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Those of you who have been paying attention will remember that I’m doing a free invitation designing service at the moment. It’s still up and running, so if you have an event coming up, let me know. Have a look at the invitation section for more details.

A few weeks ago, my lovely friend Katherine and her husband Justin requested an invitation for their summer barbeque and K’s birthday celebration. Much as you might appreciate birthdays and barbeques, you might think it’s a bit over the top to post out invitations for such an occasion. You’d be mistaken.

Firstly, post is generally exciting and should be encouraged in every situation, as far as I’m concerned. I love post.

Secondly, as Katherine said, in today’s age of facebook events and groups, it’s easy to forget or miss invitations, or even to not feel very personally invited – your name is just another ticked on a list. No wonder then that Katherine wanted to bypass that and send everyone a personal invitation; a beacon of excitment amongst envelopes of bills, take-away menus and general doom.

Thirdly, this is a barbeque celebration with history. I can’t remember when the tradition started – over ten years ago now – but since our dark and distant teenage years, we have been gathering in a garden in July to eat, drink, and be generally merry, and, with varying levels of expertise, to put tents up and sleep in them, in order to celebrate Katherine’s birthday, the summer and life in general.  Oh, and in my case, develop a distinct and continuing dislike of Jack Daniels.  Up until a couple of years ago, the barbeque was held at her parents’ house in the middle of the Welsh countryside, with a small tree swing and just enough of a slope to tumble down when the need or inclination arose.  Who could refuse to design an invitation for such a historical event?

Justin is from across the pond, but the event was still all about the great British summer barbeque.  I have been admiring classic circus poster designs for a while now, and that was the initial mental starting point, when I started sketching ideas. Which will give you some idea of how much my final designs tend to differ from the images in my head.

I love screen prints, typography and graphic design, and I often start with those types of images . I’m not a graphic designer though, so invariably I can’t produce the images in the way that I want and become frustrated. This period of frustrated drawing, piles of paper ending up in the bin, does eventually lead to experiments, new ideas and, once I allow myself to relax and sketch, the designs come good in the end. It definitely makes it a more exciting process – I end up a hop, skip and a jump away from where I first thought I’d be, and with new ideas I didn’t know I had.


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