Designing the custom invitations for your wedding is (we think) one of the most exciting, creative and fun parts of planning your Big Day. As we always say, your invites are the first impression your guests will have of your wedding, and when it comes to creating the perfect design, your options are literally endless. Consider adding chic and thoughtful details such as place cards, menus, thank you notes, gift tags, and much more.
However, as you’re flipping through endless samples of paper and font styles, you’re bound to encounter some unfamiliar terminology, which can make the whole process a bit overwhelming. So to make the process a little easier, I’ll explain a few terms.
Letterpress has long been a popular option in the United States. Using metal or rubber plates, an artisan runs each invitation through the printing machine, which is often a vintage or antique press. Each color must be run separately and a skilled letterpress pressman will ink the machine to ensure even coverage on every piece of stationery that is fed through. The cards are then “pressed” with the ink-covered metal plates, indenting each word into the paper. Thanks to adjustable grippers on the machines, the paper used in letterpress can be several layers thick, allowing for a deep impression.
Another traditional technique is engraving. Engraving has been around for over one hundred years, and also uses a metal plate that is etched with the desired invitation wording. Ink is spread into the etchings, and the plates are heated and pressed into the paper. This method gives the ink a hardened, raised impression. If you flip your stationery over, you will see the telltale sign of an engraved card: an impression on the back from the high heat of the metal plates.
Last of the methods to be discussed here is digital printing. Digital is perfect for brides who want to include a multitude of colors rather than just one or two. A huge press digitally prints directly onto the paper, and the ink is flush to the surface, not raised or indented. Orders can be completed more quickly than with other techniques, so digital printing is a fantastic option for brides who are facing time constraints. No plates are used for this method of printing either, keeping setup costs down but limiting paper thickness. However, all invitations may be backed with a second sheet of card stock to add more breadth and/or extra color to each piece of the suite.
Regardless of your price point, it’s possible to get a beautifully printed invitation suite using one of the above methods. You can ask Rod Hoover any questions and then pair your choice with a great design. You’ll be able to pop your invitations in the mail knowing your guests will be impressed.