Tuesday, March 4, 2008

For the Love of All Things Paper, Will You Please Save the Date?

My original wedding timeline had me sending our save the dates back in January. Well, a month and a half late ain't bad, right?

I spent a ridiculous amount of time on these save the dates, so our guests BEST be saving the damn date if they know what's good for them!!!! After slaving over the design and assembly, I finally put these bad boys in the mail this week, and I couldn't be happier. Drumroll please.....

The front of our pocket-fold STDs

Sticker labels would be too easy for this complicated Cupcake!

The inside of the STDs with our wedding details and accommodation info

For immediate family and bridal party members, I included these inserts with a personal note in the pocket

(It kills me to have to blur out some of the lovely Fling typography, but alas, that whole privacy thing.)

I definitely let myself obsess over my save the dates for too long. I started designing after the holidays, and kept revisiting and changing and adjusting and tweaking over several weeks. I finally reached the point a few weeks ago where it was just time to let myself be happy with the design, and get them out the door!

I knew for a while that I wanted to do a square pocket-fold save the date utilizing my color scheme, teal and chartreuse (which I definitely have a love affair with). I also knew that I wanted to use the Fling font, which I had purchased after drooling over it for quite some time in the now defunct Blueprint magazine (still alive through the Bluelines blog), and I wanted to include a CD for our guests. It is definitely not what you'd call minimalism at its finest, but I really wanted to get our guests excited about our wedding.... and I've mentioned in the past that I just love creating work for myself, so this was the perfect opportunity.

I started by playing around with the design in Adobe Illustrator. There are really no rules here; I simply laid out the copy that I wanted to include, and created several different versions until I was happy. It took a lot of trial and error, and a lot of plain old putzing around.

I wanted to include some sort of flourish, but nothing I found or created meshed with the Fling typography. In looking more closely at the typography, though, I realized that I could create some really cool flourishes by utilizing the typeface itself. So, I typed out all of the letters in the alphabet, as well as numbers, ampersands, and other types of punctuation, converted the type to outlines, and started rearranging things. I rotated, reflected, resized, duplicated, chopped off, and layered a handful of characters until I was happy. I then merged all of my flourish images together to form one vector image, so I could get the outline effect without any messy overlapping lines. Every flourish you see in my layouts are created from good ol' Fling!

After a few weeks of tinkering with and refining the design, it was time to order materials, start printing, and start putting everything together.

I am fortunate enough to work at a graphic design studio where I can make use of quality printers and equipment and order materials at wholesale cost, which I realize not every DIY bride has access to. But never fear, everything I did can absolutely be done with similar materials and equipment that can be found at stores like Michaels and AC Moore and at online paper stores.

All of the printed layers are Stardream Quartz, which can be found on sites like Paper Source, Paper Presentation, and more. The pocket folds are Envelopments 5x5 booklet pocket folds in Tartan. (5x5 is how they're labeled, but they're actually 5.625" squares.) The chartreuse layer is a specialty paper that a generous vendor gave to me, but I was originally planning on using Paper Source's Chartreuse cover, which is a bit more of a yellowy green. The blank CDs were $26 for a spool of 100 from Proaction Media, and the 6x6 Quartz envelopes came from the aforementioned Paper Presentation.

My first printing project was the CDs, which I managed to print with my Gocco. (That thing is amazing!!!) I had purchased silver inkjet printable CDRs, and I figured they would be able to absorb the Gocco ink if they could absorb inkjet ink. I used teal and white ink, and I gave them lots of time to dry, but after that they were good to go. I love how these turned out and I'm so glad I figured out how to print directly on the CDs without using sticker labels.

The rest of the pieces were all printed on a Phaser laser printer. The printing took no time at all; it was the cutting, corner rounding, and layering that was the real challenge!

I used a Rotatrim cutter to trim everything down to size; these are amazing cutters if you are seriously into crafting.

For my asymmetrical rounded corners, I used this heavy-duty corner rounder, that can withstand five or six sheets at a time. This is a bonus when you have as many corners to round as I did!

I used good ol' double-faced tape to place all of my layers. This is, without a doubt, the most grueling part of such a big project. I like to work in groups, so I would tape as many pieces as would fit on my table, and then I would place them all; then I'd do it all over again and again and again! It makes things go slightly faster this way (if that's possible). It took several nights of work to finally have everything layered and placed.

As I finished placing all of the layers, Mr. Cupcake got in on the action, stuffing, stamping, and sealing everything for our guests.

Can't you see the excitement on his face?

The Louis Comfort Tiffany stamps perfectly accented my color palette!

It was such a relief to take these to the post office. They are officially out of my hands; now, on to the next project!

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