In my mind, continuity is key; this is part of what branding is all about. Continuity helps create a feeling of wholeness—and while you might not think it matters, lack of it preys on a subconscious level; besides that, many errors or short cuts can be completely explained away in the name of artistic license. Everybody wins!
This is why it’s important to have your head on straight. When you’re doing things half-asleep or in the midst of chaos or in a rush, it’s too easy to make mistakes.
This happened to me recently. I work with VistaPrint all the time for postcards, banners, magnets, business cards and whatever else I need for marketing myself and my books; I’ve also used them over the years for other personal things—the occasional custom T-shirt as a gift, for example. I’ve never had a problem with them, their prices are right, and their system is easy to use. Therefore, they were a natural choice for wedding-related items I either couldn’t or didn’t want to make myself.
Favor Box and Centerpiece Award labels, for example; we wanted our favor boxes personalized, as well as the Centerpiece Award labels (these are going in only a few programs; whoever has one gets to take a centerpiece home).
The designs took me a couple of hours to select and do, and I clicked through to order; however, I was in a little bit of a rush, as it was February 25—and Maureen was about to arrive to take our engagement photographs.
I didn’t realize until hours after I’d ordered them that they were wrong.
Well, they weren’t wrong, per se—it was just that my name was listed first, and I’d decided that as it’s traditional (according to all these books I’m reading) the bride’s name goes first on the invitations, I’d prefer Nathan’s name be listed first on anything beyond that point; for example, follow-up wedding mailings (such as announcements) will come from ‘Mr. & Mrs.’).
Nathan said no one would notice, but I would. And that’d be enough. That would mean that these two items would be inconsistent with all of the other ephemera (including, for example, the toasting glasses) except for the invitations, which weren’t the same on purpose.
Needless to say, I fixed them and re-ordered them.
Fortunately, this mistake didn’t cost me that much—but it cost enough to remind me that I really need to only work when I can give it my full attention, and B – sit on it for an hour before ordering to make sure it’s correct (after a little distance, I see things with fresh eyes).