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Importance of Thank You Notes

There is no doubt about it, the digital age has changed the printing industry – forever! The days of paper files and office memos are gone for good. I think most would agree that this has been a change for the better at that office, but what about on a personal level? I find myself constantly wondering, have we just gone too far? How do we balance all the benefits of the digital age and yet still keep some of the good stuff from the “old days” like thank you notes and hardcover books? We now (myself included) find ourselves emailing or texting a quick gesture of kindness or thanks, when perhaps more is deserved.

Thank you note samples

Thank you note samples

Recently I attended a lecture put on by the business school I attend. Two CEO’s from local companies offered their time to address the group on the outlook for jobs locally. Both stressed the importance of a hand-written thank you note over an email in the corporate environment. They explained that hand written notes just “stand out” because anymore, they are a rarity. A hand-written note is symbol of true appreciation for someone’s time, which in most cases is quite valuable. So, I asked myself, why would it be different on a personal level with our friends and family? This is the first thought that came to my mind and my next thought was “wow, I too have crossed the line!” I am guilty of sending the quick text of thanks for something that deserved far more. The bottom line here is, if someone takes time out of their busy schedule to buy you a gift, do you a favor, make you a dinner or even take you to lunch, it is important to acknowledge their efforts in more than just an email or text.

As we continue to welcome our new age of communication, like all things, it’s important to embrace the good and not leave all of the old stuff behind. Things like hand-written notes are a good thing!

My next several blogs will be on the topic of the digital age and its effects on the printing industry. As I write these blogs, my thoughts are pretty clear, that every event is different and the rigidity of traditional etiquette rules no longer applies to every customer we work with. But writing thank you notes is a tradition I strongly support and hope continues. When asked, my advice to customers as they work through the order process is that if it’s in their budget, to go ahead and order extra thank you notes and choose an option that will be timeless and flexible. Select a note card that can be used after a wedding or Bar Mitzvah, and also a year later as a thank you note for a home cooked meal. It is money well spent!

Next week I’ll discuss the changes we have seen over the years with the formal reply card.

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Customized Postage Stamps

Sending out custom invitations for your event just got even more customized!
Now every aspect of your custom invitation ensemble can be personalized, right down to your postage. With personalized postage stamps from Invitations4Less.com, your guests will know immediately what awaits them inside the envelope in their hands.

Custom Postage Stamps

Custom Postage Stamps

Your guests will be impressed when they see that you’ve put so much thought into every detail of your invitation ensemble and you will create a sense of anticipation for your event from the moment they pull your invitation or announcement out of their mailbox.

With the option of vertical or horizontal orientation, photos or your artwork, and a variety of denominations, you may easily create the perfect finishing touch to your social invitation or holiday card.

Be fabulous! Order your custom postage stamps today!

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National Stationery Show 2012

National Stationery Show Banner

National Stationery Show Banner

Another visit to the National Stationery Show in New York City has come to an end and it was nothing less than spectacular, as always. It’s hard to describe the energy that we take from the few days we get to spend at this extravaganza of paper; but every time I visit, I come away with those same feelings: Renewed, Informed, and Ready to roll with all that the next year will bring to the industry.

It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day workings of a trade that is constantly changing under our very feet. Attending a national event that presents the opportunity to network with current and new suppliers who bring a tremendous amount of energy and passion to their product displays in a city that is so vibrant it, as the saying goes, never sleeps (it’s true! One look out the window of our Times’ Square location hotel at any time of night will attest to that!), helps us refocus and remember what we’re in this for: the beauty of connecting with others through enduring media. It’s hard to come away anything but Renewed.

On top of the chance to network with industry leaders, we’re gratefully Informed through the many educational opportunities available at the show. From the Trends seminar we attend every year to the “Best New Products” display and “Stationery Today” daily newsletter published to highlight what’s new on the show floor, to simply engaging with and listening to the vendors discussing their latest advances in printing and design, it’s a confluence of learning opportunities like no other for today’s stationer.

National Stationery Show 2012

National Stationery Show 2012

And all of this action packed into a few short days means we’re nothing less than Ready to roll through another year of seeking out the best and brightest on the horizon for paper communications for your special event. Stay tuned for more details on the show and new product offerings coming soon!

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Trend Alert: The Zig Zag

The exciting chevron stripe pattern is back and is creating quite a buzz in the fashion and home decorating markets. Frequently paired with white and a burst of color, this zig zag pattern is a statement-maker! Just look around and you’ll see the chevron pattern everywhere. We’ve created an inspiration board to get you started!

Chevron Patterns

Chevron Patterns

Upper left and left center: Our in-house designer took two of the season’s hottest design elements, the chevron and ombré effect and combined them for a stunning Bar or Bat Mitzvah invitation that’s truly in style. These invitations are available in a multitude of colors.

Lower left: Aren’t these DIY shoes adorable! You can learn how to craft these at Craft: transforming traditional Crafts.

Top center: Looking for home decorating inspiration? Indulgy has lots of ideas to give your home a modern look and feel.

Center: Our designer used the chevron pattern for this ultra-modern and sharp wedding invitation. Also available in your choice of colors.

Bottom center: Only one word can describe this manicure in this season’s most popular color, Tangerine Tango: FUN!

Upper right: Need an accent pillow to finish decorating a room? houzz has it!

Right center: Want to show the world that you have great fashion style? Try this dress on from fantabulously FRUGAL and watch heads turn!

Bottom right: We think this is the perfect handbag to polish off your wardrobe! You can purchase this at coolspotters.

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Party Planning with Pinterest – Video Version

Recently, we published a blog on Party Planning with Pinterest. Given the tremendous number of views we’re seeing in such a short time, we know we’ve piqued your interest. So here’s a video version that will make getting started with Pinterest even easier!

Now that you are ready to start planning your party on Pinterest, be sure to follow us for all the latest invitations and ideas. We look forward to exchanging ideas with you!

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Party Planning with Pinterest!

Are you on Pinterest? If so, you’re already aware of the addictive nature of this burgeoning new social networking site. We’ve recently joined the fun and we’re actively working to set up our boards and contribute regularly to the community with ideas for wedding planning, unique Bar & Bat Mitzvah decor, new and different graduation party themes as well as a few things we just couldn’t resist sharing on our “Just for Fun” board. Of course, we’ll be showing off our favorite invitations, too!

If you’re not yet on Pinterest, you’re missing out not only on a social networking explosion, but an opportunity to make your event planning so much more visual, not to mention simple!

Pinterest Board 3

Pinterest Board 3

Here’s a brief primer on the new site that is taking the Internet by storm: Pinterest has been compared with pinboards seen on campuses and in social venues, with the user pinning things of interest for themselves to keep track of and/or others to note. While pinboards may host anything from items for sale to announcements about events and gatherings, Pinterest is a visual version of this concept with primarily images and video postings to share.

Although it’s quickly becoming a household word, Pinterest is still in its relative infancy, having just debuted in Beta form in March 2010 and only gaining national exposure in August 2011 when Time Magazine included Pinterest on their “50 best websites of 2011” list. Now at over 11 million unique user accounts, Pinterest is the fastest website in history (as of the date of this blog publication) to break the 10 million unique visitors mark. And yet, Pinterest is still available to invited users only. (Don’t worry, we’ll be happy to issue an invitation for you – keep reading).

So, how will this help you plan your next event? If you’ve been scouring the Internet searching for ideas to fit your theme, then trying to keep track of all those URLs and pictures of what you’ve run across, Pinterest will take care of all that for you.

Pinterest Board 1

Pinterest Board 1

Once you’ve set up an account, you’ll be asked to identify your interests so that Pinterest can match you up with other Pinterest users who share similar goals. You can search for more by typing in what you most hope to find (i.e. bar mitzvah favors; rustic wedding or Sweet 16 party) and then choose to re-pin images you’d like to save to your own boards (top image on this blog) for future reference, “like” the images or even follow the user who pinned the images you choose to re-pin since you share similar taste. Pins of all the users you follow will show up in the feed presented to you when you first log in (or click the Pinterest logo at the top of the page from anywhere in the site).

So, let’s say you’re planning a wedding and thinking about your new home at the same time. You don’t want to mix all your pinned images onto the same page. You’ll want them to be organized into categories: Bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, reception ideas, and home decor, just to name a few possibilities. This is where your boards come into play. Create your boards by clicking the “add +” button at the top and name your boards. You can have as many or as few as you like! Here we see the Wedding Ideas gathered by the staff of Invitations4Less.com, which includes everything from complete theme inspiration boards to groom’s cakes, but you could have one for cakes, one for bridal accessories, shoes, gowns, favors, and the list goes on…

Pinterest Board 2

Pinterest Board 2

You can always add and delete boards and pins as you go to keep your boards and pins to only what you want to see when you return.

Now that you have your boards set up, add pins by using the “add +” button to take an image from any website you visit (the link will automatically be appended so you can get back to that great invitation you found without having to write down the URL!) or by re-pinning images you find in your Pinterest feed. Once you understand the basics of using Pinterest, you’ll wonder why someone didn’t think of this sooner!

And if you’re not on Pinterest yet, we’ll be happy to issue an invitation for you. Just contact us and we’ll send it right away!

Looking for more help? See our Party Planning with Pinterest Video Blog!

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Invitation Terminology

A Handy Reference to Invitation Terms:

Invitations are as unique and wonderful as the individual(s) for whom and by whom they have been created. However, there are certain standards by which most invitations comply, either out of tradition, or for practical reasons, such as to ensure envelopes are available to fit them.

Following is a handy reference guide to the terms applying to invitations mentioned in descriptions throughout Invitations4Less.com.

Size Name:
Astor: 3 3/8” X 5 3/8”
Belmont: 4” X 6 1/16”
Classic: 5 ¾” X 7 5/8”
Club Note: 4 7/16” X 5 ¾”
Dixmore: 4 7/16” X 5 5/8”
Duchess/Legend: 5” X 8 ½”
Embassy: 5” X 6 5/8”
Grande: 5 7/8” Square
Harmony: 5 ¾” X 9 ¼”
Imperial: 6 ¼” Square
Jumbo: 5 1/8” X 7 ¼”
Keepsake: 7 ¾” Square
Lee: 5 1/8” X 7”
Marquis: 5 ½” Square
Princess: 4 ½” X 6 1/8”
Regal: 5 ¼” X 7 7/8”
Royal: 5 ¾” X 7 7/8”
Slim Line: 3 ¾” X 8 ½”
Splendor: 6 5/8” X 10”
Symphony: 6 ¾” Square
Tea Length: 4” X 9 ¼”
Tiffany: 5 ½” X 7 ¾”
Upright: 4 ½” X 6 1/8”
Windsor: 6 1/8” X 8 ¾”
Yorkshire: 5” X 7 ¼”

Layout:
French-Fold Invitation: A single piece of paper stock folded in half to double-thickness, then folded in half again. Examples of traditional French-Fold invitations may be seen here.

Gate-Fold Invitation: Any invitation which has flaps that come together in the center front. The paper may be a tri-fold or possibly five-panel stock. Examples of gate-fold invitations may be seen here.

Layered Invitation: Any invitation with multiple layers of paper which may be stacked and glued for heavier presentation, or loose and tied with a ribbon at top. Examples of Layered Invitations may be seen here.

Pocket Invitation: Any invitation which includes a self-pocket to hold the invitation and accessory cards together. Examples of pocket invitations may be seen here.

Single-Card Invitation: A single piece of paper with no folds. Examples of Single-Card Invitations may be seen here.

Single-Fold Invitation: A single piece of paper stock with one fold, usually at the top or left side. In many cases, the printing on a single-fold invitation is on the front of the invitation with the inside being completely blank. Examples of single-fold invitations may be seen here

Tri-Fold Invitation: Any single piece of paper with two folds creating 3 distinct panels. Examples of Tri-Fold invitations may be seen here.

Wrapped Invitation: Any invitation that is wrapped with the same or different stock. Examples of Wrapped Invitations may be seen here.

Z-Fold Invitation: A Tri-Fold invitation which folds in the shape of a Z.

Paper Types:
100% Cotton Paper: Paper made from 100% cotton fibers. 100% cotton fiber paper is desirable for invitations for events such as weddings due to its soft feel and archival quality. Examples of 100% cotton invitations may be viewed here.

Bright White / Brilliant White: White paper stock that is white-white, not off-white. Examples of bright white paper may be seen here.

Brownkraft: Invitations made of paper that resembles a brown paper grocery bag. Often these invitations are made from recycled paper stock. Creamy / Wedding White: Paper which is between Bright White and Ivory / Ecru, Creamy White Paper is a soft off-white. Examples of wedding white invitations may be viewed here.

Ecru / Ivory: Paper stock that is a dark off-white to yellow-off white color. Examples of ivory and ecru invitations may be seen here.

European / Shimmer Paper: Invitation paper which is coated with a metallic shimmer finish. Examples of shimmer stock invitations may be viewed here

Gloss Cover Stock: Paper which has a shiny or semi-gloss finish applied to the printed side. Examples of Gloss Cover-Stock invitations may be viewed here.

Parchment Paper: Paper which is created to resemble the look of antique parchment. Parchment paper is generally used in French-fold applications. Examples of Parchment Paper Invitations may be viewed here.

Recycled Paper: Invitations4Less.com uses the term Recycled Paper for any invitation which contains a minimum 30% PCW fibers.

Translucent Vellum: Invitations which utilize an acetate stock to create a translucent “paper” for printing or overlays. Examples of Translucent Vellum Invitations may be viewed here.

Vellum Invitations: Invitations created with any paper other than 100% cotton may be referred to as “vellum” in the invitation industry. See also Translucent Vellum.

Print Techniques & Design Descriptors:
Digital Printing: A relatively new technique which allows 4-color design and wording to be printed simultaneously. Digital printing results in flat-printed wording and is useful for printing designs behind wording and color photo invitations.

Embossing: A technique used to create a raised effect in design on invitations. Papers may be “blind embossed” which means there is no treatment other than the raising of the paper from the back, or treated with a foil, ink or other color- or texture-adding material. An example of a blind-embossed design on a wedding invitation may be viewed here.

Engraving: A time-honored and early form of printing formal correspondence, engraving involves a metal (traditionally copper) plate engraved in reverse with the wording to be printed. The engraved letters on the plate are filled with ink and the paper is pressed into the plate from the back, causing the the letters to be raised up in the paper and the ink to be applied simultaneously. Engraved Wedding Invitations may be viewed here.

Foil-stamping: A technique utilizing very thin sheets of foil material (metallic or matte) applied from the front and bonded to the paper for design or printing purposes. Foil-stamping results in a flat design which is not raised/embossed. An example of a foil-stamped design on a Bar Mitzvah Invitation may be viewed here.

Letterpress: A time-honored printing process involving stamping designs and/or letters into a thick paper from the front, creating an indentation which is simultaneously inked. Letterpress is experiencing a resurgence in the invitation market. Examples of Letterpress Invitations may be viewed here.

Pearlizing: Generally-speaking, a pearl foil applied to an embossed design, giving the finished product a finish resembling a pearl color. Examples of Pearlized Wedding Invitations may be viewed here.

Refractive: A form of foil-stamping which results in a design which is altered in differing light conditions. Designs utilizing refractive foil may not be fully visible in low-light conditions, creating a subtle and surprising element when viewed in higher-light conditions. An example of a refractive border on a wedding invitation may be viewed here.

Screened-printing: A lighter version of the same ink color used as a backdrop for your invitation wording. Screens are defined by the percentage of full ink used. An example of a screen may be viewed here.

Thermography: A modern print-process designed to mimic engraving by recreating the raised effect of the letters or design utilizing a powered substance which adheres to the ink before drying.

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Getting to Know: Krepe-Kraft

A few years ago, some members of our staff attended the National Stationery Show which is held in New York City each May. We were in search of new suppliers to add to our growing list of vendors. As soon as we walked through the main entrance, we saw the Krepe-Kraft booth and after perusing their albums, we knew we had to sign up with them!

For more than 35 years, Krepe-Kraft has been personalizing first-class stationery products for consumers with fine taste. Krepe-Kraft offers one of the most comprehensive stationery lines in the industry.

For Kicks Bat Mitzvah Invitation

For Kicks Bat Mitzvah Invitation

 

When you browse through our selection of Krepe-Kraft invitations, you’ll be amazed at the options which are available. Invitations may be purchased as shown online or alternate paper stocks, ink colors and foil choices may be selected to create a truly unique and one-of-a-kind invitation.

Krepe-Kraft specializes in thermography, foil stamping, embossing, and multi-layer invitations. They also offer a wide selection of designs and envelope linings to add that extra touch to your invitations.

 

Simple Sophistication Bar Mitzvah Invitation

Simple Sophistication Bar Mitzvah Invitation

 

We know you’ll be happy with your invitation selection from Krepe-Kraft. Their commitment to providing customers with great service, quality that is second-to-none, and creativity is why Invitations4Less.com is proud to be one of their preferred vendors.

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Getting to Know: Mosaica Studios

If you’re looking for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah invitation that speaks to both your aesthetic and your desire to support an Israel-based business, you should know about invitations from Mosaica Studios.

From humble beginnings, working out of a studio apartment over 20 years ago, Mosaica Studios now occupies a 30,000 square foot building situated in the foothills of Jerusalem printing and assembling custom invitations of high-quality paper sourced from around the world. You may choose from their large selection of designer invitations or let your imagination run wild with their extensive collection of beautiful paper stocks with which to create your custom work of art! Then finish off your ensemble with a “Made in Israel” notation on the back of your invitations at no extra charge.

Modern Art Bar Mitzvah Invitation

Modern Art Bar Mitzvah Invitation

 

Invitations4Less.com is pleased to offer a variety of beautiful invitations from Mosaica Studios. Please visit our Mosaica Studios Bar and Bat Mitzvah Invitations page for a small sampling of the full collection of available options.

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Getting to Know: Designer’s Connection

I first became introduced to Designer’s Connection, the company, at the National Stationery Show in 2008. I and one of my associates had gone to the show specifically in search of new suppliers for the Bar and Bat Mitzvah market. Armed with our wish list and a map of the show floor, we set out on our mission. However, it was pretty much by sheer stroke of luck that we found the Designer’s Connection booth. By then our feet were tired, our minds overstimulated and our itinerary of booths to return to was pretty well filled out.

But then, there they were! We stopped, we chatted, we signed on without hesitation. You see, there’s just something about Shelley Epstein that inspires confidence and makes you want to do business with this woman.

Here, Shelley, the creative force behind Designer’s Connection, tells us in her own words a little about herself and the company she’s built from scratch.

Designers Connection Bio

Designers Connection Biography

 

We’re pleased to offer the unique collection of Designer’s Connection Invitations for your Wedding or Bar Mitzvah and Rosh Hashanah Cards. We are confident that you will be proud to put your Designer’s Connection invitations or cards in the mail.

Shelley Epstein

     Shelley Epstein of Designer’s Connection

 

 

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