This is a romantic, rustic invitation which would be a perfect fit for winter weddings. In this tutorial suitable for beginners to Adobe InDesign, we’ll look at how to put together the invitation card and how to export your design ready for printing.
We’ll be dipping into vector software to edit the tree graphics in the design, so you will need access to Illustrator too.
Ready to get swept up in the romance of the colder months? Let’s go!
What You’ll Need to Create Your Invite
As well as access to InDesign and Illustrator, you’ll need to download the following images and font files too:
- Brown paper texture
- Winter tree vector
- Paint drops vector
- Love Hewits script font
- Miama script font
- Aleo font
Note on sizing: We’ll be setting up the cards to a standard 4.5 in by 6.25 in size, which will fit inside standard sized envelopes that you can easily find online or in a stationery store. Try pairing your cards with a brown paper envelope for rustic charm.
1. How to Create a Rustic Backdrop for Your Invite
Open up Adobe InDesign and go to File > New > Document.
With the Intent set to Print, uncheck the Facing Pages box. Set the Width of the page to 4.5 in and the Height to 6.25 in.
Add Margins of 0.5 in and a Bleed of 0.25 in. Then head up and click OK.
Expand the Layers panel and double-click on the Layer 1 name. Rename the layer Background and click OK.
Take the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) and drag across the whole page, extending the image frame up to the edges of the bleed on all sides. Go to File > Place, choose the brown paper texture image you downloaded earlier, and click Open. Allow the image to fill up the whole frame.
Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches) and choose New Color Swatch from the panel’s drop-down menu (at top-right).
Set the Type to Process and Mode to CMYK, and adjust the levels below to C=16 M=31 Y=36 K=4. Click Add and then OK.
Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and drag across the whole page, before setting the Fill of the shape to your new brown swatch from the Swatches panel.
With the shape selected, go to Object > Effects > Transparency. Bring the Opacity down to 35% and click OK.
2. How to Format Elegant Typography on Your Invite
Lock the Background layer and click on the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the panel. Rename this new layer Typography.
With the rulers visible (go to View > Show Rulers if not), drag out a guide from the left-hand ruler, dropping it in the center of the page. This will help you judge how centered the typography elements on your page are.
Use the Type Tool (T) to create a text frame across the central guide, about a third of the way down the page. Type in ‘Name 1’.
From either the top Controls panel or the Character and Paragraph panels (Window > Type > Character and Paragraph), set the Font to Love Hewits, Size 80 pt. From the Swatches panel, adjust the Font Color to [Paper].
Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste the text frame and position it below and a little to the right of the original. Edit the text to read ‘Name 2’.
You can create a smaller text frame to the left of the second name, type in an ampersand (‘&’), and set the Font to Miama.
Once you’re happy with the formatting of the names, you may want to vectorise the text to make it a little easier to scale the names up and down as a group. Select all three text frames with your mouse and go to Type > Create Outlines.
Right-click on the vectors and choose Group. Then you can scale the names together, while holding down Shift, and adjust the position until you are happy with the result.
In the Swatches panel, choose New Color Swatch from the panel’s menu. Name the swatch Charcoal and set the levels to C=62 M=52 Y=50 K=47.
Create a new text frame above the names, centering it on the page. Type in introductory text, such as ‘Please join us to celebrate the wedding of’, and set the Font to Aleo Bold, Size 8 pt, Align Center and increase the Tracking (space between all letters) to 200.
From the Swatches panel, switch the Font Color to Charcoal.
Build up more text frames below the names by copying and pasting the top text frame repeatedly. Adjust the text to read the date and time of the event, then the place, and finally a ‘PTO for more details’ note if you want to place extra info like directions or contact details on the reverse of the card.
3. How to Add Snowy Forest Details to Your Invite
Open up the winter tree vector in Illustrator. Isolate the tree silhouette alone, and head up to Edit > Copy.
Back in InDesign, lock the Typography layer and create a new layer above called Trees. Edit > Paste the tree vector directly onto the page. Position it at the bottom center of the page, and set the Fill to Charcoal.
With the tree selected, go to Object > Effects > Transparency. Choose Multiply from the Mode menu, and pull the Opacity down to 80%. Click OK.
Copy and Paste the tree and scale it down a little, before placing it to the left of the original tree, allowing some of the branches to overlap. Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste this second tree and move it over to the right side, creating a fan effect.
We can add extra details, like berries and snow, to the card to make it extra special.
Create a new swatch called Berry Red, C=15 M=87 Y=57 K=4. Then lock the Trees layer and create a new layer above, called Berries.
Take the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a rough berry shape over the top of one of the tree branches, setting the Fill to Berry Red.
Select the red shape and copy and paste repeatedly, spreading the berries across the tops of all the branches.
Open the paint drops vector in Illustrator and adjust the color of the drops from black to White. Make sure to remove the background too, before saving as an Illustrator EPS (.eps) file.
Back in InDesign, create a new layer called Snow, and drag this down to sit above the Background layer and below the Typography layer.
Zoom into the top-right corner of the page and use the Pencil Tool (N) to draw a rough cloud-like shape onto the page.
Make sure the Fill and Stroke of the shape are set to [None] before going to File > Place. Choose the paint drops vector in white you edited earlier, and allow it to fill the shape.
Copy and Paste the shape a few times, rotating each one slightly differently, and creating a cluster of shapes around the top-right corner of the layout, using them to create a frame around the edges of the page.
Select all the shapes and Right-Click > Group.
Copy and Paste the group repeatedly, positioning each group around the perimeter of the page, building up a snowy border around the whole invite.
Create a new layer at the top of the sequence, naming it Snow Cap.
As we did with the border detailing, take the Pencil Tool (N) and doodle a small snow cap shape over the top of part of the central tree’s branches, as shown below.
With the Stroke and Fill of the shape set to [None], go to File > Place and choose the white paint drops image as before, allowing it to fill the shape.
Repeat the process of creating and filling snow cap shapes across the curved top of the central tree.
When you’ve finished, Right-Click > Group the snow caps.
Copy and Paste the group, scaling it down and repositioning to fit over the top of the left-hand tree. Repeat for the tree on the right side too.
4. How to Export Your Design for Printing
Make sure to first File > Save your work, and then go to File > Export.
Choose Adobe PDF (Print) from the Format menu at the bottom of the Export window, name your file appropriately (something like ‘Wedding invite_final for print.pdf’), and hit Save.
In the window that opens, choose Press Quality from the Adobe PDF Preset dropdown menu at the top.
Then click on Marks and Bleeds in the window’s left-hand menu. Check All Printer’s Marks and Use Document Bleed Settings, before clicking Export.
This will create a ready-to-print PDF file which you can send straight off to the printer’s—great job!
Your winter wedding invitation is finished. Awesome work! All you have to do now is send them off in the post, and get ready for the big day.
In this tutorial, we've covered a number of key skills relating to print and stationery design. You should now feel more confident with tackling projects like this and using your newfound skills to create more spectacular invitations.
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