In my latest project, a birth announcement for good friends, the design of the main graphic has evolved in a really nice, organic way.
Lauren and I started talking about the tone they wanted to strike, and we liked the idea of being a little funny. They’re funny and sarcastic people – not the type to do a really flowery birth announcement , but then again you can’t really be too funny, or sarcastic at all, in a birth announcement. It really is all about joy in the end.
This is their first child, and I knew they were debating how to hyphenate the last name: Klein-Onkeles or Onkeles-Klein. At some point I came up with the jingle, “First of her kind, she’s an Onkeles-Klein”. I’m sure they have other reasons for the name order than this card, but it stuck. (After all, nothing rhymes with Onkeles.)
Lauren also liked the idea of monkeys as a graphic element. She said in Spanish it’s common to remark about a baby, “que monito!” which literally means “what a little monkey” but is truly a term of endearment – what a little cutie.
The first monkey image that came to my mind was the monkeys from the game Barrel of Monkeys – I think because those are a really graphic shape that I knew would translate in a flat image. (Though in retrospect…not cute.) I liked the idea of repeating graphic pattern that breaks with one monkey in the midst of the pattern, being “first of its kind.”
I made mockups of this concept which were mildly successful, but then the parents-to-be found an image of a child’s stationary, with really cute monkeys, from Dear Olive. They’re adorable, and much more suitable inspiration for a baby announcement. And the image of a monkey on a vine makes for a nice overall graphic that can anchor the card and balance a photo, which we knew all along we wanted to include.
So I set to work on my own version of a cute monkey on a cute vine. I modeled shapes from two unrelated images from istockphoto – a cross-with-vine image and a more cartoony monkey with no tail and big arms and legs. In the end, I’m really happy with my little monito and super excited for the card to take shape.