This probably isn’t going to be a tutorial as such, but since my life is revolving around (mostly) crafting items for our wedding, I thought that since I have now sent out (most) – hey look repeato-word – of our Save the Dates I would show you what I was up to and how I went around playing with ideas and deciding what to do.

First up – there are plenty of pre-designed print it yourself and do it yourself options available from small peeps who made some and are selling their ideas – you can buy them on any crowd sourced printing place or craftster and artster market places.  So they can be quite cheap, quite effective and super pretty.  You could also have a  super large budget for invitations and be very happy to shell out for the most exquisite invitations of your dreams adorned with more bling than I will be on my wedding day ;). I’m just sharing how a craft nerd – control freak – who wants to do all this stuff cos I think it will be fun (not necessarily to save cash) is doing it.

I like the idea of magnets for Save the Dates, politicians, doctors, and even the local council send out magnetized promo materials and they hold exciting things (like invites and save the dates on the fridge) so going with ones that stay there on their own was what I decided.

Cableguy and I love purple and cats and dragonflies and we are going to incorporate this into our wedding somehow.  We are not super traditional, not super trendy, not super young and it will be cableguy’s second wedding.  The overall feel we are going for is cooky geeky – just like us.

our initials are Q & A so I thought I would find a wealth of gorgeous ways to combine the letters due to you know… lots of web sites needing Q&A sections, but that didn’t turn out so well. So basically how I did the logo/monogram thingie was to play around with loads of fonts I like (that are free for personal use) – See dafont.com and the utility AMP Fontviewer which allows you to temporary install all the fonts you play with without killing your O/S with fonts.  I have had it since I used Windows XP and now use it with Windows 7 and Adobe CS6 and it is still uber useful.  Look at anything with a logo or monogram you like and try to emulate it.  Here are some I played with.

Combination of Q and A Monograms

Combination of Q and A Monograms

I’m quite painful about my Q’s and I dislike ones that take after old I think it’s copperplate script.  They tend to look like a curly number 2 or could also be an L or a C and I want you to know it’s a Q. The lower case q can depending on the font like a g and not all A’s are made equal either. Oh… and if you want an & ampersand character, not all free fonts come with one.

The other thing that is kind of fun is that you can play with all sorts of dingbats (pretty much can be used as vector graphics!) from the same free font options.  You can search for free vector files, clip art or photoshop brushes and use them in the same way.  We ended up going with the following (see image below).  The font used is called DK Kwark for out initials.  I used part of dingbats for the ornamentation and our wedding date and this is the final ‘wedding’ logo.

Q and A Wedding Logo

Q and A Wedding Logo

I think that says cooky geeky to me

Right, so logo and feel decided I had to make (well lots of things but Save the Dates was one of them). After looking around for cute cat related imagery the pretty much unifying theme around are the two cats on the roof or fence looking at the moon with tales entwined in love.  So I looked at a few and then drew some simple shapes of two cats, one with a bow in her hair to be a girl looking like they enjoyed each other’s company.

I should mention if you want to use  part of a letter of a font or part of a dingbat insert it into your design software and rasterise the type at the largest possible size. Then just delete the bits you don’t want, replicate the bits you need more of and cut and paste till you get what you want.

The final design for the magnet (which I decided was going to be half a postcard size) is below.  I love that we are getting married and we are sending out save the dates super early since it is the month called Mad March here in 2015 and also a long weekend, but I didn’t want it to be totally in everyone’s face so that they were sick of it by the time wedding day arrived.  I got them printed at vistaprint (two on a post card sized magnet and I cut them in half with my paper trimming tool) they cost next to nothing during a sale and I was very happy with how they turned out.

Q & A Save the Dates

Q & A Save the Dates

I used a font called fish fingers (ironically, not because of the kitty cat fish relationship).  The speech bubbles came from a dingbat font called talkies. I drew the cats in Adobe Illustrator (with a mouse! not my graphic tablet), the little lines with hearts came from a font called It was a Good Day and the Wedding is Coming tagline is a total rip off of the Game of Thrones tv series and/or the Song of Ice and Fire Books. (Winter is Coming is the motto of one of the seven great houses in the story line).

Actually I think I am going to leave this post here and will do a How I made our Save the Dates Part 2 post to show you the backing card, how I used baking twine, my KNK Zing cutter, a friend’s envelope punch from Stamping Up and hunted for purple paper to line the envelopes.  I am also going to tell you about the trials we did of paper flowers for our bouquet, and I may even be brave enough to post some photos of my ordeal fitting on wedding dresses as a fat chick… wouldn’t that be enthralling?

oh… I forgot, the reason the purples are so different is not cos your eyes are wonky, when you design for print you use CMYK colour mode to design and send to the printers.  It tells the printer what percentages of what inks to use to make that colour on paper. When you design for something to be viewed on screen you use RGB because it is about how the monitor needs to show your eyes the colour.  What you see above is what happens when I don’t change to the same mode before I save an image to show you. (you’re welcome!)

Good Night Everyone, where ever you are!