- Weddingbee DIY
- 9 years ago
When Weddingbee reader Sarah introduced me to Nicole and Cabel’s wedding, I knew we had to feature it on Weddingbee, so I contacted them right away. Part One of this Real Wedding series will introduce you to the awesome pixel theme Nicole and Cabel created for their wedding. In Part Two, you’ll get a glimpse into how their theme came together on their fabulous wedding day!
Most of the time we have brides sharing their perspective on the big day, but we’re extra excited that Cabel is giving us the groom’s view today!
I spent a too-long amount of time brainstorming the foundation of our design. First, I knew I wanted to incorporate Nicole’s love of visual contrast — she who is so fond of a super-dark gray cloudy sky with a burst of a blue showing through, or a beautiful flower popping up through tired concrete. Second, I knew that the design had to represent both of us, a little piece of each. I know, right? As much as I’d love to make a wedding invitation with photos of say, photos of the latest flavors of Sun Chips (”You’re invited to our peppercorn-ranchuptuals!”), it probably wouldn’t play too well outside of, uh, me.
Then, two key words popped into my mind:
Retro 8-bit quirky and fun but elegant and beautiful and colorful. Perfect. I immediately remembered seeing a magazine illustration by the amazing Nick Dewar of pixelated blossoms somewhere once. With Nick’s illustration serving as mental inspiration (thank you, Nick!), it was time to get cracking.
Save The Date
The first thing we had to tackle was the age-old “save the date”. Due some tardiness with the art director (sorry!), we decided to do it electronically to get it out the door instantly. Otherwise there’d be no date to save.
Enter friend and artistic genius David Lanham, out of the Coda icon. He graciously found time to to lend his illustrative talents to this project.
The first bit David cranked out was a perfect little pixel illustration of myself and Nicole, that I hoped we could use in a variety of places throughout the project. It went through some fun variations:
As you can see, we started off super micro (and I looked a little bit like Gob from Arrested Development about to perform a magic trick), then we got super (super) deformed, and finally with a bit more nudging I think David nailed it with the last one — it’s cute, with just a dash of disturbing. Just like us! Uhh..
Illustration in hand, it was my turn. A few fonts, some colors, a clean layout, and a little extra something on my t-shirt (what is that? a tri-force? I honestly don’t know why I added it) and it was ready to be e-mailed!
That’s it. Simple. To the point. Fun.
Technical notes: I used e3 Software’s truly excellent Direct Mail application to send it out. It’s got a great statistics view that can show you how many people opened up the message, assuming their mail reader loads images by default. Font wise, that’s Metroscript by Alphabet Soup for the logotype, and House Industries’ Neutra 2 for the details. I used Neutra 2 primary because I wanted to be the last person to use this font. I love it, but I literally see it everywhere, all day long. So, sorry, suckers! You’re not allowed to use this font because I’m the last guy. I called it. It’s done, font closed. Use something else. Myself included. Don’t look at the Coda header.
Onto the master illustration itself. Once I fully explained what was on my mind, David quickly cranked out a sketch of the core idea: an elegant tree, with little pixel flowers on it.
I wanted to take it into more “tree” than “branch”, so I pitched the idea of having it wrap-around to the back of the invitation. David translated this into a rough layout sketch:
I liked it! But the tree seemed a little super-wide. With that in mind, it was time to make it “real”.
Finally, wanting to shed the peach color and fill more space after committing to a text-free cover, we arrived here:
Awesome. Yay, David! It was time to start getting print-ready.
I had decided on using letterpress for these invitations. It’s good for small print runs, and it’s also such a visceral, physical technique. If you ever get a chance to watch letterpress machines in action, it’s mesmerizing and also tinged with danger. I found a great, local, and now-highly-recommended print shop — Egg Press — who were happy to tackle the job.
I went through their paper samples and picked one, but ink colors were harder for me — I looked at their stock inks but none of them were quite. It was time to bust out the Pantone book and pick three spot colors (for an extra charge, naturally). For the record, it’s Pantone 510U, 5225U, and 5205U!
Then I re-formulated the art to fit the correct paper size, drawing an extra branch here and a flower there.
I was done. It was printin’ time.
The invitations were now ready to go.
I love the texture, rough print, and embossed feel of letterpress. It made the “physical” nature of this job even more fulfilling.
There was one final surprise on the finished piece.
Since letterpress creates an actual physical impression in the paper when it stamps the ink, I thought it would be interesting to do one letterpress plate without ink — our pixel selves, subtly debossed on the inside.
As a bonus, since the impression runs deep, we’re also embossed on the outside, and it’s carefully aligned so that it looks like we’re standing under the tree. Sort-of.
That’s it! Here are scans of the finished piece:
One last stop before the postal office: custom stamps. We decided to use zazzle.com for this — as should be glaringly obvious. The giant zazzle advertisement (zazzvertisement?) on every stamp was a huge negative, but a high-quality pixel stamp was hard to pass up.
to be continued…
(To check out the original post, click here.)