Letterpunch Design – the winner of our logo design contest!

This interview is in honor of Laura of Letterpunch Design, also know as

lilribbers on Etsy. Her modern and classy design was chosen as the new brand image of the Etsy Wedding Team. Read on to find out how she is inspired and how she specializes in creating branded weddings, where all your stationery is custom designed to match.

Where are you located? Chicago’s vibrant North Side.

Tell us a little about yourself. I’m a born and raised Midwest girl, living in Minneapolis, St. Louis and graduating from the University of Kansas. As of this past summer, Chicago, where my husband is pursuing his dream job as a trader on the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. For me, that meant leaving my graphic design job at a small St. Louis marketing agency. Spoiled by the fun and flexible work environment of my last job, I wasn’t terribly excited about the job prospects in Chicago (you couldn’t pay me enough to work in a cubicle!) So, I decided to take a leap of faith and pursue my own dream as well…self-employment. Now, everyday I get to do something challenging, creative and fully satisfying…and the fact that people pay me to do it…just a bonus! For the time being it’s just my husband and I, my overflowing studio, and our two spoiled cats, Jazzy and Kiwi, the closest thing we have to children. We’re thinking a dog next, then maybe the children.

What special things do you create for weddings? Mainly, I create custom wedding invitations, but also do matching save-the-dates, thank you notes, place cards, favor tags, menus, programs .I’m pretty much willing to tackle any challenge thrown my way. I tend to borrow from my experience in the corporate branding/event planning world, helping brides create a unique and consistent look and feel throughout their entire event. For some brides I end up becoming a mini wedding consultant. I love it!

Who or what sparked your interest in making wedding-related items? I think most graphic designers who’ve gotten into this business will say “I couldn’t find anything that wowed me when I was planning my own wedding, so I figured…’I’ll just design my own invitations!’ I can do what those large companies do and I think I can do it better!”

What is a little known fact, or something unique about your work that is interesting? Every invitation in my shop/website is inspired by a real bride. Whether it’s one I’ve personally worked with, a friend, or one I’ve read about in a magazine. Real people, events and themes are more inspiring.

If you are married, what’s the one thing you wish you had for your wedding that you didn’t? The entire Etsy Wedding Team! I discovered Etsy about a month or so before my wedding . I ordered a few last minute items and wedding party gifts, but I would have ordered much more had I known about this wonderful little community. What is great about them is that you can take an idea for most anything and you can find someone to bring it to life…you’re not stuck picking pre-made things out of a catalog.

What is your favorite wedding song? We did “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, sweet but not too sappy.

What is your favorite part of the wedding journey? As an invitation designer, I’m usually in the picture earlier than later. I love helping brides bring their visions to life…that “ahhh” moment when they really start to see things becoming reality, it’s always fun to hear the reactions when couples see their names together in print for the first time, I’m lucky to be a part of that sentimental moment.

What advice can you share for all the brides getting married this year? Worry about the details all you want, but the second that first family member gets off the plane/arrives to celebrate your marriage, put away the planning book and stop. If you are like most couples with family in all corners of the country, this could be one of the only times when all your loved ones will be in the same place at the same time … enjoy every moment!

What is your perfect honeymoon spot? Well, we went to Bermuda … perfect weather. It sounds exotic, but it’s only a little over an hour plane ride from the east coast.

If you could pick anyone famous that would purchase your items for their wedding, who would they be? I don’t know, whose getting married, divorced and remarried again? That would be great for business.

If you could choose 1 item from your shop that you wish every bride could have, what would it be? A custom design package! Wedding stationary has the ability to offer up a bold first-statement about your upcoming event (the save-the-date/invitation), as well as a final lingering impression (the thank you notes). Not to mention that it can also help tie in your theme throughout the wedding day programs, menu’s place cards and favors). Make it extra memorable by making it truly unique!

Links where we can find out more about your work

Etsy Wedding Scrapbook: Valerie Tyler

Throughout this blog, you will have the opportunity to meet many members of the Etsy Wedding Team who will also share with you some of the photos and details of their own weddings, weddings we have attended, or our” Always a bridesmaid stories” I figured to kick off the series, I’d share with you a few details of my own wedding.

I happen to be a jewelry designer, and a teacher. These two things make me a bit of a micro-manager. So when it came to the details about the role of flowers in my wedding I was really rather anxious.

For starters, I knew I did not want to spend a fortune on floral centerpieces for my tables. I toyed around with the idea of ordering fresh flowers in bulk, but knew there was no way they would ever successfully make it to the tables. The solution came from a lot of brainstorming on my part and the help of my rather artistically created mother. I wanted the centerpieces to be natural, but not particularly fragile or pricey. What we ended up doing was get affordable glass vases. I then used natural bamboo poles, grasses, and money changers (unfortunately I couldn’t find enough **real** moneychangers, but they still looked and felt real). We then recycled smaller glass bottles as well and put the bamboo inside the bottles to center them inside the vases and filled the entire vase with glass pebbles to weight it. The bottles were then wrapped inside vellum, and a black ribbon added for flair. I think the total cost per centerpiece came to about less than $10.00 a centerpiece.

Since my wedding, I’ve noticed different versions of this. I had a friend who took beautiful branches and put them in a vase. She made personalized cards to commemorate occasions and events that she had in common with her wedding guests and typed all the happy memories on artsy cards. She hung the cards from the branches. They were a great way to get to know the other guests, and let each guest know how much the bride and groom cared about their special memories of their times spent with the guests.

I’ve had also dreamed for ages of doing the old-fashioned toss of the bouquet coming out of church. It had always seemed so elegant and glamorous to me. The whole bouquet toss and accompanying garter dance at the reception just didn’t really fit with my personality or my husbands. The solution was that I had a throw away bouquet of simple daisies, tied loose. I walked out, untied the ribbon and tossed the flowers to—-the children! It was a delight to watch the flowers scatter through the air and watch the children gleefully catch them all.

Having been married on the Fourth of July weekend however, I think one of my favorite moments was when we all lit sparklers under the tent outside. Cute little tin buckets filled with sand and star cut outs were perfect places to put out the hot sparklers. The grown ups were more hilarious than the children even running around twirling their arms in the air (note: my change of dress for late night dancing too!)