Engaging Connection: Printing & Sending Custom Invitations

You’re invited. Two very powerful words when it comes to events. Big or small, for work or pleasure, events simply can’t be successful without the people who attend it. And the best way to draw a crowd? Send unique, hold-in-your-hand custom invitations. Taking the time and effort to design, detail and print invitations translates to the time and effort your organization takes in caring for its business relationships. (And you thought it was just a card with a date and location on it.)

Custom invitations
Invitation printing

Personalized Invites Build Relationships

Whether you want to reach donors and potential customers or friends and family, sending unique Invitations using the variable data printing option is the way to go. It allows you to print different versions of the same invitation, so each one features the essential information and design, but with added personal touches like the recipient’s name. Variable data printing lets you reach out to each individual and create a truly personal connection.

Katie Tynes, brand designer at New Story Charity, has seen the value in physical invitations. She says, “Our donors love the tactility and care they feel when we give them something to hold in their hands. They can tell how much love, care and gratitude is poured into each print piece. It’s these types of details that lead to a wonderful donor experience and ultimately create more impact for the families we serve.”

Personalized invitations
Print your own invitations

Folds Seal the Deal

Go beyond the standard flat invitation and let your design pull double-duty. As a leading in the online printing industry, Smartpress offers a variety of folding options, including custom folds, and an array of paper stocks to accommodate and complement any invitation design. Tri-folds and Z-folds give you plenty of room to add dates, times and locations and are self-standing, while a gate-fold creates anticipation as it reveals your information inside. Have large graphics to display? The double/French-fold is exquisite.


All that folding and unfolding gives your guests a chance to not only see the paper quality, but also feel it. Eric Riley, Managing/Creative Director of 4Creeks Creative, chose the Felt Weave paper to advertise an event space. “I knew the paper would give the piece a nice texture and high-quality feel, but I did not expect to get such a pop from the photo. It turned out beautifully.”


Hint: If you choose a folding option, a lower cover weight or text weight will be important to maintain the integrity of your piece. If you forego folding, consider a thick stock for an elegant look and substantial feel.

Direct mail
Matching envelopes

Direct Mail Bridges the Digital Gap

For graduations and galas, business events and banquets, direct mail marketing engages with your guests in ways digital just can’t. Physically holding an invitation or other marketing materials increases the likelihood of the content being read, which increases the awareness of your brand, organization or event.


Sarah Forystek, American Advertising Awards Chair for AAF Central Minnesota, says direct mail printing was the only option for her formal event. “To honor the hard work of our members, we felt the print medium added to the overall pomp and circumstance of the event. A digital invite would fall flat for our audience!”

Design your own invitations

Designer Tips

To entice your guests with finishing touches like embossing, raised ink or metallic foil, get a Custom Quote, another impressive feature of our online printing services. Or try Digital Laser Cutting to create truly unique invitations with a company logo, intricate scrollwork or perforation that makes RSVPing a cinch.


Keep in mind that an online printer like Smartpress caters to professional designers. If you need a design, we recommend buying one from a freelance design service website and then come to us to upload and order your print. For guidance from initial idea to final product, you can also use our Layout Services team. They’re ready to handle your design needs and answer any questions.


Lasting Impact

Riley asserts that print is here to stay. He maintains, “I know the speed of our world necessitates digital marketing strategies that are effective and reach our audience where they are. However, there is nothing like a well-executed print piece to create lasting impact with an audience. I would take a well-designed, professionally-executed print piece over a mountain of social posts.”





Hint: Dive deeper into specialty finishes for custom invitations:



The Presidents Reception Invitation Design by Nicole Cascino
Holiday House Invitation Art Direction: Liam McMonagle, Type A Events, Design: Liam McMonagle, Type A Events, Illustration: Ivanna Ivashka
New Story Night Invitation Design by New Story Charity
Let’s Go Invitation design by J Bush Designs for Wings for Kids
Darling Hotel Design by 4Creeks Creative – Eric Riley
The Time Is Now Gala for Climate Change Design by Kellie Schneider
2020 American Advertising Awards Invitation Design by Andrea Engelmeyer, Designer, Adventure Creative Group, Creative Direction

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Invitation Printing

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