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Design process of a letterpress invitation

1. The design brief. We discuss: quantity, colour, size all of the items to be included (rsvp, transport cards envelopes), budget and how to cut costs ie -re use plates, print some parts digitally etc, and theme. In this instance, the couple was getting married 'Beneath a gum tree' and thought it only apt to incorporate this imagery somewhere. 2. The quote. 3. The agreement - Client signs and we all agree to the items and cost. 4. The deposit - a 50% commence work deposit 5. Design - the fun bit!

For me, this involved photographing leaves, surfing the net for images so I could get a shape and flow of gum leaves. did you know there are more than 700 spaecies of Eucalypt? Kings Park has many but the one I like best for shape of leaves and nuts was the Coolibah Eucalyptus Victrix (I think) Next I draw, trace, redraw, retrace and scan into computer to clean up the image and turn it into vector based artwork. Once I am happy with the graphics, I typeset the text. Sometimes I will offer a client a few options different typefaces, layouts etc.

Part of the design and planning is making the plates re-useable so for the 2 colour jobs, the small gum leaves were used for all of the small cards as well as a belly band. The large gum tree design was also used as an envelope liner. This cuts costs. 6. Once design is set, its off to get plates made. At this stage, its too late to make changes and any errors result in having plates re-made - so I am always very nervous at this point! 7. Once I have them back, its off to cut paper and make a print plan which is a plan of what I will print first, in what order, when to trim etc etc. In this instance, The 'note on gifts' and 'note on transport' were digitally printed onto special coated cotton paper and then the blind impression of the leaves were printed afterwards 3-up and then trimmed; whilst the RSVP cards were letter-pressed in 2 colours so the text was pressed first and then the leaf - 1-up. Without a plan, I would be changing colours and wasting time on clean up not to mention wandering around aimlessly scratching my head wondering what to do next! 8. FINALLY I can print! But that's another story...

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