Thursday, December 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Right now the only person on staff is limited to English. If the customer can speak/write English, or they have a friend that can act as a go between, they can work with STDO on a project. The project itself doesn't have to be English! Of course the customer is definitely solely responsible for proof reading in that case.
Check out the popular wedding save the date design now turned into a Portuguese birthday save the date:
Communication with the designer is done via email in English- but the customer can email the text for the design in an alternate language. Spanish is a popular alternative to English for projects.
Sometimes it gets tricky because a lot of the fonts that are available won't have that accents or flourishes needed; But for small things like save the dates, a few of those can be added right in by the designer.
This leads into mentioning that you can get bilingual save the dates and invitations. You can get some # of cards or magnets in one language, some # in another. Another option is to go for double sided printing- one language on one side, another language on the other side.
Friday, November 11, 2011
1) Design variety. You can find all manner of styles on the website- from offbeat to elegant, simple to photographic, sports, humor, skylines, cartoons, floral, you name it. And if you don't see it, it can probably be made.
2) Personal attention from a designer. Want some tweaks? Can do. Switch up the colors a bit. Move a design element over a bit. If your photo doesn't fit the design you saw, I'll make some tweaks just to get you what you want. Don't end up with awkward and weird text positioning from an automated service.
3) Quality printing. Magnets are printed with 8 tank printers, versus the old 4 tank printers that many fridge magnet makers are using. Want a bright lime green or a vibrant royal blue, instead of a darker washed out looking version of these colors? Can do.
4) Fridge magnets from STDO have a laminated finish, are made with a 20mil magnet, and, are hand cut. Say no to flimsy magnets that arrive crooked and yes to awesomeness from STDO.
5) Integrity. Your won't be shoved through an ordering process that is full of advertisements, nor will any of your information ever be sold to partner companies just for an extra buck.
6) USA business. Nothing you buy from STDO is going to be made in China. And when you have a problem, you talk directly to STDO employees... not an overseas customer support team.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
PS: This can be made as a fridge magnet.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Around this time of the year, I start to receive questions like "can I send save the dates out with my holiday cards"? and "How to I mail save the dates out with my christmas cards?"
Slits or photo corners with a folded card that is printed with a holiday message would work well for a holder holiday card.
There are mini envelopes available for both the 2x3.5 inch and 2.5x4 inch magnet sizes. These smaller sizes are problematic for mailing on their own- you can't mail anything out that is smaller than 3.5x5 inches with the US postal service. But included inside another envelope? Perfect.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Personally, I love shimmery cards! White shimmer, cream shimmer, silver shimmer, you name it. Any invitation or save the date card is more awesome on pearlescent paper.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
These new sporty ideas are all due to customers coming to me and asking about a new idea.
Now, what about after the wedding? Well, I have no photographs of a sports themed thank you card for you yet, but, you know they will come along to this blog sooner or later.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Have you been to Disney World lately? Apparently there are special 2x3.5 inch tickets called "fast passes" that are specific for one ride.
One of my customers just asked me about making a small save the date magnet that looks like a fast pass. I couldn't replicate it exactly, because I do have minimum font sizes and bleed/safety margins to factor in, but, I did have an idea for her.
Check it out:
The word "wedding" replaces the name of a ride, and how could I resist adding in some fireworks?
This design uses the absolutely smallest text size I could allow on a design.
And there you have is. Small, simple, disney themed save the date.
August 3rd 2014:
I received a submission on the website asking about this design. It didn't make it onto the website, but is on file and is available. Send firstname.lastname@example.org an email if you are interested.
Added note in case that person returns to the post: the email address used for that submitted question returns an error message when I tried to reply.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
This invitation idea can be made with a variety of card stock options. Get the bottom layer made out of a metallic, patterned, or textured paper. Because of that variety, pricing can vary quite a bit. A good estimate would be about $3 per set, layered invitation card, response card, and envelopes included.
*Estimated are just an average price range valid only at the time it is written. Due to inflation, pricing goes up over time.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
I hadn't heard about this before, but a quick search found that Elizabeth Anne Designs had blogged about a couple that did this, right near the end of 2009.
Why lunchbags? Well, if the couple has a church or venue that is okay with them handing out rose petals or rice to be tossed as the newly married couple departs, how are those usually distributed? The couple would probably have a few ushers with lunch bags walking around to allow people to grab the petals. Instead, the couple can just use the lunchbag programs to distribute the send-away petals to each guest. Easy. Simple. Even distribution. Genius.
Note: make sure that your church will allow you to throw petals/rice/glitter before doing it. There is probably a charge to clean up after such things!
Photos of the printed white lunch bags:
The wedding party is on one side, the actual program on the other. Double sided printed lunchbags like the white one would cost about $1-$1.50.
Note: There is a limited printable area- about a half an inch from the left and ride side must be left blank, and also about 2 inches from the bottom.
While I was working on these, I also had a thought. One could also attach a printed card or sticker to the lunchbags!
Check out an example of a metallic printed card attached to a brown lunch bag:
And now, a clear printed sticker attached to a white lunch bag:
Note: I currently offer clear see-through stickers with black ink printing only. White stickers are available with full color printing.
Customers can get printed lunchbags, ceremony program stickers attached to lunch bags or just the stickers alone, ceremony printed cards attached to lunch bags or just the cards alone. White lunchbags. Brown lunchbags. As always, I am flexible and it's your wedding!
There is no ceremony program section on the Save the Date Originals website as up June 2011... look upwards for the "contact" link and then email to talk about a project. Pricing will vary as far as cards and stickers go.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
postage rates going upwards is also no wonder, knowing that the US posal service has had some major financial troubles. The main reason for that is, of course, the internet. More people are starting to read online magazines rather than pay for a copy to be mailed. More people are sending birthday greetings via facebook instead of sending a letter.
Whatever the reason, the fact is that postage costs are going up and rules are more likely to be enforced.
A common issue that I warn customers about is that square shaped envelopes will cost more to mail. An envelope can be close to square (such as 5x4.5) and not cost you extra, but a 5x5 inch envelope will.
Something else I just recently found out about: Think of your typical envelope; It is long/tall, maybe 8x3.5 inches. You would address it so that when you look at the address, the envelope is wide and short. (Horizontal). If you turn the envelope so that it is thin and tall, then write the address, it will actually cost more to mail!
Weight is a given- you know that if you go over an ounce, your postage will cost more.
But did you know that if your envelope is thicker than 1/4 inch, you could be charged a package rate? Something for pocketfold invitation buyers to think about.
And your envelope has to be uniformly thick- those bumps from bows could cause trouble.
All in all, brides and grooms definitely need to consider postage as part of the budget. The problem we stationiers have come across more than once is that if you take a complete ready to mail invitation to a post office, have them check it out and give you a price, and then you take it to another post office, the other post office might give a different price. It is coming up fairly often. You never know which workers at which post office are going to enforce which rules.
Hence, the warning that you may need to roll with extra postage. If the postage is indeed more than you were quoted, try another post office. I've read a success story where someone got their postage quote in writing from the post office- and was able to use that later when the postage quote was higher.
When it comes to save the date magnets, well, there are companies selling cheap thin magnets, and there are companies selling thick sturdy magnets. Even thicker small magnets (2x2, 2x3.5, 4x2.5 inch) shouldn't be over an ounce. You can expect to mail smaller sizes with the usual postage. But larger 6.75x3.75 inch magnets are going to cost a little more to mail out in an envelope.
Postcards come up a lot, with couples considering ways to save on postage. After 7 years, I have words of warning.
1) Sometimes the post office will really tear and dent up a post card. I've been surprised by flimsy cards that made it through. I've also been surprised by sturdy cards that got torn, bent, sections scratched up, or otherwise trashed.
2) You have to design the back to meet with their required outline- no crazy fun postcard backs. You also want to design the front so that if the post office puts a sticker or barcode along the bottom, no information will be lost.
3) Consider your privacy. Postcards display everything for anyone along the way to read.
Friday, April 29, 2011
If you met on facebook, you are both facebook addicts, or you just think this is hilarious, check out the design's detail page on Save the Date Originals for more info.
Friday, April 22, 2011
It's simple, it's cute, it's not excessively swirly.
But if someone asks me to modify the design with a knot.com url:
This shortening service is maintained by Save the Date Originals. I am not going to promise that your short url will work into infinity, but as long as I'm in business, you should be good. I've been in business 7 years and counting- you probably only need your short url for a year or two.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
A better solution might just be to order both a card and a magnet. Pick out a save the date card that you like, and then add a small 2x2 or 2x3.5 inch magnet. With Save the Date Originals you can change up colors and get a matching design, so it's not like you have to search for a pre-made combination. Make your own.
Check out this example:
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Check out this family photo magnet:
Adorable! This design features 5 nicely sized photographs and the family name.
One could also get a bordered photograph print.
Or, one could skip the border and just get a magnetic 8x10 inch photograph. You have options. These magnets do have a nice glossy finish.
Check out pricing here:
But wait, there is more. This also happens to be the perfect magnet size for a calendar of the entire year + a photo or logo. Check out the example below, featuring a Save the Date Originals logo, followed by the 2011 calendar year, followed by a short list of some holidays.
Click on the image for special calendar magnet pricing.
Friday, March 18, 2011
I introduce the new and improved car magnets: read on.
Below is a 4x4.5 inch example:
Obviously the example above is not business related. It turns out- car magnets are also more appealing, for those who don't want a ragged bumper sticker to deal with some years down the road.
These magnets are made of a laminated card + a nice thick 35 mil magnet. There is a clear laminate border around the card to prevent any rain from seeping in through the side of the magnet. This is important for an outdoor magnet- you don't want your magnet falling apart as soon as the magnet gets rained on.
Get a quality magnet from the get go. Because your business deserves better. Because you will be in business for years to come, and your business car magnets should look good.
Sizes priced out on the website are 8x3.25 inches, 10x4 inches, and 10x8 inches.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Check out this 5x7 inch invitation card:
A new design, it focuses on the "fleur de lis". The printing is all black, but the card stock is a light blue.
In other news, I must declare the "STDC5A" save the date card design to be quite a favorite for those autumn events. These are 5x3.5 inch cards, printed on white card stock.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Hip!nk just wrote an excellent blog entitled "The Top 5 Wedding Invitation Mistakes".
When I get a request for 500 save the date magnets, I am not surprised when the number is later revised downward. A couple only needs to send one save the date per household- not to every single individual guest! Additionally, the couple doesn't even have to send one save the date per household. Many couples will send them only to the most distant guests.
Asking for RSVPs
"Can I ask for an RSVP with my save the dates"? The idea is that if a guest knows for sure that they can not attend, and they tell the couple, then the couple saves a little bit by ordering one less invitation to send out. The desire is understandable.
But don't go asking an RSVP. Save the dates are just to notify the guest of the date. Save the dates are kind of like an engagement announcement. They are not the invitation.
Asking a guest to respond that far in advance is a little too preemptive. The cost savings of a few less invitations is not really worth it. How many of your guests will even know for certain that they can not make it, that far in advance? And if they did... their plans could very well change; Guests who don't think they can attend might find themselves free by the time your invitation arrives.
Deciding whether there will be a guest for that invitee so far in advance is also precarious, for both you and your invitee. It is a too early for you to decide with certainly on whether your invitee can have a guest- and how many they can have. Your plans may change as the wedding comes closer and the details come into focus. Your invitee shouldn't even be worrying about who their guest would be so far in advance.
This far in advance, couples do not need to give guests too much detail. Names & date; Possible a city/state. That is the basic makeup of a save the date. Don't give guests a map from the ceremony to the reception. Couples do not need to give their guests the time that the ceremony starts. The couple does not even need to tell guests where the reception is. This is the save the date... not the invitation.
Save the dates are fairly easy to deal with in this regard. Couples can send their save the dates out anywhere from 4 months before the wedding or over a year before. 4 months is cutting is close, but it's doable. (Invitations usually go out 2-3 months in advance).
Printed refrigerator magnets are fun to to send out as a save the date; Each year, the idea becomes more popular. Small 3.5x2 inch magnets *are* going to be the most cost effective size.
However, they are also less than half the size of the smallest mailable envelope size with the US postal service.
That small magnet size, with mini envelopes, makes an excellent addition to a save the date card or packet. But if couples want to mail those small magnets out alone, they need to think about getting (or DIY making) a holder to go with the magnet.
After so many years, I have to recommend a 4x3 inch magnet or larger for when you want to send the magnet out alone.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Check out this 2.5x6.5 inch event ticket:
Notice something new? It's the envelope. A special long flapped envelope that allows for an extra touch. The envelope itself is also printed with "EVENT TICKET". This wording is also customizable.
The ticket itself could be a card or a magnet.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
You may think that it shouldn't be that difficult to promise exact colors- but it is!
When it comes to online printing services, the translation from what you see on your screen to what you see on the printed piece that arrives at your door is more complicated than you might think.
Professional printers also use a 4 colors to create all of their images (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, and Black). Your computer monitor uses RGB, and colors and be bright indeed on your monitor. Have you every tried printing out your own design, a design with delightfully bright colors, only to find yourself with a printed color that was much duller, washed out, than you wanted? This is because the color you wanted actually isn't actually printable without highly specialized means.
When it comes down to it, if your design has brown and blue colors, your printed piece will too. But maybe the colors will be a little darker than you expected; Maybe the color shade didn't turn out exactly as you envisioned; Maybe the photograph will have more contrast than you saw.
The fact is: There are a lot of different models of computer monitors out there, and each one will have a variety of settings. My own monitor here has not just settings for brightness and contrast, but also for "tone", which will switch it between yellow, blue, and magenta tints.
Flat screens have proliferated because they are really incredibly space efficient, and easy to handle. However... they are just really not good when it comes to proofing images that will be printed.
What can the printer do? We can not come to your home and calibrate your computer. Instead, we can only warn you.
Just about every major online company has the warning- though you may have to dig to find it.
"Overnight Prints does not guarantee color will match the preview as it appears on a customer's monitor, as we cannot compensate for color variance on each customer's monitor."
"Are the colors on my proof exactly like my magnet or card? Because of the different settings on computer monitors, and the difference between computer colors and 4-color printed colors, the colors on your proof are not an exact representation of the colors to be printed on your magnet or card. "
95% of a printing company's customers will be happy with their printed design. Printed with quality machines, produced by quality designers, it's not as if the printed design is going to look bad. But... will see the occasional complaint from someone who felt that their photo print was too dark, and that is regrettable; It was someone who fell in love with their photo design as they saw it on a bright monitor.
Take this quote from Theoart at wordpress.com
"When it comes to prints being too dark, usually it is a result of an expectation of prints to appear exactly as they appear on a person’s monitor and not the printer itself. What this means is that the dark prints are really printing the way the image is but the users monitor is making a dark image look brighter. Being in the photo and fine art printing business, this is the one complaint that I hear the most.
This is most common for people using flat panel (LCD) monitors since they tend to emit brighter imagery than a more traditional and bulky computer (CRT) monitor. Laptops can be the worse culprit in all of this. MAC users may also experience this issue due to differences in the Gamma curve."
Is there a real solution to this issue? No.
But, I do have a trick for you. If you calibrate your monitor so that the last 3 dark colors in this band (below) are indistinguishably dark, and the light colors are clearly definable, you will have a better feel for how dark things will print.
It's not surefire- some printing companies will automatically adjust images in various ways to attempt compensating for how they expect most of their customer's computer monitors to be set. They might be adjusting their online proofs... and they might be adjusting the file that they are printing. (You didn't think shutterfly and other photo companies just printed your exact photo file, did you?).
Another tip: Laminated prints do usually look darker than matte prints.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Check out the save the date magnet on this page:
You can click on one of the images there for a close up view of that pearly texture.
This option is not available for photographic designs; Only for simple, mostly black ink designs. The photographed magnet in this blog post was made with a champagne/cream card stock, but for a larger quantity order (100+), a customer might be able to pick another color option.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Theater, concert, movie, film strip- all are popular save the date themes.
Check out this large magnet option for a movie poster look-a-like:
Monday, January 10, 2011
If you have a lot of friends and family online, this is a new unique way to say "save the date".
Check out this example:
Couples can get their personalized version of this video for $15. Personalization includes a switch from red to another color, two photographs, and the names/date/etc.
Customers get get the video file emailed to them, or have me post it on youtube for them.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
It is not weird- it is actually fairly common. And there is a good reason for that. Many people love the idea of sending out a magnetic save the date. But, on many budgets, a small 3.5x2 inch magnet is what gets ordered.
These small magnets are a not the easiest thing to mail out, however. Often customers will say "and how much are envelopes for these?"
To which I have no short reply.
I must then explain that the smallest mailable envelope size with USPS is 5x3.5 inches. This envelope size is over twice as large as that small magnet.
If the budget allows, I always recommend the 4x3.5 inch magnets for save the dates. You can mail those right out alone with an envelope. With a regular postage stamp, too.
This magnet size also saves customers from the frustration they sometimes have with trying to fit a decent portion of wording on the magnet, while still getting a good looking design. This magnet size allows for both nice design elements and a decent amount of wording. Customers who want a nicer font can get it, rather than compromising for a more space effective options. And better yet... guests will be able to read the nice cursive text ;-)
The small magnet size is the best option when it will be mailed out with a card, letter, or brochures that have more information for the guests. In that case, customers can easily go with just a photograph, the first names, and the date, for the magnet design. Or instead of a photograph, a calendar. Or instead of either a photograph or a calendar, a cute graphic. Add white or see-through 3.75x2.25 inch envelopes, toss the small magnet in, and there you have an excellent addition to your save the date mailing.
Many customers do go with the small magnets, and many do plan on mailing them out alone. This is what led to my offering the small magnet holders.
If you go looking around the internet, there are a few different types of magnet holders that you might see. Glue dots, double sided tape, photo corners: all have been common DIY methods.
I also once offered a card with four holes punches, and ribbon tied around the magnet and into a bow. I got rid of this option because the bump in the envelope means customers have to go to the post office to get their envelopes hand canceled. Unless you really want to do that... it's a hassle.
My favorite is holder is a card with two angled slits, to hold corners of the magnet. There are some magnet holders available with two half-circles that extend over the longest sides of the magnet... This looks like a good idea, but I tested some out, and, well, one good jolt in the right direction, the magnet goes sliding out. The angled slits hold the magnet more securely in place.
To my surprise, the magnet holders have become so popular, that I will have customers ordering them who didn't even order their magnets from me! They only found me after searching about the internet for magnet holders.
After checking out competing magnet holders, I also decided on going with a thicker card stock. I've seen several companies offering magnet holders that are only 65lb stock. Mine are 80lb cover stock.
I waffled on this decision for a bit; After all, does the holder matter that much? Well, I know that if I went to the trouble to order magnet holders, I'd want them to be reasonably sturdy, not flimsy, and less likely arrive at my guest's homes bent up.
Now, given the small size of the magnet, the limited space for text, and knowing that they would end up getting holders, many customers started asking about whether they could get printing on their holders. Of course they can! A favorite option is to move the website address or "invitation to follow" off the magnet itself, and onto the holder.
Customers have also gone with folded cards, for even more printing space, and sometimes just because they want to include a handwritten note.
And so it is that I now offer blank holders in a variety of colors, holders with printing, and, folded magnet holders.
And so it is that I must offer a bit of explanation for customers when they ask a simple question: "Do you offer envelopes with these?"
Bottom line: If you are mailing the small magnets out alone, you need a holder of some sort. If you are including them in a larger envelope with a letter or card, you could just get nice mini white, colored, or transparent envelopes.