Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays 2012

Another happy holiday wish to all this year in 2012;  May you have a good 2013 that brings you fun cards and magnets in the mail.  Save the Date Originals will be rolling along makes new designs, improving products, and updating the website.
This photo is of a few holiday cards from this year.  My favorite card is definitely the tree made of up the family names, holiday words, a binary code, and a QR code.  The QR code takes recipients to the family blog.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Save the Date Magnets

There are a lot of places on the internet offering printed fridge magnets for "Save the Date Magnets" these days, but, not all are created equal.  After starting out some 8 years ago, Save the Date Originals has learned, grown, and, boastfully offers superior magnets.

If you are browsing around the internet, how would you know the difference between the magnets at Save the Date Originals verses some place like VistaPrint?  That is a little difficult when you are probably more focused on looking at *designs* to be printed on your magnet, rather than the differences between the actual magnets.

Well, here is a blog post to tell you about the awesomeness of Save the Date Originals.

When it comes to deciding on a place to get your magnets, there are various things to consider.  Print quality, magnetic thickness, glossy finish, available designs, production time, magnet pricing, shipping costs, and, flexibility.

STDO wins as far as print quality, thickness, glossy finish, costs, and flexibility.

Print quality is something that deserves a whole blog post of it's own, but, just two paragraphs:

Fridge magnets were originally something that mostly just large businesses ordered to promote their business. Image quality just needed to be "good enough".  Not all companies have made the transition into higher resolution printing for shorter runs where the customers are couples who *care* about how jaggedy the wording is, or how grainy their photo is.  If you are only sending out 50 magnets, and if you are sending them to friends, and if you are sending them as the very first thing that will give people an impression of your upcoming event, you want it to look good.

For print quality, STDO prints at a high resolution.  Additionally, instead of the usual 4 color CMYK printing process, STDO is using an 8 color printer, which leads to more vibrant colors.  Royal blue, for example, tends to come out looking dullish purple in CMYK.  Tragic!

Thickness:  Magnetic thickness is another important point for magnets.  You probably don't care that much how thick your magnets are... but if you receive a really flimsy one, eh, it's not great.  STDO magnets are not so incredibly super thick that you will have problems mailing them out, but they aren't as flimsy as many of the magnets available online.

Gloss: A glossy finish is a standard feature for STDO magnets.  One can actually order magnets without the glossy finish, and even have magnets made with something special like a shimmer card stock instead, but for the usual order, your magnets will arrive with that gloss over the print.

Complete: Yes, it has to be mentioned that the magnets arrive complete.  STDO used to get questions about whether assembly was required.  It seems that some place or places are selling a printed piece + a piece of magnet and leaving customers to glue/attach the printed piece to the magnet.

Flexibility:  This is one of the best things about being a small company... If you want to contact Angela to set up an order page for an order of an odd number like 113 magnets, you can.  You can even order different quantities of two different designs.  You can get something- like hotel information cards- added with envelopes.  You can even have a new/custom magnet size made (for rectangular magnets).  If you want that there design in a different color, let the designer know.  You can get save the dates for weddings, corporate events, family reunions, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, christenings, school events, and, even get actual wedding invitations as magnets.

Production times at Save the Date Originals, though, are really only about average.  There are places that can deliver you your magnets super fast... but they won't necessarily be quality magnets.  A common saying:  You can have two out of these three: "Fast, Cheap, Quality".

When Save the Date Originals first began offering save the dates, it was started as a place that focused on the designs, and subcontracted the production of magnets.  Within a few years, Save the Date Originals started producing it's own magnets.  Why?  Because the owner wanted to offer magnets that weren't flimsy, were printed awesomely without weird defects, weren't cut at odd angles, and also, were packaged carefully (so that they don't arrive dented!).

Lastly, you can be sure that there won't be any tricky check boxes during checkout to trick you into "agreeing" to buy some other product or service.  You won't find shipping costs that are randomly inflated twice or more over what they need to be.  Your names and addresses will never be given out to a 3rd party as part of a sold mailing list.  In other words, there will be none of the shady shenanigans you may have encountered from larger corporations that are looking to boost their profit margins.

Convinced?  Stop by the main magnet section to browse designs and pricing by magnet size:

Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy Holidays & Save the Date (again)

It is that time of the year.  Save the Date Originals is busy producing many a magnet that will be sent out with holiday cards.  Below is a photographed example of once customer's requested change to the 3.5x4 inch magnet design "MR37" that easily turned it into both a holiday greeting and a Save the Date.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

For the Bibliophiles

While updating the photograph for "STDC14", a save the date card that is meant to look somewhat like a book cover, a new invitation design idea came to mind.

First check out STDC14, where one is asked to "Book the Date" rather than "Save the Date".

If Save the Date Originals has a save the date for those writers, literary lovers, editors, and book lovers, then surely STDO should have a wedding invitation for them as well.

Introducing a 4.5x6.25 inch folded card design.  The front is somewhat like a book cover, while the main invitation wording and information is printed on both panels of the inside, complete with page numbers.  You can't see it in the photo, but there is even a cute little book graphic with two hearts on the back of the invitation card.

Lastly, one must not forget the response card.  For this design, it seemed fitting to make a design that mimics one of those Library cards that keeps a list of the book's borrowers.

This invitation design isn't yet posted in the main website's invitation section, but will make it there soon.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

November Favorite

The project I am featuring this month is a 4x8 inch magnetic invitation.  Photographic save the date magnets are a common order, but actual invitation orders that are both photographic and magnetic are not common.  This design includes two photographs of the couple along with cherry blossom and bamboo graphics.

Just about any invitation card design from the website can be converted into a magnetic design instead, and of course, custom designs are available.

4x8 inches is also another magnet size that isn't actually priced out on the website;  Projects that require custom/random magnet sizes are becoming more common.  One of the advantages of Save the Date Originals is exactly the fact that custom sizes are available.  Any rectangular size up to 8x10 inches would be available.

Monday, November 5, 2012


My caption for this photo is:

"In a land of USPS, in a sea of boring white envelopes, there was a sparkle of metallic gold."

USPS stands for the US Postal Service, of course.

You have to admit that it is more interesting to receive a color envelope in the mail.  Consider some options for your upcoming 2012 holiday mailings... there are a lot of possible colors and even textures.  

You can actually order just envelopes here with Save the Date Originals, and even blank cards and card stock.  STDO doesn't keep a large inventory- this option is for customers who want to order something beyond the options available at a local craft store.  As with all other orders, there would be a few emails to sort out options and details before an order page was set up.

Customers local to Milwaukee, WI can pick up their orders instead of having them shipped.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

First Communion Save the Dates

My favorite project for this month is fairly simple and not at all Halloween related.  It is a 2.5x4 inch save the date magnet design for a first communion.  It is based on a pre-existing 2x3.5 inch save the date magnet design, but is larger to include more information, and also so that the magnets can be easily mailed out alone without a card.  The original design had a lighted outline of a cross over a blue sky, but this customer had the idea to go with a pink background for her daughter's save the date.

The result looks good and will probably be posted on the website at some point as an official design.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Movie Ticket Wedding Invitation

Back in 2010, Angela wrote a blog post about a movie ticket themed wedding invitation design.  It was done with a red background and looked fun.  The post was mainly to show off the way an invitation design could look (and be ordered) in different versions with alternate languages.

This invitation design is one of the ideas that hadn't made it onto the actual website yet, but had people contacting Save the Date Originals now and then.

Finally, a version of the invitation design has made it onto the website.  This version is printed on white card stock, with full color printing of a yellow background with red and black text.  The fun addition is the metallic red sleeve.

Check it out:

The response card is a simple but carries the idea with it's title "Admission Ticket".

While this version uses white card stock and a red sleeve, Save the Date Originals is a custom invitation place, so if a couple wants to change things up a bit, they can.

This invitation design is often of interest to people who were eyeing up this movie ticket save the date card that was created the year before the invitation. This save the date card is made out of actual yellow card stock- that isn't a printed background.  It is fairly small at about 4x2.5 inches, and is sometimes ordered as a fridge magnet of that size instead.

Side note- here is a link to the 2010 post/version of the wedding invitation:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Just in time- September's favorite project

Just before the end of the month, behold September's pick for the favorite project.

This time, it's a thank you card.  This is a folding card of about 6x4 inches.  The design includes three photographs of the couple and a few flowery flourishes.

What makes this card really cool is that it's made out of a shiny metallic card stock.  Have you seen cards with a pearly shine?  That is what the metallic card stock does.  It's not often that people choose metallic card stock over regular matte white card stock, but when they do, it always looks cool.

This couple previously went with an awesome set of pocketfold invitations, also made with pearlescent metallic card stock, printed with orange and pink colors.  Excellent stationery from start to finish for this event.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July's Favorite Project = New Offbeat Invitation

This newest invitation design to be added into the offbeat wedding category is a design that was inspired by a bride asking for something that fit in with keywords like "vintage", "tattoo", and "rock star".  For me, one of the first things that came to mind for "rock star" was a guitar.

The photographed invitation is a simple 5x7 inch card with a 5x3.5 inch response card.

The original project that inspired this was in bold pink, and, part of a black pocketfold:

That couple actually went with bright pink envelopes as well, which will really make things pop.

A design like this could work for any sort of "concert" themed wedding, and perhaps for those couple's who are in a band or otherwise involved in the music industry.

These fun invitations are surely a good follow up to a ticket-style save the date card or magnet, for which (hint) there are plenty of designs posted on the Save the Date Originals website.

What next for the offbeat section?  Feel free to make suggestions.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

New Save the Dates

With some customers arriving at the STDO website in search of wedding invitations, having decided not to go with save the dates, there are new design ideas being added to the invitation section of the website that would also translate into good save the date designs too, if the designer gets around to updating her save the date design section.

A good example is this new save the date magnet design with a swirly heart graphic:

This graphic was created for an invitation design that hasn't even been posted to the website yet!

Also check out this autumn themed save the date:

And this bride and groom silhouette save the date:

And lastly, this Rock'N'Roll save the date design with two guitars:

There are surely more designs to follow!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Lady Bug Calendar

The large 8x10 inch calendar fridge magnets can be made for business or fun.  Check out this calendar magnet made for someone who loves ladybugs:

It is simple, without a list of important dates or extra wording, which leaves some potential space for extra hand written notations.

This particular calendar starts in July 2012 and ends in June 2013.  These calendar magnets can start wherever specified;  No need to wait until the year's end to buy a calendar magnet.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

In June: A pink butterfly

June's favorite project of the month is a pocketfold invitation.  This spring season is chalk full of pocketfold invitations.  They are a good option for people who want something more than a standard flat card set, and, you can personalize these pocketfold sets in a lot of ways.

This customer ordered save the dates with pink butterflies, in keeping with her wedding theme.  For her invitations, something pink and with butterflies was in order.  We ended up with a landscape 7x5 inch pocketfold with a side pocket.  The pocketfold itself is a shimmery pink, and the 3 inserts are designed to stack up nicely.

What I liked most about this invitation set was that it gave me another opportunity to draw a graphic from scratch, first with a pencil and then with my handy digital sketchpad.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Once more with the ticket theme!

Ticket themed save the date magnets continue to be fairly popular.  Not just sport tickets, but also concert and travel themed tickets.  This post introduces 4 new ticket save the date designs.

First, we have a 2.5x5.75 ticket design.  It is a larger version of another 2.5x4 inch ticket design that is currently posted.  This version offers up more space for a photograph.

Second, we have a 5.5x2.25 ticket design, meant to more closely follow the look of an actual concert ticket design than any of those currently posted on the website.

Third is another ticket that is meant to look more like a concert ticket than a sports ticket.  This one is sized at about  6x2.75 inches.  It is similar to both the TicketMT6 and  TicketMELT3 designs from the website, a new version with a size larger than the TicketMT6 design and smaller than the  TicketMELT3 design.  The red curtain is a part of what makes this version of the ticket more flavored towards a "premier", movie, "red carpet", or concert theme.

And now fourth we have a 7x3 inch magnet design that is modeled a bit after an airline ticket.  This is the only new design that is made for a size currently priced out on the website- all of the other new designs are also new magnet sizes.  This design fills up the given space with a variety of elements, and, includes a spot for a couple's photograph.

If you love ticket save the date designs, stay tuned... for there are undoubtedly more ticket designs to follow.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Favorite Projects of the Month: Invitations

This month my "favorite project" pick is a triple feature, to make up for missing two months in a row!  Check out these three memorable invitation projects.  Their colors and themes are completely different, and all were custom/newly made to suite each wedding.

One of these invitations is a sports themed pocket fold, the second is a movie poster themed petal fold, and the third is an invitation printed on a nice thick tan colored card stock.

Invitation 1: A 5x7 inch pocket fold made of a dark blue metallic card stock.  This pocket fold has a small pocket, meant to carry just the response card.  The printed design is a simple representation of the stitching on a baseball.  Sports themed save the dates and invitations are becoming more and more popular, and now here we have another example of how that theme can be carried with an invitation set.

Invitation 2: A 5x7 inch light teal petal fold with an attached invitation card.  The printed invitation card is set up to look like a movie poster announcing the event!  The response card reverses the color scheme of blues and greens.

Invitation 3: In the midst of planning a lovely outdoor event, this couple wanted to go with tans, creams, and browns.  The invitation card itself is a nice tan card stock, which is printed with an art-deco inspired design, and is paired with lighter cream envelopes.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Thank You x2

Every week there is something new to work on. I rarely blog about thank you cards, but they are another area where people can really set their stationery and event apart. As with other stationery, you have choices. One of those choices is a flimsy pack of TY cards from the store... or... something custom and awesome!

Check out this TY card designed to match a baby shower invitation that I already offered, made just for a customer who wondered if there couldn't be a matching TY card for the invitations. Both cards have a design that is meant to remind one of the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom children's books.

Another recent thank you card project is sports themed. The darker red pattern between the top and bottom is meant to remind you of the stitching on a baseball. Sports themed save the dates and invitations are one of the newer ideas I have seen more people having fun with in recent years. If both the bride and groom have little interest in the frilly, the flowery, or the pretty, and happen to have sports teams that root for, this theme is something that they can have fun with.

Both cards are made of white card stock, and are folded 5.5x4.25 inch cards.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Save the Date Magnets: Tree + Heart

This may very well be my favorite project for February. Two new rounded corner sizes were introduced only about a month ago, and have already proven to be the perfect options for a couple of projects.

One of those projects was a request for a save the date magnet design that would have a heart carved into a tree, along with the couple's first names. Finding a stock photograph of a heart carved into a tree isn't terribly difficult, but finding one with enough room to add in first names certainly narrows down the options.

The photo below is of this design idea on the 3x4 inch magnet size. There was enough room for "Save the date" at the top, and then additional wording- such as the location- at the bottom.

The couple asked be to try to add some texture to their names, which seems to have worked well. The names are still obviously added in via a graphics program, but they also aren't just flat black or brown, which would have looked more artificial.

You have to admit, save the dates with a heart are fitting for a send out in February, given Valentines day.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

QR Code on a Save the Date Card

QR codes: Little blocky black and white graphics that you may have seen there and there. Your phone (if it has a camera) can scan and interpret a QR code. Commonly, the QR code will take you to a website. This can be used for a lot of things; Imagine a movie advertisement with a QR code that takes you to a website with a trailer for that movie.

In the same way that website addresses have become a common addition to save the dates and even sometimes invitations, QR codes are just starting to get added in more often to personalized stationery. A good example is that I've had a customer ask me to print a QR code on the back of her holiday card. The QR code took receivers to a blog post that talked about the family happenings for the year.

This time, a customer asked me to put the QR code within their save the dates design. And it wasn't a modern style save the date design, where you could expect to get away with quirky blocky elements.

This one, to be exact:

It's a popular 5x3.5 inch save the date card from my save the date card gallery.

It took me a minute to conceive an idea for this. It turns out that you can change the colors of the QR code graphic without messing up the functionality. So I switched the QR code to cream and brown, then added in into a 4x5.25 inch version of the design:

Their QR code takes guests to their wedding website.

I have to admit, this turned out better than I would have expected for a nice wedding save the date design that has a QR code as actually part of the design. Thus, I declare this my favorite project of the month for January 2012.

*To protect the couple's privacy, the names, website, and QR code on the photographed example have been altered*