Happy Holidays! – here are a couple of cards with seasonal sentiments. I found these fun photos at the Library of Congress.
Come see Antonia Designs at the Baltimore Bridal Show – 2nd and 3rd February 2013!
Today I’m giving you a quick preview and teaser. I will be having promotions like this half price admission. Use it to come see Antonia Designs and come away with lots of ideas and information that I will turn into your dreamy wedding invitation.
Stay tuned for an event discount on wedding invitations.
We all want to have a memorable holiday card. One way to do that is make it personal so it speaks to who you are. This one I designed was for a tri-lingual ice skater. She got many compliments on it. It’s simple but goes to the heart – and has seasons greetings in three languages.
I also like to tap into years past for holiday inspiration. A vintage card is wonderfully evocative – full of nostalgia. Here’s a sneak peek of my own holiday card this year.
How are you going to freshen up your holiday cards?
Yes, you can have a traditional wedding invitation with timeless panache!
My mission is to create the essence of what will speak of you and your wedding. With a little guidance I can cut through all the overwhelming possibilities and choice so that when you see my designs you’ll feel I’ve captured the spirit of your wedding. This is one of my great strengths and a wonderful reason to work with me on your wedding invitation suite.
Lets say that when we talk it becomes clear you’re looking for something traditional that is sleek – more geometric than floral. You don’t want an invitation that could have been made a hundred years ago – you’re not thinking retro or vintage – but you want to keep to the conventions. Your style is updated traditional.
Here are two different suites that fit your bill – they are inspired by a mod and art deco style, but take on a flair of their own:
As you can see, this isn’t vintage but has all the elements of a traditional wedding invitation design and modern pizzazz.
Of course it’s fun to give a vintage or retro feel – it’s all about the look you want to achieve. With some tweaks, my second treatment is contemporary with a hint of Art Deco flavor:
An added boon is that these wedding invitation suites suit gay weddings too. Many of the less-traditional wedding invitations out there are not going be right for two chaps getting married (as wedding invitations tend to lean towards a feminine style). That’s not to say men don’t have more personal style wedding invitation ideas – stay tuned for a blog post on that.
Getting to the heart of your style can be overwhelming – but I can help make sure that you have the wedding invitation that epitomizes your celebration.
We all have a vision of Thanksgiving. I found this classic vision at the National Archives. The photos were part of the United States Information Agency collection. This Agency explained different aspects of the US abroad, including American culture.
What could be more American than these Thanksgiving photos?
A wedding monogram or logo is a simple visual that identifies you as a couple and creates your own signature for all wedding related goods. It’s useful for so many things – fun to have on napkins at the wedding and stickers come in very handy for all sorts of things like thank you notes. The possibilities abound.
Here’s one I designed. I did it in conjunction with an invitation that will be featured in my next blog post.
Don’t panic! It’s not hard to design your own wedding monogram or logo. They are generally very simple and have several standard elements that are easy to mix and match:
You’ll want to choose a font for your wedding logo that reflects who you are – it can be inspired by your invitation, or just a font that you both like. This choice will also give an idea of the type of wedding you’re having – will it be quirky or traditional? You don’t have to give this a lot of thought – go with your gut.
You can keep it pared down and create a really powerful monogram with letters and simple geometry. You can make your wedding logo round, square, oblong – even triangular. Also flipping black and white can be very effective. This font is Haettenschweiler.
Perhaps you want a border or decoration. Once you’ve got your inspiration there’s some lovely clip art out there you could use. This link is just a ‘borders’ category but you can refine it by search to suit your needs – say floral.
Make sure you pick something that fits with the style of your monogram. Here we have a strong, hefty look using Braggadocio font, so the braid is appropriate and symbolizes union quite nicely.
In this version, the font (Harrington) is quite playful and lends itself to fantasy. Again, I used free clip art.
Make use of ampersands, plus signs and other special characters in your wedding logo – they do add special character.
Because of the nature of a wedding monogram or logo, it really can be a quick DIY job. Play about with what’s on your page – the composition will come together. Go ahead and give it a whirl and let me know how you get on. Or if you’re feeling overwhelmed, please contact me! I’d be delighted to design a wedding monogram or full invitation suite for you.
Q.USING COLOR:Welcome Miles! I’m so excited about your new book! I’ve noticed that many of your rooms use really bold colors, often in unusual combinations. That can be tough to pull off though, and I’m wondering if you have some advice about choosing color combinations that are daring, but not clashing. Thanks!
A.MILES REDD : People always say that, but really, my color choices are not so bold- all you have to do is look in nature. The most interesting combinations already exists – acid green lichen on grey/brown bark, a monarch butterfly wing- and all the flora and fauna of the ocean….It is all there!
This got me thinking about color palettes – in fact, color palettes in nature. Yesterday I visited Shanendoah National Park’s Skyline Drive. The weather was sunny, the light fantastic, the fall foliage phenomenal. It as an intoxicating combination of harmony and vibrancy.
We saw color on a broad canvas, taking in a whole mountainside:
Choosing a graphic designer can be overwhelming – a simple web search can leave you reeling and more confused. Here are a few tips to help you select a graphic designer with whom you’ll be thrilled.
Recommendations: Word of mouth recommendations are the best. Friends and business acquaintances will give you a good starting point.
Is the graphic designer’s style your vibe: Although a graphic designer should be versatile, you will know to which style you’re drawn. Spend some time with online portfolios of those you admire to get a feel for their work. If you’re seeking someone to design a logo or an wedding invitation, don’t just look at these areas of the portfolio. Consider all the designs as well as the website itself. This will give you a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the the designer and help you choose the person with the right design approach.
Your Voice: Your graphic design should articulate who you are – not speak of the graphic designer’s style. How much versatility do you see in a particular graphic designer’s portfolio? If all the designs have a particular stamp then you won’t get a design that speaks of who you are and tells your story.
Rapport: Your graphic design will represent you: branding, an invitation, a logo. It is important that you feel comfortable with the person who is going make something that is in essence intimate to your voice. A good graphic designer is able grasp your vision and articulate that in the design. This requires good communication.
Process: Make sure you understand what the graphic designer is offering and what to expect. How many designs will be prepared for your consideration? Will there be any research planned? What is the provision for edit rounds of the design? It’s important there are no misunderstandings. Don’t forget what you want from the process – do you want to be involved or not, for example?
If you break down finding a graphic designer into such manageable steps you’ll find you have a rewarding partnership with the designer you choose.
Think I might be a good fit for your next graphic design project? Contact me.
It is easy to forget that graphic design and the written word should be considered in tandem. To gain maximum impact when embarking on a new webpage, brochure – or any other other type of branding material – the graphic design and the text should be dance partners.
All too often the graphic designer and the artist are not choreographing together. This is a mistake as the final product will not reach its full potential punch. Quite a while back my colleague and I wrote a history of The George Washington University’s Business School for its seventy-fifth anniversary. I researched and wrote on this project but I also found all the visual material for the graphic designer and brainstormed with him about it.
This history was a glossy, short book. Its import for the Business School, and why it was commissioned, had a strong marketing component. While still a serious history, that informed the book’s tone and audience.
A top rule in branding is: know your audience and know your purpose. It’s imperative to address for your audience in language they grasp and a tone which will grasp their interest. To that end, I found it useful to have something visual to articulate the major topics and themes in a chapter. Using a key document for the Business School as background behind a chapter title became a signpost. It sets up the Chapter before the reader begins.
The same purpose holds of the photo at the start of another Chapter, this one about the Business School in the Nineteen Fifties. The lively, upbeat photo also sets the tone and expectations for the reader – guiding your audience.
You want your audience to connect in a very personal way – to feel an affinity. I accomplished this by inserting, as part of the graphic design, important or humorous anecdotal stories. This didn’t interrupt the historical narrative but gave snapshots that help the audience engage, keep their attention and give them a bite sized piece of information to take way. This is a way to make marketing or branding material resonate.
Ultimately, of course, each project is different – but the goals are the same. The anniversary history illustrates the depth of vision, thought, skill, and digging that I bring to a branding or marketing project. I do all this with an eye to the visual and the words working together. The graphic design and the text are two dancers. They could be doing ballroom or maybe it’s a Latin dance. But this is a partnered dance – the graphic design and the visuals need to dance together.
People often find it hard to articulate what epitomizes them visually speaking. I have one client who really values my skills in this area. I’m always happy for clients to be as little or as much involved in the process as they wish. This client wants to be able to hand over to me her holiday card or invitation and not have to think about it, knowing it’s in good hands. She’s thrilled when a quick verbal sketch of the vision she has in mind comes back ‘better than I could have imagined’, as she put it once.
One of the things I offer is a knack for tapping into what sort of look will suit you and your style. Let me give you some insight into my process. Recently I designed this card for a wedding shower:
I specifically wanted it reflect the ‘traditional but with a modern gleam-in-the-eye twist’ I saw in the bride. This led me to choose that most sweet, beautiful and traditional of flower: lily of the valley. It has many meanings, but my favorite is ‘return to happiness’. I combined the curves of the flowers with a flowing, confident script for the word ‘Love’ – to underscore the traditional part of the card.
Turning to the modern twist, I portrayed the blooms, chose the colors and made the overall design with a modern eye. I wanted to make sure the card had nothing in common with a sentimental Victorian card.
This is one example of how I create a design that will speak to you and of you. Let me help you create the vision that epitomizes your occasion and your style.
In my next blog post I will discuss doing this for an organization – branding.