My brother Des and his fiancee Caroline are getting married later this year. (Yippee, I get to visit Australia). We started brainstorming; thinking about the invitations.
The venue is at the Maritime Museum – both Des and Carolines’ fathers served in the Royal Dutch Navy, so this is very appropriate. We wanted a nautical feel while keeping a balance of sophistication and a natural-outdoors-feel. This defined a colour scheme in the blue spectrum. Think of an early evening ceremony – sort of champagne at the beach!
My first idea was to incorporate semaphore somewhere. (My mother was a Wren, so she and my father could get away with waving flags around to tell secrets in front of the children!) I spent a while decoding and working out a message, then did a sketch, and printed a strip of card that could go around the invitation, or perhaps down the side.
The next step was to design their names for the invitation.
I love wild fluent lettering. This is always a bit hit and miss and it is possible to “get it right” by rewriting it all day and choosing the best one. On the other hand, what am I trying to prove by doing it this way? Sure if it has to go on an original work then you practise until it’s as good as it will ever be, don’t stop for lunch, take a deep breath and write. When lettering is part of an artwork on good paper, little skids etc. are fine. If it is on pure white paper to be printed it needs to be perfect as the light / paper quality / tactile surface is not there to protect your lettering. But for reproduction stay with the one that feels the loveliest and touch up, swop letters, fiddle with spacing etc. just as long as the outcome looks fresh and vibrant. Anyway, here is the original.
Photoshop: First I turn up the contrast (not sure why the first one is so grey and not more black). Then select the white areas, inverse and paint all the dark areas pitch-black. Most of the touching up involved thickening lines which had got lost – which takes a while and very careful pixel-by-pixel painting. Save it so that you can backtrack if need be. Now, select the black areas with the magic wand and paint it with the gradient tool choosing your colour blends. We likes the idea of turquoise to aqua which gives it a sense of life.
The next stage is to see how to combine the different elements to make a unified whole following the brief of: “nautical, while keeping a balance of sophistication and a natural-outdoors-feel.”
All this happened a few months ago – I could not release the design until the family and friends had received the invitation. They have all been sent out in those envelopes I described how to print, in a previous post. You’ll see the rest in due course – maybe on Monday.
In the meantime Caroline found 10 meters of the silk fabric of her dreams in Singapore and they went on holiday to Vietnam where they had their wedding outfits made.