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Blog Post | Jun 04, 2024

Special Event Invitation Inspiration

Design attention-grabbing invitations! Invitations are the first impression you get to make around your special event, so it’s important to take the time to review all your options.

Topics: Creative Services, Signage

You’ve picked a date for your wedding, graduation party or other special event. You know the theme and location, and you’ve probably selected your color palette. But how do you make sure that your invitation doesn’t get lost in a mailbox full of flyers and bills?

The answer is to make your special event invitations attractive and eye-catching!

Use colors, typography, photos, specialty papers and other aesthetically attractive design elements to create a memorable invitation. An original, artistic and well-designed invitation is user-friendly and provides all the most important information, but it also prompts a reaction from recipients: your invited guests feel special; you set the tone for your event at the outset; your invitation is a beautiful reminder for your upcoming event; and it contributes to long-term, lasting memories.

Choose Colors Wisely
One of the most significant design elements for your invitation is the choice of color or colors that set the tone for your event or evoke a mood. If designing your wedding invitations, for example, choose colors that match or complement your wedding colors. For a graduation event, on the other hand, people often select a dark color like black or navy, using their favorite colors for contrast and to make the invitation pop. Or, you may want to consider the school’s colors.

Carefully Select Typography
High-quality fonts are not just informational; they are a critical design element. Fonts are often associated with different emotions and moods. Pick a font or fonts that echo the style you want for your event. For instance, for a black-tie event you may want to use a formal serif font or elegant script. For a child’s party, you may want something less constrained and more fanciful. For the most important takeaway information, use eye-catching or bold fonts. A word of warning, however, limit yourself to no more than two or three fonts in combination.

Pick High-Quality Paper
Paper is the base for your invitation; it can be thin like vellum or heavy like cardstock – each paper stock and weight signifying something different. Here are just a few options you may wish to consider.
  • Recycled– made of repurposed materials, recycled paper is a great choice for eco-friendly couples or rustic weddings; communicate your values with recycled paper.
  • Linen Finish – a popular choice for high-end events, linen paper is a cotton-blend paper with a lightly-textured, sophisticated surface and elegant look.
  • Vellum – Often used for wedding invitations because it looks classy and elegant, vellum is sheer and frosted, usually layered over an opaque paper.
  • Glassine – light and waxy, glassine is generally used as an overlay, accent, to line envelopes or for belly bands; it is see-through but holds ink well.

Add Specialty Inks or Finishes
The addition of specialty inks can add another dimension to your invitation. On a matte stock, you will get a more metallic look; on glossy stock it will appear shiny or silky. Either effect is beautiful, but which you should use depends on your desired invitation appearance. 

You may also wish to select glossy, matte, or foil finishes (think: gold, copper, silver) to add a touch of luxury. Metallic finishes also add a perceptible soft-to-the-touch element. Foil printing is stamped onto paper using heat and pressure for an almost sparkly, stand out effect.

There are also many other finishes to think about, based on the message you want to convey or the design you want to share with your invitees.
  • Embossing – raised, colorless letters or images for added dimension.
  • Engraving – uses heavy pressure and ink to create raised letters; usually used for formal invitations.
  • Embellishments – add ribbons, rhinestones and more to make a statement that matches your event theme.
  • Letterpress – textural and sophisticated, the letters are indented on the front and raised on the back.
  • Thermography – uses resin-like powder and heat to create a raised surface (often seen as a budget-friendly option that looks like engraving)

Whether you are planning a wedding, graduation party or baby shower, there are hundreds of combinations of paper, ink, finishes, fonts and colors to choose from. For help putting together the right combination for your special event invitations, reach out to us. We are happy to help you find the perfect combination of materials to create and/or print striking, memorable invitations that will stay top-of-mind with your invitees.
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