A custom made piece from first enquiry to final delivery
Even after working with Marthe on the design and seeing a scan of the work, I was blown away by the intricate papercut that arrived in the mail.
When Rebecca reached out to me through Etsy, she was asking whether it would be possible for me to make something special for her husband for their first wedding anniversary (the first year is “paper”!), in a limited time frame.
She really wanted a papercut feature a quote they used in their wedding. As her husband is Spanish, the text was in Spanish as well:
We discussed the amount of text and I suggested that we would cut out the text in the paper, but Rebecca really wanted the text to be “positive” (so the paper around the letters would be cut away, the letters would stay).
Rebecca told me she was flexible on what other design elements we could include and didn’t have a preference with regards to the shape or size. Rebecca and her husband really like mountains, and they would be hiking around Mont Blanc for their anniversary. That’s why she was thinking about a silhouette of a mountain, but wasn’t sure how that would look on a papercut.
Designing the papercut
There were a few difficult things in designing this papercut.
One was the amount of text that needed to be “positive” and left in the paper. This is hard as everything needs to be connected to each other. With just a few words it’s not that difficult to do, but with a whole quote it’s quite the opposite. All the words need to be held together, without compromising the readability of the text. But also all the little punctuations and dots on “i” and other diacritics for example, need to be held together.
The other difficulty was the time frame. It needed to be produced quickly, so Rebecca could gift the papercut to her husband on their anniversary.
With regards to the text; I explained to Rebecca that I would need to play around with the text to be able to figure out a design that keeps all together. And I asked her if she would be ok with a design without the regular left-to-right, top-to-bottom, lay-out. She was, as long as the text would still be, some-what, readable. I also needed a larger size, so the letters wouldn’t be so small that I wouldn’t be able to cut them nicely. Rebecca agreed.
That’s when the idea hit me to use the shape of the letters to more or less create the rough feel of the mountains. As they would be hiking around the Mt. Blanc for their anniversary, I used the ‘skyline’ of the Mont Blanc as reference. Then the text was carefully designed to still be readable, but also enhance the total design of the mountain.
Rebecca had a little trouble with seeing how the final piece would look, when looking at the sketch. So I made a very raw cut out of a small part of the design as an example. I got her complete approval after this. ;)