Design Work

On-the-day design & print work for a December wedding

Following on from these invitations and RSVP website last year, Ryan & Steph’s wedding day was also packed with lots of custom design work, captured in typically comprehensive style by the wonderful Mister Phill who was on hand to document their day!

I don’t always get to see finished work in the final context. So given the huge amount of design work involved in Ryan & Steph’s day, I was delighted when Mister Phill sent me through such a complete set of photos – reproduced with his kind permission here!

The original concept for the invitations was full of vintagey, woodblock-style design, reminiscent of old fly-posters or show-bills with a few quirky contemporary twists. The colours were updated from the original design to complement the decor of the venue and the floral accessories, but aside from that the basic concept remained unchanged giving lots of scope for typographic fun, and plenty of hand-stamped vintage print effects.

A large A1 print based on the invitations took pride of place behind the top table, with a few details changed to make it more relevant to the day. Ryan & Steph mounted it in a simple but elegant frame with an inner surround, so they could later put it up at home as a reminder of their day.


Poole’s Hotel Du Vin can be a bit of a maze, so bespoke signage was created to make sure everyone could find their way around throughout the day.

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The wedding took place at the start of December, so the outdoor signage needed to be weatherproof. Although the weather on the day was dry, a matt laminate mounted onto foamcore board meant external pieces could withstand everything Poole Harbour could throw their way.

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Guest tables each had an individually designed quotation, which Steph and Ryan then finished off to a tee in an eclectic, mis-matched set of photo frames.


The design concept was carried all the way through to parental gifts, thank-you cards for guests staying overnight in the hotel and artwork for the Photobooth printouts.


… and for when the evening air got just that bit too chilly, custom-designed blanket wraps meant the design was carried through all the way to the end of the night!


Thanks to Ryan & Steph for allowing me to so comprehensively Swash and Fold their day, and huge thanks to Mister Phill for letting me reproduce his photos here!


Design: Swash and Fold
Photography: Mister Phill
Venue: Hotel Du Vin, Poole
Fonts: Brandon Printed (HVD Fonts), Microbrew (Albatross)

Design Work · Helpful Things

Font Friday: The Luxx

Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s The Luxx, a bold Deco with a twist

I’d not come across the Valencia-based Resistenza Studio before now, but I’m wishing I had. The duo of Giuseppe Salerno and Paco Gonzalez have been producing some outstanding work for several years now, flitting effortlessly between crafted vintage typography, effortless brushwork and exquisite hand lettering.

The Luxx is an update of a font the studio first released back in the 2010, inspired by Italian Art Deco posters and advertising of the 1930s. The original ‘Luxx’ incarnation of the typeface was true to the authentic form of the era – all perfect geometrics, even weights, truncated descenders and a flat serpentine ‘S’. The simple 2013 addition of ‘The’ to the name however has heralded a whole host of OpenType extras with extra language support, bold ligatures, in-filled letters and lots of edgy alternates. These additions bring things right up to date meaning The Luxx is equally at home in retro or ultra-modern designs, and perfect for print and design work at all sizes.

Musical soundtrack this Friday is courtesy of 80’s hip-hoppers Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, who managed to combine an admirable sentiment with one the most niggling earworms of all time.

More examples of The Luxx in use can be found on Resistanza’s MyFonts store, where the font is currently available at a discounted rate.


Fonts: The Luxx (Giuseppe Salerno / Resistenza)

Design Work · Helpful Things

Font Friday: Magnel

Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s the bold Didone elegance of Magnel

The Didone has quietly experienced something of a revival in recent years… A splicing of the surnames of French typefounder Didot and the Italian print pioneer Bodoni, Didones are typified by very heavy vertical strokes and ultra-fine horizontal lines, and barely-there hairline serifs.

Didot and Bodoni developed their typefaces independently in the mid-19th century, but the boom in travel brought about by the steam age meant both were soon in common usage across the whole of Europe, fast becoming a staple part of the neoclassical aesthetic. Before every foundry had their own take on the Didone form, and the family soon became so commonplace as to be taken for granted.

It wasn’t until a century later that the Chauncey H. Griffith decided to update Bodoni for large-format use, emphasising the verticals to an excessive degree in his Poster Bodoni, of which the current plentiful crop of ultra-heavy, design-friendly Didones are direct descendants.

To Magnel then, which first emerged in 2011 from the hand of Lithuanian designer Eimantas Paškonis. The font is a contemporary, almost relaxed take on the Didone shape with more space in the counters (the empty holes in letter like “o” or “d”) and shorter descending elements (e.g the tail of a lower-case “g”). It also boasts some lovely ligatures, cheeky OpenType swash variants for any characters at the end of a line, and nicely implemented ball terminals (check out the lower case “f” in particular!). Magnel looks great at large sizes, and lends itself perfectly to typographic posters, headlines or most other display usage.

Inspiration and musical soundtrack this week is Bret and Germaine’s Masterclass in back-handed compliments.

Magnel may be purchased from the MyFonts store, which also features lots more examples of the font in use.


Fonts: Magnel (Eimantas Paškonis)

Design Work · Helpful Things

Font Friday: Runcible

Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s the Attack of the 50ft Typeface with the B-Movie inspired Runcible

I originally had something very different in mind for this week’s Font Friday – something clean, crisp, versatile and elegant, packed to the rafters with OpenType trickery and fanciness. But the minute I saw the new offering from Font Friday stalwarts Pintassilgo Prints I realised what I really wanted was some good old-fashioned display-font fun.

There’s a time and a place for elegant type. Pintassilgo know this and are more than capable of delivering on this front, but they seem to really come alive when it comes to big, bold, 50s and 60s-inspired poster fonts. And Runcible definitely falls into the latter category, with its Jazz-artwork-meets-B-Movie poster influences. The inclusion of the shattered “cleft” version just completes the poster-friendly package – this is a font that likes to be used BIG!

As you’d expect by now from the Brazilian duo, the font makes intelligent use of OpenType and character variations to keep things organic, avoiding too much repetition with subtle variations. Things are upper-case only, but to be honest I can’t imagine this font suiting anything less than the loudest of messages. To be blunt, this typeface probably won’t find its way into many circumstances where subtlety is required, and the audience is going to be fairly niche compared to some of the previous Font Friday offerings. But the font is such unmitigated fun to use that it seemed unfair to exclude it on range of use alone!

Inspiration and musical soundtrack this week is best listened to early in the day for maximum earworm effect! A real Jurassic classic, you might say…

Runcible (presumably named after the nonsense poems of Edward Lear) is available at an introductory half price, and may be purchased as standard or the more rock-hewn “cleft” version from Pintassilgo’s MyFonts store, which also features lots more examples of the font in use.


Fonts: Runcible, Runcible Cleft (PintassilgoPrints)

Design Work

Font Friday: Bookmania

Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s the retro curves of Bookmania by Mark Simonson

Ask any web typographer whose work they admire, and the chances are Mark Simonson’s name will crop up. Mark has spent the past thirty years developing typefaces, digitising film fonts, and creating an arsenal of type unique in that it looks just as good on screen and in motion as it does in print.

Simonson’s work has quietly become mainstream on the web over the years, and the chances are you’ll see good handful of his fonts in use today without even realising. Bookmania was released in 2011, and is a perfect example of his understated-yet-iconic approach to lettering.

At heart a revival of the standard book printers’ workhorse Bookman Oldstyle, Bookmania also references the distinctive directions illustrators took Bookman in the 1960s and early 1970s. The result is a strong-minded font with a retro edge packed with a mindboggling near-700 swashes and character variants, which makes OpenType software like Illustrator or InDesign a must if you’re to get the most out of it.

The complete Bookmania family has 10 weights available, although I’ve just kept to SemiBold Italic for the demo below. The soundtrack this week is from everyone’s favourite robot-headed funsters, and you’ve got a choice of the original video or the internet sensation it spawned…

More samples of Bookmania in use are available on Mark Simonson’s store


Fonts: Bookmania (Mark Simonson)