Thursday, May 5, 2011

I had to redesign the Royal Invitation

I couldn't let it go. Ever since I saw the royal invitation (or a close proximation to it), I've been haunted.  You can read my shocked and dramatic over-reaction post here. I know the aristocracy has to be formal and even stiff/stodgy but I proclaim that there is still beauty to be found in that old-fashioned style!

The typesetting left LOTS to be admired using the inspired font choice of...italics. The awkward text splits make it read uncomfortably and there seemed to be no regard for the special people who are actually "commanding" this great event in history (The Queen) and those who are being honored (Sweet William and adorable Kate).

Needless to say, I was compelled to create a new visual for the disappointing original. I did this design in about 15 minutes. I'm not saying that to brag on my mad design skills, I'm just saying that it doesn't take much time to make text on an invitation look elegant and beautiful.
I used "Mrs. Eaves" which is a beautifully structured font family that has many cases; I used the petite caps for the body text and highlighted (very in an understated way) the queens name in the italics. I also italicized and enlarged slightly William and Kate's names so as to call more attention to the couple of the day. I did love the idea of writing each guest's names individually, so the guide lines were a bit inevitable (although I'm sure a royal calligrapher could have done it without lines but...).

I created the "lines" out of text periods in the same font but at about 6 point in size and adjusted the kerning to about 300. I originally (in my self-absorbed American way) blasted the reply address on the left for being unjustified in text formatting terms.

I forgot that Europeans use the stair-stepping as a standard address format. (Actually, I have British relatives and I should have remembered that, but in my defense I was in quite a state of shock). I decided that it needed to be removed from the front of the invitation altogether and put it on it's own card. Then, as you see, I added the attire to the right corner with right justification.

I recreated the royal monogram, but you get the idea and now at least it has some visual elbow room compared to the tight spacing of the original. It was unconfirmed that the photo was on the actual invitations, so I just pretended that it was never on there to begin with.

To add an element of beautiful understated detail, I used rounded corners and thought a beautiful gold edging would be a perfect and appropriately festive detail. They are royals, afterall!

Now I can finally let this design atrocity rest and wish the couple well, knowing that there is a revised and beautified version of their invitation out in the internet universe. I would also like to let the Chief Invitations Secretary know that I'd be happy to help out the next time when an international event is planned. All you have to do is ask! ;o)


  1. love it!! I think you need to post this on that royal wedding site or something. I'm sure Kate was probably horrified about the other invite but had no choice. This is so much better!

  2. So, so, so much better! Maybe there's a career for you as the Queen's official designer. :)

  3. Divine. Margot that is perfect and so beautiful. I bet poor W&K didn't get much choice in vendor or style - I imagine it's all organised by the royal court. Yours is perfect. x


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