Sad Birthday Party Invites

The Project

The goal of this project was to design unconventional birthday invitations; something that departed from the genre of what birthday invitations normally looked like.

I started by creating a moodboard of birthday invites, and identified that they all looked light, celebratory, fun, fizzy. I wanted something a bit more intense, emotional, and even cathartic. So the "Sad birthday party" was born. 

The sad birthday party is a playful experiment in embracing the wide emotional spectrum of life.

The philosophy behind this party boils down to two things: 

1) Happiness has become too much of a commodified, pre-packaged thing, especially with the aspirational nature of social media sharing culture. Happiness feels tied to specific accomplishments, attainments, or achievements. This party is about honesty, vulnerability, and community, acknowledging that it's okay when things aren't perfect. 

2) Birthday parties can feel obligatory - a marker of our dedication to our friends. This invite plays with that concept and puts the truth out there in the open. Cause the truth is, you never have to come to anything. 

What happens at this party? 

I'll ask each guest to share an emotional moment from their lives on the back of the RSVP card, and mail it back to me. 

The party starts at 9pm in my apartment. There will be wine, appetizers, dim lighting, and mellow indie music.

At 11pm, we'll gather together and each guest will share something (a poem, song, or a story) that's made them feel deeply. 

At midnight, if there are any friends left, there will be cake.