When was the last time you got an invitation in the mail? What was it for?
Over the past year I've either received paper invitations from someone who is over 60 years old or I've been invited to a wedding. Yesterday, I received my first invite to a graduation party, which is pretty common for a guy who works for a non-profit that serves high school people. However, I didn't get it in the mail.
I got it in a Facebook message.
The art of invitation has gone digital. Our days of receiving an invitation in the mail for a wedding are also numbered. Here's a perfect example of a infographic wedding invitation (You heard me, an infographic):
Now, this one was still printed and sent but it's just a matter of time till those getting married realize they could take the money for printing and postage and put it into their honeymoon, first house, or reception instead.
An invitation used to be information, now an invitation is art. And for those of us leading events, possibly even weekly, the invitation is becoming a bigger deal. It's all about share-ability. Invitations on paper are becoming less noticeable. Invitations on walls are getting the same response as billboards, meaning people pass them and don't receive the information.
Although a personal invitation is still king a close second is an invitation that is digital, sharable, and entertaining. A perfect example is the rise of the internet meme. You're probably familiar with the Harlem Shake, one of the best examples of an internet meme. This simply was an invitation. You didn't have to go anywhere, you could participate from your home or office. And so it spread like wildfire.
So what do those of us do who have low budgets, small amount of staff, and we aren't visually creative but we have to do some type of weekly flyer or invitation?
There's an app for that!
Now, there are a couple of tools/hints you need before we get to the apps:
- Smartphone -with a great camera
- Know how to do a screen capture on your smartphone
- Know how to crop an image in your smartphone photo library or have an app that will crop (My favorite is Afterlight which is on OS and Android for taking pictures and then editing them or cropping them, this includes screen shots)
Once you've figured these out, here's three of my favorite apps for making visually attractive invitations, or Instaflyers as I like to call them, like this one!
1. The RedStamp App - Get it here - RedStamp is by far the most user friendly of these design apps. Most of the designs are pre-built, all you have to do is add an image and some custom text. The best part about RedStamp is that its FREE! The app is really built for making digital cards or we even use it to build thank you's in our non-profit. You can build a card in RedStamp, pay postage, and they print it and pop it in the mail for you! So cool and one of my all time favorite apps! You can even use it on your computer by going to www.redstamp.com.
2. A Beautiful Mess App - Get it Here - The girls from Springfield, MO are changing the internets. And one of their big additions has been their own photo editing app. I like it because the interface is simple and attractive. This is where you're going to up your game and get to be creative. There's a multitude of text and graphic options that can take your instaflyer to a new level. ABM is 99 cents but worth ten times that when it comes to what you will be able to do!
3. The Rhonna App - Get it Here - This app is created by the lovely folks at Rhonna Designs. The capabilities in the app are similar to the ABM app, sometimes I like to use it for different graphics and fonts. It also has a ton of great pre-built graphics to add to your instaflyer. The cost is also 99 cents, but again, you will appreciate how much better of a designer you become by using this app!
Now, what about those of you who want to resist the modern age? You don't want to try to design these on your phone, you would prefer building it on your computer. Well, here's the best solution in the game: www.picmonkey.com. This is a fully functional photo editing site that for the most part is free, although I pay the low upgrade monthly cost. I use it to build every header image with texts on my site, including this post!
I love what these apps do for me when it comes to creating attractive invitations.
I don't consider myself an artist when it comes to creating visually attractive images or invitations so I've found help. We can all get a little bit better about our visual presentation because it is becoming the biggest draw for peoples' attention. If you want the word out, you have to give them something that's visual, sharable, and entertaining. Good luck and have fun making better invitations!