Checking in with Cheree Berry

Our whole office is still oohing and ahhing over Cheree Berry’s wedding, which was featured in Martha Stewart Weddings last summer. Today, Martha Stewart Weddings website wrote about her precious lollipop stands.

We proudly sell Cheree Berry Paper’s covet-worthy personal stationery on our site.

Cheree Berry Blooming Border Personalized Stationery

Cheree Berry Blooming Border - Duplex Personalized Stationery

We were fortunate enough to steal a few moments of this gorgeous design maven’s time to find out how she comes up with such happy, whimsical, and inspiring designs.

How did you get your start?
I was at Kate Spade working in the design department, which is fabulous because no matter your position you get to work on a variety of projects and I got to work on the Kate Spade and Crane’s wedding albums. While I was doing that I was simultaneously designing invites for friends and friends of friends. I was so excited when people saw their designs that I wanted to do this full-time. In January 2006, I decided to move back to my home state Missouri and start my own stationery business.

Cheree's photo wall

Some of Cheree's work

How would you describe Cheree Berry Paper?
We design things that we really love and we try to execute them in a smart and funny way. When someone opens a Cheree Berry envelope, we want it to put a huge smile on their face—we’ll look for that laugh aloud moment and not necessarily even because it’s a funny card, but just because what they found was unexpected. If we could have a little person pop out of the envelope, we would try for that next!

Cheree Berry's Champagne Save the Date

Cheree Berry's Champagne Save the Date

So you really want to re-invent the wheel?
Exactly. We’re not going to just throw starfish all over the invite because we want to fill the beach category. Nothing against starfish, but we would try to invent a new theme for a destination, beach-style wedding.

What do you like best about designing wedding invitations?
With personalized stationery it’s very limited; a favorite color or motif is all you can showcase. An invitation suite lets us tell the love story, the season they’re being married, if they’re wearing their grandmother’s dress… we try to think about what little hook will make their invitation different from the next bride out there. Brides always want to do something that their best friend didn’t do so they really keep us on our toes.

What current wedding invitation trends are you noticing?
Lots of clients actually reference the J. Crew catalog—they’re actually the ones setting the trends in color palettes. We’re seeing a lot more of a charcoal gray—it softens black ink up a bit. We’ve also noticed that even brides who have formal weddings aren’t afraid of color and very few brides have just one color anymore. We’re doing a lot of coral and yellow. Grey and chartreuse have also been really popular.

Monotones are great for a bride that wants depth in her color palette but doesn’t want lots of hues, so we might do a dark pink, red, orange and keep all the colors in the same warm family. We see a lot of that.

Lavender is enjoying a comeback; Whereas a couple years ago it was a deep, reddish purple, now people are going more for a softer purple. We get a lot of green because you are always going to have green at some level with the greenery in the flowers and with all the outdoor weddings. But the wedding trend with color is still very much driven by the bridesmaid colors; if you have six girls standing up front wearing an orange dress you can’t escape the color.

Cheree Berry Devon Wedding Invitation

Cheree Berry Devon Wedding Invitation

What about fonts… any go-to favorites?
We love Bonn. We love the more extended sans serif fonts. We love shaded fonts. As a stationery designer, fonts are one of those things where every so often we have to pull-back and take a look at using the same fonts. When we notice that other people are using a font, it’s probably time to think of finding a new one. So many people love Burgess, but what I specifically love about it is all the different capitalizing options that come with the font so you can make it look more like your own.

Any advice to new designers on fonts?
On wedding invitations with limited text I love small caps. In programs or items with a lot of copy, like a welcome itinerary for example, the eye tends to be do better at reading when you cap normally, i.e. what is grammatically correct.

Any hot wedding fonts?
Brides have gotten savvier in the last four years; They say we like the fonts with the feet or we don’t like the feet. When we type-set an invite, we now send them two to three font options and they have usually have a really strong opinion.

We do love scripts. Most of our invites, unless our client tells us not to, have some sort of script. We love just that hint of script even for our modern or even more masculine invitations. It feels very romantic and appropriate for wedding stationery, even if it’s just the ‘and’ in-between their names. After all, “and” is really a symbol of two people joining together in a marriage.

Where does all of this creative genius take place?

We just took over the whole floor of our building so we now have 1800 square feet and it’s an old, old building. We have five rooms, but they are all open by pocket doors to one another. We leave them open so we can bounce ideas off of each other. There isn’t a lot of privacy, but the open environment allows for great group thinking. We all work in the main first three rooms and we leave the back two open for meetings and for inventory, storing supplies, and all the nitty gritty—like handwork and ribbon binding.

Where do you meet with clients?

We have a great red table from Design Within Reach in our meeting room. A lot of our work tends to be on a white or cream base and we wanted the invites to pop off the table, although we can put butcher paper over it if it competes with their palette. There’s this happy face bowl of laughs in the middle of the table with cut-out “Ha’s” that our customers sometimes use to write notes on.

A light-hearted bowl of "Ha's"

Neat or messy?
I hate to say it but I am completely unorganized. I am the type of person who knows where everything is, but not in the conventional way.

PDA or paper calendar?
I have an iPhone, but I don’t put my appointments in it. I use a Kate Spade calendar. I am just obsessed with it. I love the process that goes into their calendar.

Kate Spades calender

Kate Spade's 2010 calender

Are you a big card writer?
I have always had a huge stationery drawer and when I lived in New York I spent the better half of my life in Kate’s Paperie. My mother taught me the etiquette that you should always write a thank you note on paper. I think it is great to have lived in an era where growing up you didn’t have the option to e-mail and it is interesting how hard it would be as a parent now to instill that message in your children.

What’s your favorite pen for writing all those cards?
I like the UniBall Deluxe Micro pen. I buy them by the dozen. I am also the pen stealer in the office— whenever I go to someone’s desk in the office, I take their pen. One of my designers has a hidden pen stash and I’m not even allowed to know where it is!

Ink color?
Definitely Black.

Notebook of choice?
I’m a big fan of Rhodia orange notebooks and I prefer the grid paper – I like having the little cells. I write better with them and they’re great for doodling or sketching ideas. They help guide me.

Cherees favorite note pads

We adored looking through your recent wedding . I was wondering where someone with such good taste registers?
I didn’t register for anything out of the ordinary. I got the Vietri Incanto White China for my every day dinner wear. I love the pottery look and its ruffled, scalloped edge. The pottery is painted white, but it’s slightly worn when you buy it. It’s is beautiful. We didn’t do china we just did that. When we have dinner parties, we just pull out our serving trays. I always think that Anthropologie or Johnathan Adler should do a registry. I am obviously a huge fan of John Darien—I love his decoupage plates. Oh and I love’s great mix of products.

Vietri Incanto White China

What are you doing for your holiday card this year?
I’m a non-traditional card sender. This year we did a Halloween card—I love when people have an unexpected holiday—there can be another time of the year to make a different impression. I love that New Year’s cards are a very big trend right now.

Cheree Berry Escort Cards

Cheree Berry Escort Cards


The Best Holiday Card Photos

It’s time to start thinking about which photo you’re going to use for your holiday cards and Christmas cards. You may have chosen a photo that is almost perfect —Lake Tahoe at Fourth of July where the saturated hues of the lake give you that sun-kissed glow. The midday lighting is shadow-proof, and the red in the American flag picks up the red in your dress. Except for one thing: your forehead looks shiny and you son is missing from the shot.

In an ideal world, we’d look as if we were professionally photographed every time a friend’s digital camera flashed. Since we can’t all be as talented as Richard Avedon or Henri Cartier Bresson when capturing that moment charged with motion and emotion in a portrait, we’ve written some tips on how to find the perfect holiday card photo.

A Professional Shoot
There is no motion blur, the lighting is balanced, and most importantly, you appear happy and joyful. Whether booking a shoot for a newborn, an engagement shoot, or just to celebrate your family, a professional can really make you come alive. “A talented photographer knows to wait for the right moment,” says San Francisco-based professional photographer Kathleen Harrison. She also helps choreograph your shoot to produce movement and a natural stance. End results ensure that the light is even; the contrast is balanced; the resolution is not over or under exposed; and the angle is flattering. Now is the perfect time to schedule an outdoor professional shoot.


Dave and Michelle by Kathleen Harrison Photography

Many photographers suggest wearing white, black, or neutral tones. Keep it simple and remember that solid colors come out better than complicated patterns. You can let the card design dress up the photo.


An Event or Occasion

Whether this is a recent wedding, birthday party, or other festive occasion, you’ve dressed to be photographed and your family is together. If you’re a recent bride, you’ll probably never look better, so you should select a favorite wedding photo (or two or three) to share with family and friends.


Stacy, Jack & family

Family vacation
Most professional photographers agree outdoor light is usually the most flattering. A vacation or trip can be a good time to get this shot – whether you convene annually in Sun Valley or you’ve made a special trip to the Coast of Brava, everyone has that sun-kissed glow. A nature backdrop with vibrant colors can bring your family to life.

Pointers & Tips
Try using fresh, modern colors, such as berry red, or non-traditional pairings: turquoise and red, blue and orange, lime green and plum, or burgundy and sage for your card design.If your photo colors do not match the card you like, Minted’s photo editor (just click “edit” after you’ve uploaded your photo in step 2 of the Personalization process and it will automatically open) can easily convert it to black and white with the click of your mouse.With this tool, you can also crop a horizontal photo to make it vertical, or vice versa.If you feel you need more assistance editing out background, our talented DAs can expertly balance out light and color tone for a small fee.

Photos with a minimum DPI of 300 print best. When proofing your order if we notice the image looks a little blurry, we’ll give you a call.


If you pick a card with text overlaid over a photo, make sure the photo has a high enough contrast with the text.

Holiday Nostalgia by Emily Ranneby

Holiday Nostalgia by Emily Ranneby

With a card with a colorful frame, make sure that the photo is vibrant enough to stand out.


Photographs from the same photo shoot helps unify a multi-photo card.


Ornate Frame by Wiley Valentine



Paperstudio’s menu cards on display at Gump’s

San Francisco and New York-based interior designer Martha Angus chose Paperstudio‘s p.s. holiday menu card to design her tabletop around for Gump’s “The Art of the Table” event last night. Beautiful fantasy table décor and vignettes were created by San Francisco’s top designers, including Orlando Diaz-Azcuy, Martha Angus, Ken Fulk and Claudia Juestel. The Art of The Table event was a preview and benefit for DIFFA’S DINING BY DESIGN Table Hop.

Paperstudio's PS Holiday Menu on Display at Gump's

Paperstudio's p.s. holiday menu on display at Gump's

Martha Angus's tabletop display

Martha Angus's tabletop display

The flowered rug under the table is from Ikea.

The flowered rug under the table is from Ikea.

The corresponding invitation is equally fun:

Paperstuidos Invitation

Doesn’t this make you want to start working on a theme for your holiday fete? It’s never too early–all the good dates in December always get booked up so early.

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Fall Faux Bois

Faux Bois (French for false wood) has been trendy for some time now, but it feels especially timely during the fall. Minted has some incredible faux bois save the date cards that just launched:

Fall Carving Save the Date Cards by Amanda O Rourke

Fall Carving Save the Date Cards by Amanda O' Rourke

Carved Tree Save the Date Cards by potts design

Carved Tree Save the Date Cards by potts design

And even a Faux Bois font:

western posting save the date cards by oscar+emma

western posting save the date cards by oscar+emma

While we’re on the subject, I just discovered Its (K)not Wood, a great site dedicated to all things faux bois.

Faux Bois + Little kid dressed up as a bear

Faux Bois + Little kid dressed up as a bear

And I loved Amy Atlas Events recent post. Her ideas would work well for a faux bois wedding! How good does her cinnamon pistachio meringue recipe sound?

Faux Bois + Dessert at Amy Atlas Events

Faux Bois + Dessert

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Minted in Real Simple

Real Simple magazine’s November issue just landed and their great feature, The Hectic Holiday Handbook, calls Minted their favorite resource for personalized holiday cards!

There are just two (2!) days left in our early bird special: Use code EARLYSITE09 to save 15% off your “far-from-cookie-cutter” holiday greeting through Sunday. And remember you can always buy your Christmas photo cards this weekend and upload your photos at a later date.


It’s all in the packaging

One great little perk about Minted’s cards and stationery that you may not know about is our stunning address labels. Our designers come up with clever, coordinating designs that really help an envelope stand out in a stack of junk mail and are sure to leave a lasting impression on the card recipient.

Mistletoe Wreath Holiday Photo Card Label

Karen Glenn's Mistletoe Wreath Holiday Photo Card Label

Gleauxs Candy Tree Holiday Photo Card Label

Gleaux's Candy Tree Holiday Photo Card Label

Alex Elkos Peace Love and Bop Holiday Photo Card Label

Alex Elko's Peace Love and Bop Holiday Photo Card Label

Sometimes, it’s hard to visualize what the label will look like once it’s stamped and addressed. Here’s the label for oscar+emma’s love is the air bridal shower invitation:

Handwritten address label

Handwritten address label

If you’re sending a large quantity of cards, printing your labels is definitely the way to go.

Printed sheet of address labels

Printed sheet of address labels

Here is marabou’s tied moving announcement in a sunny yellow. Doesn’t the card look so lovely with its matching label?

Matching card and printed address label

Matching card and printed address label

You can download an easy to use label printing template here.

Let this post be a gentle nudge to start updating your holiday card mailing list now. Come November, you’ll be so glad you did.


Cool Mom Picks Judge’s Choice

It’s been a busy week at Minted! We just announced the winners of our Joyful Celebration challenge. Isn’t that candy-colored winners page gorgeous?

A huge round of applause for Leslie Hamer at Unless Someone Like You whose Nesting Family Baptism Invitation won both first place and the judge’s award.

The lovely gals over at Cool Mom Picks defended their choice by saying: “To say that it’s a challenge finding a baptism announcement that’s modern, elegant, and cheerful all at once would be an understatement. And yet Leslie’s announcement achieves all three in spades. We also love how accessible the card is – every recipient from the cool best friend to the conservative great Aunt will be delighted to hang this on the refrigerator for a good long time. Beautiful!”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Many thanks to Julie Marsh, Liz Gumbinner, and Kristen Chase over at Cool Mom Picks for their help getting the word out about this fun challenge.

Voting has now begun in the Real Simple Tenth Anniversary Challenge so make sure to cast your votes today… and look for a very exciting new challenge to launch very soon. Hint: it’s sure to be an extra exciting engagement.

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The devil is in the details

When designing anything involving text there are a million little decisions… I’ve noticed that about half of Minted designers cap the first letter of words and half of them don’t. Some designers like to cap entire words, while others never cap anything. Is not capping rebellious, counter-cultural, or is it just less stressful on your pinkie finger to not have to reach for the shift button all the time?

Some adore the “+” sign, while others are in love with the ampersand, and still others prefer the simple “and.” Some like “seven o’clock” whereas others simply write “7PM”.

The earliest writing had no capitalization, no spaces, and few punctuation marks. This worked for writing up business transactions, but ran into trouble when people began reading aloud. With stationery today, make sure to keep legibility in mind.

These little details are worth paying attention to because they are subtle clues to the recipient of the formality of the event at hand. For example, using unorthodox spelling (drinx for drinks, nite for night, pleez for please) is a way to signal that the event will be casual.

For designers, consistency in these details in a portfolio combines to establish a trademark aesthetic and brand identity. It also conveys a level of professionalism. Even the title of designs can go a long way. Minted designer Andrea of Float Paperie has named all of her designs float + “x”, so float + grazie or float + peace or float + starry, and this helps me recognize anything as hers from a mile away.

float + math

Float Paperie's clever float + math save the date card.

What other details do you notice or think about when drafting text for your cards?


Two days and counting…

There are just two, count (2)! days left to submit a design in The Real Simple Tenth Year Celebration Challenge. As Minted’s design challenges go, this one is wide open. Keep in mind that we are open to any numerical-based designs. It doesn’t have to be the number ten: anything from 0 to 100 is fair game. We’re also fast-approaching the year 2010, so there are some excellent design possibilities there—a New Year’s party invitation, for example. A fun way to work in all the football in the fall air is a tenth high school or college reunion invitation or announcement. This is one challenge you won’t want to miss; there’s a likely rumor floating around that a line in Real Simple‘s November issue will be sending their readers to Minted to vote for their favorites. The issue lands in subscriber mailboxes this week.

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