This week, it dawned on me.
In working on the video for my latest project, I sussed out what all of the most impactful memorable stationery projects I’ve worked on have in common.
There are three key ingredients that make for stop-you-in-your tracks stationery.
When clients come to me with some clarity on these ingredients, we can make absolute magic. When they don’t have clarity on these or – perhaps worse – bring more preconceptions to the conversation, we often miss the opportunity to be extraordinary.
Those ingredients are: function, emotion, and vocabulary.
What does your stationery have to do?
At the basest level, it could simply be the category of stationery – do you need a business card? A wedding invitation? An event announcement?
You may have specific, unique functions that have to be covered – a business card that gives you space to mark make specific notes about the product that best fits your client. A wedding invitation that has to gather information about which guests will be participating in extra activities.
This is the most important key to being memorable. Yet so many clients haven’t given it much thought.
How do you want your people to feel when they open your invitation or receive your card?
Do you want them to be impressed? A little perplexed (you are a woman of mystery, after all)? Jealous?
These are all legitimate emotions my clients have wanted their people to feel. Knowing the goal emotion gives us a chance to connect deeply with your people. Without it, we’re just making pretty print.
There’s a fine line to walk here. Some clients come with a vocabulary, others with the paragraphs pre-formed.
If you’ve come to me with your papers and fonts and ink colors picked, you’re missing opportunity. You’re wasting your money.
We have to know what visual language we’re speaking – your brand colors and logo, your wedding style. From that vocabulary, it’s my duty to help you craft the most powerful statement.
The great orators of history had no more words at their disposal than we do. It’s how they crafted them that imbued their impact.
I find that, in general, clients who start with more expectations or ideas than these three miss the opportunity to connect with their people. Perhaps a well-meaning wedding planner or designer has done some of the early leg work.
When you’ve already made choices before understanding what’s possible (and, more importantly, what’s at stake), it’s hard to back down from them.
Setting Yourself Up for Success
There are two things you can do in preparation to rise head and shoulders above everyone else.
The first is to concentrate on emotion. Visualize the face of the person who receives your invitation. Your business card.
What do you want them to feel?
A strong sense of what that looks like guides us greater than any aesthetic choice we could make.
Second, be open.
We live in a world where there is very little that is truly impossible.
If you allow yourself to be open, we can explore the edges together.
Let us help you create your stationery story that won’t be forgotten.