Things have been all Pomp & Circumstance around here – We’ve been busy working on grad announcements for some of our favorite friends – Fighting’ Texas Aggies!

When my husband finished his master’s from A&M we felt like we were leaving home as we drove out of College Station for the last time. We were excited about what the future held for us,   but we knew that we’d miss the Aggie spirit that runs so strong there.

Aggie Howdy Grad Announcement | Texas A&M Grads | My Own Brand Of Happy

I happened to Pin the above picture to help build my design portfolio and over the last few years I’ve received quite a few custom orders for the Howdy invite. It has become one of my favorite times of year – we celebrate a little with every A&M grad we do an announcement for – it is the Aggie way after all!

With all my interaction with grads, I’ve put together a few tips on how to get a great announcement or invite, without adding extra stress. (These tips apply for collegiate and high school grad announcements alike.)

1. Give yourself plenty of time. Your graduate has been in school for more than a few years, so you knew this day would come. There is absolutely no reason to pull an all-nighter, like your grad will studying for their finals, just to get the perfect announcement.

That said, do yourself a favor and pick a few different announcement looks. Then let your grad pick from those. You’ll take the stress off your grad by doing some of the grunt work for them, and you won’t have to worry about making the final decision without their approval.

2. Photos. Take some. Some of the best announcements I’ve seen include photos in some way. Candid shots are by far my favorite and you can request them from a hired photographer or just depend on using your “seasoned smart phone photog” skills.

There is no rule that says you have to include a photo, or that you have to have it printed on the announcement itself. Many invites include a photo with the invite (sure it’s traditional – but graduation is a traditional rite of passage – so it works!)

One thing to keep in mind if you’re taking the photos yourself – take shots both vertically and horizontally. That way you’ll have plenty of options that work with either a vertical or horizontal announcement layout. It only takes one extra second to swivel that camera around and I promise you’ll be happy you did.

My Own Brand Of Happy | 4 Tips to  Get Graduation Announcements that Rock

3. Decide how formal you want to be. Some of this can be determined based on your grad and their degree. High school graduation – keep it simple. Graduating with a PhD in Rocket Science – maybe it’s time to consider some gold printing and formal text. One recommendation that I make to my clients as they decide on design – this is the perfect time to embrace the collegiate look – bold stripes, school colors, words from school fight songs, etc. But keep in mind that many of the school logo and mascot images are under copyright or trademark.

4. So many invites include extra info about the grad. Majors, minors, where they’ll be working or going to grad school. Or things they’ve participated in – football, band, choir, all-state high jumper – the sky is the limit.

5. Where to print. There are a million great online printers you can work with -many even have seasonal deals for graduation announcements and include white envelopes at little or no extra charge. If you want to be really cost effective, consider printing the announcements on your own color printer, or taking them to a local copy shop.

Hopefully this helps with the headache of figuring our grad announcements – now it’s time to start celebrating!