Well, it was problematic. Almost all Filipino ethnic themed designs have been done to death. Furthermore, that was precisely why it is difficult: the fact that most ethnic themes were heavilly based on design, or rather patterns. Ethnic weave, mats, blankets, abaca, handmade paper, etc.—usually this is where the designs are based to give it the feel of ethnicity. That's precisely the reason why most "ethnic" invitations I've come across (mostly wedding invitations) had to be custom-made with ethnic materials. They are neither inexpensive nor easy to make or prepare. Yet, whatever design had to come up should be "printable" on normal greeting card.
Of course, I thought of using a scanned image but, c'mon, where will I get an ethnic design to scan? Google turned up zilch. Did I mention that almost every ethnic design has been done to death? Even if I come up with an ethnic object, I am very sure that I will just come up with something tacky.
And, oh... BH (my sister-in-law) said that she needs it by tomorrow morning. Wow, talk about some rush hour job...
How does one come up with an obviously ethnic Pinoy design without being tacky and, more importantly, when I don't have any artifacts whatsoever? I just don't have any artifacts to base it on... just like... just like... waitaminute! My twin and I, E-, once had exactly the same problem about two years ago. We had to come up with a theme based on an ethnic culture with which we absolutely had no artifacts of. At all. We needed to come up with a Middle-earth theme for F-'s wedding. For that, we made liberal use of Feanorian calligraphy... hmmmmmm...
I don't know yet how successful my venture will be, but now I have a paradigm to explore: I am going to use Baybayin script as a design element for the invitation! To help me, I visited the following sites:
- Eagle's Corner - Ating Baybayin (http://www.eaglescorner.com/baybayin/) - where they have this nifty Perl/CGI script for transcribing ordinary words into baybayin, as well as typical Baybayin "Table of Equivalence"
- Sarisari etc. (Where I got more than I bargained for—histories, script variations, True Type Font downloads, to name a few— and absolutely whet my appetite for creating my own baybayin system and true type font someday)
- Alibata (actually the first site I visited about a year ago, with its own table of equivalence and TTF file download; Alibata, by the way, is not the proper term for what I like to call Philippine runes)
- And these two sites which are tutorials for making my own True Type Fonts someday: http://www.hiddenglade.com/cdfonts.htm & http://www.eftelibra.co.uk/ttf.html