This is my attempt to give a quick guide to Art Deco for anyone who is mulling over using Art Deco as a theme or having a wedding at an Art Deco venue and is looking for more ideas. There are links to images which illustrate some of the things the article refers to.

Art Deco arguably never went away as a trend or a style but with the current renaissance of all things vintage Art Deco is making a particular return this summer thanks in no small part to the remake of the Great Gatsby a novel set in the boom and prohibition years of 1920’s America which is considered by many to be the epitome of the Great American Novel. The remake features the acting talents of Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan and Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson.

Art Deco marked the boom times and opulence of the post World War 1 years before the great depression of the 30’s. It’s style could be summed as constructive (http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/display/structure-and-clarity), futuristic (See futurism art, eg http://www.artknowledgenews.com/2009_08_06_21_06_33_martin_gropius_bau_celebrates_100th_anniversary_of_futurism.html), modern and symmetrical and often reflected the glamour of 1920’s Hollywood. It contrasted the more natural curves of the Art Nouveau style that was very popular before it. Art Nouveau used more natural curves. prized craftsmanship over mass production and more reflected nature http://artsandfacts.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/art-nouveau-is-style-that-was-popular.html. While Art Deco may use floral patterns a lot of the inspiration for it was driven by the coming of an industrial machine age where global transport was being revolutionised by the coming of age of the plane as demonstrated by the DC3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_DC-3 whose elegant curves and shiny aluminium body was a very impressive new sight. While cars first started looking like the cars we drive today http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysler_Airflow and this locomotive looks very futuristic and distinct from the typical steam train people often think of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PRR_S1.jpg. This design shows the aspirations of the age perfectly http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Iowa_City_Press_Citizen_Bldg.jpg.

While undoubtedly forward looking the coming of age of archaeology also had a big impact. The symmetry and grandeur of modernism often combined with those classical civilisations whose ancient sites were being increasingly and more scientifically explored, Tutankhamen’s tomb was discovered in the early 1920’s. This image of the Eastern Columbia building in Los Angeles I think shows influences of classical cultures combining with the forward looking aspects of Art Deco http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eastern_Columbia_Building_entrance.jpg to make a really impressive entrance.

This may all sound quite irrelevant but Art Deco has arguably never really went away and if you’ve ever watched Ghost Busters or been to New York you’ll probably be familiar with Sky Scrapers that remain impressive looking to this day such as the Chrysler Building http://masternoname.deviantart.com/art/Art-deco-New-York-43927437 and Empire State Building in New York http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Empire_State_Lobby-27527.jpg which have both been featured in numerous movies and are a huge part of the New York skyline. While in the UK it’s been kept current by things like Agatha Christies Poirot which has been a long running TV detective series and been shot on locations such as Burgh Island Hotel http://www.flickr.com/photos/browniebear/3963368295/ http://www.ianwrightphotography.co.uk/cgi-bin/showpage.cgi?page=burgh.html. While movies like Captain America and Indiana Jones are set in the age and reflect its style in very main stream ways.

Why is this relevant to weddings aside from it being topical and one of Vogues coming trends? Well it’s a theme you can use throughout the day to make your wedding a little bit unique from others which you may have been to. Also it’s not a strong theme like demanding everyone dress up as Super Heroes and can be reflected in many small touches in items like wedding flowers http://pinterest.com/pin/210895195020836874/, jewellery, cakes http://pinterest.com/pin/210895195020828930/ and stationery. Many bridal collections feature 1920’s, 1930’s and Art Deco inspired dresses http://pinterest.com/pin/210895195020850452/. I think the style which can be quite opulent in look is a bit of anecdote to the prevalence of the distressed, shabby chic and make do and mend influences which have been very strong for the last few years while still being a ‘vintage’ theme. The Artemis Stationery Art Deco Wedding Inspiration board has lots of ideas for these and is linked at the end of this article.

From a stationery perspective it’s very easy to make simple stationery with the look and style of the period, this is due to numerous fonts which I think look very interesting whilst being easy to read. These include the likes of Broadway Engraved BD, Parisian BT, PlazaDReg and BernhardFashion BT. While fonts like Eccentric Std and Harrington somewhat bridge the game from Art Nouveau and Art Deco by being a bit more curvy but still feeling of the period. Artemis Stationery have numerous designs that work well with Art Deco themes.

Bologna is very strongly Art Deco inspired design and it’s influences include some of the designs in the lobby of the Chrysler Building in New York while still managing to bring in some more natural floral elements.
Bologna on Artemis Stationery

Capri is very Art Deco influenced, especially if you look carefully at the design which uses a lot of symmetry and 1920’s inspired design elements. Used with Swarosvki crystals it can also look very glamorous and reflect both the design and the glamour of the age. Capri can work well with script fonts but for the full Art Deco effect PlazaDReg should be chosen, while Eccentric Std also works and gives it a period and little bit more natural feel.
Capri on Artemis Stationery

Sienna although more natural than typical Art Deco designs – it’s more similar to Art Nouveau works really well with Art Deco fonts such as PlazaDReg and when used with Swarovski crystals also reflects the opulent side of Art Deco.
See Sienna on facebook
See Sienna on Artemis Stationery

Genoa and Padua are both very adaptable designs. Genoa is a design based on the first letters of the Bride and Groom’s names and can be done in any font. So if an Art Deco feel is selected it will look very Art Deco. Padua works in a similar way, except in this case it uses first names.
See them on facebook

For more Art Deco ideas and inspiration visit the Artemis Stationery Pinterest Art Deco wedding board http://pinterest.com/artmsstationery/art-deco-wedding-inspiration/