I’m delighted to introduce you to a rather intriguing man this afternoon. Scott Murphy of Mailbox Design creates beautiful stationery over in Perth. Using foil prints, textured stock, foils, binding ties and much more, Scott creates stationery with a luxurious feel and a clear sense of design.
Tell me about yourself?
I am a passionate graphic designer who loves creating professional, innovative work for people who appreciate quality and style. I enjoy working with people and feel rewarded when I see and hear about the excitement they experience when seeing their final product for the first time.
What is your design background?
I have been working in the advertising and graphics industry for 13 years. I have worked with and learnt from some of the industry’s most talented people. I started in the printing industry first before moving into advertising and design. This was ideal for Mailbox to have both print and design knowledge.
Do you have a particular design style?
Simple, clean design that is considered and professional. Utilising space, typography, print finishings and materials are all important too. It’s a matter of combining the right elements to create something special.
Your Mailbox Design website is understated and elegant. Is this the ‘feeling’ you are trying to convey across your stationery lines?
Absolutely. That’s exactly right. You can’t expect people to buy your product if your website isn’t of a high standard. I put a lot of work into getting it right. A website is just so important. It allows you to reach wide audiences far beyond your local area. My website is my shop and it also allows me to keep costs down by not having large overheads such as rent. I wanted my customers to be excited and feel they are purchasing quality products from a reliable professional service.
What are your aims for your business?
A large part of the reason I began Mailbox Design was that I saw that there was definitely a market for a premium product. My main focus was to offer clients a superior alternative. A product that is professionally produced by experienced graphic designers using only the finest materials and printing processes together with a passion for creativity and attention to detail. I am looking to strengthen this by continuing to add to our collection and offer services and options many other suppliers can’t.
What sets you apart from others?
Professional graphic design experience combined with our printing processes and materials are the main aspects that set us apart. We print on commercial offset printing presses which not only produce the highest quality result but also allows us to use some very special printing features including beautiful imported textured stocks, specialty inks such as metallics, embossing, foiling and a range of other options.
We are however about to introduce a digital range to complement our premium line so that couples with a smaller budget are also able to purchase Mailbox products. See “coming soon” on our website.
How do you keep on learning, and keeping your product fresh and different?
You can always learn from other people in your field. I am constantly in contact with some of the very best graphic designers for alternative ideas and a “second set of eyes”. I think one of my attributes is never thinking I know it all. There are always other people that can provide options and alternatives that you might not have thought of or considered yourself. I try to surround myself with good people, not only in the graphics industry but also the wedding industry.
I also study a lot of books and magazines for inspiration and spend countless hours on the web researching what people are producing around Australia and also overseas.
What inspires you? How do stay inspired?
A passion for design and being a part of producing something special for what’s usually the most important day in people’s lives. I also just enjoy meeting new people and working with them.
What inspires you about Australian brides?
Australian brides are usually quite relaxed but well organised. They often desire their special day to be about having fun with the people they love. Often traditional formalities are somewhat relaxed or modified to represent their particular personalities. It’s great dealing with excited people that just want to have a fantastic day to remember forever.
What is your number one tip for brides?
Be organised well ahead of time. Often things can arise that are unexpected and may cause delays. Always be one step ahead not only with stationery but all areas of planning a wedding. An event like a wedding takes a great deal of organisation and preparation. Be prepared, ask questions, do your research and know exactly what you’re getting. Avoid unnecessary stress.
What are your favourite wedding invitation ideas?
I really like simple clean designs with one print finish such as foiling, embossing, varnishes, wax seals etc. This can be really impressive especially on a beautiful heavy specialty stock.
What bridal stationery trends do you see in the future?
I predict couples will trend towards more premium products as people are becoming prepared to spend a little extra money to have quality products and services at their wedding. With the DIY and cheaper end markets well and truly covered I think the middle to premium markets will continue to grow.
What should brides start with when they are planning their stationery needs?
Obviously a date is an important first step and that is usually secured through booking a venue. Once we know this we have a time schedule and can work from there. I would recommend researching a number of companies to see what’s available and to get an idea of costs. From here you should be able to determine what’s an appropriate budget for your stationery. Once you have decided on a company contact them to organise a quote or confirm your booking. Allow plenty of time to produce the artwork. The earlier the better. I would allow three months prior to your wedding date to get started.
Do you offer customised ideas for designs and colours to brides, if requested? How do you do this?
Absolutely. We have an existing gallery of premium stationery which brides can select from and are welcome to choose what ever colours they wish. Alternatively brides may have something specific in mind which becomes a custom job. We charge an hourly design rate for this service and each job is quoted individually. Costs will vary depending on complexity of the work involved.
What are the ‘must have’ (basic) items in a stationery suite? What else can be added to this?
Really the only “must have” items are the invitation and name cards but most brides choose to have a number of items or an entire set. The beauty of selecting a number of items is they are designed to match perfectly so that your guest’s first impression from receiving your invitation (with possibly RSVP and registry cards) is continued on the day of the wedding.
The chosen design and theme continued through to all parts of the day gives an impressive professional look and feel to your event. Picture your invitation design continued through to the order of service or ceremony booklet, then at the reception the room is filled with pieces such as the menu, name cards, table numbers and bonbonniere tags all continuing the theme. Even after the day is over your theme is still represented when your guests receive a thank you card in the same style and design that they’ve come to relate to you and your special day.
Essentially you’re branding your wedding. All items should reflect your theme and convey the same message.
Cleverest ideas you’ve seen?
Probably some work I’ve seen from New York. One company produces some amazing invitations that are really works of art. They use interesting materials such as bamboo and new techniques like laser paper etching. I’ve seen an old Spanish theme set which was stunning. Some VERY big budgets would be required for some of these products. Great inspiration though. I’m hoping to travel there in the near future to see more of what’s happening in the US.
Could you give us 5 tips and tricks for the bride?
Be organised. Allow plenty of time for decision making, production, addressing, mailing and time for your guests to get themselves organised.
Be aware of what you’re getting for your money. Understand printing processes – digital vs offset, specialty stocks, etc. Educate yourself as much as you can. Many companies have helpful information and FAQ’s on their sites. Ask questions if you need more information.
Order extra copies of each item. It can be a very expensive process to reprint a small number of items.
Don’t hand write guest names and addresses. Have address labels made or for a really professional result have a calligrapher write them.
Your wedding invitations set the precedent for things to come. Make sure your stationary reflects the theme for your special day and sets the tone for an amazing event.
Thank you for joining us and sharing your inspiration and thoughts today Scott! You can find more of Scott’s work on his website Mailbox Design.