What Would They Know – Natalie Reidy of A Tactile Perception

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Polka Dot Bride
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The post arrives and in it is a wedding invitation. Not just any wedding invitation – but one designed and hand folded by Natalie of A Tactile Perception. With an eye for design and a passion for quality, Natalie not only designs the lettering and graphics on the invitation, but also works out where the folds should be in these origami like invitations. Unfolding the invitations slowly reveals the message inside – a whimsical and enchanting way of introducing your guests in a very tactile way, to the wedding event about to take place. We take a peek into Natalie’s world of stationery – come join us!

An interesting name for a business – please tell us about it!

The name means a lot to me – it took a long time to decide on! It reflects my love of paper, the importance of feeling that invitation in your hands in an age when technology is king. It’s also a nod to my other profession – neuropsychology – where brain function and neural perceptions are something that I’m really fascinated by.

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Image by Amanda Kilbourn Photography

What led you to opening a stationery business?

It’s been something that has been on the cards for such a long time. I was at a point in my life when I had stability in my professional role, and had just had my first child. During my maternity leave, I spent a lot of time developing my ideas and really felt that I had to spend more time being creative, and A Tactile Perception was the culmination of this. Now that I have two children, I’m really excited about achieving that elusive “work-life balance” where I can be at home for my children and create stationery too.

Has your background influenced your move into stationery?

Stationery design really comes out of my personal strengths and interests. Any memory from my childhood involves something creative, like Nana teaching me to paint, or learning origami and calligraphy, and spending free time drawing. I really believe that some people are just born to design and create (that part of my brain must be well developed!)

What are the important things you stand for (in your business)?

Quality is so important to me. When a bride and groom are looking for stationery, they want something that is perfect – perfect for their big day and perfect for the money they are paying. I have heard such sad stories about people getting their invitations poorly cut, or even delivered 2 weeks before their wedding, and I just cringe. I take quality really seriously at every stage, the designing, printing, and folding. Being flexible is also important, because I need to bring a bride’s vision to life.

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Image by A Tactile Perception

What particular skills and talents do you bring to your business?

I have always had an eye for design. I focus on visual aspects, and pay attention to things like visual balance and layout. I’m very meticulous and believe that getting all the small details right adds up to a beautiful piece of work. It’s strange – I also have a condition known as synaesthesia, where parts of the senses are blended. In my case, I see written letters and numbers in different colours, which I like to think of as an extension of my visual skills and an advantage when designing invitations!

Please describe your stationery. What are its special features?

I started my stationery business because I wanted to offer clients a different take on invitations. My signature range comprises four fold designs that are inspired by origami, and I call this range Tezukuri, which is the Japanese word for handmade. I designed each fold so that it was easy to unfold and close up again, and fitted perfectly into standard sized envelopes. Origami invitations are something special, as they are unique, and don’t require extra elements such as seals or belly bands to hold the invitations together. This allows the simplicity of the fold and design to shine.

What are you trying to convey to the guest with your origami invitations?

Being a unique style of invitation, my signature range conveys originality and luxury, while still being affordable to the client.

What is the extra dimension that the origami folds bring to the invitation?

I believe that origami invitations are something extraordinary. Unfolding the invitation will reveal the event details inside, surprising and enchanting your guests. I take great care in folding each and every invitation and hope that clients and guests will delight in them.

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Image by A Tactile Perception

Please briefly describe the ranges you offer?

My signature Tezukuri range has four original folds that vary in size, so that clients can choose which fold suits them best. To compliment this range, I also offer other origami-inspired event stationery, such as “fortune-teller” folds that can be used as placecards or menus, and origami butterfly placecards. I also do the full range of standard stationery, from save-the-date cards and single-page invitations through to on-the-day stationery and thank you cards.

Are there any special considerations or challenges when creating the design to fit within the folds of the paper?

Absolutely. I spent a long time experimenting with different folds, and different thicknesses of paper, before getting the folds right. I wanted each fold to be easy to do, to start at a reasonable size, to fit within the envelope, and of course look great.

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Image by A Tactile Perception

How important is the design and paper quality to your particular style of invitation?

I use very high quality paper from a reputable supplier, who sources a range of papers from all over the world including Japan and Italy. This ensures that the printed design looks its best, and that the folds work perfectly. I also offer a variety of textures, offering quality that guests can feel between their fingers.

When designing a custom invitation what is the process that you go through with the bride and groom?

This process is important to get right, as everyone has an idea of what they like and don’t like, but it’s hard to convey in words. It’s my role to design something that they will love and will suit their wedding theme. Some come with little idea of what they’re after, and some come with clear ideas; some people like being offered a lot of choice some get overwhelmed with that. I like to talk with them as much as I can to work out exactly what their style is before starting, and I use prompts in a questionnaire to help us “get on the same page”. I then provide them with a sample design, and we can tweak it from there. Since it is a custom design, all parts of the image and text are editable.

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Image by A Day to Remember Event Hire

How long does it take to produce an invitation suite from the start of the design process to the end product?

I go through the initial consultation process with the bride and groom and come up with a custom design, which is then revised and finalised. The design is then printed and hand-folded, then lovingly packaged and sent to the happy couple. With this process, and considering I have two little dudes at home to look after, it takes about 8 to 10 weeks.

What specialist finishes do you offer?

I currently offer white ink, which gives a beautiful finish on dark paper, and hot foiling, which actually comes in many many colours (not just gold!) I am also able to provide letterpress, but haven’t officially released it yet, so brides will need to wait a day or so while I prepare a customised quote.

Do you also offer standard invitations (with no origami folding)?

Yes, I can offer any style and size of standard invitation and all wedding event stationery.

What areas do you ship to?

I ship Australia wide, and am happy to hand deliver at an agreed time if you are located in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

If you ruled the world you would give the gift of……….

Compassion. I really admire those that practice acts of kindness, meditation, and compassion. Stuff gets tough sometimes! But if we can all stop, take a step back, and think before we act, we can all make the lives of those around us a little bit better.

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Image by A Tactile Perception

Favourite thing to do outside of work?

Watch my beautiful babies play and read stories, and go out and visit lovely local spots as a family.

A weekend break destination is…..

When we can, hubby and I like to stay either in the city, or in the Yarra Ranges or Dandenongs.

Thank you Natalie for sharing your story. Beautiful invitations, with delicate folds are so different and sure to enchant your guests. To find out more about A Tactile Perception visit the website.

Headshot by Amanda Kilbourn Photography.

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