Don’t get me wrong, I adore designing wedding invitations. All the flowery details and lacy add-ons really get my girly-girl going. But every now and then even the prissiest of us want to go tomboy. Some of the most striking designs are decidedly masculine – angular lines, dark colors and fat type – but since 99% of Mountain Paper clients are women, there’s not much opportunity to use these techniques.

I’d been jonesing for a macho assignment for a couples months when, with perfect timing, my super stylish little bro-in-law asked me to design announcements for his graduation from pharmacy school. There’s nothing girly about a 6′ 4″ pharmacist, or a cap and gown, for that matter. It was a perfect opportunity!

You don’t find a lot of sexy design in the medical field right now, but if you turn back the clock 50 years pretty much everything looks cooler. So I started searching for images of vintage drug stores to inspire me – there’s something about the old school barber shop pole stripes and window lettering that just makes my eyes happy. I was especially enamored with the retro labels, drug posters and ads that were prevalent in the sixties, when typography and illustration got all the attention.

Now you only get one thing when you combine macho, the sixties and advertising – Mad Men, of course! I have to say, I think Don Draper would totally dig this set. The finished product has a classic palette with shades of charcoal, black and khaki, and I employed bold type that just screams Sterling Cooper. (Props to the Lost Type Co-Op for their stellar selection.) My most favorite part, though, is the skinny tie wrapper! Did you know that pharmacists take an oath just like doctors? I wanted to include that charming bit, and the wrapper was suited perfectly. With everything pulled together, this project strikes just the right balance of classy and celebratory. Thanks to Evan for giving me free reign on something so important!

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