In order to give us something to work with, let me give you an idea of pricing for a very basic invitation ensemble and then we can talk about what would affect the price.
This invitation is print with digital/flat ink (the most budget friendly option.) It also does not include any custom graphics or additional functionality (such as ribbons, pocketfolds, belly bands, etc.)
For 100 invitations, blank outer envelopes and an rsvp card with a printed envelope, you should expect to pay around 400.00 – 600.00 depending on if you choose to use a template based invitation site (like minted or vista print) which offers no customization options and no personalized help/service and only digital proofs or if you choose to use a custom designer who will work with you one-one-one to assist with things such as wording and offer you more customization options as well as provide you with a printed/customized proof along with a revisions process included.
Okay, so with that as a base price to start with, let’s get into what could affect that cost. We’ll look a little closer at the following: quantity, print style, invitation functionality/pieces needed, and custom graphics vs. template based.
The number of invitations can definitely affect your overall cost. The thing to keep in mind here though is that if 100 invitation ensembles are 4.00 per set, 25 invitation ensembles will be a much high price per set – somewhere between 6.00 – 15.00 for that same set we quoted above. (Again, the price difference has to do with whether you want personal assistance or are happy ordering off a website without any guidance, customization options or extensive proofing process.)
The reason why it can be so much more expensive per piece with a lower quantity is that the time to lay out your design, provide you with a proof and set the file up to print is the same whether you need 10 or 1000. The cost gets spread out over the larger quantity.
This theory is also the same if you need a larger quantity – expect to pay less per piece. Somewhere around 3.60 – 4.50 for 200 invitation ensembles.
Okay, next up is printing style. The most popular options for invitation printing are digital/flat print, thermography (raised print), letterpress (which is indented), and foil print (shiny).
Here is an idea of what each print style would add to the exact set above which we initially quoted in digital printing. Keep in mind that the quantity will affect the cost the same way we discussed above.
Thermography (raised): Add around 300.00 to the cost for 1 color. 400.00 for 2 colors
Letterpress (indented/pressed in): Add around 650 to the cost for 1 color. 900 for 2 colors
Foil: Add around 750.00 for 1 color. Or for a mix of Digital and Foil, add around 900.00.
You may also be wanting to add in an information card or dress the invitation up a bit with a ribbon or add to the functionality with a pocket. All of those items will of course add to the cost. This is where it gets harder to give you a solid idea of pricing because so many variables come into play.
As a general rule, I would say, plan to add around 1.50 – 2.00 per ensemble for each additional item that you add to the invitation.
The other thing to keep in mind with adding elements to your invitation is assembly time/cost. For example, if you want to have a ribbon tied around your invitation, it will cost less if you tie them yourself vs. having them come pre-assembled. Of course, doing it yourself is also more time and effort on your part so it is good to get a specific estimate based on what you want and determine if it is worth the cost to go the DIY route.
Here is an example of one of my very popular invitations that has a lot of added elements – an information card, a backer layer (the border around the invitation), a pocketfold, a ribbon, a tab closure on the front of the pocketfold, an envelope liner, and guest and return address printing. Here is the breakdown of costs for 100 of these coming fully assembled:
Envelope with Liner: 1.50
RSVP with Printed Envelope: 1.85
Information Card: 1.20
Pocketfold with assembly: 2.95
Backer Layer with assembly: 1.25
Ribbon Wrap with assembly: 1.85
Tab Closure with assembly: .75
Guest and Return address printing: 2.00
Total Cost: 1735.00 for 100
Custom Graphics vs. Template Based Design
The last element to discuss in regards to pricing is your graphics/design. There are really 3 different avenues to approach this.
Template based design is what you will find on sites like minted. You choose the design that you like and may have a few color options but, overall, the design is set and you are just placing your text into it. This is the most cost-effective option.
Boutique template design is what I would call working with a custom designer or a small design shop but using a design that they already have or going with something that is text based and doesn’t include any custom graphics. This is what I have been quoting you on when I listed the higher end pricing above. Generally, with this type of design, you have a lot more choices for color, for graphic placement and for some customization in general. For example, I don’t charge any extra design time to change out an icon, or to move the graphics around or to change the colors, etc. I find that the majority of the clients I work with find this to be the happy medium between the inflexibility of ordering a template off a website and the slightly overwhelming idea of creating a completely custom design (not to mention the extra expense.)
Truly custom design would be working with a designer to create original artwork. I do this a lot with custom watercolor maps or with creating an illustration of the venue for the invitation for example. The benefit of custom design is that you can get exactly what you want. The cost of this will depend on the scope of what you are looking for. To give you an idea, I generally charge around 250.00 for a watercolor map design.
Alright, that about wraps up the majority of things you need to think about when determining invitation pricing. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with all of this or a little lost – don’t worry! That is why I always offer one-on-one consultations to walk you through your options, make sure that you get exactly what you want and provide you with a customized price quote. You can schedule a complimentary phone or video consult here: paperfling.com/book-a-consult.