Couture Maps: United States Illustrated Map

As we are preparing for our relocation overseas, we are feeling a bit nostalgic for our mother country.  Our map of the United States depicts a journey across America which leads to Warwick, Rhode Island, the gorgeous wedding location of our well traveled couple Brianna and Grant. 

Our illustrated map was the centerpiece to their seating chart, and their guest  tables were named after their favorite American locations.  Such a sweet way to personalize their journey together. 


Destination I Do Fall/Winter 2012

We’ve only just discovered Pinterest so we are delighted to be featured in the current issue of Destination I Do‘s “A Pinterest-Inspired Wedding”!

Check out the site if you haven’t already and connect with us!

The Fine Art of Stationery: Mira Aster

Today I am excited to be showcasing the work of a true artist, Anne Millett of Mira Aster who creates from her Northern California studio and is known for gorgeous stitched invitations and delicate fabric details.  Combining color with pattern and great design, her stationery is some of the best on the planet.

With an admiration for her unique vision, we began collaborating back when we were both New York City girls and since then we have joined forces on an array of projects from wedding and bat mitzvah invitations to personal stationery as well as (my favorite!) signature illustrated maps. 

She has also sewn birth announcements, table number cards, sweet little placecards and even favors (like bookmarks for Oprah’s big event!)  Anne has been recognized as one of Modern Bride’s Trendsetters, an honor so well deserved!  

Check out a small sampling of our projects and see more inspiring design on her website.

Mira Aster
Petaluma, California
Paris map design with hand embroidered paper + San Francisco illustrated map with foil stamp printing and silk screened fabric

Ocean-inspired Maui eco adventure map.

Hawaiian Mahalo notecards + fun vintage wedding invitation.

One of Anne’s more traditional designs, Japanese paper stitched to a folded invitation for a wedding in Palm Springs, California.  Our lettering style Mira was created just for Mira Aster.

Gorgeous personal stationery + simple and elegant menu design for a wedding in Round Hill, Jamaica.

Colorful wedding invitation inserts + letterpress Bahamas map with paper stitching details.

Gorgeous tri fold design stitched with organza fabric and letterpress printed for a wedding in Los Angeles.

Press from around the world: Dream Weddings Bali Style

In my quest to travel around the world, I discovered the beautiful publication,  Dream Weddings Bali Style while in Asia.  As it turns out, the editor Lee Turner is from Seattle! 
We are so honored to be featured in the current issue which showcases our travel inspired stationery.  Our illustrated wedding map of the island of Bali is included which we told you about back in 2008.  Read more about the  Indonesian wedding of Giok and Johan here.

Celebrating 20 years of design!

It’s hard for me to believe, but 2010 marks my 20th year as a professional illustrator!

It all began when I was a student at Parsons School of Design in New York where I was studying illustration. My professors were working artists in the industry, and they were amazing instructors–always giving the best advice about working as a designer in New York City. They told me that staff jobs for illustrators didn’t exist so I was taught how to freelance and manage my own business from an early age.

With the help and support of instructors, I began my freelance illustration career while still in art school, and it was a perfect fit for me! My style seemed to be what creative directors were looking for luckily, and I began working immediately for magazines, fashion houses, department stores and newspapers. This was just before the popularity of the internet, so I actually took the subway around the city to drop off my portfolios and met my clients in person. I definitely miss this aspect of my job!

It was when I began working at Kate’s Paperie in New York City where I gained my love for paper, printing and stationery design. After developing new relationships with printers and paper vendors, I started creating my own line of stationery and maps using all of my own lettering styles for both the wedding industry and editorial.

I’ve since moved my life and work to beautiful San Francisco, and I find inspiration around me every day. Some of my other passions include traveling, vegan cooking, punk rock, French interior design and hanging out with my sweet dogs.

I’ve had the pleasure to work with so many amazing people, and to celebrate my 20th anniversary, all Couture Map orders placed in March can receive a complimentary watercolor map print, and all stationery orders can receive a complimentary digital note card design– just let us know which one you are interested in. Our production schedule is currently full until May so book early to avoid disappointment!

Some of my early illustration jobs included two covers for the Bloomingdale’s holiday catalog, 10 pages of lettering for Paper (a NYC based club-kid magazine), and a 6-page spread for Condé Nast Traveler.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day!!

Maui map postcards hand stitched by the amazing Anne Millett at Mira Aster. They are printed in shiny foil stamp ink and were created for our Hawaiian eco adventure.

Letterpress envelope featuring a lei of hibiscus.

Mahalo notecards hand sewn with very cute little fish fabric. Stitched stationery by Mira Aster. All illustrations by Stephannie Barba.

Couture Wedding Maps: Destination Bali

Our studio works with clients all over the world, and this project is for a wonderful couple  Giok and Johan who contacted me from Malaysia and are getting married on the Indonesian island of Bali. It includes the calligraphy and illustration for a pocket fold design with a hand painted invitation, itinerary card and map.

The map is painted in watercolor and includes our signature Couture Maps kissing fish logo.

We supplied the digital files to her so she was able to oversee the printing and production locally. This option is great for overseas clients who are creative and wish to save on the expense of international postage and customs fees.