A Peek Into Our Design Process

Today we’re sharing a post that originally appeared on the Bella Figura blog. Enjoy!

As any small business owner will tell you, running your own studio has many positives and, of course, a few negatives too. One of my favorite aspects about having my own design practice is the uniqueness of each project. We’re fortunate enough to work with so many types of clients, each with their own thoughts and ideas. Because of this, every day is new, refreshing, and full of what I love — illustration!   We’re excited to walk you through our process as we work on a custom wedding suite for an upcoming Brooklyn wedding. This has been on of my favorite projects as of late and I’m so happy to share it with everyone. Let’s get started!



When I sit down to create artwork, I double (and triple) check that I have everything I’ll need handy. It usually takes a moment to find a rhythm and warm up when I draw, so it’s quite annoying if I have to get up to find a specific pen or eraser and interrupt my flow. I almost always draw from reference, so I’ve kept a few image of the Wythe Hotel on hand as well as my copious collection of drawing utensils. Not pictured – an endless flow of good, strong tea.



Once I’ve sketched everything in pencil, I go back over it in ink. This is where my Micron pen addiction can truly run rampant! It’s also one of my favorite parts of the process because I can start adding in some of the finer details that really make the illustration fun and personal.



After the illustrations are squared away, I’ll move onto the lettering. With brush lettering, like illustration, it can take a few minutes to get into the zone. I expect to go through several sheets of paper (sorry trees! love ya!) before I go back and edit down. I prefer to play with the ink and let several options develop organically before looking at everything as a whole and choosing which I like best.



All of the artwork is done! Hooray! Now it’s time to scan it and dive into the layout, type, and color on the computer. Creating the artwork by hand and editing it digitally gives the process so much flexibility and allows me to have the best of both worlds. It also ensures that I can accommodate revisions in a timely manner for the client as opposed to starting from scratch when it’s time for edits.



There are few things more exciting than receiving the project back from the printer! It’s the culmination of the initial ideas, inspiration, and artwork that you can hold in your hands and enjoy. Seeing the final colors and textures for these pieces made me fall in love with the project all over again.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into my process. The workflow is a constant evolution as I find what works best for me – and what doesn’t work at all! I’m very fortunate to do work that I enjoy and have clients who love the outcome. If you have any questions I’d love to hear from you!

The Knot :: Playful Palette

Last year one our good friends, Jove Meyer of Jove Meyer Events, reached out with a very exciting opportunity. He would be styling a shoot for The Knot and asked Swiss Cottage to create the paper goods for the event. Once he described his vision – bright colors, fun patterns, and bold shapes – we were in!

Jove and all of the other contributors did a truly amazing job pulling everything together. We were so excited to see the photos after the shoot and waited to share them with bated breath. After much anticipation, the time has finally arrived!

Everything came together so beautifully. It’s a great example of how bold design elements can be combined to create a refined and elegant look. The table setting is my personal favorite – everything is unique in its own right without needing to compete with the other pieces.




A huge thank you to Jove for making it happen as well as to all of the talented contributors!

Planner + Designer – Jove Meyer Events
Stationery / Menus + Programs + Place mats + Invites + Save the Dates + Charity Signs – Swiss Cottage Designs
Flowers – Lindsay Rae Design
Vintage Glassware – Little Vintage Rentals
Furniture Rentals / Table + Chairs – Taylor Creative
Tabletop Rentals / Linens + Cutlery + Chargers + China – Broadway Party Rentals
Custom Hand Decorated Shoes – Hushed Commotion
Custom Made Suit – A Suit That Fits
Cake – Lael Cakes

Weekend in the Woods :: Alyssa + Drew

Fall has officially arrived in Brooklyn! I’m loving the cool weather and changing leaves. The only downside is how early it’s getting dark now! But if that’s the trade off for spiced treats and the ability to dress in layers, I’ll take it.

With the changing seasons, it seemed only right to bring a bit of autumn color to the blog. Alyssa and Drew planned a beautiful fall weekend in Ontario that included not only their wedding festivities but also canoeing, fishing, hiking, and swimming! The couple wanted an invitation that would get their guests excited about the woodsy weekend that awaited them.

My favorite part of the invitation is the lush border. It showcases the natural foliage of the area as well as the warm colors of the changing leaves. I also can’t help but feel nice and snuggly when I see the flannel inspired envelope liner. Oh, who is that cute turtle on the crest, you may ask? That’s Caeser, their beloved pet. Their invitation just wouldn’t be complete with him!

I had a lot of fun working with Alyssa and Drew to bring their vision to life and hope you like it too. Hopefully the weather is lovely wherever you are and you’re treating yourself to plenty of pumpkin flavored goodies.







Illustrated Love: Jorie & Hal

Sometimes you get to work with those clients who are just so easy, fun, creative and cool.  Jorie and Hal are all of the above. Everything we worked on got comments like “this is so uber rad…” or “Rock out!!!!” It is so great to work with clients who are just as enthusiastic about the work as you are. Makes for some really amazing work.

Jorie and Hal are getting married in Vermont and are having an indie classic {just made that term up- roll with it} wedding on her Mom’s property on Lake Champlain. Jorie really wanted the invites to feel warm, engaging and above all fun. This couple has lived all over together and love the adventures they have shard. We decided to tell their story through a panel invite suite. Each panel shows a different time in their life as a couple, ending with them on the property where they will be married.

What I love most about this suite is that it’s one piece of paper. It’s very compact and a great fit for the low key Bride & Groom looking to keep it simple. The RSVP is a post card that you trim and send back to your guests- love that. So many fun bits in this suite: from the rainbow socks Jorie is wearing with her kickball uniform to the little map details on the back. I am really happy with how this turned out. Good luck Jorie & Hal!



With wedding season in full swing my sketchbook is full of little drawings from different custom invites. Here are some snaps of a few different illustrations I’ve been working on. {Behind the scenes- I usually draw an image several times before i get it right. I also rely heavily on Photoshop for little edits- sneakkkkky. It’s the best trick!}

Watercolor cool off

Hot enough for you all? This week was something else in Brooklyn. With temps well into the 100’s staying cool was top of mind this week. I have been working on some fun, cool {ha} watercolors that I thought I’d share. They are very beach and summer oriented which is perfect since clearly we are in the thick of it!

{custom watercolor images available- email for details!}

More Wine? Yes Please!

Here are some new bridal shower invitations I did for a client. The couple is having a destination wedding in Northern California and the Maid of Honor wanted to play up the wine country location. The grape cluster is hand drawn then painted in watercolor. The wine spill at the top has the couples soon-to-be monogram in the middle. All in all, I love the fresh, clean feeling of these invites. My favorite part is the grape cluster on the return address. I am such a sucker for line drawings. Enjoy and cheers!

Down on the corner…

Jen and Adam are a great couple who live right down the street from me in Williamsburg. They are getting married this August and needed some custom stationery to use as thank you notes. They met over their mutual love for the band Wide Spread Panic so needless to say they are very laid back and fun. We wanted to do something clever that played up their neighborhood {since they just bought their first home together} I decided to draw their street corner, Wythe and North 8th, and make a icon out of it. It was the perfect fit for them.

You are…where?

A great project I have been working on for a few different clients are custom “Where are you from?” posters. What I love about them is that they are completely customizable and different than any other gift. You can give them to commemorate a favorite vacation spot, an anniversary, the starting of a new family or just to celebrate your home.

The one above was done for a client’s parents. They vacation every summer at Cape Elizabeth but chose to call out the Summer of 2009 because that is when the couple got engaged. If you’re looking for a great gift, email for a custom price quote!

The perfect gift

I always struggle with wedding/shower gifts. I understand the point of a registry but I find them so boring. I try to give something personal and unique that the couple has never seen before. My oldest friend got engaged this past summer and while trying to think of what to get them I came up with this great idea. The couple had an engagement shoot and she sent me some of the pictures. I took one and turned it into a stylish silhouette and put their initials and wedding date in the corner. I bought a classic black frame for it to compliment the simplicity of the design. This has now become my go to gift. It’s simple and chic and can be customized for any couple in their colors, style and silhouette. If you’re interested in receiving a custom quote for this gift please email me for more details!

Classic and simple black & white

I love this one for the bright colors and fonts

This one is great because it’s cut off at both ends and really focuses on the couple holding hands. Plus those colors are fantastic!