When it comes to wedding invitation designs, we've seen any number of trends come and go. But one trend we've been loving and seeing tons of recently are invitations, menus, place cards (and more!) made out of unconventional materials—not paper! One of our favorite companies that is leading the way with beautiful stationary made of everything from acrylic to leather to mother of pearl is Yonder Design.
Owned by Julie and Chris Neubauer, this dynamic and highly creative duo and their equally innovative team create modern, interesting, and just straight-up beautiful designs—rather than following the herd, these guys are definitely leading it. So, we asked them to share with us a little about their design process and why they use unconventional materials, the hardest part of their process, and more! Plus, we got some absolutely beautiful images from them to inspire your own wedding stationary.
Why use unconventional materials?
Differentiation: There is simply, too much print design accessible to the consumer these days. And sadly, much of it is not very good. By using unique materials, we are able to quickly separate ourselves from the masses and stand out in the crowd.
Art: We don't see ourselves as traditional stationers, but rather as artists. Wedding invitations have a very low reputation in the world of graphic design, so we set out to change that. We are creating pieces of art, that are often repurposed after sending and kept permanently by our clients.
Create Re-Use: Paper is generally seen as disposable (at least to the blue bin). We like to design items that have purposes beyond just informing guests. Our pieces have intrinsic artistic qualities or uses that go beyond simply conveying information. This means that they are kept and repurposed for years to come.
Excitement: Our goal is to excite guests. Events are often planned years in advance and we create the only items that connect with guests before said events. We know how much energy, effort and financial resources go into a great event, so we want guests to expect something amazing from the events we work on. We don't sell mass produced items from a book that you flip through in a showroom. There is nothing wrong with that, but every design we create is unique. Our studio is a laboratory of sorts where we test the possibilities of materials and designs on a daily basis.
Cost: Surprisingly, some paper and printing techniques can be more expensive when compared to some of the short run production techniques like lasering, engraving, or screen printing. In some cases, it's more cost-effective to use a unique material as a single piece and send guests to websites for further information.
Stories: We love telling stories with our materials. We generally use materials that are rooted in a sense of place. This place is generally where the event is being held. Just like eating food and drinking wine that is grown in a specific region, we try to create invitations that use materials, techniques or historically important items from certain regions.
Here are 7 original designs by Yonder to get you inspired!
Menu made from etched slate.
Marbled Acrylic and Textured Fabric
Materials: Marbled white acrylic, gold foil and blind debossed pattern, cherry wood veneer, white textured upholstery fabric wrap, Dupioni silk ribbon, white marble with gold edging.
Acrylic and Brass
The menu was made of acrylic, brass rivets, and white lettering inspired by the bride's love for organic and modern materials.
Leather, Suede and Velvet
Invitation suite made with black leather, touche paper with black and gold foil, green suede, and black velvet.
Linen and Leather
Menu made with leather, linen, and deckled letterpress paper.
Wood, Linen, Vellum and Paper
Invitation suite made with natural linen, Mapa Burl Wood, Vellum, and paper.
Leather and Acrylic
Black leather, clear and opaque black acrylic, with gold rivets and moody floral photography rounds out this beautiful suite.