I get most of my invitations to art exhibitions as PDF files sent by email but galleries still produce the DL and postcard invites. These are often the only tangible souvenirs of the exhibition unless a catalogue is produced.
The image on the invitation is normally one of the works on exhibition, hopefully an inviting, attractive and representative work that makes people want to see the exhibition. This creates problems for group exhibitions as crowded or jarring compromise designs are created for the invitation.
I collect exhibition invites I have an album of them and a shoebox full of them. Reviewing them, many look the same; there is a colour image from the exhibition on one side and information about the exhibition and opening on the other. There is not much creativity in art exhibition invites. Many art galleries use a particular format of invite as a brand identity.
The most creative invite that I’ve ever received was written on the cut side an A4 pencil – it suited the exhibition of pencil drawings too. I used the pencil, of course so I can’t find the details. Some creative efforts are not so worthwhile; I am glad that people gave up on the idea of the transparent invite back in the mid 90s. Recently these invites have become larger but bigger is not always better.
I especially like the bookmark format invites, I use them and I also have a collection of bookmarks. I am still using Alister Karl’s bookmark invite to his show “The Drawn Image” at Brunswick Arts many years ago.
Paper Initiations is a blog that features scans of paper invitations of contemporary art exhibitions from around the world. It is an extensive and very focused blog for those who want to keep up to date with the latest trends in exhibition advertising.