Let me preface this by saying, I am not a graphic designer. I’m a design enthusiast who likes to finagle with Photoshop and pin design-related things on Pinterest.
Last weekend, I wrote about my best friend’s wedding, but what I didn’t include in this story is how I became the person who designed their wedding invitation.
On a random day, Linlin sent me photos of their sample invitations created by their printer and asked me to look and see what I think. Needless to say, I wasn’t a fan of the way the samples were made. I showed it to my co-worker, who’s a professional graphic designer, and he felt the same way.
Linlin thought the same way, so she asked my opinion on how to make it better. At first, I told her I’d ask my co-worker to create a mock up. With a little cajoling and bribing, I managed to convince my co-worker to do it. But for whatever reason, the responsibility ultimately landed on my plate. I can’t remember why, but it did.
So, with the help of caffeine, music, and Viber, I started playing with Photoshop’s design features.
Linlin and Nino wanted to incorporate a sun to signify their adventures together. In talking this out with my coworker, he came up with a sun in shape of a heart, which Linlin and Nino liked.
The wedding didn’t have a set theme, so I tried my best to get bits and pieces from the invitation samples and pictures Linlin sent me. All this while incorporating the major design element – the heart/sun – into the invitation.
The Inspiration (c/o)
I went through a sleepless night and several renditions and came up with the final one that went to press:
To end this post, let me share some tips as a graphic design beginner:
1. Learn the basics of typography
I shotgun my way through this aspect by looking at several Pinterest samples of what fonts would look good together on a wedding invitation. I sent Linlin several samples and I went with what she liked.
In retrospect, I should’ve studied and applied the following typography principles: kerning, tracking, leading.
This post explains the importance of a good layout. Needless to say, this is another important design aspect that I didn’t look into. I just followed what my eyes thought looked good at 1 in the morning and thankfully, Linlin and Nino agreed with me.
3. Think of the final output
I started to work on a 4×4 print size, when the printer said it should be done on a 6×6. You can imagine how much fun it was bringing everything I’ve done to scale.
4. Try not to work for 24 hours
I had to work on it for an inordinate and ungodly amount of time (thankfully it was the weekend) since I had to communicate with Linlin, who was 12 hours ahead of New York time. However, no matter what the odds are, it’s best to leave design for a while and come back to it with fresh eyes.
Another tip somewhat related to this – never work on it when you’ve had two glasses of wine (or any type of alcohol for that matter). Otherwise you’ll end up with something like this:
5. Tutorials are your best friend
Most of the tutorials I used were about removing backgrounds and manipulating shapes. Here are some of the links:
6. Shortcuts are also your best friend
There are a million and one guides out there when you search for “Photoshop shortcuts” on Google. Use them to your advantage because they will save you a ton of time.