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Tomorrow, we begin setting up our booth for the National Stationery Show in New York City! For me, this is just the latest in a series of firsts since I began designing for Smudge Ink back in October. It's been exciting, challenging, fun, and eye-opening to see what goes into building a booth from the ground up!

The most difficult part of getting started on our booth was choosing a central visual theme. A goal April and I had for this year's booth was to combine two of our strengths: the fun animals from our letterpress cards and the bright florals from our boxed note cards.

I thought the easiest way to do this would be working with a limited palette and a story that tied the two together. I loved the notecards Clayton designed for our December 2017 release and picked out the Bluebird Blossoms Boxed Note Card! It also ended up becoming a wrap and is featured on our wall calendar for 2019 (coming soon!). I kept the card on my desk for inspiration and landed on a "floral woodland," imagining a bright clearing of wildflowers in the forest -- a pop of pink, red, and blue. I began to modify the floral pattern from the notecard and applying the palette so that they could be used across both digital and letterpress printed material, booth decorations, and web elements.
The woodland theme led me to choose the deer from our new Hello Deer Friendship Card for the mailer. We used only three colors on the letterpress mailer, but each plate contained various halftones laid over each other. The final effect was like full-color printing! It was so cool to see this project on press!
We backed our mailers with the original floral pattern from the card, popped them into bright pink envelopes, hand-addressed them, and topped it all off with Mr. Rogers stamps! Those stamps weren't easy to track down because they've been so popular!

We moved onto the booth, and I brought in a LOT of paint chips. It took some narrowing down and laughing at lots of funny paint chip names (tippy toes), but we landed on a great palette!  The next step for me was looking at our existing booth walls and shelves, deciding where our products would go, and making changes to some of the shelving. 

Anything new would have to be built by Eric and April, so I kept as much the same as possible, using paint colors and decals as an easy way to freshen up the design. Our table will be bright blue with decals along the lower edge and, once the walls are up at NSS, I'll be adding a tree with owls to the e.b. goodale area!
All the decals and cutouts in the booth use the same limited palette and a modified version of the notecard. Realizing the booth needed a showstopper, (and channeling Mary Berry) I created a series of flower and deer cutouts that would sit on top of a shelf on the edge of our booth. It's basically a 3-d version of our mailer! I can't wait to build it!I'll be hard at work this week carefully cutting out each of these foam core pieces.
My favorite element is a larger-than-life chihuahua with a pink ribbon. She's based on a real dog, Stevie, who lives in my apartment with her mom Brianna. She's the BEST! You will also find her on a new holiday card that'll be coming out later this year! 

There's a lot to do in out studio and then in NYC, but I'm prepared with plenty of paintbrushes, x-actos, snacks, playlists, audiobooks, and caffeine!  I can't wait for my first NSS experience.

Come say hi at booth #1421 if you're walking the show!

Won't be at the show? Follow along on IG! We'll be posting photos and stories from the show!!