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Create a Fundraiser Invitation Using Adobe InDesign

Learn how to make beautiful communications materials

A fundraiser invitation envelope that was created using Adobe InDesign
Laura Kindsvater - May 16, 2016
So, you've been asked to create an invitation for a fundraiser or another event, and you'd like to make it look extra spiffy. But you're not a graphic designer by training, and you don't yet know how to use Adobe InDesign. Don't worry, we've got you covered.

In this four-part lesson, we'll show you everything you need to get started. Our short videos will

  • introduce you to the five most commonly used tools in the toolbar
  • demonstrate how to insert and manipulate text and images
  • teach you how to set up a standard or custom-sized document

We'll be using Adobe InDesign in Creative Cloud to create an invitation and envelope that are visually appealing and well laid out.

The fun part is that you can practice along with us! Download the files we are using to create the invitation's outer envelope in grayscale or full color. You can also download the files for the invitation card, reply card, and reply envelope. You're welcome to modify these files with other images, fonts, or text so that they fit your organization's needs.

Are you ready? Let's get started!

Introduction to the InDesign Toolbar

There are so many tools available in InDesign. What do they all do? Let's simplify things and take a look at the five most commonly used tools:

You can download a more detailed listing of InDesign's tools here.

Setting Up a Custom-Sized File for the Invitation Envelope

InDesign has lots of standard sizes, but for making an invitation, you need to set up custom-sized documents. Here we show you how to set up the right size for the invitation's outer envelope.

It's a similar process, but even easier, to set up a standard size document — like a flyer.

Adding Text to Communications Pieces

Now that we've got the envelope set up, let's explore how to add and modify text. InDesign has a type tool that we can use to create a text box. Then we can type into it, and easily change the font, size, and color. Watch us as we add the return address and a tag line to the envelope:

Importing and Manipulating Images and Graphics

To make visually appealing materials, images are key, so we'll show you how to create rectangle frames and use them to import images. You can use these skills to import other graphics, too, such as your nonprofit's logo.

Once the images and graphics are imported, we demonstrate how you can resize them, manipulate them by rotating or flipping, and move them so they're precisely aligned with the text:

After adding images and text, we've now created a beautiful outer envelope for our nonprofit fundraiser invitation. You can download our sample files in grayscale (one color of ink: black) or full color.

We've also got sample files for an invitation card, RSVP card, and RVSP envelope that you can download and play with.

Printing Your Materials

Keep in mind that what you see on your screen will likely be very different than what you'll see in print. It's usually cheaper to print with just one ink color, and it's often easiest to get good results if that color is black.

Can you afford to print in full color? If so, it's worth looking for a printer who will provide you a high-quality and accurate printout of what your materials will look like. Will the printer allow to you correct them for a reasonable amount? It's a good idea to ask in advance if there's a fee for changes and how much it is. It's even better if your printer will allow you to make changes more than once if needed. Printing in full color (sometimes called using the four-color or CMYK process) is more complicated than printing in just black ink.

Please note that the darkness of the images may be very different in the final printed result than what you see on the screen or on your office printer. Those differences could affect the legibility of the text if you've got text printed on top of an image.

You can also find out more on the Adobe website about preparing your document and packaging up images and fonts to go to a commercial printer.

Have fun designing! Let us know what other design tips you'd like to see by using the survey on the right-hand side of this page.

Download Everything You Need to Get Started on Your Invitation

Additional Resources

The InDesign files and graphics featured on this page include the following images:
Image: John Morgan / CC BY
Image: Benny Mazur / CC BY
Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / CC BY
Image: adam_miguel / CC BY-SA
Image: Elaine with Grey Cats / CC BY-SA
Image: Allie_Caulfield / CC BY
Image: James Keuning / Public Domain
Image: Matt Zimmerman / CC BY

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