Graphic Designer Rachel Robinson Talks All Things Wedding Stationery
Rachel Robinson, owner of design and letterpress studio Robinson Press, knows that the invitation is the first hint for wedding guests of what’s to come.
Graphic designer Rachel Robinson pursued many interests before finding the right fit: She studied fine art, worked for wedding and fashion photographers, and took a job in logos and branding. Finally, she decided upon stationery and started her own business, Robinson Press, in 2011. Originally creating greeting cards, Robinson Press has since shifted its focus to custom wedding invitation suites. “I realized that I really just enjoyed having a personal connection with my customers,” Robinson says. “The idea of designing wedding invitations felt much more true to what I wanted to do, which was to collaborate, have conversations, and meet the people that would get to enjoy my designs.”
What makes Robinson Press different from other stationery businesses?
When you look at my website, there’s not [just] one style there. And I’m really proud of that, because it shows that I can get on the level of my clients and create something that’s true to them—not me. My taste, advice, and guidance are part of that process. At Robinson Press, I’m a small team—it’s me and an assistant. But if someone wants something in particular, I have this huge network of different artists that can jump in with me and collaborate. So I think we’re very nimble in that way and allows us to explore many different design styles.
When should couples begin thinking about stationery, and how should they prepare for a consult with you?
The save-the-date should be sent somewhere between six to 12 months before the event. Then send the invitation eight to 10 weeks before; but if you choose not to do a save-the-date, maybe even a little sooner to give people plenty of notice. I think couples really do themselves a huge favor by discussing their goals for their event. They should have a handful of adjectives that they would love their guests to say about their wedding—whether it was “so fun” or “elegant.”
What are some popular wedding stationery trends?
I’m seeing a lot of “less is more,” which is beautiful typography with a lot of white space, very understated. I’m [also] seeing a lot of rich illustration, watercolor, vellum wrap over the invitation with a wax seal and ribbons. And I think people are really leaning into the idea that this invitation is almost a gift: You’re getting it in the mail, and you’re opening it up as you would a gift—because it really is [one], right?
How do you communicate attire on invitations?
The formal way is in the bottom right-hand corner of your main invitation, you write one of several choices, [for example], black tie or casual cocktail attire. Then there’s a more modern way to do it, whether you put it on your invitation or you have a details card [with] accommodations [and] attire.
What’s the most creative wedding stationery you’ve designed?
I’m working on a wedding at the Boston Public Library, and the entire basis of the bride’s decision-making process is the movie Out of Africa. It’s got all these really beautiful, rich colors and wildflowers. And there’s a formality to it because that movie is set between the wars, like the 1930s, and just has this Old World [feel] to it. I love mixing Old World elements and bringing them into a modern context.
What is Robinson Press’s specialty?
We really love letterpress. I started the business as a letterpress printer, hand-printing every single invitation that left the studio. As I’ve grown, I’ve enlisted the help of other letterpress studios. I appreciate that this printing process has been in existence forever and weddings have been in existence forever. There’s just this nice storytelling element to using an antique process. I would say my specialty over the years has become impeccable typography. I think people make so many mistakes with typography in terms of size and white space. Having really tight typography is just a level of finish and polish that your wedding invitation deserves.
Rachel Robinson offers tips on how to set your event apart, starting with your invitations.
Work with a designer
You might be surprised to find that hiring a local designer isn’t much more expensive than the invitations you can order online, with the benefit of being sure that the design is a true reflection of you as a couple and the heart of your event.
Don’t forget the details
Sneak some bright or rich colors into your suite in the form of an envelope liner, wax seal, or reply envelope. And go for that thicker paper—it has such a solid feeling in your hand. When guests retrieve it from the mail, the weight of the envelope alone will make an impression.
Make it sparkle
Think of the wedding night and how enchanting the reflected light will be off your votives, glassware, flatware, and the sequins on dresses. Bring some of that enchantment into your wedding invitations with metallic foil stamping. I’m currently crushing on matte-gold foil printed on olive green paper.
Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Boston Weddings' guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.