Although the past months have been incredibly busy and I haven’t had as much time as I would have loved to dedicate towards my challenges, I will always continue to set challenges and push myself for the remainder of the year. It’s never too late!
My 6th challenge will be dedicated to the smartest, funniest and most wonderful man in my life, my father. On the occasion of his 50th birthday, I will be designing a book compiling special moments throughout his life. It’s time to dig through old photos and documents.
Brainstorming starts.. now!
My next challenge is by far the hardest one yet. I will be dabbling into video. My Canon 7D HD Video capture and I are stoked!
Exactly what I will be making and for whom shall remain a surprise. But here’s a clue, an inspirational video for this challenge:
There is nothing in a designer’s world like a beautifully crafted letter and a mind-blowing infinite collection of fonts. I’ve wanted to design my own font for the longest time and it’s been at the top of my 1212 Design Challenges list.
So why not just do it? And why not print it on a snowboard? It feels so great to combine my love for typography and snowboarding design.
For starters, check out my inspiration on my Typography Pinterest Board.
By this point, the bride and I decided not to do a wax stamp anymore because of various reasons. The logo would just go on the invitation. Here is a screenshot of some initial developed ideas…
And after lots of tweaking, the winner is…
Which wedding invitation fonts to use? With so many options, it is hard to get lost, but here is how I broke down this “situation”.
First, I choose between a serif or sans serif font for the body. Since the invitations are in Romanian, I had a limited amount of fonts to chose from because the Romanian alphabet uses diacritics. My limited collection of fonts that incorporates Romanian diacritics includes Helvetica Neue, Trajan Pro and Garamond Pro. That limits me to only three fonts, but makes the body font selection easy.
My next step is choosing a script font to complement the body font. Here are some choices:
By this point, things were coming along nicely….
While designing the wedding invitations, I put together a Delicious Stack with Paper Resources websites. Paper choice is just as important as the design of the invitations. Sit back and flip through the collected links and you will understand. The world of paper is a beautiful one indeed.
Also, I started researching vendors. In my case, I decided to go with a local vendor but I also created a delicious stack for online printing vendors.
Feel free to add your own links to both stacks!
My initial thoughts were to hand draw the letters and create something unique. Out of all sketches, I liked the example shown in the bottom right photo the best. I drew it by accident and fell in love with the idea of it more than anything, as it had endless execution possibilities and I could create a fun border around it. That was until (thankfully) I shared this idea with a few people.
Look closely, what do you see in this logo? I’ll tell you what I saw: a heart connecting two letters in an elegant, abstract way. However, other’s didn’t quite agree with my opinion. I was shocked to hear that my heart actually looked like a butt crack to someone else. Oh, and female breasts as well.
How splendid! And how terribly great it would have been if the bride and groom’s family had also noticed butt cracks on the wedding invitations. You know what that meant? I was back to the drawing board…
- Create a theme or mood
Wedding invitations are a first sneak peak to the wedding and need to establish a mood which will eventually be carried throughout all wedding elements. I brainstormed with my bride over the course of a few weeks in locking down this step.
- Beautiful type
Beyond providing information, wedding invitations set a theme through the typography selection. For this project, I spent the majority of my time browsing through thousands of fonts (a typical ‘every other day’ in the life of a graphic designer).
- Keep it simple
One or two typefaces are enough. Illustrations or added elements should be kept to a minimum. Complicated layout designs will distract from the message.
- Center at will
Having all text in the center makes reading much more difficult. However, invitations are typically read slowly and on a one-by-one line basis, making wedding invites an exception (and giving designers the rare opportunity to go ‘wild’ with centering).
- Create Hierarchy
Leading, kerning and weight variations are all examples of things to play with that help distinguish between parts of the invitation and further set the mood.
Keeping these basic rules in mind, I was off creating my first wedding invitations!
I started the research aspect of designing my first wedding invitations back in December, when I had a meeting with the bride (who also happens to be the best type of client a designer could ever ask for—she knew exactly what she wanted and clearly expressed it). Here are some things we discussed during our first meeting:
- we are going with a classic look & feel
- I will be creating a logo with the bride and groom’s initials that will be used on the invites
- the logo will also be used as a wax stamp on envelopes
- since the wedding will be in Romania and guests will RSVP through phone/email, the invite will consist of only one slit of paper
- a low budget, beautiful design, simple yet sophisticated invitation is in order
Next, we looked at an old wedding invitation which the bride loved: my parents wedding invitation. This was my first time seeing it and I must admit—I was quite impressed. It looks pretty good considering the fact that it was designed and printed with very limited resources during the Communist regime, over 25 years ago.
This was a great start… or so I thought! Stay tuned all of next week as I blog each step of the process, including a few things that went wrong along the way.