Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Letterpressed and Stressed

I won't mince words: Our invitation design process was aggravating. For this reason, I won't be sharing the name of the designer we worked with to create and print our letterpress suite. (Feel free, though, to PM me with specific questions; I do think it's important not to sugarcoat the situation.)

Although creating this design was stressful -- it took close to 20 very different versions before ours resembled the ideas I had shared with the designer over eight weeks earlier, at the start of our collaboration -- I am, in fact, really quite proud of it, since (by necessity) I ended up taking a very active role in the process. (For example, emailing the exact flower style I wanted to use as inspiration in the suite, recommending consistency in the number of dots accenting the invitation and reception card and asking our designer to fix the kerning between Mr. Bruschetta's first, middle and last names on the invitation.)

Since my education is in public relations and communication, I'd been really intrigued by how we could "brand" our wedding. And once Etsy led me to our awesome calligrapher, and I fell for one of her styles, I knew I'd found the perfect element to weave throughout our wedding. We featured Fran's gorgeous "Cocktail" lettering throughout our suite -- she even dreamed up what I'll call "Cocktail 2.0," incorporating some extra swirls and twirls, so our names on the invitation would stand apart slightly from the rest of the script-y words and phrases.

Truly, Fran's contributions are my absolute favorite part of our invitations. Her lettering practically pops off the page, and coordinates perfectly with the "Cocktail" addresses adorning the envelopes.

And, while like I mentioned above, our invitations came with more drama than a soap opera, I won't go into any more of that here -- because aren't you just so curious to see what they look like?!

(Please note: The suite I photographed includes pieces the mister and I handpicked so we would have a keepsake that is as close to perfect as possible. You'll see rich coloring -- because my new camera is great! -- that I enhanced with some very basic photo editing. I've also [rather poorly] covered up information I'd prefer remain private. Most of the other pieces we received had much more inconsistent coloring, and a number also arrived with damaged corners after being shipped with inadequate packaging/padding.)

This is the whole suite together. Fran indulged me with a faux address on an outer envelope bearing our Weddingbee monikers so I could show off her beautiful lettering as much as possible. All the letterpressed text is a very deep purple, as is the envelope liner.

The actual invitation, which reveals another part of my oft-mispronounced name. (Since I'm keeping my maiden name, I opted to include all three!) I hate that I had to cover up our last names -- they include some of my favorite "Cocktail 2.0" lettering!

The reception card, which is slightly smaller than the invitation, includes specifics about our two evening venues, and directs guests to our wedding blog for additional information.

Although I'd been admiring creatively-worded RSVP cards, we opted for a more simply-phrased one -- we wanted the focus to be on the entree selection (big surprise, huh?). Trust me, all three are incredibly delicious, and come with much longer descriptions than we were able to fit on the response card!

And here's how everything looked before sealing the outer envelope.

In addition to our family and friends, we included several VIPs on our mailing list. (I took the next two pictures inside the post office, after explaining to the postal worker that I needed these shots for a wedding blog.)

The moral of the story? Well, I guess it's that you get what you pay for. Deliciously deep impressions and consistent coloring comes with a hefty price tag we couldn't justify. (The picture below shows the variation in the orange ink -- which is more pronounced in person than in photographs -- that was an issue throughout the suite. We were hoping the orange ink would match the shade of our return envelopes, but on some pieces, it's much lighter -- almost a honey-ish yellow.)

We weren't totally pleased withe the quality of the pieces, yet we continue to hear wonderful compliments from our guests. (Although I'll be the first to admit that I'm not an awesome designer like some of the other super talented bees!)

I'll be working with another stationer to design and print the other paper products for our wedding, including menus, program covers and thank you notes. I can't wait until these are completed, and look forward to sharing them with the hive!

Anyone else so smitten with letterpress that you couldn't resist it for your wedding invitations?

No comments:

Post a Comment