Thursday, July 21, 2011

14 Hours and Counting (The Invite Madness Begins)

I've been trying not to notice the time, but having typed out that sentence I just couldn't help but steal a glance at the clock on my computer. It's 3:24 a.m. and I'm wrapping up my wedding planning for the night. By my sleep-deprived estimation I've spent at least fourteen hours today on my computer - each and every one of those hours dedicated to brainstorming and drafting ideas for our invitations.

Luckily for me, we've finalized some of our other paper products and that gives me some stylistic direction for the invites. Unluckily for me is that I can't visualize ideas. Either that, or I don't trust my visualizations. Whatever it is, I'm a person who has to make a prototype or create a digital mock-up or *something* before I'll have the slightest clue whether or not I like a particular idea. I don't need it to be pretty - just something that gives me a rough idea of what the end product might look like. Also terribly unfortunate for me is my relative lack of skill with graphics programs, meaning that I'm constantly googling "how to do ____ in Photoshop Elements."

Key words: rough, lack of skill

That's how I wind up with my computer desktop chock full of icons (and I hate a desktop full of icons!) for a zillion different versions of images like this.

{amidst this craziness, a little sneak peek of our engagement pics!}

I can't believe I'm actually posting a picture of my work in progress, but there's your window into the way my mind works. Chaotic, no? As hard as it might be to believe, that craptastic illustration is where all the magic starts for me. In case you were curious as to what you're looking at, that's a potential layout for a 5x7 pocketfold. Starting on the left we have a (horribly rendered) pointed flap lined with stripes, leading to the main invite in the middle (where you can clearly *ahem* see where the words and the graphics go, right?), and the enclosures in a pocket on the right-hand side that's also lined with stripes and may potentially feature a photo of us.

No doubt I would've done a similar layout even if we were going to order our invites from a printer, just because it gives me a chance to see how everythings fits together. But because we plan to DIY them, laying out all the individual elements like this gives me an opportunity to think about how each part needs to be made, what's feasible and what's not, how they'll have to be layered and adhered, what supplies we'll need, etc.

It also gives me ample time to consider the likely possibility that we've bitten off more than we can chew here. SO many individual parts. SO many steps to put it all together. SO little time to get it all done. And ALL that for something people will just throw away. I don't know why this is so important to me, except to say that it is. I cherish the way Mr. FW and I collaborate on creative tasks like this (even if we drive each other crazy sometimes), and I love the idea that when it's all finished we'll have this amazing memento we made with our own hands.

That said, we're not even done designing them yet and already I can't wait to cross them off the list!

What project did you or will you take on, knowing full well it's probably more than you can reasonably handle? What's YOUR explanation for that?

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