Long Distance (Client) Relationships

Like many designers, I don’t have a brick and mortar shop to sell my goods and services from. I would be happy to host my current and potential bridal clients in my small home studio or my living room, but the nature of my business is mostly internet-based and thus, the majority of my meetings take place in Google Hangouts instead of over coffee. The internet has made my business possible and for that I am truly grateful, but that doesn’t mean that long distance client relationships are a piece of cake. That is why I have been working to structure my creative process and systems to better serve my clients regardless of their time zone.

The internet can be a beautiful thing. For years I had a self-proclaimed technology handicap, avoiding things with screens at all costs. But somewhere around the one thousandth lost scrap of paper with important information scribbled on it I caved and with the help of my tech-savvy husband, I haven’t looked back. With Google apps, Squarespace, Pinterest, and the Adobe Suite on my side I am able to work through my creative process with my clients just about as efficiently as if they were sitting beside me at my desk. I'd love to shed some light on what you can expect as a bride-to-be working with me from across town or across the country.

getting organized

When a potential client contacts me about working together, I reply with a welcome email and an invitation to set up a Google Hangout. During this first meeting I have the opportunity to get to know the couple, see what is important to them, and ask about what they are looking for in the design of their wedding stationery.

If they decide to move forward with me, I reserve space in my Google Calendar for their project after they electronically sign my contract and pay a deposit through Paypal. I send all of my clients a link to a questionnaire (also part of my Squarespace site) that helps me access important information about their project in one place and helps them articulate what they are looking for. I usually set up a “secret board” on Pinterest for each couple. I encourage them to pin images that capture their style and aesthetic and ask that they stay away from wedding invitation suites. I want their suite to reflect their love story, not someone else's.

 

design

The building blocks of my design process stay pretty much the same for each client. Equipped with a thorough understanding of what my client is looking for, I dive into research, I sketch, doodle, and look for inspiration. And whether I am creating wedding logo or a save the date, my next stop is almost always Adobe Illustrator. It allows me to build each design efficiently in the context of other pieces in the suite, play with fonts, and perfect spacing. I send proofs of my designs over email or Google Drive and we work back and forth over email until the designs are up to snuff.

 

struggles

We take pride in the quality of our paper goods. That means quality design and quality craftsmanship. Our letterpress pieces combine timeless design and elegant texture. So how do we showcase the beautiful tactile nature of our pieces if our clients don’t live in Atlanta?

When I print any job I keep tons of extras. I do this because I am proud of what I do and like to hoard boxes of my pieces, but also to provide samples for potential clients to see the beauty and possibilities of letterpress printing. Interested in seeing the quality for yourself? I’d love to send you a few examples.

What if you need to ensure that our ink colors will match the bridesmaids’ dresses or decor?

Pantone guides are provide a universal color matching system used by designers and printers all over the world. Digital pieces can be designed with specific color codes and all of our letterpress inks are mixed by hand, so we have full control over tone and shade. If you are still unsure about how your color choice will look once it is printed, we can print a proof and overnight it to you for final approval.

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As I said earlier, I used to shy away from technology--which is crazy to me now that I spend most of my workdays on the computer designing, emailing, and blogging. I don’t have a degree in graphic design and I am almost entirely self-taught. I overcame my fear of apps and software through months of watching Tyler work, YouTube Adobe Suite tutorials, and creating a whole lot of completely whack designs. This unexpected journey is one of which I am incredibly proud.

So if you live in the ATL or in Alaska, modern technology has shrunk the miles between us. I am eager to meet you and your fiancé and ready for a new project adventure.