As a professional graphic designer since 1992, I’ve been hired to design everything from miniature books to oversize banners and museum panels, but designing invitations for special events is one of my favorite things to do.
If you need less than 25 custom invitations for a special event or party, here’s a way to have a high quality custom invitation that won’t break the bank.
The holiday party invitation you see here was created by using Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, BigStockphoto, my local photocopy store, A-7 sized envelopes, and silky ribbons. Don’t have professional grade graphic design programs. No need to worry. I’ve also included tips on how to get the same result using Microsoft’s Word. Here are the steps I took to create my invitation:
- The invitation was typeset in Adobe InDesign, and setup as a 5” x 7” document.
TIP: If you’re using MS Word you’ll need to set the page size after opening a new document: Go to File > Go to Page Setup > Go to Paper Size > choose 5 x 7 >. Typeset your invitation using a fancy script like Edwardian Script, Ambassador Script, Apple Chancery, Zapfino, or Lucida Calligraphy
- Purchase an A-7 sized envelope with a holiday theme: mine were from envelopes.com
- My graphic was purchased from Bigstock and was selected because it was complimentary to the holiday theme envelope
- My BigStock graphic came as a bitmap, so it first needed to be converted to line art.
TIP: If you begin your search for “vector christmas ornaments” you will not have to go through this process because vector images are already in line art format
- Save your document as a PDF.
TIP: In MS Word: Go to File > Save As > in the Format field, chose PDF
- Email your PDF file to your photocopy center.
- Choose the heaviest paper they have. The photocopy center near me has lots of paper colors to choose from, but I chose white to match my envelope.
- Purchase a spool, or more if you’re doing more than 25, of crimson ribbon
TIP: the ribbon you see here is silky, but next time I’ll choose grosgrain because it holds a bow better
- Ask your photocopy center to crop your invitations to 5” x 7”
- Using a standard hole punch, punch 2 holes into each invitation
- Cut your ribbon to 10” in length; thread through the holes and tie into a bow
- I’m also a calligrapher, so my invitees received hand calligraphed invitations
- My invitations were Hand Cancelled by the post office to avoid crushing the ribbon when passing through the first mail reader machine.
POSTAGE AND MAILING TIP: Unfortunately all mail will go through at least one mailing machine if you don’t request Special Handling. If your invitation has lots of extra touches that might get squashed, crushed or torn in a mailing machine, you’ll need to pay for Special Handling to avoid all mailing machines: as per 2012 postage rates, the extra charge is $0.20 per envelope sent domestically.
Congratulations. You’ve now turned pro!