Melinda Morris, “Principal Visionary” at Lion in the Sun
How did you come to be a stationer?
It’s a family business. My mother opened Lion in the Sun on Long Island in 1981, when I was 9, so I grew up printing cocktail napkins and helping create candy centerpieces for bat mitzvahs. With my family’s support, I opened my own version of Lion in the Sun in Park Slope in 2002.
What’s special about your shop?
We have designers on staff and represent artists all over the country, so people can pick something out of a book, or my designers can make something from scratch. We also launched our own line of invitations, designed by local artists. It’s called PostScript Brooklyn, and it’s all New York–inspired.
How tired are you of seeing the Brooklyn Bridge on invitations?
Personally, yes, I’m tired of it. But I understand why people love it: It’s a New York icon.
What is the simplest invitation you’ve ever done?
We represent this one designer who has a very minimalist invitation. It’s one line of text on a small white card: name, date, time, and place, delineated by slash marks. I’ve had a lot of couples strongly consider doing it, but no one has been brave enough to commit. The flip side is that a lot of people add too much information. Being brief and clear is your best bet.
What else is popular right now?
The biggest thing is what I call intentionally imperfect: handwriting that looks like it was written with a splattering quill pen, or a font that looks like a degraded rubber stamp. Also, unique patterns and papers, like wood grain or actual wood, and printing on fabric or museum board. Foil-stamping is the next big trend; it’s still letterpress but done with a metallic foil.
What’s skippable when you’re working on a tight budget?
The save-the-date can be superfluous—you can do it through e-mail—and reply cards are not as mandatory as they used to be. If you are having a casual wedding, then I am fine with e-mail replies. For more formal weddings, the RSVP card sends a message of tradition and formality that’s necessary to set the tone: Your wedding is a special day and a step above the casual barbecue Evite. A happy medium is an additional card saying “Kindly reply” with an e-mail address, mailing address, and phone number. You can also get away with a simple program or no program at all.
Any big no-nos?
“Monetary gifts, please.” Also, mentioning the registry in the invitation. People request that often.
What do you do if you hate the design a client chooses?
The only thing I’ll say is “Are you sure you want that?” again and again and again. If they are sure, generally it’s not for me to judge. Sometimes you have to be like, “Great, so this is the artwork that your nephew drew; I love it! Let’s do it.”
“It’s a modern alternative for attaining the raised-print effect of engraving—and generally half the price.”