It’s What? Where? A Word about Invitations

Back in the day you would go into a store front and speak with a real live person and order your invitations.  That person would guide you over and around some of the common pitfalls that might occur.  Not so today.  Today we order almost everything over the Internet and we go it alone.   I recently received an invitation to a baby shower that my first reaction was, uh-oh, I can’t read this without a magnifying glass.  I wished I had been able to help with the ordering of these invitations.

The invitations was ordered from Tiny Prints.

This is Tiny Prints' sample.

This is Tiny Prints’ sample.

The card was ordered using the suggested ink colors for the information that you put in and the choice was made to use the pearlized paper.  I don’t think any change was made to the type size.  On a flat (not glossy) surface, the green ink might show up better, but on the glossy pearl paper it does not.

Tip Number 1:  Make sure there is plenty of contrast between your paper and your print.  That makes it much easier to read.  Notice how the name  is highly readable, whereas all the information in the green and pink is not.  You can change the ink color during  your set up.  If you pick a card like this one be mindful that there isn’t enough contrast here to make it easily readable.

Tip Number 2:  Make sure your type font is very readable.  A type font is the style of the letters.  If you get too frilly with it, it is hard to read.  My suggestion is if you want to get fancy do it with the larger type fonts like the ones used for the name of the honoree in this invitation.  All the essential information should be in a very easy to read and hard to misunderstand type font.

Tip Number 3:  Play with the size of your type.

point sizes

This card gives you suggestions of what to put in each section.  You don’t have to do that.  Opt for a larger sized type font and less nonessential information.  I usually try to put all pertinent information such as where and when the shower or party is going to be in at least 10 point type.  After all, if your guests don’t know where they are going and when, what is the point of knowing where to buy a gift?  In this case the name of the baby is given.  You can eliminate that in favor of a larger time and place.  Don’t ever use 6 point unless you are a ruthless lawyer drawing up a contract you don’t want anyone to read.

Tip Number 4:  Be mindful of who your guests are.  Let’s face it, there are lots of people still who don’t know and can’t use the GPS standard on most phones.  If you have guests that are older, (Okay, elderly, let’s not get nasty.)  it is nice to include a little map of how they get to the location of the shower.  That is a separate piece of paper you can easily generate from your home computer and include with the invitation in the envelope.

Tip Number 5:  If you pick a card that has a dark background, consider “bolding” your type.  You will most likely also have to increase your type size (point size) because your type may close up on you (the letters with circles will fill in) in the smaller sizes.

Tip Number 6:   Be sure you’ve answered the who, what or why, where and when questions.  Then you can add more information if space and readability allows.  The recipients need to know primarily who is the party for or what is the party about.  Where is the party going to be.  When is the party going to be.  If a gift is usually given they will want to know where the person is registered.  And if you are asking for an RSVP or a decline, they will need that phone number and contact name.  The last two are not near as important as the first three, so keep that in mind when choosing the size of your type.

If you can’t accomplish these suggestions with your choice, move on.  Yes, these companies do actually have card styles that don’t work well when printed.  Don’t be afraid to experiment.  All the sites I’ve visited that offer invitations are WYSIWYG.  Play with your invitation trying out different colors, fonts and font sizes until you get something that you know is going to be readable as well as pleasing to the eye.  Good luck!