Invitation Advisor: What NOT To Expect From Your Invitation Designer

March 8, 2011 § 1 Comment

Earlier today I posted about what to expect from your invitation designer. I later realized I would be remiss if I didn’t address some things couples may expect from a designer that are inappropriate.

So, today is a 2-for-1 on The Invitation Blog, as we now present the following companion to today’s post…

Some things you should NOT expect your designer to do:

Copy someone else’s design – ever.
It’s a little thing called copyright infringement and any designer worth their salt will refuse to straight up copy another designer’s work, period. It’s not only illegal, but it’s uncool – so please don’t ask us to do so, and don’t be offended when we refuse. Feel free to show us invitations you like as inspiration, but don’t expect us to give you the exact same thing. If you like it that much – work with that designer instead.

Provide endless changes/edits for free.
While of course we want to get it right, there is a limit to the number of concepts, changes or edits that you can reasonably expect to be included in your design fee. Policies vary by designer, but make sure you find out what your designer’s ‘rules’ are and understand the reason behind them. What you may think is a small change can be hours of additional work.

Proofread your invitations.
I’ve posted about this before, and there are many reasons behind it, but the bottom line is that as the client it is your responsibility to proofread. Even if your designer offers to do it for you, say no. You ultimately need to be responsible for what goes out on your wedding invitations – designers aren’t perfect (enjoy this one, you may not ever see that in type again on this blog), mistakes happen, and *you* need to make sure that your guests don’t see them.

Be responsible for mailing issues/errors.
Once you’ve got your invitations in your hot little hands, your designer’s job is done. From there, it’s your postal service’s turn to do theirs. Your job is to make sure you’ve got correct postage and the postal service’s job is to make sure your invitations get there. Sometimes you may not be happy with how they get there, and sometimes they may not get there at all, but it is in no way your designer’s responsibility. A good way to avoid issues – mail an invitation to yourself. If it arrives in good condition, you can be reasonably assured the rest will as well. If not, talk to your designer about what you can do to provide extra protection (outer envelope, mailer box etc.). Working with a designer in another country? Make sure you are aware of shipping costs as well as customs/duties/brokerage fees up front so you don’t get a nasty surprise down the line. Your designer is not responsible for your package sitting in customs or UPS slapping you with ridiculous brokerage fees – educate yourself on the possibilities and options to avoid any issues, or choose to work with a different designer if you are unwilling to do so.

Provide you with design components for your own use.
You may have decided that you want to do-it-yourself when it comes to your wedding programs, or other day-of stationery, and you’d like them to match your invitations. If you are concerned about having things match, your best bet is to order from your designer, because in most cases your designer can’t provide you with fonts, graphics etc. that have been used for your project. Often designers are using fonts and graphics that they have paid for the rights to, and they can not simply hand over those fonts or graphics to you, based on the licensing they’ve agreed to. In a case where a designer has created something specifically for your project (let’s say a monogram or illustration), it is within their rights to allow you to use those graphics, but don’t expect it to be for free. Releasing graphics to you for your own use will (and should) involve an additional charge, as it is outside the scope of your original project. That charge will vary, based on the specific designer’s pricing, so be sure to discuss it with them if you think it may be an option.

Going into your invitation design project with the right expectations (of your responsibilities as well as your designers) is the best way to ensure a great working relationship and an amazing end result – gorgeous custom invitations for your big day!

§ One Response to Invitation Advisor: What NOT To Expect From Your Invitation Designer

  • Sarah,

    A Fabulous post. I hear your voice and I agree with everything. I to have had “encounters” with unreasonable expectations where everything that went amiss was MY fault.


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