What’s iconic to you?

Some of my most popular items at the local shops I’m in, the art shows I sell at, and in my Etsy shop are my mini framed illustrations of Minneapolis and St. Paul icons. I’ve currently got two sets of Minneapolis icons (six in a set), and one set of St. Paul icons, which I sell framed and also as boxed sets of greeting cards. (NOTE: my new Minneapolis card and illustration sets are not yet in my Etsy shop…I’m waiting on some potential new frames.)

First Ave. icon illustration by redshoes26 design

First Avenue icon illustration by redshoes26 design

I’m thinking of doing another set for St. Paul, but need some more ideas. Can I have your feedback? I have two right now that are “for sures,” and one “maybe” because it’s in North St. Paul, which is not technically St. Paul. So I might expand this St. Paul set to all of the “St. Pauls” in Minnesota: North St. Paul, West St. Paul, South St. Paul, and the East Side of St. Paul. Here’s what I am set on, and also what I’m mulling over:

St. Paul : Minnesota Centennial Showboat, Landmark Center (these two ideas came from a potential Etsy customer), Science Museum of MN

North  St. Paul : North St. Paul Snowman

South St. Paul: Wacouta Bridge

What other ideas would you throw into the ring? Should I stick with St. Paul specifically, or expand?

I might also do *another* set of Minneapolis icons because I thought of more good ideas, and had one tossed my way from a visitor at Art-A-Whirl last weekend. Here are my ideas:

Minneapolis : Varsity Theater marquee, Weisman Art Museum (visitor’s idea…I’ve thought of this before but didn’t pull the trigger because I wasn’t sure it would work with my style…but on second thought, I think it could)

I’d love to do the Walker Art Center, but I think in my style it would look like a big grey box. And as many of you know, Spoonbridge and Cherry is out, due to the designer’s estate poo-pooing an old illustration of mine.

I think the state of MN in general should get some love. I had a request a few weeks ago to do an illustration of Paul Bunyon and Babe the Blue Ox. So that one is definitely on my radar. I think it would be so cute. What other general MN icons would be good fits for my illustration style?

Should I expand to other icons throughout the world, or keep these local? Notre Dame, La Tour Eiffel, Sacre Coeur, Big Ben, the Golden Gate Bridge, etc., etc.?


Wheel on over to Art-A-Whirl

Art-A-Whirl is this weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota! Here are the details of where to find me:

May 20-22, 2011

Shelly Mosman Photography

Casket Arts Building, 681 17th Ave. NE, Studio #123 (***this is a change from previous post), Minneapolis, Minnesota

Coming to NE Minneapolis for Art-A-Whirl? Come find redshoes26 design at Shelly Mosman Photography in the Casket Arts Building. I’ll have for sale my gift-y items, including my Minneapolis and St. Paul icon sets (and plan to debut new sets of six at this show!), Rockin’ Roll’er Coasters, giclee prints, greeting cards, festive garland, and mini collages.

Stylin’ stationery on Style Me Pretty

I’m way late on posting this, but back in October the wedding programs I designed for Mike Duley and Cody Smith Duley appeared on the drop-dead-gorgeous wedding blog Style Me Pretty. I met Cody at a networking event last June. Once she found out I design wedding suites, we immediately got to work planning hers for her September nuptials in Arkansas, where she and her now husband are from. Their suite included invitations, reception cards, and these programs. The wedding photography by David Coleman, which appears on Style Me Pretty, is absolutely stunning and makes my programs look downright dreamy, don’t you think?

wedding program by redshoes26 design

wedding program by redshoes26 design, photo by David Coleman

Big props to Cody and her crew for assembling the programs, adhering the stickers on the outside, and punching the rounded corners. They turned out fab!

wedding program by redshoes26 design, photo by David Coleman

wedding program by redshoes26 design, photo by David Coleman

Trim your wedding paper costs

First off, apologies for the delay in blog posts. I made the decision a few weeks ago to no longer post about the Etsy Treasuries my work is included in, but then I totally dozed off at the keyboard when it came to other kinds of posts as well. Bad blogger, bad.

Paisley wedding suite by redshoes26 design

Paisley wedding suite by redshoes26 design

I’ve been working on a few wedding suite designs so far this year, and I think that brings my total to 15. Over the years, I’ve done them for couples with budgets big and small, but mostly small. Since I’m one of the most frugal people you’re ever going to meet, I do my best to keep my design costs down, and also find ways to get the most bang for my clients’ buck when it comes to printing, paper, and envelopes. Following are some tips for keeping your wedding suite within budget:

  • Know that small runs usually equal higher printing costs. It’s unfair because if you only need 60 invites, say, you’d think that would be cheap to print, but in fact it’s going to cost more than if you printed 200. Set-up fees kill ya. The same goes for lots of pieces (invite, rsvp card, itinerary card, program, thank-you card, etc., etc.). Set-up fees for all those pieces will sting. But one thing I can do as a designer is create the pieces in sizes that can be “ganged up” on a printer’s sheet, so they do one print on a large sheet and then trim the pieces out of the large sheet. I try to find out what size sheet my printer will run and then use my math skillz to ensure that as many pieces will fit on that sheet as possible. Having all one-sided prints helps, as does avoiding “bleed” (when the ink runs off the edge of the paper).
  • Hand-writing addresses on envelopes will cramp your digits, but printing them will hurt your wallet more. I know that printed envelopes look absolutely lovely–they absolutely do. But they have to be printed offset, and that is a lot more expensive than printing digitally (more on digital printing to come). One option I offer couples who have small numbers of invites is I’ll print the addresses on their envelopes on my home printer, which is a high-quality Epson ink-jet. It doesn’t take me much time, I can rip the addresses from my clients’ Word or Excel doc, and it saves them a ton of moolah in the end.
  • Turning pieces into an online item that’s emailed out can save dough. Online map/directions cards or RSVP cards are great. If you have a wedding website where people can click a button to let you know whether or not they’re coming to your shindig, that can work as an online RSVP. As your designer, I’d be happy to design said directions card and/or RSVP card, and then email you a PDF that you can then send to your guest list. Save money, save a tree.
  • Odd sizes add postage. Sometimes it’s worth it. Sometimes it’s not. I always discuss sizes with clients and check with the USPS to make sure the size the clients want will not cost extra to mail (or, if it does, that my clients are OK with that).
  • Going digital will be the most cost effective. If your budget is really tight, this is always the route we’ll go, and I’ll design something that works well with digital printing (not everything does, unfortunately). If you’ve got some money to spend, it’s almost always worth it to go offset, letterpress, or screen print. But since most budgets are small, we’re probably goin’ digital.
  • Use a previously made design. As I said earlier, I’ve designed 15 wedding suites in my day. If you like one that’s already been created, I can change out the colors to match your event, and even change the fonts in most cases, so in the end it’s semi-custom, if not completely custom. This is an excellent way to save money, since swapping out colors and fonts takes a lot less time than designing a suite from scratch, so my quote will be a lot smaller than if we were going 100% custom. If you’d like to see some past examples of my work (new photos coming soon to my website and Etsy page), I’ll send you images or samples.

Let me know what you think about my tips, and please share comments on other ways couples can save money on their wedding suites. I’d love to learn some new tricks!

Southern Diamond wedding suite by redshoes26 design

Southern Diamond wedding suite by redshoes26 design

Chaconne wedding suite by redshoes26 design

Chaconne wedding suite by redshoes26 design