The final installment of our four-part series on choosing a custom stationer is here! It isn’t enough for a custom stationer to just be professional and know etiquette, print techniques, and design standards. A custom stationer must also have the ability to collaborate and enhance your vision—after all, you’re the client!
Over the last 15 or so years, I have worked in a variety of creative capacities—steering committees, class projects, internships, jobs (at an agency and then in an in-house marketing department), and starting my own business. I’ve learned much in each role, but they shared one common trait. The most successful creative projects involve collaboration. So many of the best ideas, creative and otherwise, took more than one great mind to come to fruition. Your event stationery is no different! You come with the initial vision, but your job isn’t over once you share that. A good custom stationer involves you in the process to make it even better and make sure that you love the final product.
Apart from designing your stationery, what role does a custom stationer play? Working in an agency setting taught me that the best creative directors take a client’s vision and make it even better. They sit and listen to a client’s thoughts about his or her project, they ask questions, they present conversation starters…and then they take all that information, cull it down, and create something that takes the initial vision to an entirely new level. They present ideas that the client never thought of, but encapsulate exactly what the client was looking for. This is what your custom stationer should be for you. A creative director who can take your scattered ideas, pictures on Pinterest, and vision for your special event and create custom stationery that captures your event perfectly (and in an even better way than you thought possible!).
But, how will you know if a custom stationer has this philosophy about your project?
- First of all, just ask! A custom stationer likely has an approach to her creative process. She’ll be more than willing to share with you if she does!
- Most stationers will meet with you in person to initially discuss your project. Go ahead and meet with her and see how well she asks questions and understands your event and vision.
- After the initial meeting, you will likely be provided with an estimate. See if this estimate falls in line with your budget (which is hopefully something she asked you about) and appears to capture your discussion.
- Ask for references. If you are still unsure, ask the custom stationer for references or reviews. This is a quick and easy way to learn more about the process she employs.
The end result of this type of relationship has touches from both the client and custom stationer. While the stationer can take credit for execution and enhancing the vision, the client should also feel like her opinion was valued and her vision was honored.