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Friday, December 17, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
The Aleit Group always seem to pull out the stops when it comes to the Limited Edition and did Johnny out do himself for this occasion. The brief was simple, an American Trailer Trash wedding on South African soil. Our first thoughts would be “If I was bride and perfectly happy living in a trailer park , what would my wedding look like? So some “kommin”ing up was in order with a mix between South African meets American Trash.
This is what the Elsje Designs Team came up with:
Bunting took on a more playful note, with quirky characters and all the necessary wedding information strung tightly around the Bridal Couple acts as the perfect wedding invitation . In streamer fashion, banners were hung a with typical South African slang of “ Hoe lyk it my China”, “Lekka Bru” and “ Howzit my chop”. Pap sak offered a cheaper take on the normal branded bubbly at the usual wedding. With a leopard print that not only adds to the décor but is also acts as a “Do not disturb” sign” which could come in handy later in the evening. An old fashioned toaster in a typical Tupperware yellow, provided an unconventional seating plan, to fill you ask? Well toast of course. So we printed each table name fitting with theme following with the guests names below. To finish off the table decor, each guest received their cigarette hand tied to a box of matches with each guests name. So with plenty of “drank” sorted, music played from beatbox inside the trailer, fashionable junk- trailer chic décor and a “kick ass” crowd Yolandi and Hein’s guests are sure to have “lekker Kuier”.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Ek dink my kar moes iets aardig aanvoel, want soos ’n steeks perd, gaan staan dié vier voet vas en wil nie meer beweeg nie. Gelukkig kom ek tot stilstand voor die huis waar ek nes skrop vir die volgende drie weke.
Die volgende oggend stap ek in en alles is stil, behalwe die stralende glimlag van Corli, een van die ontwerpers by Elsje. Verligting spoel oor my. “Hulle is vriendelik!”, is my eerste gedagte. Soos wat ek almal ontmoet sit ek ’n gesig en persoonlikheid by al die name.
Ek het Elsje Designs van hoek tot kant ge-‘cyber stalk’ voor ek my voete naby aan Durbanville gesit het, en glo my hierdie plek is soveel meer as wat die internet ooit kan vertel.
Maar sommer dadelik word ek aan die werk gesteek. ’n Photo shoot! Aleit se limited edition year end newsletter word geskiet op die dak van die Grand Daddy Hotel in Kaapstad, en Elsje Designs is gevra om van die stationary te doen.
Dadelik wil ek help toe ek hoor wat die tema van die troue is. In drie eenvoudige woorde “Trailer Park Trash”. Inspirasie het gekom van die 70’s met ’n bietjie van ’n moderne twist. Dit is nogal moeilik om kômmen te dink en ontwerp as jy nie self “common” is nie. So ’n besluit was geneem op leopard print, bright neon kleure, papsak, Styrofoam koppies, krullers en baie lang pienk naels. Die shoot was fantasties.
’n Hele span van Aleit was daar om hierdie shoot ’n sukses te maak. Die einste Elsje, haar assistent Lana en ek, die intern, was op die stel gewees om al ons ontwerpe uit te sit en seker te maak alles is in orde. Ek het rondgehardloop, rondgestaan, ’n hoender vasgehou, skroewe ingedraai, gelag, gesweet, geëet, gedrink, gespring, gestrek, maar bo dit alles, die ondervinding van my lewe.
Iemand het een keer vir my gese, “Jy moet soms so bietjie kômmin wees, anders sal jy nooit nederig wees nie,” en op daardie dag was dié woorde vir my baie waar.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Minette (and Hendri) had the following to say about her wedding day:
A truly South African winelands wedding in the prettiest month, October with a little bit of winelands from Franschhoek, combined with a little bit of a French affair at the 5 star Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa. The ceremony was held on the premises in an old wine house with the reception in a glass conservatory in the middle of a working fruit orchid. We combined white with hues of grey, added a splash of purple and used lots of glass and mirror in the decorations. Flowers were mainly white and green.
Our wedding was a true celebration of us, on the exact day we celebrated our 8 year anniversary, 30 October 2010 – no tears, pure joy and happiness. We had a superb team of the very best wedding service providers (refer to list of service providers on the photographers blog). For any bride getting married in the Western Cape, I can recommend these service providers again and again.
What was different? Everything. Each aspect of the wedding was coordinated to represent the bride and groom. We had no bridesmaids or ushers, we didn’t do the bouquet and garter thing, we had a morning wedding, with a reception and thereafter an ‘after-party’ until 3h00 am the next morning. Very none traditional, but oh so very much us! For once the bride and groom cannot complaint that the day flew by (everyone warned us about that upfront). We didn’t do the typical wedding-favour-for-each-guest’s thing, but rather provided guests with many souvenirs throughout the day. From customised pens and a wish-ring (write a wish and hang it on our wish ring then keep the pen), to custom printed napkins with the menu in French. Dessert was a cake-and-chocolate bar where guests could pick their own selection of cake and chocolate truffles and eat there or take a box to go.
An enormous amount of detail was brought into the wedding with the décor and stationary on the day. As a final souvenir to guests, each couple received a young lime tree with planting instructions. The purpose of this was for our guests not just to enjoy the day, but to plant a tree for the newlyweds. A tree that will grow, change with each season, will carry fruit and each year, with our wedding anniversary in spring, the tree will be in full bloom which should forever remind our guests about our wedding day.
The dessert table was brimming with sweet treats. We printed a "sweet" poem on an oversize banner and had beautiful silver lettering made to mark this station. The favours that the guests could take home, was lime trees adorned with white paper butterflies with the guest name and planting instructions.
The happy couple: Hendri and Minnette.
Just for fun, we made slate coloured wooden signage for these fun pics. Also with calligraphy silver lettering.
Slate grey signage indicating the reception.
Beautiful photographs, taken by http://www.zara-zoo.com/, and the wedding was planned to perfection by Karla Oetler from, http://www.absolutewe.co.za/.
Dear Elsje Designs team
Thank you for not just designing my wedding stationary from the Save-the-date's all the way to the thank you cards, but for creating mini souvenirs out of stationary that my guests can nurture for years to come. Thank you for being more than just graphic designers but even being translators from English to French at times! Thank you for always welcoming me to the studio with a smile, thank you for allowing brides like me to do some of it myself (DIY). Thank you for gentle guidance and advice, thank you for saying it like it is, every now and then, when my ideas really weren’t going to work! Thank you for creating stationary that represents the bride and groom, stationery that have my guests still talking!
Always keep doing what you do, with the dedication and perfection that you do it. You inspired me, and I am sure you inspire many other brides-to-be!
What amazed me and always will from the Elsje Designs team
- Your commitment to continually improve
- Your prompt response to e-mails
- Always meeting the deadlines
- Friendliness from the team
- Your creativity
- Your passion for your work
- I have come to believe that all weddings are almost similar and after planning a wedding and designing stationery, some things will start repeating themselves. I have noticed that even for brides who pick something from the existing stationery collection, you still strive to personalize the stationery for each person. And you succeed each and every time. Keep it up!
A bride's advise to brides-to-be:
- Visit the Elsje Designs studio in Durbanville. Whether you are planning a wedding or not, planning on having someone design your wedding stationery or doing it yourself. Their studio is a must see, a hive of creativity, a place where anyone can spend hours and hours just looking at all the pretty things, a place where you are sure to be left in awe.
- Elsje Designs does not just do wedding stationery. They do stationery and a million other things, even Absa Currie Cup Final (replicated) tickets that will have guests wondering. Visit them for general inspiration on any celebration and not just stationery.
- Print enough, and keep aside some of the stationery before the wedding. Guests like to take home souvenirs such as menu’s and order of service cards or confetti boxes. In the end, you will be left with no stationery of your own wedding day. Either have extras printed, or keep some aside upfront. I now need to get more printed to keep as a souvenir for myself!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
We have spotted a trend that is on the rise for the upcoming summer season. Yes, chic Parisienne stripes are making a comeback! But did they ever really go out of style? Prints are really in right now, so you really can’t go wrong with any printed article of clothing (or stationery for that matter!).
There's nothing that screams summer more than French sailor stripes worn by the water. Classic black and white stripes have been around for ages, as one of the most beloved patterns in fashion history. Ever since Coco Chanel sported the timeless pattern on a boatneck shirt, it has become a popular summer choice for fashion-forward women all around the world, not just for young men catching fish on a boat. Nautical stripes are one of the most minimalist of patterns, and look great combined with classic pieces like blazers and high-waisted trousers. But try to think outside of the box this season and take the pattern to a whole new level of form and function.
Black and white or cream stripes seem to be dominating the stores, but don’t let that hold back your creativity. Go for red, burgundy, navy, or olive. It’s really more about the stripes and not the color.
Wait, how are stripes worn?
Stripes can be worn on top or bottom, or full body, as in a dress. For the bottom, steer clear of stripe pants, we’ll leave these for the 80s, but a skirt can fit in this century. Of course, tops are the number one way to feature this trend.
There are no restrictions on size of stripes. Go thin or thick! Just keep in mind that a thinner stripe will actually make you look wider. So, keep your body type in mind when choosing your striped garment.
Also, a good rule of thumb is to limit your stripes to only one piece per outfit. So, keep the pants solid, like jeans or black leggings, and add a stripe top. Or, as mentioned earlier, do a stripe skirt with a solid top. We’ll leave the mixing stripes and patterns for the runway.
Don’t be afraid of stripes! Keep them wider for a more slimming look. And, if it makes you feel more comfortable, add a military or boyfriend jacket over top.
for more info: http://www.examiner.com/fashion-trends-in-charlotte/the-stripe-trend-is-overwhelming-this-fal
Monday, November 1, 2010
With an eye for detail and flair for creativity, Elsje Designs are artisans of wedding stationery, corporate identity and social stationery. Whatever the occasion may be , it will always allow for a unique item of stationery, be it wedding favour, a corporate business card or a 21st invite.
Elsje Designs offer countless choices for your celebration or wedding, including a save-the-dates, invitations, e-vites (electronic invitations), ceremony programmes or orders of service, menus, table seating plans, seating cards, table numbers, table gifts or favours for your guests, banner printing onto canvass or paper and thank you cards. Each will be specially created to complement your unique style. For the corporate client designs are handcrafted through the use business cards, logo's, letterheads, brochures, e-vites, posters, banner printing and packaging.
Every celebration or wedding collection is hand crafted with love by a dedicated team of women, in our inviting Cape Town studio.
Elsje Designs a couture graphic design studio, creating stationery to celebrate life's extraordinary events!
Friday, October 29, 2010
Elsje Designs is looking for a breath of fresh air to join their dynamic, creative team. We are looking for a talented and energetic graphic designer with a minimum of 2 years experience in a design environment. Should be able to conceptualize and communicate effectively and pay extra attention to detail and have strong layout skills.
Your responsibilities will include all facets of design and job follow-through, to print. Deadlines are a challenge. Humour, self-motivation and teamwork is a must!
Oh, and if you can pull a rabbit out of a hat at the last minute... it would be preferable!
CorelDraw X3, Microsoft Office, Print, working with client and suppliers
Minimum 2 years working experience in a design studio or agency.
Remuneration: R5000 (neg)
Based in Durbanville
Send your CV and portfolio urgently to:
For more info visit: www.elsje.co.za
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
A picture paints a thousand words... Judging from a sneak peak of Marlene and Matt's wedding photographs, it's clear to see where Doreen's niche lies. Doreen said that the planning, preparation and the actual wedding day was just a great joy and harmony! The wedding was in the Carthusian, after it went into the Rhine in Cologne, with terraces overlooking the Duomo ..... a really impressive view with deep meaning for the couple.
An incredibly beautiful day with a happy couple, good-humored guests, many funny moments and a sensational live band / Party in the evening. DECOY is by far the best I've heard in a long time at a private party. WOW! The impressions of this beautiful wedding were taken through the lenses of Leifhelm photo, said Doreen.
The stationery was chic and printed in cool blue and grey tones finished with pale blue satin ribbon. For the stationery's artwork, we made use of a lovely couple silhouette that Linnett translated to their stationery to give this special wedding the finishing touch.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Chair covers with organza tie back
I recently jokingly said to a Service Providers; “You and me, we’re going to bring chair covers back into fashion” and we had a good laugh about it, but the reality is that so many Brides still think this is the way to go. We all loved it, but believe that this is a ‘trend’ that should be only be seen in old wedding albums…not modern wedding photos.
Rather than the classic chair cover, shop around and find chairs that will fit your style, and of course pocket. We realize that hiring chairs are expensive, but if you shop around, you will find that it is possible to use a beautiful chair without breaking the bank. A crazy thought is to alternatively ‘wrap’ your chair, but this would still require you to hire a decent chair, and not use an old hotel’s banqueting chair.
Matching Bridesmaid’s dresses
Now, maybe I can get the support of all previous Bridesmaids here. This is something that is just a little too overdone. Brides, making your Bridesmaids wear the exact same dress is a very old trend, and to be honest, I think they do not appreciate it either, as people are different shapes and sizes and one style dress might not suit all body types.
Our recommendation is to rather ask your Bridesmaids to wear a dress in shades of grey, for example. This way they still blend in beautifully, but also look beautiful in their own right, as the tone and style of their dress suit their complexity, style and shape better. Remember, you want to stand out on your wedding day, but this is not done by surrounding yourself with badly dressed Bridesmaids, but rather by making them look and feel good.
Black and White photos with splashes of colour
Yes, I know, everybody loved this and in to my despair even found out the other day, that my own sister has one of these pictures in her wedding album, but seriously, this ‘trend’ is over. For some it used to be cool, but that is not the case anymore. I’m not trying to offend anyone who has one of these photos, but keep in mind that times have change.
I think the most important thing to remember is to keep your photos beautiful, but natural. You do not want to look back at your photo album in ten year’s time and cringe, because of your choices back then. Have coloured photos and have black and white, and/or sepia photos, but don’t mix the two. You’ll thank me in the end.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Europeans Suzanne and Simon exchanged their vows against a contemporary backdrop of vibrant colours in the Franschhoek valley. With the bulk of the guest list flying to Cape Town from abroad it was extremely significant to the couple to design a celebration with noticeable African elements and an original, contemporary décor. In striking hues of yellow and black, Elsje Designs together with Wedding Concepts created their very own African stationery.
On arrival at the chic Franschhoek Wine Estate guests were greeted by dynamic Djembe African drummers and marimbas. Personalised coloured cocktails kept guests cool in the African heat with waiters lining the pathway to pre-dinner drinks, with homemade raspberry lemonade, berry daiquiris and Mojitos. The African singer Mapumbe entertained, whilst guests snacked on the Malay inspired canapé selection.
To compliment the modern décor it was imperative that the wedding stationery was as progressive and unique. We think it had the true wow factor. An exclusively designed insignia of the African continent was carried throughout the stationery, reminding the guests of the flavours and facets of South Africa.
Before dinner each guest received a personalised name badge that had been pinned to canvas complete with instructions of where to sit at the reception. The menu for the evening was printed onto a black napkin and then personalised again with the guest’s name on a bright yellow band creating a stunning contrast of colour against the crisp white tables and orange and black floral décor. The evening’s weather turned out to be nothing short of an amazing African summer sunset accompanied with warm evening temperatures, so dinner was to be held under a majestic oak tree in the gardens. Large French inspired arm chairs held their own amongst the contemporary and colourful décor. Table centre pieces comprised of charcoaled wood, bright orange lilies and strelitzias. Burnt orange coloured glasses for candles, mirrored light boxes and a mix of white and orange vases added the finishing touches to the stylish table setting.
Contemporary vibrant Africa at it's best!
Venue: Grande Provence
Photographer: Jean-Pierre Uys
Stationery: Elsje Designs
Decor & Lighting: FOCI
Music: Rus Nerwich
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Love Sonnet XVII
by Pablo Neruda
I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.
Friday, September 17, 2010
The perfect mix of classic and contemporary
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street … fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” Coco Chanel
Staying abreast of international trends is high on the to-do list for Elsje Designs, and following fashion trends from the runway and interior decorating into the world of stationery and wedding invations, is a must. Stationery is dictated by fashion.
A delicate pinstriped look is a way to instantly modernize your design, and will make invitations stand out. Bold stripes of color in the envelope liner will give your invitation a contemporary edge. Many of these latest designs will only use two colors, it's always best to keep it simple and elegant. You want the main focus of attention to be on the information that the invitation carries.
In contrast to the softer more subtle shades of last year, the forthcoming trends for the new season will be brightly coloured and – believe it or not – almost luminous! However, any bride who wishes to strut her stuff in style, needs to make a bold splash of colour if she wishes to remain in-line with other fashionistas!
Whilst we at Elsje Designs keep an eye on overseas trends, many don’t fit in with our own style of creativity. We don’t like to follow any particular themes - as we get inspiration (fashion, décor etc), we try to utilize these concepts for styling and stationery for various magazine shoots.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
There is actually proof of the healing power of nature... After time spent in the garden (or outdoors for that matter) many of my friends say they've been doing "gardening therapy." And now there are studies to prove it works.
Scientific tests were done on researchers who actually gardened while their brainwaves were studied electronically. Dr. Young (mental health specialist) says, "What they found was that the people who were gardening had brain waves that were very similar to people who meditate."
These medical tests conceded that gardening actually helps your body relax so it can heal because, she says, "It's a very healthy and healing state to be in."
Then, Young cites yet another study which found that hospital patients who are in a room with a view of a garden - actually recover faster!!! Their wounds heal about twice as fast as patients without a garden window. She says, "I think there's nothing more calming than and soothing than the smell of flowers and the earth."
Not that being part of a trend is ever a good reason to start or learn something new, but if it helps you move forward by being part of the “in” crowd, then you really need to plant your own edible garden this year!
Another survey done by the American Gardening Association showed a 19 percent increase in new hobby country farms and urban edible gardens in 2009 over 2008.
So, aside from its popularity, do you need some other reasons to grown your own food?
• Working in the garden reduces stress and makes you feel good.
• In the current recession a good reason would be to save money. There is nothing more local (yes, we are still in love with local) than food grown in your own backyard, your windowsills, or on patio containers.
• Growing your own fruit and vegetables means that you know exactly what does and does not go into your food and exactly where it comes from.
• You will live healthier in a number of ways. Not only will you end up eating more fruits and vegetables, but you will be getting added exercise. Did you know that you can burn as many calories in 45 minutes of gardening as you can in 30 minutes of aerobics?
• You will get a bigger variety of your favorite fruits and vegetables because you can choose from hundreds of different varieties and you can grow the things you like the best.
So here's the cheapest psychiatric advice you'll ever get: Get out and garden... It clears your head and heals your body.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Over time, we have built up quite a phenomenal library of vintage images, from old fashioned brides and grooms photographed in the 1920's, to hand painted birds, dainty ballerina's and my favourte, the Eiffel Tower!
These post cards can be used as part of your table seating, having a dual purpose, both as a decorative table gift as well as a place card.
For a wedding Save the Date, these old fashioned brides and grooms are divine and will really give your guests something to talk about!
Another great idea is to have a stamp made at your local stationer. Which you can use for your Save the Dates or menus. Alternating between large and the small fonts, to create a playful effect.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
It is a full time position at our studio in Durbanville, Cape Town. Approx R5 000 per month, negotiable. Please send your CV with one or two of your favourite artwork or portfolio examples to firstname.lastname@example.org.