Design Tips - How to Design Your Own Invitation

Author: Adam Prew
Published: 07/11/2013

Tips for Designing an Invitation for a Wedding, Party or Special Event

Invitations to functions and occasions are a great way to set the tone for the event.  Whether it's an office party, a function at the sports club or a hen night, the invitation not only lets everyone know where and when, it also lets them know how and why.

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Choosing Print Type and Quality

Invitations can be a single sided piece of board, or folded to create a four sided card. They can have extra inserts, and they can come with envelopes that match. Deciding which one is right for your occasion will depend on your budget and the event itself.

Invitations for formal events (e.g wedding or gala evening)

If it’s an invitation to a formal event such as a gala evening or a dinner for company executives, you will want to opt for a higher quality card, possibly with an extra special touch such as gilt edging or profile shapes cut along the edge. You may want to use a high quality folded invitation that has additional space for including details such as a schedule of events for the evening.

If the event has a theme, such as an engagement party, you may want to choose an embossed card with an appropriate design stamped into the card, such as wedding bells. Our range of matt and gloss laminated invitations are suited to such an event.

Invitations for informal events (e.g party)

If the occasion is less formal (such as an office, christmas or birthday party),  a simple piece of paper in an envelope might be just what you need. It’s a case of the invitation reflecting the event itself, from the grand and formal to the cheap and cheerful.

The Style and Tone

Once you’ve decided what card to use, you can think about the actual design.

Bright colours work well for less formal parties, whereas single strong colours, such as cream, gold or black suits more formal occasions.

The invitation should reflect the occasion, and take in to account the age and backgrounds of the guests. The ideal design for a 50th birthday celebration will be quite different from a 16th. The elements that make up your design are pictures, the colour scheme, and the fonts you use for the lettering. They should all tie together to create an impression of just what the event is planned to be like. 

The invitation for a dinner dance will be elegant and classy, whereas a good old knees-up may have a cartoon image, pictures of balloons and a bright colour palette.

The same applies to the lettering. Classic fonts send the message that the occasion is more formal, the more rounded and cartoon style fonts say it’s a boozy do with the gang in a relaxed atmosphere.

What Text to Include on the Invitation Design

So moving on to the specifics of what the invitation should say - whatever the design, you need to let your guests know the following:

  • What the occasion is - Be specific, don’t just assume everyone knows. If it’s Alison's Hen Night, make sure the invitation says so, loud and clear.
  • When – The full date and time. Include the day, date and month, just so everyone is in no doubt.
  • Where – Again, be specific, and include the postcode if you can. In the modern world where even phones are Sat-Navs, people find this really useful.
  • What Should Guests Wear – Be clear about the dress code, and even if there isn’t one, say so ("come as you like!"). There’s nothing worse for your guests than turning up in the wrong kind of outfit.
  • How to Reply – And finally, make sure to tell everyone what kind of reply you need. Don’t assume everyone knows what you expect, it can lead to confusion later on. If you need them to email you at your office by a certain date, then say so.

Most of all, you want an invitation that makes the occasion seem so appealing that they just can’t wait to come along. If you keep in mind who your guests are, and design the invitation accordingly, you won’t go far wrong.

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