I was very pleased to be asked to do the invitations for the weekend of my stepson Declan’s birthday celebrations.
There were to be two parties; the first for tenants and employees on the estate plus a few local friends, and the second bash for friends, relations and godparents.
I started off with some sketches which I sent to Declan and his father Al Margadale for approval and feedback. A scanner and email mean you can do this very easily and is one of the joys of modern life.
We worked out the design and lettering between all of us after which I worked up the design for the second invite first using gouache with bits of watercolour. The theme of the party was to be Carnival, most specifically South American carnivals, inspired by Declan’s trip there in his gap year. When I had finished I realised that the name of the person being invited would be a bit cramped and hard to see on the dark background. My solution was to add a wide oval shield to the top. I did this on a separate piece of watercolour paper and photo-shopped it together. In the end I think it strengthened the design, one of those situations like a lucky accident that happen in deisgn. I believe that post-it notes were invented as a result of trying to create an immensely strong glue which resulted in the scientists involved finding a weak glue suitable for tacking bits of paper temporarily to various surfaces.
The main focus of the invitation to the first party was the completion of the re-thatching and refurbishment of the tithe barn at Place Farm in Tisbury. This was an enormous project and a major expense for the estate as it is the largest tithe barn in the country. I tried to include a few things about the estate into the design.
Estate party rough 3
The pheasant, the tractor and horse representing the shooting, the stud and the farming that take place at Fonthill. The woodcock and the red deer are references to an estate on Islay which is also owned by the Morrisons. The rider is my step daughter Nancy wearing the Morrison racing silks and riding her coloured horse Kitten which was bred at Fonthill. I gave myself a bit of license here, the filly is only a yearling so in no way ready to be ridden over jumps.