When Carl emailed me asking if I’d be interested in helping him and his soon-to-be-wife out with invites, I never expected the job to turn into one of the most pleasant working experiences I’ve had so far.
They were looking for an interesting invite that wouldn’t cost them an arm and a leg to print. At the time, I was working at Biola and had access to the on-site print shop that did great digital work. So I decided to go that route. Carl had left the concept up to me, the only things he asked for were caricatures of himself and Ariel and the use of the wedding colors. So I set off to complete the first of his requests. He wanted himself drawn as a fox, and Ariel drawn as a bird. In hindsight, I don’t believe he actually asked for caricatures, he just wanted a fox and a bird used on the invite. I decided that they should resemble the bride and groom a bit.
I started by choose what illustration style to go with. Without a whole lot of insight into the style of the wedding (they weren’t that far along in planning yet) I decided to go with an illustration style that could work for a few styles. Borrowing from a foggy nostalgia of 60’s illustration (an era I did not technically live through, but grew up among it’s artifacts thanks to my grandparents fully furnished 1966 home never, ever changing) I sketched out two concepts.
I sent the sketches off to the couple and received an immediate response to the effect of, “yes! Love them!” Which left me, no doubt, in a state of shock. Not to say that my first round of sketches weren’t good – I’m just used to a more “hands on” approach when dealing with ANY client, let alone an about-to-be-married couple. If there’s anyone on the planet who has a plethora of un-focussed opinions and “likes” its a newly engaged bride. But so far, this was not the case.
Once I finished the next round of illustration refinements, I sent those off to yet ANOTHER punctual and resounding “yes! love!’ As so I moved on.
Something I forgot to mention is the fact that Carl, the groom, is my cousin. So, as I would hope you’d assume, I wanted this invite to be affordable – but AWESOME. So I devised a way to create an interesting invite, with minimal printing or assembly. The idea was to have a three panle card, scored twice and cut on the diagonal from one end to the other. I walked over to the print shop, and chatted with one of the printers there to see if what I was think would be possible. He was all game to try it out. So after explaining this idea to Carl & Ariel via email, I sent off the first official proof.
I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was, when they returned with oohs and ahhhs and one text edit. In my 9 years in the design industry – this. has. never. happened.
It might have been an understatement when I said this was the most pleasant working relationship I’d had to date. It was down right shocking.
So I made the one change and off to press we go! We ordered the envelopes online, and I created a stamp to be used for the return address. And like all good couples this side of 2010, we used bakers twine to tie the whole thing together.
At the end of the day, these invites cost the couple about a dollar per invite. So I felt pretty good about that. And they felt pretty good about how it turned out.