Baby Announcement Card

Design, Invitations, New Piece, Print

My friend that I painted the mural in her baby’s room for did finally have her baby (oh… 5 months ago now). Just got the announcements out last week. I wanted to keep with her owl theme, so took one of guys from the wall and put him on this announcement (she named them all, but I don’t remember which one he is). I put my lovely die-cutting machine to work again to build his name into the branches of the tree, and she picked 4 pictures of him as he grew up from birth to 3 months, and they sort of grew up the tree from there.

I initially built it so that the whole tree and parts were glued down flat to the green background, but it seemed too flat, so I added a very small pop-up to the top half of the card. All the leaves (thank you again die-cutter) are glued down flat though.

Pop-Up Invite

New Piece, Print

I have had the pleasure of making now 3 invites for my friend’s annual get-together called “Woo Camp.” It’s a casual get-together that he hosts at his family’s cattle ranch down in the central coast(ish) area of California. First year we did a printed piece that I created around the theme of National Parks. The following year, we went with a web based invite, and I played off the recently released film True Grit for that one. I built it using a web design software called Hype, btw, if anyone is curious <shameless plug for my friend’s software>.

This year, he suggested a pop-up and my mind went racing. First off, I hadn’t made a pop-up card since elementary school, and as you can imagine, most google searches for “pop-up” came back with mixed results – mostly for browser pop-up (ad) blockers. But it sure got me thinking about the possibilities. I played with the mechanics and then thought about how I wanted the overall piece to look. I didn’t choose a specific theme, per se, but did work with a limited palette and stylized my illustrations a bit to look mildly retro. I also used the font “Tribeca” (pretty sure it was a free font I had downloaded at one point), and I got a few comments on it looking like the Jurassic Park font, which pleased me just as well.

I am overall quite happy with the end result, but wish I had taken just a little more time to send out a “beta” to see how the recipient might try to open the package. I ended up gluing the piece to the hand made envelope, and it is not uncommon for people to rip open envelopes to get at contents, so I won’t be surprised to hear of people bemoaning their choice to hack the envelope off when they went to open it. As well, I included a set of pop-up pieces on the back of a fold-out map piece, and regret that decision because it inhibited the opening of the map completely, making that portion of the presentation a bit cumbersome. On a positive note, I am very pleased with how I came up with the “lounging” guy. He’s reading a book and leaning against a rock, and when you open the card, his legs go from outstretched to folded by way of a a groove in the bottom of the page. Because he was set at an angle, I also had to use string to make the folding action work, as a piece of paper was not able to fold neatly into the proper orientation. I am curious how many other pop-up card makers utilize string for the trickier mechanics.

One of the most important things to note about this project was that it was the reason I became the proud owner of a new die cutting machine. Mind you, when I started the project and came up with the concept to have 3 panels with all these separate pieces moving every which way, I had decided that I would cut all the pieces out by hand/exacto knife. When I went to show my prototype off to the client, another friend of mine mentioned her friend had a fancy laser cutter and that maybe she could get me in touch with her to try it out and possibly help with the project. Intrigued, I took her up on the offer and came to find out the machine was not some over-the-top expensive piece of equipment like a laser cutter, but in fact, a die cutting machine, a la “Midwestern Scrapbooking Housewife” as she explained to us. It’s extraordinary. I had so much fun, and was so relieved to not be hand cutting the 660 some odd pieces for this project (there were 30 invites total), and would recommend the same machine to anyone interested in something like it. The possibilities are endless (if you like working with paper)!

MAGIC!

Here’s a shot of my workstation while assembling these. Complete with pint of ice cream and iPad running a barrage of Ted Talks, mind you. Monotonous gluing and stitching requires such incentives to keep you going. I think I need to work on getting minions if I decide to do this again.


Wedding Reception Invitation

New Piece

Invite overviewMy brother recently got married, but in a small ceremony in Upstate New York, so most of our California family was not able to attend. So saying, my aunt wanted to host a special dinner for the family to celebrate the happy occasion, and I offered to make the invitations. I was also happy to make their wedding webpage (just a quick splash page).

Their colors were blue and brown, and although I know they aren’t interested in things that are too decadent, I thought a nice formal invite would do well for the get together. Besides, it gives me a chance to play.

I had these lovely brown envelopes that had some bronze pearlescent qualities, and used some cream colored card stock for the cards, with a blue paper insert. I also got this sweet paper punch that was perfect for the “you are invited” part on the front of the card. For the floral pattern I scanned a special scrap booking paper that had a design I liked and traced the pattern in Illustrator and filled it in with a nice dark brown color instead of the black it came in (many thanks to my friend Heather for the scrap book paper scan technique she taught me).

I have been really into the new trend of badges, banners and ribbons, so wanted to incorporate it somehow. Therefore, I had the return and address labels wrap around the envelopes. I included a little piece of the floral pattern on those elements to tie it all together.

I also included a vellum map with parking instructions for the restaurant, and a sepia toned image from the wedding day itself.

Definitely enjoyed doing a little print work, as I’ve been spending a lot of time on web graphics lately.

Snippets of Solvang

Uncategorized


Last weekend, I took a little trip to LA, and on the way back to the Bay Area, I took my time stopping at some of my old haunts, and took a few pictures for posterity. The real treat was stopping over in Solvang, the cute little Danish town in the heartof the Santa Ynez Valley. I used to travel here when I was a kid, and remember loving the feeling of being immersed in this almost Disney-like fantasy world in the middle of basically nowhere. I don’t know what the windmill per capita ratio is, but I think it’s pretty high.

Aside from the cute fake thatched roofed houses, abundance of Danish pastries, and oodles of tourists, I also happened to notice all the beautify wood carved signage around town. There were many unique, hand crafted pieces that were very bright and bold that did a fantastic job of catching my attention, as signs are meant to do. Typographically, I think they’re lovely.