Designing For Yourself Sucks

So originally this post was started back on 7/19/10 at 10:49 PM. A little more than a fortnight after my little girl was born. The sketching had started back in Jan. So when i think about it, this project has been hangin over my head for nearly a year. Not really sure how many hours i have logged on this project. It's now close to 5 months since the original post had been started. The best part is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Thought i might share with you a few of the revisions and steps that i went through. Some of the original sketches of course were for a boy back when we didn't know what we where going to have. Even looking at it now, the type treatment looks more masculine than i thought.

Once i got all excited and was certain we where having a boy i put the sketches down and waited to work on the details till after we knew the details. You know the weight, time, date, length etc.
Glad i did cause we ended up having a girl and felt that softer curvy lines would lend themselves to the the announcement.

Once the letters had been refined a bit, i moved on to illustrator to clean things up a bit. Tried out some color ideas. I didn't want to do a standard blue=boy pink=girl card so i went round and round with what to use.

At this point i had come to the orange and pink colors. The plan at this point is that i would be screen printing these beasts by hand... I know, "what was i thinking." I have about 150-200, double sided, tri-fold self mailer that i telling myself i was gonna screen print. Then affix a photo of Coraline to the announcement before mailing. I was trying my best to keep it a two color job. Wanted to take advantage of the translucency of the inks and the paper color. A lot of thought went into making the card look more like 3-4 colors.

That is what it looked like a few weeks back. I had come close to finally finishing this task only to realized that Christmas is only a month or so away. Why not make more work and tweak the colors one last time and make it my our Xmas letter. It's already late, why not. Below are the individual panels of the final colors. I have to say i am pretty excited to get these out to the printer, and out in the mail.

I'll post some pictures of the finals once we get them back from the printer.
Hope you enjoyed these process pieces. There are lots of things i have learned on this single project over the course of the year. Here are some of them:

• I now have more of an appreciation for those that create typefaces.
• Those that are able to create pen tool curves w/out bumps or awkward tangents make me sick and jealous.
• CS 5 didn't come out soon enough.
• The Illustrator "Width Tool" will be your best friend.
• Don't tell your wife you won't design and print any more posters before you finish the announcements. Why? It will make you a liar.
• The week you take off of work to be home with the wife and baby will not be when you can finish the birth announcement.
• You will stare at your baby for hours in silence and be totally fine.

And the final tidbit i'll take from this project is the truth in the old saying
"You're your own worst client". I have to say, "Yes, yes i am."



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