Melanie Rossouw has been working at The RSVP Agency as our in-house designer for the last 10 months. During this time, she has designed more than 20 professional web invitations. Melanie has a major in Interactive Web Design and Development from the Open Window Institute in Gauteng, South Africa. This means that she can design for both web and digital, with the end-user in mind. She is also able to programme, develop and support user-centric, digital products like websites and mobile applications. Yes, she is cool that way.
We thought we would catch up with Melanie briefly for some pointers on how to create winning electronic invitations for corporate clients.
So, Melanie, tell us a bit more about your role at the RSVP Agency:
The RSVP Agency has designed hundreds of electronic invitations over the last four years. As the in-house designer, I am responsible for the design and development of web invitations, name tags for the events, and any collateral items that the event requires – such as booklets, programmes or agendas.
The client generally designs the look and feel of an invitation and then I do adaptive artwork for them by creating the elements required by The RSVP Agency’s software system. I also assist The RSVP Agency with improving the user experience for all of our own digital products.
How do you choose the various design elements for your invitations? What influences your choice of colour, layout, tone, look and feel?
Most of our clients are corporate clients with strict corporate identity (CI) guidelines that they are expected to follow. Before they make contact with us, clients generally have a clear look and feel in mind for their electronic invitations. My job is to blend their CI requirements with the specified artwork or tone. I use the CI guidelines for the specific colours that must be used in the design. I also look at the colours of the company’s logo to see how to incorporate these.
My next step involves an online visit to Shutterstock to search for a good quality image that portrays the right message. I first place the images and then design the layout for the invitation, according to these image placements and the style of fonts I choose.
What do you think are the ideal elements of a winning invitation design?
“Every picture tells a story,” so goes the popular adage. I believe this to be true. Good quality imagery that adequately portrays the message that the client wants to communicate is key for designing great electronic invitations. Good fonts are also important. I use a maximum of two different fonts in the electronic invitations I design. The amount of copy (text and information) included in the design also affects the invitation’s look and feel. Too much copy makes the invitation look too cluttered, and too little copy makes the invitation feel sparse and empty. Designing using different typography also makes for an interesting invitation.
Who have some of your most memorable clients been?
I had the most fun with designing SAMRO’s electronic invitation. Here I had to design an invitation for one of their board dinners. I have a music background, so it was fun to be creative and use various musical elements in the invite.
If a client were to approach The RSVP Agency for help with design work and creating an electronic invitation, what information, or artwork, would you need from them?
If the client requires us to design the invitation and all of the other elements, we require all of the event information from them – such as the time, date, venue and so forth. If a company has a strict CI guide, we require this from them before the design process begins. This is to ensure that we use the correct fonts and logos in our design. If the CI guide stipulates that we use an unknown font, then we need the fonts from the client and a PNG (an image without a background) hi resolution logo to work from.
The client’s involvement includes guidance on what the electronic invitation’s design, look and feel should be. Our clients have final say on the imagery we use and the style and tone of the invitation (i.e. comedic versus corporate, or edgy etc.)
And what happens if the client wants to design their own invitations and elements, but use The RSVP Agency software solution to automate their event registration process?
We require the following from these clients to automate and build their electronic invitation:
- Web invitation – max 600px wide
- Web headers – max 600px wide, and between 150 – 300px high
- Invitation header
- Accept header
- Decline header
- A web footer – max 600px wide and max 150px high
Buttons needed from clients include:
How many RSVP Agency invitation templates do clients have to choose from for their professional invitation’s design? Do you make custom invitations?
Each event has a custom design, and each event has different requirements and a different message that needs to be communicated. The RSVP Agency has four different demos we normally show clients so that they can see the process and get an idea of what the invitation and all of the electronic invitation elements will look like at the end.
Clients use these completed electronic invitations to communicate to us what they would like their own electronic invitations to look like.
For more information on The RSVP Agency’s Guest List Management Software and invitation design solutions, download our brochure.