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.

008-duvin 007-duvin

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.

005-duvin 009-duvin

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

Folding Book Invitations for a Literary-Themed Wedding

One of the things I enjoy most about working on bespoke invitation designs is the variety… Everyone has something different in mind for their day, and I love the challenge of carrying that across into print.

Laura & Peter’s wedding is taking place deep in Hardy Country, the picturesque corner of Dorset where Thomas Hardy spent so much of his life. With so much rich literary history surrounding their venue it’s no surprise they decided to adopt this as a loose theme for their wedding, which gave me the chance to come up with something suitably book-inspired for their invitations!

The design takes late 19th century book-printing as the starting point, with grained linen and leather covers, hot-stamped gold lettering, embossed details, and precise, immaculate typography on the pages within. The irregularly-sized folds of the final printed piece allow the faux book cover and spines on the front to unfold into an info-packed invitation, complete with detachable RSVP, custom map and plenty of information to help guests get around on the day.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about that bee-autiful copy of “Far From The Madding Crowd” peeking out from under the invitation on the first photo, that’s one of the amazing Coralie Bickford-Smith’s Penguin Classics range – well worth a nose through the rest of her cover designs if you’re not familiar with them. Only of course after you’ve scrolled down and had a look at the rest of the details below…







Paper: 340gsm Splendorgel Extra White
Design: Swash and Fold
Fonts: Garamond Premier Pro (Adobe), Modnoc (Borutta Wood Type Collection), Appareo (Kimmy Design), Aphrodite Slim Pro (Typesenses)

Design Work

Print Design: The Larder House

Another bit of branding and design work on the blog, with a look at the artwork created for the launch of the Dorset-based restaurant’s regular “Folk & Fayre” Artisan market

The Larder House has made quite a name for itself on the South Coast since opening at the start of 2011, combining a uniquely focused vision, an almost obsessive passion for food, and an inclusive enthusiasm that sweeps customers along for the ride. Proprietor and restauranteur James Fowler is always looking for new and innovative ways to share his passion for food and drink, the latest being the introduction of the “Folk & Fayre” market. This Artisan market takes place within the restaurant space and features local producers, showcasing their wares alongside some of the area’s best folk music performers.

Although resolutely progressive and forward-thinking in attitude, the aesthetic of The Larder House and its branding draws quite heavily from the Victorian era, which aside from the undeniable visual appeal has I think a particular historical resonance in this case…

The Victorian taste for ornamentation, flourishes and detailing was in many ways a direct reaction to the rapid growth of industrialisation. Artists and designers of the era felt that while this new industrial age made many aspects of their work easier it also removed some of the craftsmanship from their work. Many therefore decided to use the new techniques at their disposal to adorn their work with all manner of over-the-top embellishments, drawing liberally from all manner of historical artistic eras and reference points with the intention of disguising the technical advances of the engineers. Others took this still further, their revival of hands-on craftsmanship giving rise to the British Arts and Crafts movement – a movement that sees some clear parallels in the rise of Artisan and craft food and drink manufacturers over the past decade.

Poster and flyer design of the era followed the visual grab-bag approach, combining traditional serifs with slab-text and hand-drawn ornamental scripts, with the type often being recreated by hand and distorted or compressed to fill available space. For the Folk & Fayre artwork a hefty selection of period-appropriate fonts were used, along with some suitably ostentatious ornamentation and a handful of woodcut-style illustrations to finish things off.

The finished artwork for the first event can be seen below, then why not have a look what James & and his team have been up to over on their Facebook page!





Design: Swash and Fold
Fonts: Verna (Fenotype), Foglihten No01 (GLUK fonts), Birmingham New Street (Greater Albion Typefounders), Organically (Pintassilgo Prints), Polyspring (Pintassilgo Prints), Polonaise (URW++)

Design Work · Helpful Things

Font Friday: Ultramarina, plus the launch of the first Swash and Fold Workshop

Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s the moustache-twirling charm of Ultramarina

Ultramarina was first released a couple of years ago by Juanjo Lopez, the Madrid-based graphic designer and hand letterer behind Huy!Fonts. Juanjo describes the font as “Halfway between nineteenth century display wood letters and the American grotesk sans-serif of the early twentieth”, which means it was only a matter of time before it found itself in the Swash and Fold font folder!

Ultramarina is an elongated serif with both upper and lower-case characters, and comes loaded with a set of well-executed ligatures, confident OpenType flourishes and a handful of catchwords perfect for signage, display lettering and invitations. The characters are full of nice touches that prevent the font from appearing too formal, and with a bit of encouragement can take on an almost whimsical vintage storybook demeanor.

The example this week takes the form of a bit of an advertisment, as I introduce the first The Knowledge workshop, designed to give creatives and creatively-minded businesses the knowledge to do more with their online and offline branding. In the first edition (“A Code Most Curious”) we’ll be diving into the murky depths of HTML, WordPress and websites. The event takes place on Wednesday 17th July in Southbourne, Dorset (UK), and more information on the workshop on the Eventbrite page, along with a bit about the amazing venue!

Eventbrite - The Knowledge (Volume One): "A Code Most Curious"

Ultramarina is available to buy from the Huy!Fonts MyFonts store, along with more examples of the font in use.


Fonts: Ultramarina (Juanjo Lopez / Huy!Fonts), Laudanum (Carl Rylatt / Ten Dollar Fonts)

Design Work · Helpful Things

Font Friday: Laudanum

Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s the eye-catching vintage visuals of of Laudanum

One of my more recent discoveries while trawling the web for new font goodness has been the Ten Dollar Fonts treasure trove – a site packed with some of the freshest, on-trend and experimental fonts I’ve seen in some time. And all for the bargain price of… well, you can probably figure that one out!

Nestling in amongst the swathes of fashion-forward abstract characters and ultra-clean geometrics I came across Laudanum, a condensed serif display typeface inspired by 19th century posters. Laudanum is one of those fonts that does what it does, and does it well. There are no OpenType features to complicate things, just a set of perfectly weighted tall uppercase characters, with slightly shorter versions on the lowercase. Combine this with a couple of ornaments, just enough punctuation and some handy catchwords and you’ve got an extremely useful addition to the arsenal.

Inspiration this week is in tribute to the finest hour of a once-great publisher, that closed its doors for the last time earlier this wee… LOOK! A THREE HEADED MONKEY!

Laudanum is available to buy from the Ten Dollar Fonts website, along with more examples of the font in use.


Fonts: Laudanum (Carl Rylatt / Ten Dollar Fonts)