What Would They Know? Carmen Rocha of Carmen Rocha Design and Paperie

by | Stationery Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

Carmen Rocha Design & Paperie

Your stationery, whether it is to a party or your wedding, sets the scene for the celebrations to come. Will it be a formal, black tie event, a destination wedding at a coral caye, or a candle lit family affair in your parents’ garden? How will your invitations reflect your unique and special event? Here’s where Carmen of  Carmen Rocha Design and Paperie  gives you the advantages of having a professional design your stationery. With the subtle nuances that someone with an intimate knowledge of design, paper, colour and printing techniques can bring to the process, Carmen can reveal your event and your personalities through colour and design. Wow your guests with an enticing and memorable bespoke invitation of exceptional quality and beauty. Here we peep into the world of Carmen Rocha Design and Paperie.

Why did you decide to set up your design atelier? How long have you been in (this) business?

After receiving my degree in Art & Design and working as an art director at several leading advertising and design studios, I was always continuing my passion for printing and designing invitations on the side. I created an invitation for a co-worker’s wedding. One referral lead to another and another and I soon realised that there was a lack in original, innovative and personalised designs.

With over 12 years in the industry, my passion for luxury design, typography, colour palettes and the joy of events and celebrations are what inspired me to establish my design atelier. I established Carmen Rocha Design and Paperie in 2008 and serve as a Creative Director today.

What was your career in a former life?

A restaurant/food critic. Think of the free food, and the chance to show off your culinary knowledge.

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Image by Lakshal Perera

Why a ‘design atelier’. What does this include?

My passion lies through one-of-kind, fashionable and innovative products. My made-to-order artistic process have transcended not only to couture invitations for weddings but also to social and parties, baby and kids, home and gifts as well as corporate events and identity across various mediums and platforms. My mission is to push the envelope of what’s possible in design and beyond and the desire to set yourself apart.

How has being an art director and designer influenced your business – and also your design ethic?

Through past experience being an art director has taught me to be a leader, someone who inspires and guides the vision of the design team. It has also enabled me to be more open to influence, inspiration and the expertise of the people around me, appreciating their talents, strengths and weaknesses.

Why is it important to you to be creative?

Creativity is an outlet that can take any form you want it to. When you translate an internal thought, it becomes available for the world to see and learn from, while you have the opportunity to convey your feelings. Your creation is a projection of you and your deepest thoughts, translated into a beautiful work that adds to the value of not only your life, but also that of others. Being creative allows yourself to be true self, without worrying about being judged.

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Image courtesy of Carmen Rocha Design and Paperie

You mention ‘social correspondence’. Can you please explain this, and do you believe that we are moving back to this in physical form rather than just using social media?

Through the print media my creative vision, passion for beautiful design and superior craftsmanship are the foundation to every distinguished correspondence. Using the most luxurious materials, my commitment is to continuously provide clients with memorable, lasting and cherished printed keepsakes. For years now people have been telling me that we will become a paperless society. It is easy to overlook the fact that print is all around us a lot of the time, an intrinsic part of the way we all live and do business. Print is seen as critical for reaching the wider population – it is a physical document that can be carried from place to place and from person to person. Having the media in your physical possession means that it is less likely to be lost in the digital detritus.

What is your design process? What is the process of creating a one-off invitation suite for a client?

My personalised experience is truly the forefront of my business and what sets me apart. After getting to know the client and their unique project requirements, I set the tone for the designs with a custom mood board complete with inspirational images and colour palettes. The initial phase of the creative process is sketching concepts and researching which allows me to visualise the direction. Creative concepts, design options and refinement are where everything starts to come to life. The end result of the creative process is a one-of-a-kind couture invitation made exclusively for just for you. Your brand and design will then be translated to all the matching décor details, from the favour tags, labels, escort cards, seating chart, table numbers, signage and guest books. Post the wedding, photo books and thank you cards are created as a keepsake for your guests of your memorable day.

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Image courtesy of Carmen Rocha Design and Paperie

What are the clues you look for, for inspiration when designing (the invitation suites)?

During the initial discussion with the client, I want to hear every wish, desire and all the juicy details about themselves and the project. My diverse background and first-hand experience of world cultures has enabled me to understand and tailor the needs of each individual project and client. My inspiration is drawn from the world – fashion, family, arts and entertainment and travel. Utilising the web by subscribing to blogs and social media platforms are most helpful for inspiration and staying up to date with the latest emerging trends and developments. Books help broaden my horizons and often go in to much more depth than articles online. The resources help create a custom mood board and colour palette during the designing and refining phase and through to the end product.

How long does the design process take to finished product?

From the initial introduction through to the final printed designs, the creative process can take 2 weeks – 6 months depending on the timing of your event. I take the greatest pride in the printing processes so this can play an important role with the delivery timing. Once you have received the final printed design, I love to design all the matching details to complement your event decor. It’s the perfect way to carry your look all the way through and to create memorable keepsakes for your guests.

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Image courtesy of Carmen Rocha Design and Paperie

Do you believe in creating a whole ‘experience’ for your client? What does that mean to you?

My mission is to provide clients with original, sophisticated, and memorable products that are inspired through a personalised design process. From concept to design and to the devoted customer service, every measure is taken to ensure each experience is completely individual and personalised. My mission is to continuously set new standards for design and service.

What do you love most about designing stationery?

As a designer, you get to interact with the most innovative techniques and materials. The fast paced creative environment allows me to design in many different styles for a variety of clients and every day brings new challenges and exciting adventures. It is rewarding knowing that you have a part in making that special event much more memorable.

How does your passion for design extend to custom photo books and wedding websites?

I love to design matching details to add to the wedding décor or event. It’s the perfect way to carry and complement the look all the way through. Custom photo books and wedding websites are a great way to share sentimental stories and touching photographs with friends and family as you get ready to walk down the aisle or post your wedding. The customised design, allows clients to add photo albums, manage guest lists, include wedding details, journal entries and gift registry information tailored to their wedding brand and theme. Couples like to include a blog so they can update everyone on their entire experience from the moment the question was popped until the second they return from their honeymoon.

Wedding websites are becoming more common. How do you assist in setting up a wedding website?

Working closely with a developer, I create a digital experience that still feels luxurious and leaves an impression to guests. Once the final wedding brand and design is completed, it is then fully customizable to whichever format your guests are using. Whether they’re looking at a piece of paper or pixels on a phone, I want guests to appreciate every wedding design detail. You can even choose to use your own domain name or hosting service.

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Image courtesy of Carmen Rocha Design and Paperie

What do you enjoy about living in Melbourne?

Melbourne is a stunning food destination. It’s the quality and breadth of cuisine that impresses. Nearly every type of food is represented in Melbourne with quality restaurants. From the French influences of Vue De Monde to the world acclaim of Attica, to the Middle Eastern brilliance of Maha, to colourful eateries in Chinatown, and the variety of fine dining along Flinders Lane. Whether it’s relaxing, dining, people watching or shopping, Melbourne seems to have it all in a colorful and artistic heritage environment. It just exceeds all expectations — the art, the diversity of people, the nightlife. That’s why Melbourne is the world’s most liveable city for a sixth consecutive year!.

My favourite place for a holiday is…

Hamilton Island, Queensland.

Thank you Carmen for sharing your story. A beautiful invitation is always a prelude to the main event and will entice your guests to wonder what is coming. To find out more about Carmen Rocha Design and Paperie visit the website.

Headshot courtesy of Carmen Rocha Design and Paperie


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