Many online sites offer templates for creating event invitations. The options can be dizzying, so we’re offering these tips for designing your own invitations to help you navigate the process.
Template, Size, and Format
By the time you get around to creating your invitations, you will already have determined most of the major details of your event. Select a template for your invitation that is consistent with the theme and format of your event. A formal wedding held in a house of worship requires a different type of invitation than a barbeque on the beach.
Hosts of weddings, anniversary parties, and birthday celebrations now use multiple formats to distribute invitations. Many modern couples create wedding websites, with links to registries and event details—including a brief section communicating the dress code for the event. Select a style and template that will look good both in print and online.
For print invitations, you’ll have a choice of sizes and “orientations,” either portrait—the vertical type—or landscape, the horizontal way. Think about your recipients. Oversized sized invitations can be unwieldy and cost more to mail, while tiny cards are harder to read. Stick to a standard size for the best results.
Concentrate on the Essential Information
It may be tempting to give a complete description of your event, venue, theme, and menu, but there is only so much space on a card or webpage. Start with the vital information first and lay it out to see how it fits. Obviously, date, time and place are essential, and guests may need guidance about what to wear, what to bring, where to park, and how to reply. If more information is necessary, direct guests to your event website or provide a phone number to call with questions.
Fonts, Paper, and Color
If your guests can’t read the invitation, they won’t know what it is for or how to respond. Choose a classic, legible typeface that expresses the appropriate mood. Play with font sizes to emphasize the most important information, but don’t use so many different fonts and sizes that your invitation becomes difficult to read.
The same is true of colors. If your event has a theme, choose two, or at most three, colors for your invitation, including the online background or the paper the print version will use. Don’t overwhelm your invitation with graphics or images that distract from the who, what, and where of your event. Select sturdy paper or card stock for printed invitations: you want your invitation to survive the mail intact. It may cost more, but you’ll have less waste, and a keepsake invitation will hold up in the scrapbook better.
Finally, an essential tip for designing your own invitations is to have two people who have never seen the invitation proofread it for you. There’s no worse feeling than opening that freshly printed box of invitations and noticing a typo. Check and double-check before you hit “submit,” and your invitations will turn out well.