ON / BY Jessi/ IN Vendor Spotlights/

A Head Over Heels Blog Series by Josey Stafford

Hey friends! This week I have a great treat for you — paper. I think paper is traditionally the first anniversary gift, but before we get that far into your life as a married couple let’s start with your engagement. You said I do when he (or she) popped the question and now your mom is nagging you to send out announcements. Next it’ll be invitations and RSVP cards; and that’s not even the day of. Day of you might want meal cards, menus, table numbers, place cards, hashtag signs, favor tags, bar menus, and uh… what else.

I’ll tell you what else, actually I won’t, Jennifer Birdsell of Paper Paragon will. She’s new to the wedding scene but well seasoned in graphic design. A native of Colorado, she is settling in to Minnesota [min-uh-snow-duh]… things to remember while reading: Jennifer, along with graphic design, does hand lettering and painting. Talk about a custom design!

Paper designer based in Minneapolis interviewed by Josey Stafford on Twin Cities Wedding Association's blog

How did you get started in weddings, a question I never ask anyone, ever….

I started out actually designing book covers, when I moved to Minnesota from Colorado, I planned my own wedding and got really entrenched in the design aspect of that, so book covers went on the back burner. Both my husband and I are designers and are really meticulous in that aspect, which was really fun for our own wedding.

When I was able to pick up designing as a job, and not just a form of bonding with my husband, I really felt motivated to pursue the wedding side – all weddings are really unique: different venues, different styles, different themes. But they all have a cohesive structure – save the dates have to include dates and the couples names; invitations have to include a way to RSVP etc.

This summer I launched my studio and have a brand new website where clients can go to view my previous work. Once they inquire about my services I like to start with a free consultation – that way I can get to know them and their personality. Did I mention the consultation includes a free hot chocolate?

Yay for hot drinks! So, opposite of what you would find on one of those large company sites like Zazzle or Minted, a real person who really delves into you and your fiancé. How do you make the design process personable, and how to you relay drafts to your clients?

After I collect the initial information from them: is this event casual or formal, what is the theme, what is their personality — I give them a mood board with shapes, colors and fonts, and maybe some photos. That way they can tell me exactly what shade of purple they want, what kind of cursive they like etc. Then I work away – I’ll show them a digital proof, make any edits necessary and voila. Once I get approval then it’s off to the printer! Which can be digital, thermography or letterpress.

black envelope with gold writing | Paper Paragon interviewed by Josey Stafford of Sixpence Events & Planning | Tandem Tree Photography

Ah, yes thur-mop-grow-phee. What the heck is that?

Thermography is a bit more cost effective than letterpress, but still fancier than a digital print. The technique includes using powder and wet ink to yield a raised letter impression. With letterpress, the type is pressed into the paper. Both are really ornate ways to create texture. 

Digital can look really nice, let’s not forget what you can do with a little bit of ink and a lot of design

What is your favorite text/color/print type combination?

Well if I could do my wedding again I would do a combination of letterpress and gold foil, or I would use teal and cranberry and gold, or black with gold foil. Basically I like really edgy geometric design, that is unexpected and really true to me.

Artistically, I also do pen and ink, which is more of a black and white watercolor technique. Mostly it’s been for fun and as a creative outlet, but I can combine it with the designs that I create for clients.

cute invitation design with flower drawing | Paper Paragon | Tandem Tree Photography

That sounds like me, I mean I am not getting married but I do like art! (Coming soon: Paper Paragon’s Etsy site…) So, who is your ideal client?

My ideal client is really artistic and unique. Women who shop at PRIMP, any of the nine Minnesota boutique locations, and they like clean lines and have an upscale idea about what their wedding should look like. The couple wants something exclusive for them, they want a wedding that includes their personality in every detail. They like the photography style of Tandem Tree (PS Photo credit for this blog post goes to the aforementioned), they are sophisticated and non-traditional artsy. They might get married in an industrial building. Chic and edgy, they appreciate and look for good design. On their Pinterest board they’ve got modern houses, with clean geometric lines and rich textures. Lots of wood and concrete, loft style living and husky puppies; boutique and non traditional. They follow Jaimee Morse and Kate Becker Photography on Instagram.

thank you card with leaf drawing | Paper Paragon | Tandem Tree Photography

That is wonderful! I think a lot of wedding vendors and even wedding stationers, are incredibly wishy washy about who their client is. So, now we know who your clients are, actually we know a lot about them, can they bring their husky puppy to the consultation? What if it’s not a puppy anymore?

That’s totally fine! Although the meeting might be longer than usual. 

I’m creative and tend to think of things that others wouldn’t have thought of. I’m good at mixing modern elements with class, using unique shapes with beautiful textures. For example, the winter flowers invitation suite on the back of the rsvp has some cool lines. Or like I mention before using pen and ink in an abstract design, then blurring the image. People also like my chic boutique brand, but in an approachable manner.

I think my business can be best summed up in three words: surprising, chic and sophisticated. Overall, I am really excited in creating a niche for myself, I want to go where the business takes me but am ready to make big waves.

floral thank you card on black backdrop | Paper Paragon | Tandem Tree Photography

If you’d like more information about Paper Paragon creating a custom paper design for your future event you can find Jennifer Birdsell on their Website, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter and on Pinterest. If you’d like to receive $100 of your invitations, check her website out right now, I have a feeling this is a limited time only offer!

Tell me, do you have any other questions? Leave them below! If you know of someone looking for a wedding stationer, or custom paper design for their event… tell them about Paper Paragon! [clickToTweet tweet=” I just met a great wedding vendor on Head Over Heels… and she’s crazy about paper!” quote=”Introduce your friends to Paper Paragon” theme=”style6″]

Prosperity, Love & Happiness,

Sixpence Events & Planning