She Shares a Few Words on Her Illustrious Career
For designer and illustrator Anna Rifle Bond, customizing stationery quickly evolved from a passion project to a full-blown enterprise in 2009. After working as an art director in Florida, she opened Rifle Paper Co. with her husband and business partner, Nathan Bond. Her thoughtful designs were picked up by the press, and her company has quickly grown to include over 200 employees. Bond is one of the many designers featured in our new book You’re Invited!, which showcases the many new and established faces in the field of invitation design. We spoke with her to find out more about her thriving business.
You were working as a freelance creative when you got your first commission for a invitation design, which then turned into a series of commissions. Were you surprised by the reaction?
Yes, I was incredibly surprised. I’d been posting my work online for a few years as a freelance designer and illustrator. I was making enough to scrape by, but nothing had really taken off. Once I posted the wedding invitations online and inquiries started flooding in, I was immediately taken aback by the response—in a good way! I was thrilled something that resonated with me was what others were responding to.
Your work walks a fine line between hand lettering, illustration, and graphic design. What are the most difficult parts of the job?
It’s often very difficult to art direct yourself. I’m an illustrator who also wears a Creative Director hat, which means that I have to be very self-critical. When I paint or design something new I step back and ask whether it’s good enough or the right fit for the brand, regardless of whether I personally love it. I’ve probably rejected as many products or invitations as we’ve released.
Which are the most rewarding?
It’s so fun and rewarding to dream ideas and bring them to life. It’s also an amazing feeling to see other people interact with things we’ve created.
What should people look for when they are looking to commission an invitation designer? What questions should they ask?
Look for unique work that feels personal to you and your event. There are so many talented designers doing amazing work and wonderful options for every budget. Ask questions upfront—about timelines, paper quality, the design process, and additional costs—so there are fewer surprises later.
Images © Rifle Paper Co.