Welcome to part three of our Invitation 101 series, sharing our best tips & tricks on the wedding invitation process.
Psst…The pattern above is part of our new watercolor invitation series. Stay tuned for the launch in the next few weeks.
When it comes to printing invitations, the options really are endless. Often budget may play a role in what printed method you choose. If your stationery budget is on the smaller side, digital will be the way to go. For a no-holds-barred affair, on the other hand, you might combine a few different printing methods, like letterpress, foil stamping and edge painting. If these terms have you scratching you head, read on….
These days, the majority of invitations are flat, or digitally, printed. Digital printing has revolutionized the way we print invitations. It’s much more affordable, especially for smaller runs of 50 pieces or less, and the technology has come so far that the quality is very high. You can even print on cotton stocks and heavier papers. Personally, I love the unlimited color capabilities that flat printing allows – it’s what gives our watercolor invitations their textural details. This detail wouldn’t be possible with letterpress or screenprinting.
It’s hard to beat letterpress for sheer beauty. Letterpress printing is a centuries-old technique in which ink is applied to a raised plate design and then impressed onto paper, often a thick cotton stock, creating a wonderfully textured result. Blind letterpress printing, or de-bossing, is created by stamping the impression onto the paper without using any ink. However, letterpress can be limiting in some ways. Because a new plate and press run is required for each additional color, adding a second or third ink can make already-pricey letterpress exponentially more expensive.
Screenprinting is one of the oldest printing techniques and involves pushing relatively thick, opaque ink through a fine mesh screen, resulting in a bright, tactile design that sits on the surface of paper. This method is great for using special inks like fluorescents and metallics, or for printing in white ink onto a dark background color. Screenprinting also allows for printing on a variety of surfaces – like fabric or super-thick chipboard – so the possibilities for creativity run high. Budget-wise, it’s comparable to letterpress.
Special printing & finishing techniques include things like foil stamping, diecutting, perforations, edge painting, and duplexing. Foil-stamping adds a high shine factor and adds a super special touch. Want your invitations in the shape of a heart? You’ll be needing a custom die-cut. Duplexing is when 2 sheets of thick stock are glued together to give a double-thick result. If you are printing on a double-thick stock, consider edge-painting to add a bright or metallic color to the edges of the card. So pretty!
Yes, it’s possible to print your invitations by your own bad self! Going this route takes some gumption, design savvy, and a willingness to be hands-on. If you and your fiance are both crafty, this could be a really fun project to tackle together. For example, you might take a letterpress class and then rent time at a studio to print your design. Or you could have screens made and silkscreen the cards yourself. Keep in mind with these options you’ll need to supply and trim your own paper stock and ink.
Email me at email@example.com for more information on any of the topics above.