Oh how we could pore over gorgeous stationery for hours on end! And chat about it too! Luckily, the lovely Natalie Reidy of A Tactile Perception indulged us. Below, we talk about her beautiful wedding invitation collections, current stationery trends, where she finds inspiration for her designs, and why great wedding stationery is super important to a wedding. You’ll also find some stunning examples of her work that you’ll definitely want to pin to your wedding Pinterest board.
Tell us about A Tactile Perception. How long have you been around?
A Tactile Perception is a business I began that allows me to offer unique stationery and really serve my creative side. I’ve been around for five years now, although it’s been alongside two maternity leave periods and a part-time job! I’m very thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to have this as a part of my life every day for several years now.
Why did you decide to become a stationer?
I’ve been creative my whole life, I believe that it’s my soul’s work. I sometimes hear other stationers or artists saying things like, “It’s who I am” – and I feel exactly the same way. Stationery, paper, and graphic design are elements that I’ve been drawn to my whole life, so it made perfect sense to turn it into a business.
What sets you apart? How would you describe your style?
I like to offer stationery that is a little out of the box. I think paper and design are so much more flexible than single white cards, and I like to show that off. Couples want their guests to get excited about their upcoming wedding, and a very special and unique invitation arriving in the mail does just that.
What do you love most about creating wedding invitations?
There is so much I love about the whole process. At the moment I’m loving creating interesting colour palettes, reflected in the large range of coloured cardstock that is available these days. Coloured card adds that extra wow-factor and brings elements of the suite together.
Tell us about your collections…
I have a range of collections that each have a unique twist. My signature collection, called Tezukuri (meaning ‘handmade’ in Japanese), are origami folds each created by me. Each of the other collections allow you to incorporate different shapes, different colours and textures, and different sleeves or other elements and are really unlike any other set of collections you’ve seen. I love to show couples that we really can push the envelope.
Do you have a favourite?
I have to say that my newest collection, the Artisan Collection, is my favourite at the moment. These are hand-painted, and there is something therapeutic and soothing about slowly painting the strip on the card. I can’t wait to create the new orders I have for these!
What’s most popular?
The Mix-n-Match Collection has been really popular over the last couple of years. The designs are classic and it allows couples to change the colours to match their wedding. An easy choice if you want bang for your buck!
Are there any trends you’re noticing at the moment?
I’m seeing some really bold choices with colour combinations. We’re moving away from the nudes and blush tones, towards pairs like terracotta and navy, lilac and reds, and green with pink! Couples aren’t afraid to use colour in their stationery and in other elements of their big day.
What other items do you offer for weddings?
I offer the whole range of stationery from save the date cards and invitations, through to signage and other on-the-day pieces, and thank you cards. I can also offer unusual custom items like tags and boxes, and I love to hear what couples have in mind.
What is the process of ordering stationery or other items from you?
As I offer stationery both here and abroad, I’ll communicate with most couples via email. Although with the huge increase in digital connections in 2020, Zoom is becoming my new favourite way to communicate! It allows us to go over everything in one session and really get a feel for the other person’s vision, which is an important part of bringing a design to life. I make sure I keep communication open and clear, so that couples feel supported and reassured.
What’s a typical day at work look like for you?
The beauty of my lifestyle is that I get to work around my other commitments. I believe that we should craft our lives with intention and to support all the things we want to balance, and working from home allows me to do this. I can work in my part-time job some days of the week, be at home other days so I can take my kids to school, and work on stationery around school times and other commitments. When I am working, I’m wearing a lot of hats, including designer, marketer, website and social media planner, and I’m always learning and growing!
Why is great stationery so important to a wedding?
Many people might consider stationery secondary to other items in the wedding, but I see it as a special treasure. You get to give an invitation to each and every one of your guests as a piece of your wedding day that they’ll keep for many weeks in the lead up, and then when the day is over, it’s one of the only items you get to keep for many years to come. There is so much flexibility with stationery so you can really create something that ties in perfectly with your wedding theme.
Where do you find inspiration for new ideas?
Everywhere actually! There is so much about nature, art, fashion, and other aesthetic fields that is inspiring. To be honest, most of my ideas pop into my head when I’m not really thinking about it too much. I like to believe that things that I’ve seen and experienced swirl around in the back of my mind and form together when I least expect it!
Are you a creative person outside of design and illustration? Do you have other hidden talents?
I do like to be creative outside of design. I’ve loved photography for such a long time, and love to incorporate a little of that as part of my business. I’ve been doing something creative for as long as I can remember, and I was even teaching origami to my classmates when I was seven! I made jewellery for a long time and loved the colours and form and manual work there too.
What do you like most about working in the wedding industry?
I love hearing love stories. I not only hear stories from my couples about their engagement and their wedding plans, but I hear them through other suppliers on social media and blogs. What can I say, I love love!
Image: Amanda Kilbourn Photography
What are the most challenging parts of your job or something people would be surprised to know about it?
I think people would be surprised to know just how much time and love goes into every suite. Creating stationery is not just a matter of picking a design and then printing it; there’s some degree of customisation at every step. We stationers tend to be meticulous by nature, and a lot of care goes into not only the design and the individual items, but also in communicating with the couple and packaging everything up for delivery. We love your invitations as much as you do!
When you’re not creating amazing designs, where would we find you?
If I’m not in my home office pouring over my paper swatches or on my computer, I’m either in the kitchen cooking for my kids, or at my local yoga studio (but thinking about paper!)
Thanks Natalie for telling us all about your business, your process and your incredible stationery. To find out more about A Tactile Perception, head on over to their website or check them out on the Polka Dot Directory.