Friday, April 6, 2012

Design Updates - From the Archives: Amour

A few weeks back I thought that my Mac might have gotten a virus. EEK! The scare forced me to really weed through and back up all of my designs. During the tedious process I began to play with some of the designs from my super newbie days and see if anything from them were workable. 

I found two things; 1) I was much more adventurous as a new designer and 2) Some of the designs, with a lot of updating, were worthy of being for sale. 

Actually, a lot of the newer invitation designs in the Believe Notes Etsy Shop are reworked and updated designs from years ago. Now that I've grown as a designer, I am able to see where I made mistakes and what little tweaks needed to be made in order to take an "eh" design into a "wow" design. I love how they're coming out and I thought I would share a few before and afters. 

This first design was something I put together a few years ago when I was brainstorming ideas for my own wedding. I had seen so much of the "Eat Drink & Be Married" that I thought I could work it into a rehearsal dinner invitation. 

Looking back at it, I found a few things that worked - the fonts, the little heart up top and the curved text. However, there were a lot of things not working - the totally separate design elements, the "Eat Drink and Be Married" type just didn't fit the rest of the design, and the flourishes around the hearts. So I spent a few days looking at the design and playing with the layout, type, colors etc and eventually ended up with something that I love. 

I love the way the Amour design came together in the landscape orientation, and the white space plus navy and pink brings a charming almost nautical feel to the design. By simplifying the design elements, I feel like I was really able to create focus points that enhance one another (as opposed to being distracting, the way they were in the old version). I was even able to design a pretty patterned backer to compliment the design. 

Updating the old designs has not only been fun for me, but it's also almost like a form of therapy. Since I am not a trained graphic artist, I really have some scary looking designs from when I first started. They are down right embarrassing, and for a long time I thought I needed to file them away and pretend they ever existed. But as I started filing them away, I felt like I was a teacher looking at a students work and saying "hey, that's not so bad - it needs some tweaking! A little refinement! I can help fix this"! It's like an instant way to see the growth in my skill and design eye - and I am so glad that I didn't just put "bad" designs in a "burn" folder and never look at them again. 

Growth is good. Growth is even better when you see it so vividly. 

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