Are you a literature servant responsible for filling in local information on invitations? This is the article for you.
Every year, our congregation hands out thousands of invitations that require providing the time and location of our local congregation meetings, Jesus Memorial and Regional Convention. It can become costly and time-consuming, depending on which method you take. What are some options to consider? We list some below for your review and comparison.
5. LAST RESORT
Hand Written. Sure, why not. Well... if there are other available options, it may be worth the time to consider. Not everyone's writing is easy to read, mistakes are possible, does not look as professional, is mega time-consuming to write, and...like how many are you planning to hand out?
Unless you're located in a super remote location with absolutely no access to modern printing technology or the ability to make purchases online, or say if local customs find handwritten info on an invitation more acceptable or the like, leveraging modern technology for assistance may be a wiser use of time.
4. NOT AS GOOD
Using printing services such as Staples or FedEx. Sure, it's fast and convenient to drop off a huge stack for printing by a service provider but it comes at an overwhelming cost. At $0.11 to $0.15 fee per page, printing only 3 or 4 lines of text on your own paper is quite a price to pay, and the bill easily racks up to the $100's quickly. This, I'd say, is the most expensive method of all feasible options. Perhaps not exactly the best use of funds...
3. A TAD BETTER
Apply a sticker address label. This method is neat, takes under 10 seconds to apply onto one invitation, and the information cleanly affixes onto the invitation for a professional look.
Purchasing blank labels to print out yourself is less expensive, as compared to having it printed by a service provider. But definitely shop around as prices tend to be a lot higher buying blank sticker labels from a brick-and-mortar store. Amazon tends to have better prices and more product options for comparison shopping.
Label size and material also make a difference in the final cost. The final cost of each label can cost you between a fraction of a penny to $0.15, depending on what you choose and how you print. Keep in mind though, if we are to account for the entire process, it can get time-consuming to comparison shop, to print, to apply, and possibly having wasted leftover printed labels. Although it's only a few pennies per invitation, it sure adds up to a large sum when passing out thousands of invites! The major disadvantage is that too much manual effort is involved.
Although we do not recommend using sticker labels, PEGlala.com has the capability to fulfill your custom print order, shall this be your preference. Feel free to contact us to place a print-to-order request and specify the details. They are available in two options:
- Label Size 1.75" x 11/16". Material: White Matte. Comes in 60 labels per sheet, at $2.50/sheet, and a minimum order of 25 sheets. (The text size will be pretty small since this is a smaller label.) Your average per label cost is $0.04 each.
- Label Size 3 x 5/8". Material: Clear Gloss. Comes in 32 labels per sheet, at $3.50/sheet, and a minimum order of 15 sheets. Your average per label cost is $0.11 each.
2. MUCH BETTER
Use a self-inking customizable stamp. If no one in the congregation is tech-savvy enough or you simply prefer the hands-on approach, a self-inking stamp is an inexpensive small investment that can last for years to come. At a one-time cost of between $20 to $40, you can customize up to 6 lines of text to be arranged and rearranged for stamping. Layout the time and address to be stamped for this year's regional convention invitation, then redo the layout for use on next year's Jesus' Memorial Invitation. The congregation can use this tool over and over again, for multiple purposes. Fully customizable. The cost is also minimal to refill the ink pad. Depending on how long the ink pad lasts, "printing" (stamping) cost is already at $0.01 when you hit the 2000th to the 4000th sheet. The longer you use the stamp, the lower the cost-per-sheet. One day, the cost will become so minuscule that it's basically free.
Easy to stamp, fast to stamp, fun to stamp. Just a couple of seconds. Done. Slightly labor intensive, but definitely much faster and cheaper than manually applying sticker labels.
1. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Print from your home laser printer. Print on demand. Print as needed. Print only what you need.
The cost of ink for laser printers are generally very cost-effective at an average of $0.01 to $0.02 cents per black and white page, on a regular letter size sheet. Since you'll only need to print one short line of text for the time and another couple of lines for the location address, your ink usage is super minimal and therefore the total printing cost is at a small fraction of a penny per invitation. You can customize it further by drawing a minimap to be included on the printout. Not to mention, printing is automatic so it only takes a small fraction of the time as compared to all other methods listed above. Walk away, do something else, come back and reap the results.
Alternative A: Home Inkjet Printer. If you don't have access to a laser printer, then an inkjet printer can suffice. The cost of ink cartridge for an inkjet printer is generally higher on average than for the toner on a laser printer since the unused ink dry out much faster, contributing to waste and the increased average cost per page overall. Printing speed, generally, also tends to be slightly slower compared to a laser printer.
Alternative B: Home photocopier. If you don't have access to a home printer but have access to a home photocopier, this is still better than paying for outside services. Again, you're only printing a handful of letters per sheet, the ink consumption should also be minimal. However, the resolution and clarity are not at its best when photocopied.
Whether printing from a home printer or using a home photocopier, you'll need to know how to create a simple Word document and type out the information that is to be printed.
Find someone in the congregation who has access to a laser printer and has a basic technical ability to create a simple Word document, using applications such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
How to create a Word document. Whether you use Microsoft Word, Google Docs or similar word processing applications, these are the steps to take:
- Create a new blank document.
- Define the page size of your digital file to be the same as the invitation sheet size (such as 6-3/4" x 9-1/8")
- In Microsoft Word: Go to Layout > Page Setup > Size, then define the paper size
- In Google Docs: Go to File > Page Setup, then define the paper size
- Take a ruler and measure the paper invitation, identifying the area where the time and location information is to be placed.
- On your digital file, match the location and area that you've measured, then type in your custom time and location information.
- Click Print. Here, be sure to define the printer settings with the correct paper size, which is the measurements of the invitation sheets you will be feeding into the printer.
- Test print onto blank white sheets first (which is cut to the same size as your invitation). Make adjusts as necessary, reprint until the text is printed at exactly the location you want it to be.
- Finally, you can begin mass printing your huge stacks of invitations. Sit back, relax and wait for its completion.
Alternative: If the above is too difficult and you rather do the photocopy approach, then
- Simply type out the time and location information anywhere onto a Word document.
- Print out a copy of it onto any size white paper.
- Grab a pair of scissors and manually cut out what's printed.
- Place that cutout onto the photocopier, roughly estimating where the impression should be made at, load a few test sheets (cut to the same size as your invitation), then press copy.
- After a few trial and error, you'll get the location down, then you can begin mass printing the huge stacks.
Did I miss anything? Do you have better options to recommend? We'd love to hear your take.