It's a common scene, especially near holidays: People stand, move and weave around each other to find the best card they ca--whether it be for birthdays, Valentine's Day or Christmas. The cards rarely are exactly right, and you usually choose the closest match. You don't have to, though. With an Apple Macintosh, it's simple to create any kind of greeting card or invitation.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Apple Macintosh computer
- Basic design software such as Pages, Word or Swift Publisher
- Photo manipulation software such as Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements
- Colour printer
- Card stock paper
Choose your design software. The most inexpensive yet useful desktop publishing software for the Mac is Swift Publisher. Aside from being a quick and easy-to-use DTP program, it also comes with an enormous amount of clip art. You can use the high-end QuarkXPress, but it would be overkill for birthday invitations. Both Pages and Microsoft Word are word processing programs with some DTP functionality, but they make it a little harder to get the exact design you want.
Open Swift Publisher. It already has templates for cards. These are easy to use by just changing the details and printing, but you want a custom invitation. Click the "New Blank" button for a blank 8.5-by-11-inch sheet. Go to File>Page>Rotate Left (or right). This turns the page on its side, allowing you to create the front and the back of a traditional card. Go to File>Page>Add to create the second page. Take the mouse to the left ruler and hold and drag it to 5.5 inches as shown on the top ruler. This will tell you where the centre of the card will be so you can design the front and back.
Go to the left side of the screen. This is the clip art gallery. You can browse through or you can type in the Search field at the bottom. Search for "Birthday." This will bring up a variety of clip art for you to use. Find one you like and click on it. It will appear on the open page with handles to resize it. Grab hold of one of the handles and resize the image. Click and hold somewhere in the centre of the image to move it around the page.
Select the "T" on the top menu bar. This will produce a text box. Type "You're Invited!" Select the text and go to Format>Fonts>Show Fonts. Find the font you want, such as "Party LET." Choose a size. You can choose a colour for the font by clicking on the colour wheel in the upper right corner of the menu bar. The front of the card is done, or you can choose to do more with it. Choose a second piece of clip art for the back of the card. Balloons, a present or a stained-glass birthday cake will do. You don't need to oversell the idea. You can add shadows, lines or shading with the Inspector, located in the menu bar as a blue circle with an "i" in it. Shadow can be added to text or images.
Move to the inside of the card on Page 2. This is done at the top of the menu bar. You can create a second page by duplicating the first, selecting and deleting the art and type. This will give you a blank page with the middle guide intact. Here, on the right side, you can insert a photo of the birthday honoree or more clip art. If you want to get fancy, you can create the text in some other program such as Photoshop. To get an image, click on the "Images" icon in the toolbar. This will open a pop-up menu that lets you search for your image. Select it and it will appear on the page. Resize it according to your taste. Add some clip art to the bottom of the right side and to the left, if you like. Leave room on the right for a personal message.
Print your invitation to card stock paper. You can print directly from Swift Publisher or you can export the two pages of the card to a PDF and print from anywhere. Using a PDF will embed the graphics and text, so it can be placed on a disc to take to a printer if you have a lot of invitations to send.
Tips and warnings
- Other desktop publishing software works similarly to Swift Publisher. You can use and DTP software to get the same results.
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