CALLIGRAPHY BY MICHELLE
WHAT WE DO
Hi, I'm Michelle Tieu: calligrapher, designer, invitation designer, and here to make pretty things!
My love for typography began in high school with just doodling notes and illustrating pretty letters to friends to pass between classes - I didn't even know the phrase "typography" back then. This love for drawing letters continued in my journey at Art Center College of Design, where I spent a lot of sleepless nights and stressful days, but finally received my BFA in graphic design with a focus in motion graphics in 2013.
Although I love motion graphics, I missed the basics of drawing letters. My calligraphy journey began around 2014; starting off with pencil and pen, moving onto brush markers, and now mostly using the pointed pen and working in the digital space (aka my Apple pencil).
To better align my business with my personal beliefs, I highly encourage clients to choose sustainable options and try my best to use mostly vegan products. My go to paper for invitations are handmade papers, seed papers, or recycled paper. I know, clients freak out over hearing "recycled paper", but most papers are from recycled sources. If you are a local to southern California, I have rental options available! Rentals include acrylic signs, table numbers, easels, and more.
I love collaborating and want to hear ideas for your vision. I'm here to make that vision come to life and cater to your design and calligraphy needs. Let's make pretty things together.
When should I book my invitations?
The sooner the better! If you're interested in working together, please reach out when you have your date set so I can block off my calendar for your designs. I offer a discount for couples who book me for their save the dates and custom invitation design. Please inquire for details.
I recommend sending out save the dates about 6 months before your wedding-earlier if you have out of town guests. Invitations should be sent out about 6-8 weeks before your wedding. With this timeline in mind, save the dates should be booked at least 8 months before your wedding and invitations at least 6 months before your wedding. On average invitations investment is $1500 (for a 4 piece suite of 75 invitations, ribbon wrap, and wax seals).
Custom invitations take 5-10 weeks (including printing and assembly time). It usually takes 3-5 rounds of revisions to perfect your invitation suite. The timeline is also dependent on how quickly you send back notes. If you need something sooner than 5 weeks, please reach out ASAP or check out our semi-custom invitations. Semi-custom invitations have a 4-5 week turnaround.
Semi-custom invitations are the more budget friendly option. These are already designed suites and allow color and copy changes.
What is the design process?
Every project begins with a call. During the first stage, we go over details about you and your fiance: how did you meet? How did he/she propose? Favorite activities? Any pets? From there, we go into details about your wedding date (venue, date, any special connections to the venue or date, colors, themes). After this initial chat, I will send over a proposal. Once the proposal is signed and the 50% retainer is sent, I send over a form to make sure we have the correct information for your invitations and to get your Pinterest board or any other inspo photos.
The design process takes anywhere from 2-6 weeks. On average, invitations are completed in 3 rounds. This portion involves a lot of back and forth: proofs, notes, revisions, repeat. Once we finalize your design, we send everything to print! Printing time ranges from 2-4 week. Printed goods are delivered to me to assemble. Invitations are delivered to you stuffed and unsealed. All that is needed, is for you to seal the envelopes, stamp, and send off. I even fill out the RSVP card for you. :)
What are your prices?
On average, a custom suite investment is $1400 (for 75 invitations). Print process, paper choice, and add ons (such as wax seals, wraps, envelope liners, vintage stamps, etc) determines the final cost.
Love deals! We run promos sometimes but they're short term (on month or time framed), these deals are constant that they're offering.