The Big Picnic Invitation

by L.S. Boldsmith

This invitation was designed for the Stern Grove Festival Association in San Francisco, California. Their annual Big Picnic fundraiser helps keep the Association’s popular outdoor concert series free. The event is a rustic yet VIP affair in the Grove, known for its eucalyptus trees.

The invitation is composed of five elements: an enclosing envelope, a reply card with envelope, a note card for optional personal messages, and the invitation itself. The design reflects the experience of picnicking outdoors, featuring gingham and scattered eucalyptus leaves. The invitation’s cover recalls a picnic basket ajar — it’s blind embossed to imply wicker, and cut short to allow gingham to peek out.

The invitation’s modified double parallel fold means it fits into an A7 envelope, yet has many panels for content. A bespoke dieline strategically guides the user through these panels: the sequencing of unfolding is controlled by the cover's half-moon tab, which tucks into a single layer of panels vs. the entire, folded piece. This allows a half-spread featuring the Association’s 80-year timeline to open first, like a greeting card, with no untucking necessary.

The tab also keeps the invitation’s loose elements — an RSVP card with envelope — from falling out. They are revealed, secured in a glueless pocket, when one untucks the tab and flips the left panel of the timeline spread. Their placement on the left means recipients further secure the loose elements while gripping the piece; it also means they mask the reversed texture caused by the cover’s embossing. To the right are the event’s key details; finally, this panel can be unfurled to expose the invitation’s remaining panels.


Bronze in Promotional Materials 2019

Created by:

Design Director

Leila Singleton

Design Company

L.S. Boldsmith


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Stern Grove Festival Association

Design Team

Leila Singleton


Entrant Companies

L.S. Boldsmith, CA


Stern Grove Festival Association, US

Individual Credits

Creative and art direction, production design: Leila Singleton, L.S. Boldsmith