GUEST PEACE: Invitation 101, A Crash Course

Desiree Jacobs is the Founder of Heirloom Paper Co. She grew up in the greater Los Angeles area and attended college at California State University, Northridge. After 10 years in non profit and corporate worlds, Desiree decided to professionally explore her love of special events and fine paper products. As a wedding enthusiast and stationery obsessive, it was a natural fit for her to start Heirloom Paper Co. based in Encino, CA.

Bloomsbury-9766I’ve always considered myself a creative person, but I’m not a painter, a musician, or a photographer. I struggled with how to tap into my creativity and I realized awhile ago that while I’m certainly not a skilled artist, I have a strong eye and a good sense of how to take a vision from an image in my head to a tangible reality. As owner of Heirloom Paper Company, I work with my clients on creating custom invitations for weddings, mitzvahs, and parties, and really enjoy helping my clients tap into their vision of their event and creating an invitation that will set the tone of their event.


Invitations can be printed using any one or a combination of printing processes: thermography, engraving, digital printing (offset/flat), and letterpress. Your invitation suite always features the main invitation and envelope with or without a liner, and is typically accompanied by a reply card, reply envelope, and often one or more additional cards to share information with guests regarding accommodations, transportation, weekend events, or website information.

My personal favorite style of printing to work with is letterpress. I love the texture of thick cotton stock, fabulous ink colors and foils, and the variety of fonts, especially with some of the modern hand calligraphy style fonts. Working with letterpress invitations allows me to tap into my creativity and collaborate with my clients in a unique way. I tend to approach each invitation as a blank slate with my clients and together we dress it up by selecting a layout and each element of the invitation starting with the color and thickness of the paper. We choose our font families (no more than three or it will look too busy!) and color scheme. We bring in design elements like flourishes, motifs, or monograms. Lastly we talk about any extra embellishments to make the invitation pop like edge painting, die cuts, and solid or patterned backers and portfolios.

A few trends in letterpress that I am really excited about are the use of calligraphy and digitally printed patterns. Hand calligraphy and calligraphy style fonts are very popular for bride and groom names and are such a key element in creating style. The use of digitally printed patterns like watercolor or vintage floral prints layered under letterpress text is a newer process that lends itself to a really fresh look. I am swooning over invitations that combine these trends alongside the use of metallic foil. Hello gorgeous!



Ellory-9795The key to a cohesive invitation suite is consistency: consistency in fonts, colors, design details, as well as a consistent level of formality. If you are going for a modern and artsy wedding, think about the language, not just in the look and feel. Of course there is etiquette to be mindful of, but it’s ok to break the mold in a few areas- use numerals rather than spelling out dates and choose fonts that reflect a modern tone. For more formal weddings, spell out all dates, always spell out addresses, and choose more elegant fonts and color palettes.



Love what you see?  Follow Heirloom Paper on Facebook and Instagram.

Want to talk invitations? Email Desiree at
or visit Heirloom Paper Co.

Images courtesy of Smock Paper and Bella Figura
and are available through Heirloom Paper Co.





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