How-To: Make Your Own Wedding Emblem
By Liz Grotyohann
Making yourself an emblem for your wedding is a great and simple way to weave a personalized theme through your wedding elements and get a very “pulled together” look for very little money. You can use your mark on your invitations, place cards, programs, favors, and thank you cards to add a personal and memorable touch.
Image-editing software like Photoshop This tutorial assumes that you have a basic knowledge of Photoshop, but you can use free software like GIMP to make your design as well.
Access to a scanner only if you’re not using art that’s already digital
Step 1: Find your art.
Do you have a theme running through your wedding? Is it harvest time and you want apples on your tables? A Paris destination wedding? Find black-and-white images that represent you or your wedding theme. ( When I say black-and-white, I mean black-and-white, not grayscale! Black lines on a white background! This will make your design more versatile, as I’ll explain later.)
You can draw your own art and scan it, or use clip art. I like clipart.com or the Dover Clip Art books — they may take some digging, but they are great resources for old-timey engraved-looking images. Plus, they are royalty-free.
While you’re at it, collect any decorative elements you might want to use, like frames or banners. Don’t want any images, just an old-fashioned monogram? Find a cool font and use the next steps to arrange your initials instead. There are lots of resources out there for awesome free fonts, like dafont.com.
Step 2: Create your image.
Create a new Grayscale document in Photoshop, with a resolution of 300dpi. Make the document at least a few inches larger than you’ll want your emblem — you can always crop it later. Remember, you might want to use your emblem in more than one place, so plan for the largest that it will appear.
Scan in black-and-white any images you’ve drawn or found, download your clip art images, and drop them into your document. Arrange and modify the images as you like. Make your emblem more interesting by combining multiple images or adding a decorative frame or other ornamentation.
Step 3: Add color.
Now convert your art from black-and-white to monotone, which will make everything that is now black whatever color you want it to be. So, to answer the question that’s been in the back of your head, why are you making a 1-color emblem instead of something full-color? Well, if you look at most of the wedding stationery designs out there, they only use 1 or 2 colors. It’s a sophisticated (read: expensive) look. Plus, if you make a 1-color design, you can easily have a rubber stamp made of your design, and then you can really get crafty!
To convert your image to monotone, go to “Mode” in the Image menu and select “Duotone.” Make sure the menu at the top left of the Duotone box is set to Monotone. (Confused yet?) Then click on the color box to select your color. I recommend using the Color Libraries to choose a Pantone color, especially if you plan on sending your emblem out to be professionally printed on anything. That will help ensure a good color match. And remember, color on your screen often looks different from color on paper, so make sure to make some test prints!
Step 4: Add your text .
Add your names and your wedding date to your emblem. Once again, sites like dafont.com are great resources for finding the perfect font. Remember that you might be using your mark at a small size on place cards and favors, so choose a font that scales down well. Script or distressed fonts with lots of little bits usually don’t work as well. If you want your text to follow a curve, create a path using your Pen tool, or a shape tool. I’ve used the Circle tool here to mimic the shape of my frame. Then click on the path with your Type tool, and the path will become the baseline of your type.
Step 5: Apply your emblem.
Now you can personalize away! Use your mark on your invitations, or print it on label paper and use it to seal your envelopes. Make tags to personalize your favors, or grab elements from your emblem to dress up your table numbers. You now have a beautiful mark to decorate and commemorate you wedding day!
About the Author:
Liz Grotyohann is a graphic designer, crafter, bride-to-be, and co-founder (along with her fiancé) of the eco-friendly craft showcase cosa verde.