Designing a Wedding
As any designer will tell you, designing anything for yourself is always tough. A normal day in the studio involves me working to a brief set by a client, researching their competition and creating a solution that fulfils their requirements and is right for their target audience. However, when you’re the person setting the brief it’s a completely different story! Especially when it’s for your wedding and you’re not 100% sure what you want to achieve in the first place and as a result decide to naively start without a brief!
Getting hands on
We started with the most pressing material, the save the date card, by having a play with what we already had. We have collected between us an array of papers, textures and art supplies so we decided to get a little messy and go DIY at it. Although we had great fun, we immediately found that the stuff we were creating was too formal for us and a little too abstract that it didn’t really say anything about us.
Hurrah! The Brief
Thankfully it wasn’t all in vein as it really made us question what we really wanted. After a bit of head-scratching we decided we wanted something very informal as we’re not very formal people! We also decided we wanted our big day to be far removed from tradition so a traditional / formal design didn’t suit us at all.
We wanted our day to be fun, not just for us, but for everyone and wanted the design to reflect that and to set the tone. It was also important for us that the design reflected the woodland setting in which we were getting married in and where our reception was taking place and to create a theme around that. Most important of all though, we wanted it to be a celebration of us, Dandy, and what better way of doing that than with a party with all our nearest and dearest. Out of this came our mantra: A party in the woods.
Development / Save the date
With our brief in place we set about generating ideas and quickly found ourselves experimenting with a series of leaf and plant vector illustrations to give a nod to Captain’s Wood. We picked leafs that were local to the woodland such as ferns, but also wanted to include our favourite the cheese plant leaf and a few others. The typeface was perhaps the easiest part for us…if it’s a celebration of Dandy, we have to use the Dandy Does typeface Northern Soul! DUH! Colours were also quite easy to decide on. There are wonderful tones of green in any woodland, but we also wanted to incorporate a soft pink to the scheme and the odd bit of gold which would be the colour of our rings. After this the design process went quite quickly, editing and tinkering until we reached our desired design.
Creating the save the date was a creative experience for us both and the more we started to talk about the wedding the more ideas we started to have. This led to us wanting to create a Dandy marry brand and what brand doesn’t have a logo? We knew that we could use the logo on pretty much everything, from the invites to our take home wedding favour for our guests – a branded glass from Confetti. We even got a stamp made of the logo which we used on pizza boxes, coasters and anything else we could stamp! Love a stamp.
With the ‘brand’ in hand, we set off translating it into the invite. The bit that involved the most thought was what information to include and how to lay it out. There is so much information to tell your wedding guests about your big day! This could have led to an invite pack containing various printed materials, one for the invite, one for dietary requirement, accommodation, transport blah blah blah. We weren’t keen on this at all. We wanted to limit how much we printed so decided to put the most important information on a double sided printed invite and to put the rest on a bespoke wedding webpage hosted on our blog where our guests could also RSVP.
I love paper stock. It’s my thing and as we were limiting how much we were printing, it had to make an impact! After all my reputation was on the line. To save costs we wanted to print the invites at home on our no thrills inkjet printer. If I’m honest, I also liked that this gave us quality control of the entire process. We sourced different fancy paper stocks to sample and to see if our printer could even handle them. We fell in love with Conqueror Connoisseur, a 100% Cotton paper stock, that felt soft to the touch and was available in a heavy weight (300gsm) stock that our printer could handle.
That wasn’t enough for me though. I wanted to make it even move special. I wanted the invite to be thicker and heavier and to give that sense of importance. As a solution I remembered back to a technique that my old university lecturer showed me when I faced the same problem when making my own business cards – laminating. Basically, sandwiching paper together.
We decided to print the front and back side by side on one piece of paper and simply folded it in half. This effectively doubled the thickness of the invite. In between the fold, I added a sheet of pink card so when someone held it they could see a pink line around the edge of the invite. After sticking the three sheets together with spray mount, and weighing them down when drying to form a strong bond, I simply trimmed them out with a sharp scalpel, and hey presto they were done!
With the invites sent out and with a huge weight off our shoulders we started to think about everything else that was left and what other things we could make that we could brand and that would be fun! After all, you’ve got to enjoy doing it, especially when there’s a million other wedding based things to get on with! As a result we designed and created cake boxes (a homage to one of our favourite movies The Grand Budapest Hotel and the brilliant designer of Mendl’s, Annie Atkins), posters, photo props, various signs, tattoos, cocktail cards, labels for a drink dispensers, table quizzes, colouring sheets and numerous other Dandy things!
Photography all from the superb Jess Soper.