ERA Real Estate's Leadership Team Awards
2008: The Parsippany, New Jersey-based company holds an annual dinner for its employees. Last year, Los Angeles-based Kira Evans Design created an Art Deco-inspired invitation with heavy silver foils and an embossed logo.
2009: ERA scaled back and went with a rain-forest theme, which allowed Evans to use nature photography to create an invitation for one-third of the price. Four-color printing also reduced production costs, but still resulted in a high-impact look.
Maxim's Hot 100 Party
2008: To illustrate the party's move from New York to Los Angeles, the magazine's in-house design team created a lenticular card that changed from an image of the Empire State Building to a palm tree and blue sky.
2009: The magazine celebrated its 10th anniversary with an adult version of a kid's birthday party, and Maxim designed the invitation in house, hiring illustrator Eric Larsen to create a cartoony drawing. The simplified look was about $2,000 cheaper to produce than the lenticular, which required a more complicated printing process.
Joe Torre Golf Classic
2008: New York's nonprofit Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation sent a golf-course-inspired invite for its tournament, with thick, shimmering green stock, plus inserts and envelopes flat-printed in dark green and brown, designed by Alpine Creative Group in New York.
2009: Alpine reduced the cost of the invite by half, creating a lightweight Z-fold invitation that required less paper and cheaper postage. The three-panel design also eliminated the need for costly R.S.V.P. cards; guests simply tore off a perforated bottom panel. Digital printing allowed for a bold, graphic look for less money.