Spring – Romance, Renwal and Cherry Blossoms

I’m heady with the idea of cherry blossoms – they’re starting to come out .  They signal renewal and romance.  It seems like endless DC streets are lined with blossoms so walking about the city is beguiling.  These cherry blossom images inspire in so many ways – including design:

Dramatically Divine

Washington Monument and Cherry Blossoms

Iconically Irresistible

Washington D.C. Cherry Blossoms

Washington D.C. Cherry Blossoms

Romantically Resonant

Vintage Washington D.C. Cherry Blossoms


Cherry blossoms over looking the river

Pattern Piques Passion

Cherry Blossom pattern

Don’t these images get your creative juices going? – they get mine flowing no end.  I’ll let you know where they lead me.

Easter Traditions in Graphic Design

Old Vintage Black and White Easter


Easter comes early this year.  In DC we find the idea of the White House Easter Egg Roll enchanting.  Here’s what it looked like in earlier days:


Vintage Black and White Photo of Easter Egg Hunt


Different places have different Easter traditions.  My father was Hungarian and I remember making with him ‘piros tojás’ or red eggs for Easter.  The eggs are dyed red and then a needle is used to scratch out a pattern.  These are often intricate and very beautiful


Red Easter Eggs


Here are some pattern ideas for piros tojás:


Red Easter Egg Patterns


People have sent each other Easter Cards for a long time – and I like that this card is also a paper doll!


Victorian Easter Card with Paper Doll


Chicks and bunnies have always featured prominently:


Antique Chick Easter Image

Antique Vintage Bunny Easter Card


Do you celebrate Easter?  What are your traditions? Why not make it a tradition to send out custom made Easter cards from Antonia Designs?

Networking for Success

Shout Out

I’m very excited to have joined a BNI Chapter.  BNI – Business Network International – is a way for small to medium size businesses to get out the word.  BNI is an international networking organization built along the ideas of structured referrals.  When you hear the words ‘I need a’ or ‘I’m not happy with’ it’s great to be able to suggest another BNI member.

You get to know the different people in your BNI Chapter and other Chapters very well and understand what they have to offer.  This way you can give enthusiastic referrals and help people find the help they seek.  As the BNI philosophy says ‘givers gain’.

We’re all looking to get good help, and it’s even better if that help is a local small business that can give you competitive, personalized service.  You never know who’s going to give you a great referral – when you’re seeking a service, it never hurts to ask.

If you’re seeking custom graphic design services please contact me.

Life Celebrations with Fun Custom Cards

Is there a milestone in your life to celebrate ?  Recently I designed this card for a graduation party – getting a Masters Degree from Goddard College in Vermont is quite an achievement.  We went for something whimsical with a wordplay on moose/muse.  I have to admit, I’m rather taken with our fetching moose – and he left his hoof prints all over the place!


There are many life celebrations and milestones to mark.  Are you having a party to celebrate something important in your life?  Let me help with invitations, menus etc to make the occasion special.



Engagement Announcements

Valentine’s Day is a popular time to get engaged and naturally you want to spread the word.  A classy way to do this is to send out an engagement announcement.  These days, this can come from the couple, even though traditionally  the announcement should come from someone other than the bride and groom.

engagement announcement

You could:

  • include your wedding logo in the engagement announcement design
  • turn an engagement photo into a lovely engagement announcement
  • Include some of the fun biographical facts that engagement announcements traditionally have.
  • turn the card into an engagement-announcement-save-the-date-card, or even use the same themes on your wedding invitation.

Want some help designing your engagement announcement – please get in touch!


Baltimore Bridal Show

Alexander-photo-invites-rsvpI had a great time at the Baltimore Bridal show.  The word on the street is that invitations are overwhelming – there are just so many choices out there.  Some brides even confessed they had no ideas at all.  Yet more reason to consider a bespoke, custom service for your wedding invitation.

Graphic Designer Antonia Balazs at table

Wedding Invitations Alexander Photo


The good news, of course, is that I can help you channel your wedding invitation style – or even tease out the style itself.  I will guide you to a wedding invitation that will truly reflect this  important day.

There are so my thing to consider when planning a wedding! Put your invitations in my capable hands – you will not be disappointed.

Wedding Paper Goods – go beyond Invitations

At the Baltimore Bridal Show, someone wanted to know – out side of the wedding suite, what other delightful paper goods should the couple consider for their wedding?

Wedding Programs

Your program will be a visual cue for the ceremony and a keepsake.  It should reflect nature of your wedding ceremony – is it more cathedral or more beach?  Here is the program from my wedding – with the design from our wedding rings that brings together my background and my husband’s background.

Hungarian Style Wedding Program

Place Cards

Would you like an image on your place cards?  Would you like calligraphy?  Would you like your wedding monogram?

Danse à la ville by Pierre Auguste Renoir

Pierre Auguste Renoir – Danse à la ville, Musée d’Orsay

My mother in law is going to use this lovely Renoir painting for place cards at my upcoming sister in law’s wedding.


A menu on each table can add a finishing touch.  They’re not just for weddings!  Here’s one I did recently for a friend’s birthday.

Menu for a birthday party

Napkins and Favors

You can have a bit of fun here too – but using your wedding monogram always hits the right note.  See my blog on creating your own wedding monogram. cute wedding favor box



What a cute wedding favor box.         creative with napkins




Get creative with napkins!

Unusual Paper Delights

paper lanterns for a wedding   butterfly paper lanterns



Paper lanterns are all the rage.  You can  even get them personalized for your wedding.

monogrammed paper fans for wedding attendees







Are you getting married outside in the sultry summer heat?  These monogrammed fans are just the ticket.


monogrammed wedding fans

This parasol is endless fun, and keeps you out of the summer sun.

monogrammed parasol


You can make all sorts for paper decorations or flowers If you’re really ready to go town with DIY.

I’d love to work with you evolving a fabulous theme that you can carry through all the paper delights at your wedding. For more information, see my Weddings page, or use the contact form to send me a message!

Repondez s’il vous plait

Something I’ve been thinking about as I prepare for the Baltimore Bridal Show 2nd and 3rd February is the knotty problem of RSVPs.  It causes much stress in wedding planning.  You’d think people would reply to a wedding invitation in a timely manner, but this is not a new problem and over the years various solutions have been deployed.  First an RSVP by date was introduced hoping that would spur people on, then the idea that including a response card with a stamped, addressed, envelope would help – surely if it was that easy to reply it would help smooth the RSVPs.  None of this has really worked to general satisfaction.

These are still tried and tested ideas you can go with – but you have other options. I sent out my wedding invitation without response cards.  Most people chose to reply via e-mail.  I can’t tell you the number of lovely little notes I received with warm wishes and messages of congratulations.  It was a marvelous bonus that hadn’t occurred to me.  One friend’s response in particular is a model in how to write an RSVP.  I’m going to break it up and show you how she accomplishes such a feat.

Start out with some kind words of encouragement:

Dear Antonia:

…  Updates with the wedding preparations?  Is everything mostly set?  I bet that you are super busy getting the final logistics ready. However as I know you, I am sure things are under control and well organized.

Continue with whether you will be able to attend, including some thoughts about the wedding, marriage and how exciting it all is.  If you can’t make it do show regret!

I am checking in to share that I am so sorry that I am not going to be able to make it to your and Brian’s wedding.  …  If I were still living on the East Coast, I won’t have missed [it].  It is tough being out west and not being able to get back east as easily as I would like for it to be.  Anyway, I am bummed that I can’t be there to see your dress, connect with your family and friends, to hear the vows, and to be there to celebrate the special occasion.  I can’t wait to see the photos and to hear all about the wedding.

You could then ask about a wedding present, being sensitive to the couple’s situation and needs.

Additionally, I wanted to check in about your wedding gift.  In many Native American cultures, a traditional wedding gift is a Pendleton blanket.  I also know though that with city living you often don’t have a lot of space and every item needs to be thought through.  So I wanted to touch base about ideas.  Is the blanket something that you might like? … If the blanket is not something that works with your home, another idea that I had was to get you and Brian a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant in DC.  This way you can continue the wedding celebrations and have a wonderful evening out.  I am not sure if this may be a preferable gift, if you are thinking of a more experience based present.  Please let me know your thoughts as I would like for your and Brian’s wedding gift to be something that you can enjoy.

It is also thoughtful to assure the couple they don’t have to respond quickly.

Also, no rush in getting back in touch, since I am sure you have a lot to do in the upcoming weeks.  I am wishing you good luck with the remaining preparations and a very happy wedding day 🙂  I look forward to sharing more updates sometime soon!

Three Corn Maidens Saddle Blanket

The beautiful Pendleton ‘Three Corn Maidens Saddle Blanket’ that we are lucky enough to have as a wedding present

Of course, the main thing is to reply in a timely manner to a wedding invitation – and you can mix and match all these ideas.  As you can see, there are happy solutions to the RSVP dilemma.  Do you have a thorny issue with wedding invitations that I could be of help in solving?

Romantic Images for your Wedding

Pierre Auguste Renoir - Danse à la ville, Musée d'Orsay

Pierre Auguste Renoir – Danse à la ville, Musée d’Orsay

My mother in law wanted to use this romantic and beautiful Renoir painting for place cards at my sister in law’s upcoming wedding.  It wouldn’t be hard for me to make the place cards.  I double checked on copyright with the Musée d’Orsay, who confirmed it’s in the public domain.  Won’t that gorgeous, romantic couple simply grace the dinner tables?

These two are in copyright but I just had to post anyway – aren’t they lovesome?

Renoir painting place cards

Julia Mavrogordato – Parakeets menu card

The Victoria and Albert Museum – London

Renoir painting for place cards

Julia Mavrogordato – Black Swans

The Victoria and albert museum – London

I think the following tender images are in the pubic domain and anyone can use them anytime, although a particular photograph of a painting may be copyrighted even if the painting itself is available for public use.  As you can see, copyright is confusing and varies dramatically from country to country – it’s smart to make sure that one can use a painting, photograph or other image.   A double check with the museum or owner if you’d like to use them is easy and covers all bases.

The Renoir quest for my wonderful mother in law has led me to enjoy time with museums and their paintings and textiles – which has enthused and inspired me.  There’s a lot of inspiration out there.  Are you feeling inspired?  Are you looking for inspiration?  Please get in touch for a custom design that will fulfill these dreams.


Claude Monet – Bazille and Camille 1865

National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

ERIC GILL - THE SOUL AND THE BRIDEGROOMEric Gill – The Soul and the Bridegroom

The Tate – London


Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones – King René’s Honeymoon

The Tate – London

WALTER CRANE Swans Portion of ‘Swan, Rush and Iris’ wallpaper dado, silhouetted swans against a stylised background of rush and iris, suggesting the influence of Greek vase paintings; Designed by Walter Crane; Color print from wood blocks, on paper; Produced by Jeffrey & Co.; England; 1877.

Victoria and Albert Museum,- London

Happy New Year

It’s that time, isn’t it when we all look at where we are and where we are going.

I am really looking forward to connecting with brides – and hopefully some grooms to – at the Baltimore Bridal Show.  What I really aim to do is give a personalized service that fits your style, needs and desires.  To this end I’ve been designing different postcards to different approaches to style.  I am also planning on doing some videos to give a more personal and immediate feel to my approach.  Please let me know if you have subjects that you’d like me to address in video format.

Here’s the back and front of the first postcards I’ve designed.  It’s looking to balance, harmony and nature – but with a dreamy, sophisticated style.

Antonia Designs postcard


Antonia Designs Postcard