected about an old friend, or see new connections being made when strangers come together. If you aren’t the entertaining type consider putting a custom stamp or a fun sticker on your letters. Adding your unique touch lets people know how much they truly mean to you, and it’s hard to make that connection via e-mail.
Doesn’t this make you want to get custom stationary and write notes, or create an event for all of your friends to attend and actually MAKE invitations? Lets not lose touch with the tactile, old-fashioned letter, the letterpress, a great pen… and beautiful design! Thank you Bonny!!!