Just like Lucy + Ricky, milk + cookies, and x’s + o’s… invitations + calligraphy were meant to be together. It goes without saying that we have a pretty fabulous group of invitation designers and calligraphers representing the LBB, many of who collaborate and make sparks fly. Well, lucky me (!) I got to chat it up with one of those super talented calligraphers and a personal favorite of mine, the lovely Molly Jacques of Molly Jacques Illustration. And lucky you, I’m sharing it all! So cozy up LBBers, this feature is packed with gorgeous hand lettered inspiration that’ll have you swooning for the rest of the afternoon.
1. How did you discover your passion and how did Molly Jacques Illustration come to life?
I discovered my passion for calligraphy while working at Sugar Paper in Los Angeles. After a bit of time working in their stationery shop, the owners, Chelsea + Jamie asked if I’d be interested in creating hand lettering and illustrations for a few of their products. I of course said yes, and was so grateful to have the opportunity to put my illustration skills to good use. Over time, I started to fall in love with the work belonging to the calligraphers that Sugar Paper used for addressing envelopes and beautifully writing out invitation suites. This sort of handwriting was different then anything I ever learned in art school and I was totally curious and in awe of its beauty. After an unbelievable amount of practice, I learned the craft and have been practicing ever since. Molly Jacques Illustration is an extension of the art of calligraphy. It’s a blend of traditional practices and modern typography to creative images that can be used as illustrations, invitations, fonts, and much, much more. Although I’m best known for my wedding calligraphy, my business branches out farther, which is something that I really love about Molly Jacques Illustration.
2. What is one of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on?
I have a few projects that are yet to be released that I’m working on right now, but I’m going to have to say that working on fonts is my favorite. Right before Christmas, I was delighted to announce my new font foundry, Great Lakes Lettering, to the world. Great Lakes Lettering consists of myself and the talented font designer Dathan Boardman. I’m indeed thankful to be able to work with a font designer that has a knack for making my hand lettered fonts keep that hand written feel. It’s been fun learning the process of submitting artwork and understanding how my writing translates into the digital world. At the moment we have two fonts released, FROSTED + SAINT AGNES. Both of these fonts are a great example of calligraphy styles that I use throughout my illustrations and often invitation designs. There are plenty more to come =)
3. Do you collaborate with stationers? Can you tell us a bit about this process?
All the time! For those out there who aren’t familiar with how this works, it usually consists of a stationery designer reaching out to me who has a bride that would like an extra special touch to their invitations. That might mean an entirely hand written wedding suite, or just the bride and groom’s names. That said, when I’m working with a stationer, my calligraphy is always incorporated into their design + vision and the stationer usually works directly with the client in regards to the entire design process.
4. What inspires your design and hand lettering styles?
I’m inspired greatly by empathetic graphic design alongside thoughtful naive illustration + typography. Something that I really appreciate about design is the beauty in a purposeful composition. I enjoy design that isn’t based on a lot of fluff, but using simple form to create something distinctive. Same goes for naive illustrations. A lot of my hand lettering has a naive feel but it’s not naive in itself; it has a purpose and the design was created with that in mind.
5. What is your absolute favorite part of a wedding?
Watching the expression of the groom as he sees his future wife walk down the isle. Second favorite part: the calligraphy, of course =)
Calligraphy: Molly Jacques Illustration / Print: All You Need Is Love / Custom Menu + Envelope Photography: Natalie Bray / Custom Wedding Stamps: Megan & Ryan Address Stamp / Save the Date Stamp / Navy Blue Invitation Suite: Collaboration with Megan from Ruby the Fox