There's nothing like a good party. Whether it's a monumental life moment like a wedding or graduation, or a seasonal excuse to gather a group of friends, there is a lot that goes into making the event special. And often, it all starts with the invitations that get sent out. That's why we turned to My Modern Met Academy's resident lettering expert, Danison Fronda, to help you see how you can craft your own special invitations.
Fronda teaches our introductory hand-lettering course, Write Out the Future: Hand Letter an Inspiring Phrase. In the hour-long online class, he takes you through all the necessary steps to transform your script into a work of art. Once you have mastered these skills, you can put them to good use on a whole range of items.
Through his wedding and event calligraphy service Bowtie and Brush, Fronda creatively uses his lettering to make unique invitations and signage. So, since he's an excellent teacher who loves sharing his knowledge, we thought that we'd ask him for some tips on how anyone can tackle making a hand-lettered invitation or piece of stationery.
Read on to see his suggestions and to learn how you can get signed up for his class. But remember, whatever you end up creating, it's all about the thought and effort you put into it, so try not to get stressed.
“At the end of the day, the purpose of an invitation is to give your guest the information they need for the event,” Fronda shares. “As long as they can read it, the rest is all about putting your creative self on a piece of paper—so have fun with it.”
Here's what Fronda suggests you keep in mind when using your calligraphy skills on a new project.
Have reference photos
“Make sure you have reference photos. No, this isn’t copying! It simply allows you to get inspired instead of looking at a blank page of paper and not knowing where to start. I love looking at different lettering styles and layouts. Once I have a few selected, I try to mix and match a few aspects into a completely new style that fits me and the vibe I’m going for! This exercise is great if you’re still trying to figure out what lettering style really suits your personal style best. It’s also a great way to see how others may have worded the information on the invite.”
“This might be self-explanatory, but if you’re trying to go for an overall lettering style, you’re going to want to practice to the point where you like what you see! It doesn’t need to be perfect since it is hand-lettered, but you don’t want to rush the process. The fun thing about this practice is that you’re more than likely only focusing on a few words, whether it be your name, or ‘You’re Invited.’ So you can literally take an entire blank sheet of paper to try different things out. Do you want a flourished ‘T’? Do you want to add serifs? Do you want your letters to bounce?”
Take a breather
“When you think you’re done and have no more changes, pause. Take a breather and step away from your design for a couple of hours or even a day. You’ve more than likely been spending countless hours staring at your design to fix it and make it ‘just right.’ Give your brain a reset to be able to look at your design with a pair of fresh eyes. This is usually when I’ll be a bit more nit-picky on the angles, weight, and spacing of my lettering.”
Get print samples
“Test out a few different professional printers. Or choose one professional printer and print your invite with different options. You’d be amazed that paper color, paper weight, and paper finishes can change so much. And the worst feeling is printing hundreds of invitations, getting them back, and hating how it turned out.”
And, here's Fronda's biggest no-no when it comes to hand-lettering.
Don't have too many styles
“We want a cohesive invitation. Many first-time invitation designers make the mistake of incorporating too many different styles of lettering, and the design tends to look crowded and messy. The best tip is to choose one script style and one non-script style for your invite. You can still play with line weights and small variations, but make sure to just stick to the two main styles.”