I was all of a twitter to create a suite for a Persian themed wedding. The groom is Persian – so lots of lovely Persian wedding invitation delights.
This was not ‘Persian inspired’ – the couple wanted their invitation to be the border from a 1901 binding of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
The binding is a visual feast – and an exhilarating challenge to create from scratch. It was immensely satisfying to develop the antique gold background and the distressed plum color. We added the dome to the wedding invitation itself as it represents a mosque. The final touch was the splash of color given by a couple of peacocks.
A wedding suite must balance the individuality of each piece of stationery while creating a Persian wedding cohesive look for the whole suite. The reception card flipped the background and text colors, making the gold words really pop against the plum.
Color was a unifying factor amongst the different stationery. We also added a grape vine motif to the body of the reception card that was another unifying feature. Since the rehearsal dinner was a different occasion from the Persian wedding theme, I created a trellis border to differentiate, while keep the grape vines.
The grape vines also made an appearance on the bookmarks. This delightful couple were giving a book as a wedding favor, with a personalized bookmark thanking everyone for coming. What could be more charming?
Are you planning on using your heritage for your wedding theme? Let’s delve into its art to create stunning designs that announce and capture what your wedding is all about.
Watch this short video where I discuss Art Deco inspiration, how it relates to my work, and the various aesthetics that go into Art Deco. I even show a variety of my vintage Art Deco items to help inspire you!
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Remember our fabulous dog trainer Karen from a few weeks ago? She had a delightful idea – a pad of prescriptions for dog training that she could leave at vets’ offices. What a great way to get the word out.
We wanted to keep it clean and simple – not veer off from the prescription theme. As I put together the design, I realized we needed something more than ‘dog training’ written as the prescription. We needed to explain why Karen was prescribing dog training. We wanted to keep it upbeat and focus on the outcome, not on the ‘symptoms this prescription would alleviate’. What would this prescription achieve? I had a look a her website to find how she described the rewards of using her services. When I came upon ‘a happy environment for everyone in the household’ I knew I had filled that prescription.
What visually creative ways can we get the word out for you?
Flow is on my my mind. I know – can we get back to the beautiful designs please? Who wants to talk about the flow of designing and printing wedding invitations? When you look back and see how smoothly your wedding went and what a good time everyone had, it’s these sort of details that help keep things humming along and reduce the chances of last minute panics.
There are so many different parts to your wedding in your everyday life that you’re juggling, the last thing you need is to worry about is getting the invitations out in time. That’s why I map out a check-list of your invitation flow. This can be passed back and forth and we can all see where we stand. Between chats on the phone, get-togethers and e-mails, it can be hard to keep track of where we are. That’s why I like having overall progress at our our fingertips.
Let’s take envelopes, for example. When we’re in the midst of excitedly discussing designs and going over edits, it’s easy to overlook envelopes. But the last thing you want is for your envelopes to hold up getting your invitations out. In some cases, envelopes are straightforward, but in others they take thought and planning. Do you want them to be a certain shade that picks up a color in your invitation? Do you want them to have an interesting or matching liner? You’ll want lead time to make these decisions without being stressed just to get the envelopes out the door.
These stuffy details count. I’m always excited to find new ways to streamline the process and actually take great pleasure in making sure your invitation flow is seamless, so you don’t have to worry.
Salon Gerard is in the iconic Art Deco Kennedy Warren apartment building. So Gerard was looking for an Art Deco inspired logo for his hair salon. Gerard was looking for something elegant and high end. We chatted a bit then had a change of direction. Sometimes brainstorming ideas for a design is not linear – you find yourself on a bit of a windy route.
Gerard found this amazing hood ornament. It’s actually Lalique – and René Lalique created it in glass. What a thing to do: imagine the mind that decides to make a hood ornament in such a fragile material.
One of few ‘Winged Victory’ hood ornaments left being auctioned at Bonham’s several years ago.
It’s gorgeous and the just right sort of inspiration for Salon Gerard‘s logo. What is particularly lovely about this piece is its luminosity and windswept hair. Just right for a hair salon.
We settled on warm gold/brass tones that shine and are inviting. I enjoyed making the hair into an ‘S’ – another way to highlight the hair. We decided to add some facial features, ensuring a feminine look.
Next we moved onto incorporating Salon Gerard. When we nailed down the typeface, we had to decide on the color. Black would definitely be too stark. We played about with gunmetal and some brown shades for the text. So often there’s versions to compare, choices the consider – it’s part of the process of honing the final design.
When there’s a number of versions, I like putting them all together into a gallery so that it’s easy to compare options. Ultimately we decided on a delightful gunmetal color for Salon Gerard.
Whatever your project, let’s work together to create a design that captures your vision. In this case, it’s elegant and sophisticated, with an Art Deco twist. What’s your vibe?
Plato’s Atlantis – Alexander McQueen, Victoria and Albert Museum
Recently mum and I were lucky enough to go to the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the V&A. It was breathtaking of course – soaring and and full of inventiveness, fantasy and flights of fancy. He was inspired by so many different ideas and cultures and turned them into – well art really. His clothes designs are less fashion, more art and his collections were really ‘shows’ that were a spectacle. For each collection he created a cohesive world. Sometimes these worlds came shrouded from myths –myths and religions around the world, or myths like ‘the noble savage’ – and sometimes they came from nationalism or the exotic. They always capture the imagination and cause quite a stir. What do these strange designs say? What are the clothes trying to convey? Is he a misogynist?
Underpinning this extraordinary vision was incredible skill. Alexander McQueen was apprenticed to a Saville Row tailor and his understanding of how fabric works was unparalleled. Part of what makes his clothes incredible is the the way the fabric drapes and hangs and moves. This was the main thing I took away from the exhibit. I’d never seen his designs ‘in the flesh’ and I spent quite some time studying the line each piece of clothing made on the mannequin. The curator had smartly placed mirrors behind many of the clothes so that you could see the back as well as the front. How I would have loved to attend one of his shows, get lost in his world and see the way his clothes moved.
What do you make of the provocative Alexander McQueen. Does he say thing to you get your hackles up? Do you admire his technical skills but not his designs?
A dog boarding business joins with a dog training business to offer dog training while you’re away and your dog is enjoying some canine R&R. Or perhaps you want your dog trained while you’re at work, with pick up and drop off service – Mission Pawsible to the rescue.
How to create a compelling logo for this dog training business? Overall we wanted the feel to be inviting: one of caring and kindness, of confidence that you and your dog can have a warm and loving relationship that is stress and drama free. Of course, training help will facilitate that.
The company is called Mission Pawsible so a military theme seemed just right. After all, dogs have an important role in the armed forces and in war. We went with a dog tag. We wanted to keep it metallic looking but a color a bit more inventive than khaki – so we plumped for a fabulous gunmetal blue. On the dog tag was the outline of a very endearing and attentive dog – an archetype sort of dog. This dog sported a helmet. Incidentally this iconic helmet is WWII era.
Then we refined the logo. We played with shadow and shades. There was quite a bit back and forth to get the details right. This seems to be part of the process, tweaking here and there. My client also thought of adding MP to the helmet – a brilliant idea and one which secretly I wish I’d had.
It’s important to take into account various uses for the logo. I added a chain to the dog tag, in part for aesthetics but also for versatility. It’s ever so handy to hang the dog tag off … a letter for example.
I work with small business owners and their business is their passion, it’s their baby. They take a leap of faith to hand this over and say – please represent my baby visually. It’s an important trust I don’t take lightly in all my designs. What designs do you have in mind where you hand over your baby? You can trust me with an invitation to an important life event like a wedding or milestone birthday right through to a logo.
I’ll confess – sometimes I find it hard to let you into the magic of how I develop my designs. Some people in the arts can do this by showing stages of a technical process. I love seeing how my friend’s wonderful woodcuts gain depth as color is added at each stage. It’s easier to see and feel the artistic evolution with woodcuts than it is with digital graphic design.
Inspiration is a magic, alchemy-like reaction – a catalyst that is hard to describe. I’d like to show an aspect of how my inspiration works through a home decor moment. I’ve always been interested in interior design, as you’ll recall from this blog post. I believe the atmosphere of our homes is incredibly important for our well-being.
It seems that the decor in my home is always being refined, with various problems waiting to be solved. A small one was niggling at the back of my mind: what to do with all those pens lying around? How could I corral them gracefully? This was not a new dilemma – it had been my companion for years.
Not long ago, I was at one of my favorite low-end antique shops. In fact, some might call it a junk shop. The moment you enter you’re engulfed by mountains of furniture and bric-à-brac. There’s just a small, dusty pathway – like a gorge – for the truly adventurous explorer. It’s some people’s idea of hell. I get a sense of anticipation whenever I go there – I never know what I’ll find or how I’ll be inspired. I love nothing more than rummaging about and exclaiming. Sometimes I come away emptyhanded but this time I struck gold.
There it was – the solution to the pen problem. Remember those treadle singer sewing machines? They had beautiful high, narrow wooden drawers. Standing right in front of me, were a gaggle of these drawers.
I promptly got two. I knew they would be be an interesting accent piece to hold those messy pens and most importantly would look arresting sitting on top of my small, art nouveau bookcase.
That was my moment of aha! inspiration. It was small but is revealing. I’ve found that inspiration is the happy convergence of factors.
It’s a wealth of knowledge and background interest – this is the educational heavy lifting.
There’s the endless rummaging about – literally and figuratively – with Ideas. It’s a day to day Struggle and Time Spent to deepen and broaden not just my knowledge and skills but also my creative voice.
There are always artistic challenges in the back of my mind. Sometimes I’m overtly chewing them over, sometimes they’re in my subconscious.
What this all means is that I’m ready to grasp a solution when I see it – otherwise it would have been easy to walk by the singer drawers and my pens would still be messying about.
This time that solution was sitting there in the dusty corner. At other times I capture it in my designs.
It’s these moments of inspiration – and everything that goes into them – that elevate my designs. How can I use this inspiration to help your own creative vision?