How to Create a Custom Wedding Crest
We asked two stationers to share what you can do to take a crest from good to great with personalized details.
A wedding crest is a small is a small logo that is often used on wedding-related stationery, adoring everything from the invitations to the escort cards. When well-crafted, your wedding crest is something that speaks to who you two are as a couple and can be enjoyed long after the celebration is over. But what should you include as part of your special logo? We tapped two expert stationers and asked them to explain how they determine what should be included on their clients' personalized wedding crests and how they should be laid out.
How to Create a Custom Crest
Kristy Rice, owner and founder of Momental Designs, likes to begin development by interviewing the couple so that she can get a clear picture of their personalities, favorite travel spots, sports, animals, and so on. Understanding what a couple is passionate about helps her come up with a crest that represents their shared interests.
Think About Printing Style
Rice finds that when it comes to creating modern wedding crests, watercolor is the way to go. This design feature nods to tradition while still allowing the couple's personality to shine through. And while this is Rice's favorite option, it's not the only one available to you. If you prefer something more traditional, a gold foil crest would be a nice option. Using your crest exclusively on paper goods, like invitations, ceremony programs, and escort cards? A blind embossed crest would give you an elegant, understated look.
But there's far more that goes into designing a crest than simply choosing how it will be printed. Developing a custom crest can be a challenge, says Rice, because you are working on an image that will only ever be used on a small scale. "Most crests printed on stationery pieces average in size around 1.5 to 2.5 inches," she says. That means that imagery selection, layout, use of color, and visual balance are even more important than ever. Choose details that are easy to see even when small and don't overcrowd your design with too many elements.
Elements to Consider as You Design Your Custom Crest
First, you'll want to think about the silhouette, or the overall shape, of the crest. Do you like a design that's simple, or are you looking for something a little more ornate? Next, decide how many art elements you'd like to include. Do you want the same design repeated or mirrored in several spots, or do you want to include unique, distinct emblems and a design that will only appear once? Some couples choose to wrap a single design around the entire outside of their crest while others prefer to take a quadrant approach with a small detail in each section; there's no right way to do this, so look at examples to see which look you like most.
Once you've got the crest and its motif designed, it's time to think about your monogram. Do you want to include both of your initials, or just the single initial of your new shared last name? After you've settled on which initials will be on the crest, choose a font that complements the rest of your paper goods or speaks to you two as a couple. And last but not least, decide if you want to complete the design with a band, banner, or ribbon. This can be purely decorative or serve as a spot to highlight your wedding date or location.
Whatever You Do, Don't Confuse a Crest with a Straight Monogram
According to Matthew Wengerd of A Fine Press, the two are not interchangeable. "A monogram is an attractive arrangement of initials—for weddings, it's the first initial of each partner. And, while almost every crest contains a monogram, monograms often exist without the embellishment of a crest," he says. "Crests can be the perfect blend of form and function. Their embellishment and detail draw your guests in to see more and the elements within it tell guests your story in a fun, engaging way."
What to Expect When Creating a Crest
Wengerd says understanding your style and choosing a stationer who can take the style to the next level are the first two steps to choosing a crest. After that, he suggests holding onto those ideas loosely. "I find designing a crest is much like having a tattoo designed—the best results come from an abundance of information and few specific expectations," he explains. "Allow your stationer to get to know you and your story. Come with few specific ideas and be open to novel approaches. I find clients with a very specific vision often miss out on the opportunity for truly amazing results, which is why finding an expert and trusting them is key."