LOVELY BRIDE BRANDING

A few months ago, I had the great pleasure of working with the awesome folks over at Lovely Bride to update their logo. The website was still under development then and today they just revealed the new look. Doesn’t the site look so fresh?

I started out by sketching oodles of options (so fun – love this part!) and then we narrowed down the list to a few favorites. These concept logos were hand-inked with an antique dip pen and scanned  into the computer, where the final polishing took place.

Can’t wait to see all of the ways their new logo is used (hello, shop signage!) — loved, loved, loved collaborating together on this project! Thanks to everyone at Lovely HQ, and a special howdy to Lanie.

SPRINGTIME WEDDING INSPIRATION

You know the best way to beat the summer heat? Imagine cool spring breezes! My recent springtime-inspired collaboration with Samantha Nichols and a fantastic group of wedding professionals is up on Style Me Pretty today. It’s chock full of bright greens, natural decor and cool calligraphy — plus a great DIY-garland tutorial! Take a peek for more breezy loveliness…

p.s. The invitation set & menu we created will be available for customization in our shop later this year. Yay!

CUSTOM WEDDING INVITATIONS

Emily Ayer, one of our lovely custom-order brides, has been sharing the story of her Southern-inspired wedding invitations on her blog this week. How fun is that?! Emily is such a sweetheart, and we had a delightful time collaborating together. I was so doggone excited about this project, y’all! Be sure to take a looksie at Parts I and II for all of the behind-the-scenes details. (You know you want to see more!)

As creative director for Southern Weddings Magazine, Emily is no stranger to beautiful events so it’s fascinating to read about her own wedding planning process and all of the adventures that she’s having. Don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see the beautiful & meaningful day she’s creating.

Hugs, Em!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, FRIENDS!

Just about all of this year’s holiday cards have been delivered, so Internet-Friends, it’s high time to share a bit of the sparkle with you.

Texture and simplicity. Pared-back honesty. Warmth. Love.

Hand-lettered, rough kraft envelopes opened up to reveal a simple, hand-painted gold star. Gilding makes everything better.

My digitized calligraphy was printed onto French Paper’s amazing Cordtone stock. This paper is totally unique – it’s surface is something like a cross between burlap and felt. Really tactile. Because trees are precious, the cards were designed flat to cut down on paper waste.

This was definitely a labor of love – lots of hand work went into each card. When I finished, my post mistress couldn’t believe I’d done it by myself! I dropped off quite a stack.

I really loved how the gold popped against the creamy, textured paper. My only ‘meh’ about things this year was the crummy selection of holiday stamps available at the post office. I ended up ordering a set of evergreen stamps online. USPS, are you listening? Next year please put out some holiday stamps that aren’t overtly religious and/or tacky. Bonus points if they involve kraft paper.

Hope everyone enjoyed the cards and is getting ready for your special December holiday! Wishing everyone out there a very merry season and a most delightful new year.

p.s. Sara & Dave are real, darling people which is why the address you see here doesn’t actually exist. Sorry, internet snoops!

NUMERO UNO, LOVELIES!

Today I finished my first officiale calligraphy place card order!

Letters make me happy, folks! I’ve doodled and drawn my own alphabets for as long as I can remember. Recently, I began tinkering with hand-lettering behind the scenes for a soon-to-be released collection of handset fonts. That project was so much fun (apart from the coding) that I began quietly offering real-live-calligraphy to current clients. Intrepid and lovely bride-to-be Katie, who is planning a Greek-themed rehearsal dinner, took me up on my crazy hair-brained idea!

We paired opaque white lettering with a textured Adriatic-blue paper and (my favorite part) a tiny Greek key border that dances down the left side of each card.

After some significant testing of just about every white ink, paint and pigment under the sun, it was clear that a concoction of Dr. Ph Martin’s Bleedproof White and distilled water was the only way to go for this project. The water helped the thick pigment glide across the textured paper smoothly and, as Dr. Martin promised, it didn’t bleed a bit! Love love love how nice and opaque the ink dries – such a pretty pop against the dark blue. Santorini-rific!

For now, calligraphy services are available only in conjunction with stationery orders but I’m seriously considering offering custom calligraphy and illustration in our shop next year as a “stand alone” purchase… The tactile aspect of hand-lettered logos and cards and stamps is really intriguing to this crafty magpie, and feels like a natural extension of the brand. (In fact a majority of our new invitation designs for 2012 feature original lettering.) Lots to consider!

What do you think? Is calligraphy something that resonates with you?

2012 SNEAK PEEK

A preview of this summer’s big project…

All of these fonts and more will be available in our shop, alongside our invitations & goodies, at the start of the new year. Plan for hand drawn letters, scripts with soul, artfully messy splatters, borders and dingbats. Oh my!

If you’re a designer and would like a complete set for beta testing, please shoot me an email for more details. If you’re not a designer, don’t fret! I’ll be announcing periodic free beta samples on our Twitter feed, so hop on over & say hi.

This was a weird and wonderful project that sort of took on a life of its own. As we get closer to 2012, I’ll be sharing more about how and why I created the typefaces, including a post about the challenges of creating a connecting script letter set that doesn’t look like it was drawn by Cookie Monster. (Cliff’s Notes: only masochists need apply.) If you have a question or a topic about font-creation that you’d like me to cover, just let me know.

In the meantime, stay tuned next week for another sneak peek, this time into our upcoming 2012 invitation designs! Lots of found vintage materials, rustic vibes, and a punch of retro too…

WE ADORE THE LAND DOWN UNDER!

Have we mentioned how much we love working with Aussie brides? Seriously, from Adelaide to Zanthus, you rock our world. So you can understand how excited we are to see our Printable Seed Favors featured in Wedding Style Guide’s Winter 2011 issue!

magpie paper works printable seed envelopes featured in australian magazine

The Winter 2011 issue hits newstands today and is gor-or-or-or-geous. Australian couples, you know what I’m talking about! It’s chock-full of unique, fresh and hand-crafted inspiration for your wedding. (We’re all over the Garden Grown wedding starting on page 63 – herb boutonnieres? Fig tapenade favors?! We are in love with WSG.)

Go get thee some ideas from the land down under stat – and p.s. there are digital copies available instantly for those of us (ahem, me) who can’t sit on our hands waiting for the post.

p.p.s. Hello and welcome to WSG readers! We’re delighted to meet you!

RUSTIC BOHEMIAN RANCH WEDDING FUN!

Lovelies, it doesn’t get better than a Texan ranch full of poppies, folk art, and bohemian panache!

We are so excited to show off the results of our long-distance collaboration with the delightful ladies behind Austin-based Nouveau Romantics & The Nichols. Liz, mad-scientist and creative-genius of Nouveau Romantics, planned + assembled + orchestrated the amazing shoot. (!) Jennifer Nichols, photographer extraordinaire, captured the gorgeous day. We designed the Texas-bohemian inspired invitations + menus. More details (you know you want ‘em!) below…but first, a little eye candy:

flower crown bridal bride wedding

There are so many many many more beautiful photos over at Style Me Pretty and The Nichols blog.

A bit about our work: the invitations were hand-illustrated with an original folk-art drawing and printed on a rare paper made from recycled tobacco plant pulp. (It feels just like Texas soil – earthy and warm and slightly gritty.) We wrapped the invites in a creamy textured artist’s paper, which was hand-painted with watercolors in a dappled longhorn motif. Hand-spun nettle twine and a guinea feather wrapped up the rustic package. Can you tell we’re just a wee bit obsessed with making things by hand?!

We had so much fun crafting these lovelies that we designed a couple of ready-to-order variations in our shop.

The menus were set with hand-drawn type and printed on a thick French Paper stock, then rounded to fit each dinner plate. Each menu was personalized with a guest’s name for an extra bit of sweetness and set at their respective place settings. Hooray for a menu & place card in one!

We were so happy to be a part of this shoot and can’t send enough thanks + hugs to everyone involved, especially to Liz and Jennifer. Not only are they fantastic to work with, they’re pretty wonderful people to boot. If you’re looking for an event designer and/or photographer for your wedding, we highly encourage you to say hello to ‘em!

My friends, meet the ridiculously talented team behind this inspired affair:

Event Design & Florals – Nouveau Romantics | Photography – The Nichols | Desserts – Bake Sale | Styling – Antiquaria | Decor Rentals – Loot Vintage Rentals and Marquee Events | Venue – Wild Onion Ranch | Dress – Odylyne | Tea Towels – Leah Duncan

CUSTOM WINE LABELS

Boy oh boy Lovelies, I have been chomping at the bit to share this custom project with you!

Several months ago, I was contacted by the delightful Ashley about designing custom wine labels for her San Francisco wedding. Ashley and her fiance, John, were providing bottles of California Cabernet as (amazing!) favors for her guests, and they wanted to apply a personal touch to the gifts. In addition to reflecting the style of their art-deco inspired wedding, Ashley also wanted the label to highlight their geography – she was born and raised in San Francisco, while John hailed from New York City. (John christened the wine “Both Coasts” – how sweet is that?!)

Art Deco Wine Label Inspiration

Ashley booked the ridiculously gorgeous & fabulously deco landmark, the Hamilton, for their urban garden reception. Talk about inspiring! I loved the crisp black geometry of the patios and the strong vertical lines in the building’s architecture. Together with the wedding palette (silvery blue & blush) and a few pieces of label inspiration, we were off to the races.

Because the design from this era is fairly bold and graphic, I thought urban silhouettes might be a nice addition to the label.  San Francisco and New York skylines were an obvious choice and after sketching for a bit, I also created a sweet little silhouette of the Golden Gate Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge, reaching out to join each other. With all of this in mind, I designed a few rough concepts:

Wine bottle favors for a wedding with custom labels Custom designed wine bottle labels for wedding favors

The first concept, with inline type and bridges, is probably the most art deco of the four. It also reflects the striking design of the Hamilton. In the second concept, the design becomes a little more modern and the lettering picks up a bit of a San Francisco streetcar vibe.

Custom designed wine label for wedding favors with 1930s wpa look Black and pink art deco wine label custom designed for wedding favors

The third concept was designed around the look of 1930s WPA posters – very clean and simple. Of course the fourth concept is the simplest of them all, with a full bleed black background and stylized blush type. As striking and sophisticated as this last concept was, it didn’t make the first cut because I felt it was a little too dark for Ashley’s bright, silvery wedding. (My husband thought it looked more like a book cover than a wine label – I’m inclined to agree!)

Ashley & John adored the first concept. We tweaked the design just a bit more with color & typeface edits, and made a few subtle changes to the kerning of the inline type. (I didn’t like how the B & H were hugging the border in the rough design.)

custom designed wine label for wedding favors in blue and black

(Did you catch how the notches in the border pay homage to a compass rose, pointing North, South, East and West?)

The labels were printed with non-smearing wax-based pigments onto a nice & smooth, 25% cotton mid-weight paper. Just luscious!

All printed up and waiting to be sliced & diced:

Custom Art Deco Wine Labels waiting to be trimmed

Ashley was a total DIY rockstar and applied the labels to each bottle with a secret-vintner formula… Whole milk! The casein proteins make an excellent adhesive, believe it or not! A light coating on the back of each label is all it takes to bond paper & glass. The technique works best on beverages that can be dry-chilled in a basement or refrigerator, rather than quick-cooled in ice… The milk “glue” stands up well to bottle condensation but when soaked, can release from the glass.

Custom Art Deco Wine Label Wedding Art Deco Wedding Wine Labels

Don’t the graphic labels really pop off of the dark bottles?!

Custom designed wine label

Let’s all raise a toast to Ashley & John… Congratulations and salut you two lovebirds!!!

FAUX BOIS WEDDING SUITE

I heart this invitation suite. (Please forgive the pun.)

The kind folks at Gmund paper recently sent some samples of their freshest lines and one stock in particular jumped out at me — this amazing faux wood-grained paper! Talk about possibilities… With a little hand drawn type, a few vintage engravings, and a custom monogram “carved” into the paper, it feels just right for a heartfelt affair.

With a set like this, you can choose wedding invitation wording as playful as you are! Both Grandma and your hipster brother will smile.

Both the RSVP and enclosure cards are printed on a “paper” made entirely of discarded Costa Rican banana stalks. The stalks are cut during the yearly banana harvest and would otherwise end up as agricultural waste. I just love this paper – not only is it environmentally friendly, but it is beautiful.

Natural open weave jute ribbon, cotton cord, or jute twine tie it all together.

Isn’t this texture amazing? It looks and feels so real, minus the splinters of course. ;-)

I love how versatile this set can be – the natural vibe of these invites makes them perfect for everything from woodland weddings to boardwalk ceremonies.

Are you feeling the faux bois?