I want to introduce you to Chris Toney, a wonderful calligrapher and graphic designer
based in the cool city of Chicago.
Her work is lovely.
I’ve been curious about how this gal does so many things so well.
She manages a website, blog and etsy shop where she has invitation designs ( and other goodies) for you to choose from. She can also print them for you!
Luckily I was able to get her to take some time to answer a few questions.
Enjoy getting to know this multi talented lady!
You are both a calligrapher and graphic designer…which did you do first?
I’ve been doing calligraphy since high school, so definitely calligraphy!
What got you started in the other?
I have a background that includes sketching and painting and I found myself later working in advertising. I’ve always gravitated towards the creative side. I dreamed of becoming an art director one day so a big part of my early professional career, dating back to 1996, has been spent acquiring training and trying to design for family, friends, anyone who would give me a chance to create something special.
How long have you been doing both?
I picked up my first calligraphy pen when I was 15 years old, and the early days of my graphic design work dates back to 2000.
Where did you get your formal training?
I attended Lindblom Technical H.S. where I audited 4 years of drafting/technical drawing. I also fell in love with the print shop and commercial art. The manual training rooms at Lindblom also included auto repair, plastics molding, and sheet metal training, so its no mistake that I love to work with my hands now. I got my B.A. in Graphic Design from Columbia College in Chicago.
If you could describe your dream project, what would it be?
I’m gravitating more and more to projects that I can come up with on my own. Perhaps a decorative project. Something not for guests to consume, but something to just hang up and be pretty for the evening. That would be a nice challenge for me.
You seem to have a lot going on! Can you tell my readers all of the services you offer?
I know right?! Weddings have become so personal now that my own list of services had no choice but to increase! I do calligraphy, invitations and day of stationery which can include but is not limited to: ceremony programs, place cards, seating charts, event signage, menus, table numbers, etc.
What advice would you give to brides who are just starting to think about their invitation? What kind of info is helpful for them to give to you as a designer?
I would tell them to look at different invitations just to get an idea of what they want. Also, they should consider how much information they need to communicate because that usually determines what kind of vehicle they will need. Finally, I would add that with the popularity of Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. the world has gotten much smaller. Its fine to be inspired by beautiful stationery, but simply taking someone else’s invitation and asking another designer to duplicate it is disrespectful to both parties.
Are all of your designs custom or do you have some stock designs that brides can choose from?
At this stage I actually prefer for brides to select designs that I’ve already done. The calligraphy keeps me so busy! You can see existing designs on my Etsy Shop.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Thanks for the opportunity to be featured on your blog, I am a big fan of your work!
You live in Chicago…(I’ve never been but hope to go at some point in the future)
What are some “must do’s” and “hidden gems” in the city that most people don’t know about?
Awww, well there is so much to see (and great food to devour) downtown, you really can’t go wrong staying down there. I will say that if you are a fan of architecture, be sure to make it to the South Side to visit the Historic Pullman neighborhood. The preservation of this neighborhood is amazing and there is a visitors center and tours you can take. I actually lived in this community for a few years and it was a great experience. It was built by George Pullman in the 1880s to house employees of his railroad car company. Annually (usually sometime during the Fall), 8-10 homeowners open up their residences and people from all over come and take a peek. There are also wonderful artisans and re-sellers littered throughout the neighborhood during these open houses and if you take your time, you can really can find some gems.
Thanks so much Christy!
Check her out :
CTDesigns on Etsy
Christy on TWITTER
Christy on FACEBOOK
And for those of you who don’t know , my Belluccia calligraphy font and her “sister” Dom Loves Mary calligraphy font
( both having the distinction of being “Best Selling” fonts and “Rising Stars”- so proud of my girls:)
are available for purchase here.
Have a Modernistic Monday 🙂