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









Envelope Labels…Sometimes You Just Gotta Do It.


I recently finished up an announcement set for a high school graduate. The clients didn’t really like what the school was offering, both price-wise and aesthetically, and surprisingly enough it was the same company that did graduation announcements when I was graduating (10 years ago!). There hasn’t been any major progress in the high school graduation announcement department I guess. My clients had some GREAT graduation photos taken by Brandy Nicole Photography and were thinking of really showcasing them on the cards, as well as the school colors (purple and gold). The graduate’s mom mentioned that her son was really proud of his school, so I went snooping around for the school’s mascot/emblem online to add more personalization. I spent some time on the school’s website and also discovered their motto. After a little time in Illustrator I had a crisp version of the mascot ready to roll and together with the motto it looked awesome.

So where do the envelope labels come in? I had the return address printed on the back flap of all 101 envelopes…however there was a small snafu with my printer and the address was printed incorrectly. I’m not a fan of wasting paper, so I didn’t want to just scrap them and start over. The only option was a label. I hate labels. Well no, I hate standard-white-Avery-dumb labels. I’m actually coming around to colorful-cool shapes-fun labels. So in this particular situation I designed the label as a purple rectangle with a gold border and white type, and then printed them on a full-sticker sheet so I could have a full bleed (the design extends all the way beyond the border. I could go on for years about full bleeds. In my opinion if you don’t have a full bleed, you have nothing!) I trimmed them up and voila! A lovely little label with the correct address that coordinates with the announcement and honestly, adds a nice color element to the envelopes.

What’s next? I need to problem-solve a nice big label for my son’s birthday invitations. They’re comic book-themed so the envelope is a clear plastic sheath. I need something big and noticeable so the post office doesn’t give me a hard time. And the hamster is off!

I’ve put some of the other draft designs in my Etsy shop- go check them out!