Make your own graduation announcements or party invitations in Adobe InDesign to celebrate your big day!

Graduating high school or college is one of life’s biggest accomplishments—and it deserves to be celebrated! You don’t have to use online software to create customized graduation announcements or grad party invitations. This tutorial will show you how to create your own unique cards in Adobe InDesign.

Finished Graduation Card After this tutorial, your finished card should look like this!

How to Make Graduation Announcements or Invitations

  1. Create a file size with the intended dimensions.
    One go-to strategy designing cards in InDesign and printing them at Walgreens or CVS, but you can use whichever method works best. (Maybe you have a printer and cardstock at home—or have access to a printer at your public library or school.) Before you begin, check to see what size paper you will be using. Input this as the dimension for your InDesign file.

    Common card size is 5 x 8 inches. You can type inches directly into the InDesign dimensions box, even if it defaults to pixels or picas. Most cards are also formatted horizontally, but you can always make a vertical card.
  2. Add a background color.
    Drag a rectangle over the entire document by using the shape tool. Then, fill this shape with a color.

    A common selection is using your high school or college color as the background. If it’s too vibrant, though, it might be hard to read the text, so play around with the color by double-clicking the swatch and making the color more muted, lighter, or darker. You can also always opt for a plain white, black, or gray—or choose a color that looks nice paired with your graduation photos.
  3. Add a graduation photo (or two).
    Most graduation announcements or party invitations include a graduation picture! Using the shape tool again, draw a rectangle that covers either the right or left side of your card, using about 1/3 of the space. (Some other common layouts are shown below.)

    Examples of How to Make Graduation Invitations Various different ways to lay out your photo(s) on a graduation card.

    Go to File > Place and select the photo file you want to add. You can also drag the photo directly into this rectangle from your desktop, if that’s easier. Then, right-click on select “fitting > fit frame proportionally.” In InDesign, resizing the photo and resizing the box it is in are two separate commands. You can adjust the size of the box at any time by dragging the borders of the rectangle. To adjust the size of the photo within the box, double-click the photo until you see an orange outline around the photo and adjust the size of that, holding down the shift key to keep proportions from becoming distorted. To get a more in-depth explanation of using pictures in InDesign, see this article.

    You can play around with making a grid of photos as well, if you’d like to include more. Make sure you leave room for your text.
  4. Type out your information and select a suitable font.
    Time to add your text! You’ll want to say your full name, graduating class, school name, and possibly include plans for the future (college name, graduate school name, or potentially the job you are heading into). If you are throwing a graduation party and this card will also act as the invitation, the details of that event should be included as well.

    Sample of Make Your Own Graduation Announcement Make the most important text larger and the less important text smaller.

    Draw a text box using the text tool. You can make separate boxes for different elements or put everything in one, depending on how you want to format things. Select a professional-looking font for this grand occasion—the one chosen is called Moret. You can download fonts directly into your creative cloud software by visiting Adobe Fonts.
  5. Optional: Use a script font pairing.

    Examples of Graduation Announcement Fonts Graduation cards often include one script font and one sans serif or serif font.

    Graduation cards often include one script, or cursive, font. If you like the idea, feel free to add a word or two in a script. However, don’t go overboard! It’s often best to keep the use of script fonts pretty limited. Most cards will use one to say “congratulations” or “graduation” only, but play around with different options to see what you like best.
  6. Print the cards.
    Once you like your finished cards, save the file and send it to the printer. Congrats on your big accomplishment—you did it!

    Enjoy the process of making cards—or trying to brush up your skills? Check out this video tutorial on creating postcards to learn even more about InDesign basics. Or learn how to make your own DIY holiday cards!

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