How I Design a Party Kit Collection + The Mermaid Style Guide

Today I'm excited to share a peek behind-the-scenes of my design process! Designing an entire printable party kit collection involves a lot of moving parts, but I've developed a system to keep all my inspiration organized and the collections cohesive. Behind the scenes of a stationery designer

If you've been following the blog for the last few months, you've probably noticed the World of Color Wednesday inspiration boards. I start each collection by creating one of those inspiration boards to curate all the images and details that could be included. The key is looking for small details, like the clam shell chairs in Ariel's Undersea Adventure, or the flower frequently seen in Ariel's hair. You can learn more about how I create an inspiration board here.

Next I step away from the computer and start hand-drawing different ideas. This helps me think out of the box to come up with original, never-seen-before ideas. The clam shell image you see started as a sketch that I scanned into my computer then traced digitally in Adobe Illustrator.

The first collection piece that I create is the invitation because that is the very heart of the party. It's the first interaction that guests have; the first impression of what's to follow. It's an opportunity to end up on the fridge or in the dreaded pile-of-forgotten-mail. I want your party to be remembered!

Once the invitation is finalized, I create a style guide with the key elements of the design. If you've seen style guides for brands before, this is very similar! My style guides include the fonts, colors, patterns, and key design elements that will be repeated throughout the remainder of the collection. This is my constant companion while designing the rest of the collection, to make sure everything works well together and each design element is well represented.

For the remaining pieces in the collection, I use a template I created in Adobe Illustrator to make sure the sizes for each piece are accurate and to save time recreating each piece. Before I call the collection "complete", I print off every piece and personally test them by cutting them out and assembling each design. Once each piece gets my stamp of approval, I create an overview image and share the new collection with the world!

I hope this helps you get a better idea of how to design a complete party collection. It's something I am super passionate about and feel so lucky to call it my job!

You can find the Mermaid Party Kit seen above in my Etsy shop, Enchanted Type!