frequently asked questions
I love what I do and am always excited and privileged whenever a client engages me to contribute to their special occasion or project. As such, I try to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible. To help, here are some frequently asked questions to guide you. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions specific to your needs.
How much do you charge for calligraphy and illustration work?
Since much of my work is customized, prices do vary but I realize that budgeting is important for most clients so I have provided general guidelines here.
PAPER & SUPPLIES
Do you need to see what kind of paper we are using ahead of time?
Do you ever write on other surfaces like shells or rocks?
I normally do not need to pre-approve paper. I have written and painted on everything from metallic paper to basketballs (yes, basketballs!). For calligraphy, as long as the paper is not overly porous, fibrous and thready, anything is fine. If I will be lettering on any 3D surface, I ask for a sample before I commit to the project. For illustration work, I will use my own preferred surface, usually high-quality rag content watercolor papers.
Can you get paper for us? How about shells?
I am happy to help in this area if I can. The cost will be added on to the invoice at the end of the project.
How far in advance do I need to call you?
It is a good idea to contact me as soon as you consider calligraphy or illustration for your project. It can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to complete a design, allowing enough time for consultation at the beginning and printing at the end.
How do I get on your calendar?
I normally begin taking deposits in January for the upcoming year. For envelope addressing, I will schedule a two-week window based on an estimate of when your envelopes will arrive and your list is ready. The mail date is up to you. Six to eight weeks in advance is customary but I will do them sooner if I have all I need to get started. Escort cards take approximately two weeks so I ask that you try to plan your RSVPs accordingly.
LETTERING STYLES and COLOR WORK
What styles of lettering do you offer? Are there more than what I see on your Lettering Styles page?
I offer a wide-range of lettering styles from elegant and classic to modern, funky and fun. Since I have been lettering professionally for more than 25 years, I am open to adapting to accommodate your tastes if you don’t find what you have in mind on my Lettering Styles page.
Can you write in color? Can you match my ribbons?
Yes! Since I hand-mix my inks, I can color match to coordinate with any style or theme. My botanicals and other illustrations are done with watercolors, acrylics and colored pencils.
Do you use the computer?
All lettering and illustration work is done by hand. I use the computer to prepare work for printing as printers require all artwork be submitted digitally.
How can we get our envelopes and/or escort cards to you?
If you are in the Newport area, we can arrange for you to drop them off. Or, you may have your items shipped directly to me. When the project is completed you are welcome to pick up from me or I will ship to you via USPS, FedEx or UPS, trackable and insured. This cost will be added to my invoice when your project is completed.
How many extra envelopes and place cards do you need?
Generally speaking, I ask for 10% extra to act as a buffer in case of smudging or my own human error after proofreading.
What if I find mistakes when I receive the completed calligraphy work?
Of course, I will correct any errors on my part at no charge. Errors from the original list and late additions are subject to a $25 minimum charge plus shipping. I always emphasize to clients to make sure their list is proofread very carefully and all guests are included.
What format should we use to send our list?
You may email me your list or send hard copy with your envelopes, whichever is easiest for you. It should be in Word document form with names and addresses stacked vertically. I will spell out all addresses unless you specify otherwise. You may abbreviate on the list you send me.
Do you know the proper way to address our guests on our envelopes?
Sometimes living arrangements create confusion on guest lists. I follow the Crane’s Blue Book for etiquette guidelines and am happy to help you when you are compiling your list. Once I receive the list, it becomes my only reference so I ask that any etiquette issues be resolved in advance.
I know I will have last-minute seating changes. How do you handle those?
There are often seating changes when planning events. I ask for the final guest list two weeks prior but seating assignments can be provided within one week of the event. It is good to keep in mind that event planners and venues often ask for “day of” materials three to four days early.
How do we pay you?
I accept deposits in check or cash form. At completion of the project, I will enclose an invoice that I ask to be paid upon receipt. At this time I am unable to accept credit cards for my work.
I would like to discuss my project with you. Can I call or meet with you in person?
In today’s computer-dominated world, I find myself welcoming phone calls and in-person meetings. Please email me and I will contact you to make either arrangement.