Today we are really excited to be sharing something a little different…Whilst we are quite renowned for designing invitations for the event world, what is often overlooked is our portfolio of ‘on the day’ stationery which plays such a crucial role in the overall event design.
One of our favourite things to work on are table scapes, creating wonderful table numbers and place cards as practical solutions but always with a stylish twist and just occasionally we are asked to create something really special which involves more 3 dimensional paper ‘sculpting’ often instead of flowers.
We recently worked with Liz and Zie event planners to create some stand out table centre piece’s for Elizabeth’s client’s 50th Birthday party, talks of London landmarks and architectural models began and the event was to be hosted in the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel, Hampshire, we were sold…!
And so, we hand over the blog to Elizabeth herself who walks us through the process from concept to reality
‘My client’s five word party brief was “London, playful, involving, quality, memorable“. As a British expat living in the States with a guest list of old friends flying in from around the world for his 50th birthday party, we knew childhood nostalgia was going to play an important part.’
‘With The Four Seasons Hampshire being such a popular wedding venue an early decision was to rule out flowers on the table centres. Passing a London tourist shop provided my initial inspo; Toy red London buses & black cabs effectively driving down the table centre lined with post-boxes and telephone boxes. It was in an attempt to create height and variation using mirror risers to break up our apparent traffic jam, we realised we needed to include buildings too; unique London landmarks interspersed with the metal souvenirs would give us the lift and skyline we needed running down long dining tables.’
‘We now required strong instantly recognisable mini landmarks that would be a work of art in themselves but not distract from the table as a whole. As the scale of the toys and buildings would be a little off, it would be essential there was regularity in the table’s colour scheme. Red and white made sense.
We researched architects models, too expensive. Build-your-own pop up, colours too distracting. Wooden toys, wrong size. Two dimensional cardboard cut-outs, too rudimental.’
‘Cutture provided the breakthrough we needed; sturdy but delicate 3-D bespoke models made from laser cut card, intricately detailed to avoid use of colour and essentially: London, playful, involving, quality and memorable. They nailed it in one. Or rather a collection of three buildings table – Big Ben, London Eye and Tower Bridge, for varied shape and form’
Heading up the project was our senior designer Mia, although we have a history in modelmkaing in a previous life, Mia comes from a graphic design background but has a wonderful 3 Dimensional understanding of graphics and paper, she runs us through her process on the project working with Elizabeth to achieve the perfect result for the client.
‘When designing architectural projects like these I always prefer to start with some basic building block shapes and work into them as the image takes form. This creates a face-on visual while I carry on building the rest in my head, as you can see in the client’s visual above.’
‘The client was keen for the monuments to remain within an accurate(ish) scale of one another, so it was key to get a grasp of the size we were working towards and figure out what level of detail to include.
While they obviously had to be beautiful, the monuments also had to be sturdy enough to last the entirety of the night, with party guests most likely having a little prod and play as the evening wore on.’
Once the client’s happy with the designs and I’ve created all the nets we get down to the fun job of prototyping. Since a lot of the structural design is still in my imagination, the production team and I sit down to overview the ‘blueprints’ so far. While I show them how I imagine the designs coming together, they also provide some great ideas on how we can enhance the overall finish of the pieces.’
Then came hours of hand finishing in the Laser Bureau workshop… The short film above shows our fastest machine cutting the London Eye element (note the lack of burn on white!) each element is then carefully pieced together by hand following Mia’s visual instructions and drawings.
Delivery had to be carefully managed with the boxes being packed within an inch of their lives, we use a reliable private courier for jobs like this, we trust him with our more complex work, he hand delivered these to The Four Seasons in the dawn ready for the spectacular event you see below, beautifully photographed by Paul Underhill.
Simple, sophisticated and playful…
To end we had the best compliment of all, Elizabeth delivered us this feedback;
‘By the end of the party, most of the table centre décor appeared to have disappeared with the guests is testament to their value. Souvenirs I was expecting to go, but fitting delicate 45cm London Bridges, Big Wheels and Big Bens in a suitcase is doubly impressive!’