Having a husband who is a graphic designer is very convenient for my DIY tendencies. I can completely customize anything I want. From birthday cards to t-shirts, my sweet hubby helps me put it on paper (he designed our logo). Over the past year, he’s taught me a lot about what it takes to make your own event graphics. I thought I would share some ideas with you.

First, it’s really important to have the proper software if you’re truly going to achieve a custom look. The best, in most opinions, are Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. These two programs are pretty expensive (unless you can get an educational discount). The investment will be $300 to $1000. You can save money here by perusing Ebay and other discount sites. You can also save money by going with an older version that will serve your needs. Photoshop and Illustrator CS2 will work great for what you need. This will be the most costly part of the process, but if you plan on DIY’ing save the dates, invites, programs, escort cards, table cards and such, you can see where this cost would balance out.

Second, you need to get comfortable with the word vector. These are images which can be resized without losing quality in Illustrator. You can Google Image “vector” and get many free or low cost options for design. You can also use brushes in Photoshop. There are a bazillion custom brushes out there. Again, Google is your best way for finding these. However, there is a drawback to brushes. Because they are not vector you will lose quality when you try to resize. Choose wisely! Play around with test projects until you get familiar with these tools.

Third, it’s really a good idea to have a unifying theme through out each project. These elements don’t have to be identical but coordination is nice. On the flip side, don’t over use! A flourish might be nice on the invitations and programs, but putting it on everything from the invites to the dance floor will have your guests sick of whatever you’ve created. No matter how pretty they thought it at first.

Last, you need to decide if having exactly what you want is worth the cost. Hiring someone to create a custom monogram or graphic that can be used on many different media is definitely the most cost effective option. Consider your time. DIY is extremely time intensive. If you have less than 6 months to plan, you might want to look for a low cost option. If you decide its worth the cost, I hope this helps.

For the few readers who haven’t discovered WeddingBee, this is a great resource for DIY projects done in Illustrator.