Foil Stamper

Does anyone know how i would go about getting information on starting an invitaion printing business from home

for example what type of printers, specific software etc.. thanks in advance :o )

Sole-proprietor micro-businesses are exceptionally easy to start, and your state/provincial/whatever government site will direct you to the appropriate forms and applications and whatnot.

For basic printers, you'll want a colour laser that can handle the standard 8.5x11 sheet, plus have an adjustable envelope feeder for the invitations to go in. People LOVE to use really thin, fussy paper on invitations, especially for weddings, so when you go to check out printers bring samples of parchment, ultra-tissuey paper, thick (80lb or higher) card stock, and different sizes of envelopes. Your printer needs to handle it all; you might even have to split the work over two printers, depending on their individual strengths. Most printers can do a standard #10 envelope but invitations go in shorter and wider ones and you want to make sure it won't let you down. The reason you need to test and see it for yourself is because sales people either lie, or just assume a product can do what you need it to when it really can't.

You should be able to get a lot of mileage out of that before you need to invest in a small offset press (and five years from now, a foil-stamper).

As to software, I've used Corel Draw 9 through X3 for most of my day-to-day printing. Invitations don't usually involve super-intense colour and effects, and with any spacial and aesthetic sense at all, with some help from the border clip art, you should be able to put together simple, elegant invitations, and some fun ones for showers and parties. That's not to say you *can't* use the fancy programs -- just that they aren't the only or best options for all desktop publishing.

You'll probably want Quickbooks or something to keep track of your accounting. Tax time is a good time to buy, since it's everywhere right now and sometimes on sale.

As for your stock (paper and envelopes, mostly), if you can't find the paper suppliers in your area, call any big printing house nearby, explain that you're starting out, and ask who they order from. Usually people are more than willing to share their expertise and hive someone a hand up. All the big paper manufacturers produce little booklets of samples, which you can request be sent to you, either by the local distributor or the mill itself. (Distributors are less work since they deal with lots of mills and can give you samples from a few.)

People can get invitations done just about anywhere, so I suspect that you'll set yourself apart and make your money in addressing (and possibly mailing) the envelopes. If you have very good penmanship you can charge a premium for hand-addressed, otherwise try to print the addresses directly on them since labels can feel like business correspondence. The product can be bought anywhere but the service can't, and service gets you recommended.

This might sound like a lot, but the basic blocks can be put down in about a week, with the extras like more paper samples and putting together a portfolio can follow at a decent pace.

Good luck!

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