All Hallow’s Eve + Bloody Fingerprint Mess

I love Halloween. Like, a lot. I’m not sure why, but it’s definitely my favorite holiday. I may or may not have purposely planned my first son’s birth around October. (His birthday is October 20th.) a friend of mine is throwing a Halloween party this year; the grown-up kind. No smiling jack-o-lanterns, friendly ghosts and happy vampires. Adult, spooky, scary stuff. When she asked me to make invitations I was pretty psyched. As a matter of fact she asked me around 11PM one night over FB and my brain was exploding with ideas. Way to get jazzed up right before bed!
My plan of action was dark, vague shapes, a scratchy/scripty font, maybe some landscape imagery. I tried to use some old-fashioned wording, i.e. All Hallow’s Eve instead of Halloween, and also added a big full moon. I threw in a touch of red and put a gradient on the title. The front ended up almost totally black, so I made the back the opposite. Something about the white ghosty imagery is extra spooky to me…

I opted for a Luxe Shape instead of the standard 5×7″ rectangle, and found a vintage-style newspaper print for the envelope liners. I threw the return address on the back flap inside a black gothic graphic, and combined two of the fonts from the invitation for the mailing address. Then it was time for the fingerprints. Way back at the beginning I came up with the idea for bloody fingerprints on the envelopes and I was determined to do it. I tried a few different methods, like red stamp ink, marker, etc. Finally I busted out my tacklebox of oil paints and pulled out Dark Cadmium Red. I covered my fingers and got to work. No lie, it was messy. There was red paint everywhere, which was awesome because oil paint doesn’t come out very easily, if at all. I got pretty lucky and didn’t do any permanent damage (that I know of). I think I went a little nuts, but the envelopes look pretty sweet. I was doing a lot of dabbing the next day to lift off some superfluous paint and praying it would dry quickly so my friend could get them in the mail. I even went the extra step and gave them a coat of hairspray. When in doubt, hairspray. It sets everything!

Hopefully the post office doesn’t freak out!

Hallow’s Eve Party Invitation Suite
5×7″ Luxe Shape Invitation + Envelope with Custom Return + Mailing Address with Liner

Hallow’s Eve Party Invitation Suite
5×7″ Luxe Shape Invitation + Envelope with Custom Return + Mailing Address with Liner

Hallow’s Eve Invitation, BACK

Old-Timey Newspaper Envelope Liner

Custom Mailing Address + Couple Extra Fingerprints

Fingerprints allll over the back. Muah!

Come One, Come All…Vintage Carnival Birthday Invitations

Last week I was presented with a challenge…design, print, pack and ship a set of 40 birthday invitations with a ‘vintage carnival’ theme in less than a week. I received the email on Sunday night, and dropped the completed set in the mail on Friday on my way up north with my dudes. What happened in between was a little hectic to say the least. Just a few months ago I did a set of carnival invitations but this client wanted something completely different, and I’ll be honest, it was difficult. ‘Vintage carnival’ means a lot of ribbons, scrolls, intricate graphics and complex typography (to me anyway). Plus it needed an ‘old timey’ feel, so I muted a lot of the colors and turned the opacities way down. I also got to use my new gradient mesh skills that I learned doing the Darling Delilah project. And the biggest hurdle: you can’t force creativity. Period. It just has to come on it’s own, and sometimes it’s pretty friggin’ slow. ON TOP of this project I was also finishing up other clients so I could have a nice weekend up north with my family. There were many 2AM nights and my older son watched A LOT of Disney Junior so I could work during the baby’s nap time. Plus I needed to get all my kids’ stuff straight so we could pack and leave first thing Friday morning. In the end, I never packed any pajamas for myself but love how the cards turned out. I opted for a Linen Stock for the invitations, and Brown Kraft Envelopes. I designed a matching return address label, and made it nice and big to also act as a seal. I forgot to mention this party sounds kinda sweet and I totally want to go!

Vintage Carnival Invitation Set

 

Vintage Carnival Invitation Suite, Front

 

Vintage Carnival Invitation Suite, Back

 

Vintage Carnival Invitation Set, Envelope + Label

 

Close Up of Linen Paper