Shawn Weston
Shawn Weston is a UX/UI Designer based in the Greater New York City Area

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Frances & Joe’s Wedding Invitations: Chapter 1 — The Opening Pitch

A drawn portrait of Joe and Frances.

A drawn portrait of Joe and Frances.

This year, I had the great pleasure of designing wedding invitations for Frances Micklow — @fmicklow — and Joe Hannan — @JHannan86.

In January, I started sketching out ideas. Having spent time with Frances and Joe gave me some direction on how to capture the essence of their personalities and relationship and bring it into the design. Both of them are multi-talented, gracious, dedicated, creative, charming. Frances is a photojournalist, editor and videographer. Joe is a journalist, writer, editor and musician.

By April, hand-drawn brush script became married to whimsical sketches, a selective use of emerald green — one of the couple’s wedding colors — and vector and hand-drawn iterations of Pitch, a font by the marvelous New Zealand-based typographer Kris Sowersby. The font is his love letter to the typewriter.

A sample of Pitch Medium, from Klim Type Foundry

A sample of Pitch Medium, from Klim Type Foundry

Why Pitch?

Early on, Frances was drawn to the use of typewritten characters as part of the design. But a font such as Courier just wouldn’t do. I needed a font that fit to style, but that was modern and imbued with some feeling of romanticism about its history — hence, Pitch. In the words of Sowersby:

”With a legacy of functionality, romance and literary seriousness, writers and journalists used typewriters to great effect. ... The honest aesthetic of the typewritten text these writing machines produce is wonderful.”

A thumbnail from a mountain of sketches. With hand-drawn brush script, practice makes perfect.

A thumbnail from a mountain of sketches. With hand-drawn brush script, practice makes perfect.

As a contrast to Pitch, I created sketches upon sketches upon sketches of playful, organic hand-drawn brush scripts, as seen above. Practice made perfect. Editing it all down to an optimal final design was a challenge, perfecting details in the composition, brush stroke weights, use of color, etc. Frances and Joe were also great in their feedback, offering additional ideas and letting me know when to pull back.

What began as a single formal invitation grew to a multi-faceted yet cohesive collection, including an R.S.V.P., an information card for travelers, an alternate reception invitation and a save-the-date card. Frances packaged it all together beautifully.