In case you haven't noticed, this week I've been featuring tree-themed invitations on the blog. This wasn't totally intentional, I just happened to realize earlier this week that we've been doing a lot of tree-themed designs lately and I figured it would be a good opportunity to show them off, all together, so you could see how many different possibilities can come out of one, simple theme. The designs I've been showing off so far have been for wedding invitations and Save-the-Date cards, but we also recently printed a fabulous set of Bar Mitzvah invitations, for a young man named Julian, in the Los Angeles area.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, a Bar Mitzvah is a Jewish ceremony celebrating a boy's coming-of-age in the Jewish community. The Bar Mitzvah ceremony is typically an ordinary Sabbath service in which the boy participates for the first time as an adult. Typically a boy becomes a Bar Mitzvah at the age of 13. There is also an equivalent celebration for Jewish girls, called a Bat Mitzvah, which happens typically when the girl turns 12. Following the service there is often a celebratory meal or other type of party with family, friends and other members of the Jewish community. If you'd like to read more about Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, you can here.
Julian and his mom, Suzanne, had seen some of the Bar and Bat Mitzvah invitations I had designed and printed, here, on this blog, and decided to contact me about designing and printing Julian's. Julian and his family wanted some sort of Tree of Life theme and imagery when it came to the invitations, but were open to having that tree image be fairly modern and more organic than other more traditional depictions. Julian also expressed to me when we talked that he liked more antique-looking typefaces, so I made sure to take that into account when coming up with his design. Julian's Bar Mitzvah invitation suite, which you can see all together at the top of this post, included an A7 size invitation, a 4bar size reply postcard and an A7 envelope.
Julian's invitation was printed on Crane Lettra 100% cotton Ecru paper in two ink colors: a very light, sagey green and chocolate brown. I created a very organic, natural, Tree of Life that surrounds the text of Julian's invite and bleeds off of both the left-hand side and top of the invitation. If you look at the detail photo below you can see all of the amazing detail that went into this tree - particularly in the leaves. It turned out so great letterpress printed! All of the text was printed in chocolate brown ink. I used a classic, serif typeface that reminded me of old wooden letterpress type for Julian's and his parent's names, and a different, classic, roman typeface for the rest of the text. Julian's family chose to include information about both the actual service at the temple that is going to happen in the morning, and information about the evening party at a downtown hotel, on the invite. Here is a close-up so you can see some of the details better:
Julian and his family chose to pair the invitation with a simple, matching, ecru, square-flap envelope, also from Crane. The envelope had their return address letterpress printed in chocolate brown ink on the back flap.
For the reply card, Julian and his family chose to do a postcard, rather than a traditional card with an envelope. This is an awesome option as it saves both money on printing, as well as paper. The reply postcard was double-sided and looked like this:
Like the main invitation envelope, we kept the back of the postcard very simple and printed just the family's address on it in brown ink.
The front of the reply postcard was very similar to the invite, and featured the Tree of Life image on the left-hand side, with text printed in chocolate ink to the right of it.
Like the reply card for a wedding, Julian's Bar Mitzvah reply card featured a line where guests could write in their names and a place to indicate whether or not they planned to attend. This particular reply also included a portion where adult guests could choose an entree selection for the party in the evening. Isn't it just great?!? I love the way this set turned out!!
Julian and his family were really fun to work with. I honestly loved getting phone calls from Julian about the designs when we were in the middle of the design process, especially because most of my clients are quite a bit older. It was especially fun to get to work with someone so young, who was so interested in having a say in how his invitations came out! If you'd like to see some more examples of Bar and Bat Mitzvah invitations I've designed and printed in the past, you can check them out on this blog here, here and here. Thanks so much again, Julian, Suzanne and Randy! You guys are awesome!!