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Sweet Penelope is on Maternity Leave! I'm super excited about our first baby, but this means we're closed for a while.
I'm really sorry for the inconvenience. Thanks for your patience, Elise {designer/new mom}

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a query, give us a ring at (415) 513-5735, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time. You could also drop us a line at hello@sweetpenelope.com any time. 

 

ORDERING & CUSTOM OPTIONS

  • What is a digital invitation file?
  • What's the turnaround?
  • Can I change fonts, colors, layout, or size?
  • Will you match a specific color?
  • Could I give you an image to use?
  • Will you copy the invitation design in this photo for me?
  • Will you proofread?
  • Could my text be in a foreign language?
  • Could I send you paper to print on?
PRINTING & CUTTING
  • Who can print my digital files?
  • How do I print invitations at home? Where can I buy paper?
  • What kind of desktop printer should I use?
  • Why does the printed color look different from the monitor? How do I fix this?
  • How do I trim the invitations?
PAYMENT & STORE POLICIES
  • What kind of payment do you accept?
  • What's your Refund and Exchange Policy?
  • What's your Shipping Policy?
  • What's your Privacy Policy?

Ordering & Custom Options

What is a digital invitation file?

A digital invitation file is simply a PDF (Portable Document Format) file of your invitation. You can open it in Adobe Acrobat Reader, and then print it at home. Please download Acrobat Reader if you don't have it already on your computer.

Alternatively, you could email the PDF to a local printer/copy shop, or submit it to an online printer. You might even consider a letterpress printer - it's all up to you!

Local print shop or online printer? If you're picky about color, we recommend using a local shop in your town. The benefits often include superior service and speed, since you don't have to wait for shipping. You can often see hard proofs in advance as well. Depending on the shop and their equipment, you might be able to see proofs with variations Eg. Darkness at 90%, 100%, 110%. 

You could also order from online printers, which have competitive prices and reasonable turnaround times. It's very convenient to do everything from home. However, you may have less control over the final product. 

Please research your printing service before ordering digital files from us. Many online printers have fixed sizes, like 5" x 7" or 4" x 6", which are different from our in-house sizes. We'll need exact measurements to ensure your order is printed properly.

What's the turnaround?

Digital files are delivered in 5 business days or less. Allow 1-3 business days afterward per revision if desired.

Printed orders ship in 10-12 business days after approval of the final hard proof. Allow 3-4 business days for the first digital proof. Add 1-3 business days per revision. Add 3 business days plus delivery for hard proofs. Please contact us for RUSH estimates. If you waive hard proofs, the process is faster.

Can I change fonts, colors, layout, or size? 

Absolutely! We're happy to modify designs and you can choose fonts, colors, sizes, and special formatting at no extra charge. We offer two complementary rounds of revisions per file after sending you the first PDF. A $20 correction fee (per file) applies to changes made afterwards.

For special requests: If your request is simple and doesn't involve creating new artwork, we'll do our best to accommodate you at no extra charge. Eg. You may want to enlarge a graphic and move it to the left. Simply enter your instructions in the comments section of the order form. If it's not a big deal, we'll go ahead and take care of it. If it requires extensive work, we'll email an estimate for you to approve before proceeding.

Could I give you an image to use?

Sure! If it's print-ready and doesn't need manipulation, there is no extra charge to incorporate your artwork. If file preparation is required on our end, we'll let you know how much that will cost. 

Please note that we need proof that you have the right to use the image you send us. Examples of "proof" include: a receipt for stock art, accompanied by the proper license agreement, or an email from the artist or copyright holder granting permission. 

Will you copy the invitation design in this photo for me?

Nein! Nada! Non! Please don't send us photos of invites and ask us to copy them. For custom clients, we enjoy seeing what inspires you, so please send us images that help describe your style, likes, and dislikes. However, please don't ask us to plagiarize, because we don't.

Will you match a specific color?

Yes. Just specify in the order form the CMYK color information or Pantone (PMS) number to use. You could also email photos or links. Some brides even mail us swatches via snail mail.

Please note that we do not print using PMS inks. We print in CMYK only, so if you request a Pantone color for printed invitations, we'll get as close as possible, but we may not be able to match it "exactly." We offer free hard proofs before going to print, so that's a good time to check colors.

Will you proofread?

If we catch a typo or sense something is amiss, we'll tell you. However, you are ultimately responsible for your content. Please proofread your order form carefully.

Could my text be in a foreign language?

Mais oui! We have experience working with a number of European and East Asian languages. Please email a sample of your text and we'll let you know if there will be an additional fee. We can typeset many languages at no additional charge.

Could I send you paper to print on?

Sorry, we are only printing on our own paper at the moment.

 

Printing & Cutting

Who can print my digital file?

You can print at home using your printer, but you have lots of other choices, too.

You could email the PDF to a local printing service, copy shop, or submit it to an online printer. You might even consider a letterpress studio for certain designs.

Choosing between a local print shop and an online printer? If you're picky about color, we recommend using a print shop located near you. The benefits often include superior customer service and speed, since you don't have to wait for shipping. You might be able to get hard proofs as well. Depending on the shop, you might be able to get proofs with variations Eg. Darkness at 90%, 100%, 110%. Don't be afraid to ask.

You could also order from online printers, which offer competitive prices and reasonable turnaround times. It's very convenient to do everything from home. However, you usually have less control over the final product. 

If you're in a pinch, there are always big-box stores like Office Max, Staples, Office Depot, and Kinko's.

We recommend a few places on our resources page, "handy links."

How do I print invitations at home? Where can I buy paper?

Before buying a batch of cardstock, test a few sheets in your printer to make sure you like the results.

It's critical to use the best "print mode" for your paper. The combination of paper type (aka media type: plain paper, photo paper glossy, etc.) and print mode (aka print quality: economy, draft, normal, photo, best photo etc.) will really determine how your invitations look. Your printer usually comes with predetermined modes such as "heavyweight matte" and "ink jet quality paper." Experiment with different settings to see what looks best on your paper.

Inks are somewhat transparent and don't show up well on dark papers. For this reason, choose white, cream, and light-colored pastel papers. Avoid printing at home on black, navy, or deep brown stocks.

Don't use paper that's too thick! Paper that's too thick could cause jams or damage the print head. Check your printer manual to find out the maximum allowable paper thickness. It usually ranges from 60-80 lb cardstock.

Many papers are "ink jet compatible" and have been treated with a special coating to produce faithful color renditions. Untreated papers might yield off-color results and/or significant bleeding. Many printers let you control settings such as saturation, lightness/darkness, and color balance to compensate to a degree.

We recommend a few paper sellers on our resources page.

Crash Course on Paper

Basic properties of paper include: weight, caliper, and finish

Paper in the US is measured by basis weight: the weight, in pounds, of 500 sheets of paper that is cut in its basis size (industry standard sheet size, aka parent size). This gets confusing, because different grades have different basis sizes.

For instance, 500 sheets of 80 lb text paper weigh 80 lbs. However, 500 sheets of 80 lb cover stock also weigh 80 lb, even though this cover grade is much thicker and heavier than text paper. The "80 lb" description is misleading, but the reason 500 sheets of cover stock weigh the same as 500 sheets of text paper is that the basis size of heavier cardstock (20" x 26") is smaller than basis size of lighter text paper (25" x 38"). This size difference results in the same "weight" of 80 lb per 500 sheets.

Lesson: Make sure you know if you are purchasing 80 lb text paper (thinner) or 80 lb coverstock or cardstock (thicker).

The metric system clarifies things with units of grams per square meter, or gsm. That said, a sheet of 80lb text paper has a "weight" of 118 gsm and a sheet of 80lb cardstock has a "weight" of 216 gsm.

Caliper: This refers to the thickness in thousandths of an inch. A paper that's 21 points is 0.021 inches thick.

Finish: The finish refers to the texture. Vellum finish is a soft and "velvety" feel that you typically see in fine stationery. A vellum finish is not to be confused with vellum paper, which is ultra smooth, translucent, and "frosty." Laid paper is characterized by subtle, thin, parallel lines. Wove paper is considered "cloth like." Linen paper has a light embossed pattern reminiscent of cloth linen. 

Before printing, we strongly advise you read one of these short and informative articles on paper and printing from Design, Type & Graphics (DT&G). Read their excellent articles on choosing inkjet papers or see their great piece on paper for laser printing.

What kind of desktop printer should  I use?

If you're able to print photos, then printing invitations will be pretty easy. That said, we recommend using a photo ink jet printer. You might also like the results on a color laser printer. We don't recommend using a black and white laser printer unless your design consists of black elements only.

Why does the printed color look different from the monitor? How do I fix this?

There are many possible reasons for a color mismatch. Your monitor might not be calibrated, and/or your paper might not be inkjet/laser compatible.

Check the media settings in your print dialog box. Is it set to the type of paper you are using eg. Heavyweight Matte? Experiment with different settings. Maybe there is no "proper" setting for the paper you have chosen, in which case you will need to play with the printing controls and adjust brightness/darkness, saturation, or color balance individually.

Also keep in mind that colored paper will affect the appearance of your inks. Inks are rather transparent and you can expect the paper color to "show through" a little. 

How do I trim the invitations?

If you're trimming yourself, use a mechanical paper cutter or a sharp utility/Exacto knife for the best results.

A hot tip on using a utility knife: cut only from crop mark to crop mark, instead of cutting all the way to the edge of the paper. This will keep your crop marks visible during the entire trimming process.

Big copy stores like Kinko's, Office Max, or Office Depot often have electronic paper-cutting machines that can cut a stack of paper 1" high for about $1/per cut. Call ahead to check, and be sure to remind your service associate that these are your wedding invitations and you'd like them to be as accurate as possible.

Consider cutting services by a commercial printer instead for a more professional approach. Small local printers and copy shops will often cut down for a small fee, and sometimes even for $1/cut as well.

 

Payment & Store Policies

What kind of payment do you accept?

We accept Mastercard, Visa and Discover, and payment in full is required at checkout for digital files and printed pieces.

For custom designs, a non-refundable $150 deposit, payable by check or credit card, along with a signed estimate/contract, is required to begin work. Then, a 50% deposit (check or credit card) is required if we continue after initial approval of preliminary sketches. The balance is due upon completion.

What's your Refund and Exchange Policy?

Printed Orders: You may cancel your order for a full refund at any point in the process before approving your hard proof. Refunds are not available once you approve your hard proof for printing.

Digital Files: Once we begin work on your file(s), we do not offer refunds. However, if you contact us within 2 days of ordering and if we haven't yet started production, we'll gladly cancel your project and issue a full refund. Call us immediately at (415) 513-5735 or send an email with "REFUND" in the subject line within 2 days of purchasing, and we'll stop your order if production hasn't begun.

What's your Shipping Policy?

We ship via USPS or Fedex Ground with insurance. Please ensure that someone is available to sign for delivery. Please contact us to arrange for expedited shipping.

Shipping within the contiguous US:
$1 for orders under $15 (samples)
$7.75 for orders $15-$174.99
FREE for orders $175 or more
Shipping to international destinations:
$2.50 for international orders under $20 (samples only)
$39 Shipping to Canada
$85 International
Customers outside the United States are responsible for all customs/duties charges and any processing fees.

What's your Privacy Policy?

We respect your privacy and do not sell or share your email address or personal information with other companies, except to fulfill your order. We do not store your credit card number after payment has been processed. You may receive news from us if you opt in to receive our newsletter. 
Please contact us directly to arrange for expedited shipping (1-day, 2-day, 3-day, etc.)
Copyright © 2014 Sweet Penelope