Save the Date

Save the Date - student project

How do I spend downtime at work? More work...

I used this class as an opportunity to pretend I was working on a real client project. My boyfriend helped me out and posed as the client.


My best guess at time, plus the real time I spent

2 hours for research & initial sketches. Real time: about 2 hours, yay!

6-8 hours for digital skeletons & first color draft. Real time: Definitely 8 hours, maybe 10+

4-6 hours for second (color) draft. Real time: closer to 2 or 3 hours.

2 hours for final rendering & file generation. Real time: around 3.

Plus 1-2 hours of onboarding that generated the brief. Thanks Dylan :)

Estimated total: 15-20 hours. Final total time: 16-20 hours.

Save the Date - image 1 - student project

Save the Date - image 2 - student project











I chose to build-in time for a second draft. It's unlikely I'd get this right on the first try, and I wanted to give the color palette a solid chance for discussion just in case! The couple was up front about the fact that they hadn't settled on a color scheme yet.

Keeping that in mind, I didn't want to make anything too "themey" in case it clashed with decisions they made about their wedding later on.

Save the Date - image 3 - student project

Save the Date - image 4 - student project













The couple also mentioned not wanting "something you see 500 of on Pintrest," so I specifically budgeted time for looking at what was all over pinterest - aka research. I wanted to know what I shouldn't be making! Much of that research gave me "template" vibes, so I knew a completely custom illustration would be the way to go.

Since I had very little actual content, but a pretty wide field to work with, I did use the skeleton method as a way to help figure out the client's reactions to ideas without getting too far in.


Save the Date - image 5 - student project


The Quote

Cost breakdown: I had to use some very round numbers for tracking my time. I knew that at least some of these hours were going to be me fussing with the software, since I'm still learning.

However, I do have formal art training. I also chose not to include printing services at this time. I had no idea where to start. Simply put, I didn't want to bite off more than I could chew!

Hourly rate: $18 - $25.

Estimated cost: $288 - $500

Less than three hundred seems a little low, but five hundred is way, way too high for me! For a small piece like this, I think my final quote would be around $375.


Save the Date - image 6 - student project


If that number was still out of reach financially, perhaps an extremely simple design would suffice. Or, for a higher quote, I could bundle in print & prep services to save them time (and stress!) by handling the entire project all together. A big thing that drives my artwork, personally, is accessibility. I want people to be able to afford art!


A few notes on the design itself:

The front does not say 'save the date' because I also drafted the back of the card. I intended it to be sent as a postcard "from" their wedding destination, eliminating the need for envelopes.

After a few iterations, the client still wasn't happy with the clouds. I ended up cutting them out entirely. He also (personally) didn't like the sky colors, and I wasn't happy with them either.

The three notes he gave on the final draft were:

1) plant silhouettes didn't make sense to him.
2) didn't like that the light blue wave was in 2 pieces.
3) was interested in putting text on multiple stripes in the sky.

I adjusted those things, and I think I ended up with a pretty strong design. Still not 100% pleased with the text placement, but it's something that I want to print a proof for and see what it looks like in real life - eventually :)