Etsy Crush: Earmark Social Paper Goods

A colorful pencil emblazoned with an “Anchorman” quote (“Stay Classy …”) may not ease writer’s block, but it will make you laugh. Plymouth-based Earmark studios sells these witty writing utensils, as well as cards, custom invitations, art prints, garlands, and guest books. Pratt Institute-educated graphic designer Bridgette Salvon-Berndt, 32, was working for two newspapers while planning her wedding in 2002; when a fellow poster on offered to pay her for invitation design help, the business was born. Her husband, Mike Berndt, 31, joined the fold full-time in 2005.

[“Let’s Celebrate” party banner, $15]

Did you design your own wedding invitations?
Bridgette Salvon-Berndt: We had a tropical wedding down at the Cape; we had a fun little invite with a pocket and a sleeve and all sorts of stuff.

How did you come up with the name, Earmark?
BSB: We had a hard time with the name. I was looking through the thesaurus one day … for words like “target” and things similar to that, and I just saw earmarked. And I thought well it’s like “Earmark us, don’t forget us,” and we went with it.

It’s one of those names you don’t forget.
BSB: Yeah, that’s kind of what we figured. It’s on TV all the time now with politics.

Did you know from a young age that you were going to do something artistic?
BSB: I did a lot of artwork as a kid, but I don’t really remember thinking, ‘I’m going to be an artist’ or ‘I’m going to be a designer’ or anything. Once I hit high school, I really started to fall into it more.

What inspires you? How does your creative process work?
BSB: We find inspiration in pretty much anything — a lot in nature, a lot in popular culture, and travel and adventure and things like that. … Basically, we just come up with an idea and sit with each other and throw ideas off of each other to see what we like and what we don’t like and what works, what sticks.

[“Anchorman” pencil set, $7/six pencils]

Why pencils?
BSB: I said, ‘I think we should do pencils!,’ and [Mike] was like, ‘I don’t know if that’s a great idea … people don’t use them anymore.’ We tried it, and it really worked. He’s still surprised to this day about how many pencils we sell.

Obviously, pop culture plays a role your work.
Mike Berndt: Sometimes, inspiration comes from movies or songs or other things that we value.

There’s such a sense of joy and humor in your designs.
BSB: We definitely share a sense of humor; that’s how we can work together so well. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be fighting.
MB: Sometimes we veer towards inappropriate. We have a good sense of humor and we find enjoyment and laughter in a lot of things.

What’s next for Earmark?
BSB: We’re in the middle of revamping the website and logos and whatnot, and we’re definitely going to work on new art prints and posters.
MB: More themed invitation packages.

Finish this sentence: When we aren’t working, we’re …
BSB: We tend to go out and about and find a little adventure here and there. We just got a little puppy so we walk her all over the beach and go hiking with her and whatnot.