Since it's the first piece of the celebration your guests will see, invitations have always tried to convey the mood of the occasion. We can refer to this as ambiance. Invitations to a birthday party, for example, are fun and lighthearted while wedding invitations are generally elegantly formal. All of the invitations shown here are expressive of the occasion. Since each one is an invitation to a bar mitzvah, they express (generally in cover design) either the theme of the Torah portion read by the Bar Mitzvah, or celebration in general.

A key feature of ambiance can't be shown here but is still very important: the choice of paper. The visual design and the style of paper support each other in expressing the proper mood; a mismatch between the paper and the design can confuse the message. For example, you wouldn't use a fine handmade paper for a child's birthday party invitation but it would be appropriate for a wedding invitation.

Things to think about