Melinda Morris opened Lion in the Sun in Park Slope in 2002, but she’s been in the family stationary business–her mother has a store on Long Island–nearly all her life. We asked Melinda about her latest endeavor, a line called PostScript Brooklyn, and what advice she has for couples who want unique, inspired invitations.
What is your most popular line of invites?
Our most popular invitations are the ones we custom design. New York- and Brooklyn-inspired graphics are really our specialty. Our clients come to us with really creative ideas and inspirations for their invitations. That being said, our own custom line, PostScript Brooklyn, is also very popular, because it speaks to what our clients are looking for so clearly, since it grew out of the personal and locally inspired designs that we had done over the years.
Tell us about PostScript Brooklyn. Why did you launch it, and what has been the response?
Launching our own line was something I have wanted to do for years. We are so proud of our Brooklyn roots, and our clients are, too. There is so much amazing creative talent to be found locally that I really wanted to launch a region-specific line to showcase the wonderfully inspired work we do at Lion in the Sun and the work of some of my very creative designers, and offer it to a wider audience. The line is composed of our most popular custom designs that we have created for clients over the years. We also partnered with several talented local invitation designers to showcase a really unique collection of designs that is all inspired by the urban landscape of Brooklyn and Manhattan. In creating the collection we were also very conscious of materials (everything is printed on cotton or recycled paper) and price (we worked very hard to make invitations both affordable and with great quality).
The response has been fantastic. We knew our local clients would love it, and streamlining the collection and the choices has just made it more manageable. It has really been fun seeing all the great color and design permutations that have come out of the original collection; many of the design options are constantly evolving. Having the collection also available to order online has made shopping more accessible and more convenient, too. But we are so excited by all the inquiries we are getting from literally all over the world! We’re getting a lot of people who used to live in Brooklyn, or just love New York, and want to reflect that in their invitations. There are also many designs that are just really pretty for a wedding anywhere–they are not all skylines and bridges.
What are the pros and cons of going custom vs. using a template? How flexible are some of the templates?
For PostScript Brooklyn, every template is completely flexible. Fonts, colors, layout– everything is customizable. We use the designs as a jumping off point but honestly everything can change. I will say that for many people templates help a lot in narrowing down the options. There are so many choices out there that if you see a design that you like, it’s sometimes nice not to “re-invent the wheel.” But everyone is different, and for some people, re-inventing something unique is really fun, for others it is hard to imagine what it will look like and that can be stressful. We try to cater the process to what works best for each individual.
There are some designers that offer “pre-amended” designs, which means the printer has already created the card stock with a design and then you can customize the font and text layout over that. The benefit is that they tend to be less expensive because the printer saves on design and printing time.
What options do couples have to keep costs down but still send sophisticated invites?
I always say you can do beautiful things at every budget. Digital Printing has come a LONG way, and you can save hundreds of dollars by choosing digital printing over letterpress. We offer digital printing on luxe cotton paper that has a really professional and elegant look at a much lower price. Another option is to opt for the RSVP postcard, or do a tri-fold invite with a perforated reply card–that’s a fun design and a great money saver.
What’s the biggest mistake with invites you’d like to see brides and grooms avoid?
Double check everything very carefully before you order. Take the time to check that all of the details are correct on your invite. Everyone’s names, the time, the address, etc. Reprinting is so frustrating and expensive. Also check the quantity: make sure to count households, not people, and make sure you have plenty of invites (with 10-15 extra in case of last minute additions or improperly addressed envelopes).
What’s the best idea you’ve ever gotten from a client?
One of my favorite ideas that we have been encouraging clients to use is to save money and watercolor your invitations. Letterpress the outline of the image on the invite and then go back and watercolor in the design or just an element of the design. It is a great way to get a personal, hand-painted invite and save lots of money on printing many colors. It comes out beautifully and you don’t need to be an artist.
Lion in the Sun is one of the many fabulous vendors at our upcoming wedding fair, Wedding Crashers. Meet them in person February 27th!