Whether you’re making invitations for a friend or you are brave enough to tackle them yourself, you want your invitations to stand out. You may want to do it yourself, but you don’t want it to look like you did. We talked about setting a budget, production and assembly as a starting point for design amazing invitations. Now we’ll focus a little on the fun part: creating your masterpiece.
I know this goes without saying, but get some inspiration. This is the time to peruse Pinterest and have a little fun dreaming. Contemplate the look and feel you want your event to have and create an invitation to match it. The best invitations have a few things in common. They are legible, they have easy to find details, and they have a wow factor. Here are a few of the rules I use when coming up invitations.
1. Choose suitable fonts
Fonts tell the story of your wedding BEFORE your guest read the words. You should select fonts that evoke the style and character of your event. If your wedding is classic and elegant, choose a traditional body text like Optimus Princes paired with an classic script like Edwardian Script. Classic invitations don’t require any images. (These are great ways to create a polished look when you’re printing at home and don’t want to use a lot of ink.)
If you’re going for a rustic look, select a decorative headline font paired with a simple san serif font. Mix and match three to four stylish and simple fonts for a modern eclectic look.
You can even opt to use fonts as the art themselves. Remember this invite from the first article in the series?
Zero art. Only a beautiful typeface used with a little rotation. (Fonts used are Fontaine de Diamant (free for personal use) and Optimus Princeps at dafont.com.)
Now, beware, some fonts are very pretty, but very hard to read. Don’t sacrifice readability for looks. If you are head over the hills with an illegible font, opt to use it on short words, large numbers or in a monogram; but never use it as the body text.
Exercise restraint when mixing fonts. Too many can look messy and amateurish. Relying on a single font yields one-dimensional results. Choose two, max three fonts and styles and stick with them for all your wedding stationery (programs, menu card and escort cards etc.)
2. Select colors and art elements
Choosing colors is the easy part because I’m sure the bridal colors have been selected way before you sit down to create an invitation. My sister picked pale pink and gray as her color scheme for a glam spring wedding. In turn, when I dreamed up her invites, I used those colors and added modern swashes of a paisley graphic to create a coordinating invitation suite that set the tone for the wedding months before anyone entered the church.
Design elements can be anything from specific flower, texture, pattern or icon. You can even use a monogram as the focal point. Whatever you select, use these elements as design features in all your printed stationery. The details can be used repeatedly with different effects to create visual interest. Doing so will create a cohesive look from the Save the Date to the Thank You Cards.
3. Create balance with text and art
Now it’s time to create your masterpiece. Open up your document and plan your layout. You can approach your design in several ways:
Create a visual hierarchy of information using your font. You can make your ‘headline’ anything you want. Bride and groom names, date or make up something sentimental or cute. This is especially helpful when you choose an ornate font. Use your ‘headline’ as your wow factor. For the beginner, stepping out of the box and mixing and matching fonts to create an off the beaten-path look may seem daunting, but don’t be afraid to use your inspiration piece to help you find the right fonts for the look you’re after.
If you have a great image for your wedding make it a focal point. This could be a photo of the couple, something you’ve had drawn or a picture you purchased. A good place to start is to use the image in your borders, flush left or flush right. Center is second best. Typically centered images don’t create enough visual impact.
Using these simple guidelines, I’m positive you can come up with some gorgeous wedding suites. I’d love to see your creations. Please share!
If you missed the first article in the series, you can view it here. In the last post in DIY invite series I’ll help you put your invitation together by walking through the details.