A CRASH COURSE ON WEDDING STATIONERY PRINTING PROCESSES

Hey there! If you're just joining us, we're doing a crash course on wedding stationery! Last week we covered the basics of creating your stationery timeline. This week we're talking about printing methods! 

One of the most difficult decisions to make when deciding on your wedding stationery is the printing method to use. There is a wide variety of options out there and it's easy to get overwhelmed by the technicalities! Ultimately the printing method you go with will depend on a few things such as your design style, budget, and your stationer. The selection of print methods available varies from stationer to stationer, but we're going to cover the majority of print methods that we personally have available to us, including: digital, letterpress, foil stamp, screen print, blind emboss/deboss, and thermography!

DIGITAL

We personally are lucky enough to have access to digital white, gold, silver, and CMYK (color) printing! This is the most economical option to obtain a classy look and works with almost any design.

  • Works great with photos, watercolor elements, and several color printing
  • Able to easily print front and back
  • Gold, silver, and white options give off a more custom look with only minimally higher printing costs
  • Quicker production time

LETTERPRESS

Letterpress printing is a type of relief printing that uses a printing press. A custom die is made with your design on it. It is then inked and the paper is pressed against it to transfer the ink and create a tactile effect with the slight indentation made from the die. 

  • Gives a beautiful added depth and texture that creates a luxurious effect
  • Longer production time, so keep this in mind when working on your wedding stationery timeline
  • More costly than digital printing methods. It is best when you use one or two colors, as unique dies are required per color and will increase costs
  • Not able to print photographs or large solid areas
  • Because of the indentation on the back created by the die, we recommend only doing single-sided designs

If you're contemplating using letterpress printing for your invitations, we encourage you to  have your invitation piece letter-pressed with the rest of your suite in digital printing as a great way to save money & allow your invitation to stand out!

FOIL STAMP

Foil stamping is the application of metallic foil, most often gold or silver, to paper where a heated die is stamped onto the foil, making it adhere to the surface leaving the design of the die on the paper surface. This printing process is trending right now as many couples are incorporating metallics into their wedding and it is a great way of enhancing the formality of an invitation.

  • Great way to bring a metallic "color" to your overall color scheme
  • Gives every piece a little extra "wow-factor"
  • More costly than digital printing methods
  • Requires a longer production time, so keep this in mind when working on your wedding stationery timeline

SCREEN PRINT

Screen printing uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil to create a unique effect. One color is printed at a time and several screens can be used to create a multi-colored design. However, each color used in your designs requires the creation of a unique screen, therefore it can add to the overall cost of the piece. Because the inks are opaque, screen printing can be an excellent choice for creating vibrant colors with light inks on darker papers.

  • Unlike digital printing, ink sits right on the surface of the paper creating a textured, vibrant look!
  • Fine details or delicate text can be lost or broken up. Likewise, large blocks of text can be difficult to print consistently
  • Unable to print on textured or thin papers
  • More costly than digital printing methods
  • Longer production time, so keep this in mind when working on your wedding stationery timeline

BLIND EMBOSS/DEBOSS

Embossing and debossing alters the surface of the paper to create a 3D effect in the form of raised (emboss) or recessed (deboss) areas. This process requires two heated dies, one with your raised design and another with the same design indented. These two dies sandwich the paper to create the impression without ink.

  • Since this process does not use ink you're able to create a clean, modern look with a unique textured effect
  • Using fine details or large blocks of text is not recommended
  • More costly than digital printing methods
  • Longer production time, so keep this in mind when working on your wedding stationery timeline

THERMOGRAPHY

Thermography is a print process that relies on heat to create raised ink that results in an elegant, tactile effect. This process applies a resin powder to the paper to adhere to the ink. After removing the excess powder the piece is heated and dried to create this unique raised effect.

  • You can use most colors as well as gold and silver
  • Cost-effective way to achieve a textured look without the added costs of plate-making
  • best to avoid large, solid areas of color as well as small or thin typography
  • Can be double-sided with only one side thermographed
  • More costly than digital printing methods
  • Longer production time, so keep this in mind when working on your wedding stationery timeline

Goodness, that's a lot of information! However, we believe it's important to understand your options to allow you to make the right decision for your design style and budgetary needs! If you'd like to see more examples of these options, pop over to our Pinterest board! Happy planning!

Xo,

C+A

p.s. For other tips or insight into wedding stationery & planning, click here and be sure to subscribe to our journal to receive updates straight to your inbox!