Graphic Design

How to Print Cards & Invitations

Whether you’re using the free invitation design from my site or something you found or designed on your own, now you need to figure out how to print it.

Using your home printer is always an option, and you can even buy some cardstock to make the invitation sturdier. Since I don’t know what kind of printer you have, I’m going to let you figure out the best way to do that.

But if you’d like to step up the quality a notch and order from a printing service, read on for some things you should know.

HowtoPrintProfessionally

I haven’t been doing this long enough to have used a large variety of printing services, but I can recommend Calvin Printing. That’s where I do most of my basic printing; they are quick, easy, and professional. However, they are located in Grand Rapids, and I’m not sure if they ship prints elsewhere.

For anywhere in the States (I think), you can use Staples. They offer in-store pickup or delivery. The results are not always perfect, but it will be more professional than using your home computer. I’ve only had one experience that turned out slightly crooked, but it was barely noticeable. So, take this recommendation with a grain of salt.

If you do want to go ahead with Staples, start by choosing the “Upload Your Own” option:

First, choose the dimensions. I designed my freebie invitations as 5” x 7” one-sided and portrait orientation.

Click “GET STARTED” and you’ll be taken to the main design page.

Either using the “Add an Image” button to the left or the “Upload” button in the center, find where you saved the invitation on your computer, and choose the PDF of whichever color you want.

A quick explanation of these symbols: the red section on the outside will be cut off. This is called “bleed.” It’s much easier for printers to cut clean lines if the design runs a little larger, and then the blade doesn’t have to line up exactly with the edge of the ink. So don’t worry — I designed these invitations with bleed, and you won’t be losing anything you need to keep.

The gold line on the inside is just to indicate a “safe zone.” It’s a bad idea to have text too close to this edge in case the cuts aren’t very precise.

If you’re using my design, you shouldn’t have to adjust anything here — a 5” x 7” + ¼” bleed high-res PDF is exactly what you need.

Next, do a final review. You can even download a PDF proof if you like.

Finally, choose where you want to pick up your prints, if you want a matte or glossy finish (I usually prefer matte, especially since you will be writing on them, but that’s up to you!), and how many prints you need.

That’s it! Finish your checkout, and you’re all done.

Happy party planning!

// Ahna

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