Mar 21 2010

Wedding Invitation Design Experiments

I’m getting married in June.  I am Captain Procrastination as well as Captain I-can-do-it-all-myself. These two things? They are not a good combination. These are important details, remember them for later. Needless to say, my invitations are not yet in the mail. Nor are they printed. They are, however, designed, finally.

I am one of those people who knows enough about Adobe’s products to be dangerous. I could have gone to one of the multiple very cool, funky, interesting wedding invitation sites and ordered some very, very cool wedding invitations. I also know enough about printing and the wedding stationery business to be just as dangerous. First, I know the difference between engraved invitations, thermographed invitations, and letterpress invitations. I also know they are are all RIDICULOUSLY expensive! Gorgeous! But ridiculously expensive all the same. I’m working on wedding number two, here, so a) I get to pay for everything myself and b) I’m not spending a ton of money on formal/traditional wedding invitations.

So, my basic plan is this: Design my invitations; send the paper and design off with the fiancé to work where they will be professionally printed and die-cut at an incredible discount; assemble, address, and mail off the invitations; profit.  Naturally, my first steps would be to rough out an invitation idea and find myself some paper.

I got a serious case of designer’s block faced with the blank white canvas of the invitation design. Lots of excuses were dreamed up. “I can’t work on this right now, I just moved into my new house!  I have to unpack!” “I’m just so busy with work.” “I’ll get to it after I relax with a little bit of World of Warcraft.” “It can wait till tomorrow, right? Right. Totally. No big deal.” “It’s my birthday, I can’t do this on my birthday!”

The time finally came to buckle down and just get it done. I gave up illusions of something original, funky, and swirly because I’m just not that good at manipulating my tools to get those kinds of designs. I’ve never been an illustrator. I’m a great tracer, but that seemed like the wrong tactic to take on this. Not that I’m against tracing things. Sometimes, you have to trace one shape or object to get the look for your finished project. I had settled on something very simple involving some visual interest surrounding an accented bit of type, an ampersand.

Somewhere, I got it into my head that I wanted Stonehenge on my wedding invitations. It was where we got engaged, it had an influence on us picking the site for our wedding ceremony (we found an outdoor, fixed sculpture in Solomons, Maryland called The Council Ring that consists of a bunch of standing stones, specifically for gatherings) and has just kind of been our “thing”. And then I found this:

Look at that bit of line drawing. Isn’t that just wonderful!? I think so. Of course I found it on the internet. Which meant it had absolutely NO business being used in a print piece as-is. Remember how I said I was Captain Procrastination? You know what’s more fun than anything else for someone procrastinating? A distraction! Especially when that distraction is justified as useful for the desired end goal now taking a back seat to the distraction. I couldn’t work on the invitations with my schmancy ampersand! I needed to make this perfect Stonehenge graphic print-worthy! If I failed? Eh, I would still have my ampersand idea.

Again, I totally know just enough about stuff to be dangerous. I know how to take something completely un-printable and make it printable. And make it printable, I did. Not only did I get to procrastinate more on a really fun project, but it worked out in the end!

So, I finally had my invitation design, replete with colors, interesting fonts, and STONEHENGE! All ready to get sent to the printer for a quote and also some advice on their overall printing capabilities. This led to the need to find paper. Which turned into a whole other kind of saga. There will be much talk about the paper, because that story leads down other paths of fun wedding preparations that just plain make me happy!

1 comment

    • Mike on March 21, 2010 at 1:42 pm
    • Reply

    Paper was definitely one of our biggest adventures — we ended up going all the way to Annapolis to get it.

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