I can’t help it – I am a total stationery nut job. Whenever I get given a business card, before I’ve read it i’ll have have gauged its thickness and assessed the finish between thumb and finger. When a brand new print job arrives hot off the press, the first thing I want to do is give it a smell…
*Ahem* confessions over – let’s talk design…
Two of the most popular emerging design trends in recent years have undoubtedly been typography and illustration. The evidence is all around us – in the media, in our glossy magazines and even lining the streets upon which we walk.
The Not So Olden Days.
A few years ago if a designer had presented a concept for a new billboard campaign that solely relied on a few well chosen fonts with no images at all, they’d be laughed out of the boardroom with a P45 wedged up inside their little beanie hat (all designers wore a little beanie around this time – outdoors, indoors and regardless of season). Likewise, if asked to create some loosely hand drawn imagery for a new brand or product launch, said designer would scratch at head through beanie hat and wonder why you hadn’t gone to talk to an illustrator instead.
Of course the art of typography and indeed the art of illustration are not new ideas – they are art forms from a bygone era, a time of letraset, letterpress and pens, ink and paints – a time long before MacBooks and Adobe Photoshop. But, just like with fashion, trends cycle and what was old becomes new and today’s designer has to be au fait with all of these disciplines to stay on trend, and the wedding stationery business is no exception.
Let’s have a look at how these two very different trends are starting to have a real impact on your W-day design.
1. Typographic Design.
Typography is very much an art from. Font choice, letter spacing, line spacing, colour and placement are key to a successful design and these subtle skills of judgement are not to be sniffed at. If you don’t get it just right, quite frankly it can look rubbish…
And this movie inspired typographic design above from Yield Ink is anything but rubbish! The spacing, stripped back colour scheme and the way the various fonts interact all appear effortless – a sure sign of the craftsmanship required to produce a design as clean as this. Yield Ink utilise traditional crafts and even have a vintage letterpress on which they produce much of their work. Snazzy.
In the example above the emphasis of the work is firmly placed upon the text. They say that a picture paints a thousand words, but it’s a shame to miss out if the thousand words are all as pretty as these ones by RSVP Candy.
A real stand out wedding of 2011 for me was the marriage of Ruth and Rob. Both designers at Raw Design Studio, they branded their wedding to perfection. Typography became a theme that ran through the whole event. They even created a little R&R logo. Very sweet, very creative and absolutely bang on trend.
Next up, combining text with a single repeated heart shape in various colours and patterns gave the invitations below, designed by Rose Mountague, a country garden bunting-esque appeal that totally nailed the brief.
In this beautifully decorated wedding that we featured back in August 2011 you can see how typography suits a back garden rustic affair just as much as it does a cool contemporary wedding.
2. Illustrative Design.
The other design-trend-of-the-moment can be as basic or as intricate as your imagination (or perhaps your designers imagination) will allow.
The great thing with illustration is that we can all have a go at it, and with modern printing and production facilities it may well be the case that, if you posses at least one creative bone in your body, you may well be able to knock up some wedding stationery that is actually pretty good, and of course very, very personal to you. Try it – you might surprise yourself!
Bryony and Jamie created an illustration that they reproduced throughout their extensive range of home made wedding stationery. Just like Ruth and Rob, they created themselves a little wedding brand. With the right choice of materials, knowing your limits and by playing to your strengths, your home made branding can look absolutely spot on.
We recently shared with you the wedding of Caro and Simon – and they received such a response to their umbrella themed hand finished wedding stationery, that Caro and an illustrator friend, who designed and created the items have decided to start offering the service to others – if you would like more information then you can drop the girls an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also love the design below, in a similar vein of illustration – almost a call back to the simple and innocent quality of a school exercise book doodle. This is from another RMW real wedding and the design is by Kate Blake.
Right, I have one last thing to show you today, and if you are digging the free style, simple and fun illustrative vibe we are on, you are going to LOVE this.
The Little Peach is a brand spanking new wedding stationery designer, specialising in screen-printing. I took to these designs like a designer to a beanie hat – because having done a bit of screen-printing in my time (I went to art college don’t you know ;)) I truly do understand the time and skill that goes into creating each of these magnificent prints. They are all original little works of art.
I love the simple colour schemes, the interesting materials, the witty and fun illustrations and the attention to detail. Everything, and I mean everything is hand finished. I am officially in stationery heaven :).
It is easy to think that your wedding stationery starts and stops with save the dates and invitations but that is not necessarily the case. If you wish, you can incorporate a design that touches every single aspect of your wedding day.
I guess this leads me nicely onto a few final thoughts…
How important to you is your wedding stationery? It’s hard coming from a design background for me not to place it RIGHT UP THERE (above the dress maybe…?) I would be interested to hear where it sits with you peeps who are currently in the throws of W-day planning.
And who is thinking about making their own stationery?
Of course I have only shared the tiny body of work that I am currently pouring over, there are loads of styles, designs and great stationers out there, so please share anything you’ve seen that you like. That’s what it’s all about folks.