After graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2005, Eva Petersen moved to Miami, where she worked at various galleries in the Wynwood arts district and as an educator and research assistant at the Miami Art Museum, before serving as art director for Wynwood, the Art Magazine. During this time, Petersen created postcards and flyers for the galleries’ various events, which led to freelance work designing invitations for Miami’s Paper Fetish Design Studio. “While I was there, I had other projects, but I started turning down more and more to focus on invitation design, which was more rewarding to me,” Petersen says. She launched her own custom invitation company, Eva Petersen Design in January.
Petersen works one-on-one with clients to design graphics, hand-drawn illustrations, embellishments, and specialty packaging that fit the theme and tone of their events as well as their budgets. “I really enjoy working with people to show them how they can integrate art and design into their events. My best products come out when the client gives a lot of feedback and gets involved,” she says.
If planners aren’t sure of what they’re looking for, Petersen will present a menu of à la carte styles and details that they can mix and match to create invites, menus, or place cards. “Sometimes people [tell designers] they don’t have a budget because they don’t know what [number] to give, so the designer creates a proposal and they end up paying a lot more. This way the client knows exactly what they are getting and at what cost,” she says.
For the Y.M.C.A.’s fund-raising gala last October, Petersen created save-the-dates in a textured black box with a peacock feather on top and invites on pearlized champagne-colored paper with text in blue, green, and gold—the colors of the event’s decor. “She really pays a lot of attention to every detail,” says Jennifer Diliz, former director of annual giving and special events for the Y.M.C.A. of Greater Miami. “People called me after they got the invite to ask who designed it, because they wanted [to hire] her.”