Design Inspiration: Wedding Graphics – Chalkboard Style using vector graphics

1 Finished GraphicsWith summer upon us, many brides-to-be are looking for cleverly designed Save-the-Date postcards, invitations and other items for their wedding. StockUnlimited offers a wide variety of vector graphics that are perfect for creating chalkboard-style wedding invitations, rehearsal dinner swagger, signs and more. This offers a lot of inspiration, as well as ready graphics, plus you don’t need to carefully choose just one design – you can download as many as you like (unlimited, actually).

This tutorial will show you how to convert vector graphics to a chalkboard style design using Adobe Illustrator to make invites, signs, placeholders and everything else you, a friend, or  client might need to create the ultimate shabby chic wedding.

– Save the Date and Invitations
– Place holders
– Party Favors
– Directional signs
– T-shirts for rehearsal
– Check out how to make a distressed wooden signs using vectors!

For these downloads, we chose vectors which had a hand-drawn looking feel.

What you’ll need:
1. Adobe Illustrator (this tutorial is using the latest Adobe Illustrator, CC2014) Note: If you don’t own Adobe Illustrator, you can download a   working trial version which is good for one month’s use.
2. Chalkboard style fonts. These can often downloaded for free on various font websites if not used for commercial purposes.
3. Brushes in Adobe Illustrator – we used styles that arrive with Adobe Illustrator
4. Stock vector art from StockUnlimited – we selected 124204, 1389923, 1348557, 1290213, 1299676, and 1235512.
2 vectors downloaded
Download anything that looks good! Take advantage of the free downloads, and choose as many vectors as you like. Some were selected for just one element, such as a shape in the drawing. This saves a great deal of time when it comes to designing.

For our chalkboard wedding invitation designs, we selected an assortment of illustrations and graphic elements to simplify and speed up design time. This way illustrations, as well as scrolling and other design elements are already created.

Step 1: Create a new document in Adobe Illustrator for the Save the Date and invitation.

– On your layout, create a 4.5” x 5.5” rectangle. This size will work for a postcard or a standard Baronial envelope for traditional invitation size.
– Change the fill to the rectangle to 89% black (no cyan, magenta or yellow needed unless you prefer a tinted grey).
– Open the .eps files downloaded from Stock Unlimited.
– Copy each .eps file’s artwork and paste to your new document, using the grey area to at the sides of your layout for extra space.

Download and change vector images to suit your preferences. Images may be easily edited to match the colors and designs you need with any vector layout program, such as Adobe Illustrator. So, for instance, if your bride prefers a green chalkboard to a dark grey one, it’s a very simple change to make.

Even an element or two saves time. The shape below was converted to look like a chalk drawing using an artistic brush stroke, then later used for the return address on the Save the Date card mailing side. The heart was used throughout various layouts.
3 screen captureStep 2:

Convert color vector artwork outlines to look like chalk drawings.
– Use an artistic brush style for lines, such as the “Artistic_ChalkCharcoalPencil” style used in this sample. (Many other chalk styles are available online as well)
– The Paint Feather brush is located in the  Artistic_ChalkCharcoalPencil menu. To load this menu, go to Brush Libraries / Artistic, and select the Artistic_ChalkCharcoalPencil brush style. Or, go to Brush Libraries / Other Library, to load a chalk texture you prefer.
– Select all line art in the vector drawing. Set to no fill, and a white .25 point stroke using a stylized brush in the Adobe Illustrator brush set you selected above.
4 screen captureStep 3:

Now that the vector artwork has been converted to no fill and a hand-drawn looking outline, you can select your favorites for use on your layout.
– Use chalk style fonts to add visual interest
– Add lines as needed, and select one of the artistic brush patterns for the outline
– Place vector artwork as desired
5 finished invites
After working with the images, the background seemed a bit stark with just the slate grey, so we added a wood background, which was ghosted a bit (by changing the transparency) for the address side of the Save the Date card.

6 vector wood swatchOur Save the Date cards are ready to be printed, addressed and mailed!

Step 3:

Using StockUnlimited vectors to create fun swagger for the rehearsal or bachelor/bachelorette parties.
– Using your designs, convert the stroke to the 89% black used in the Save the Date background, and use the same color for fill on the text.
– Using iron-on transfer paper, print your images out and iron them onto a t-shirt.
– Be sure all designs are flipped so they read backwards on your screen, this way when they iron on, their image will be read correctly.
7 tee shirt designs
Step 4:

Recycle the images you revised to be used for directional signage.

8 directional signage
We hope you enjoyed this little bit of design inspiration using our vectors. Watch out for more new and interesting tips on how to use vector graphics for design and craft projects.

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