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Choosing your Wedding Invitation Style: 5 Print Methods You Should Consider

Today we are talking all about 5 print methods you should consider before choosing your wedding invitation style. Now as stationers we tend to throw out terms and don’t always explain them. So today I will break it down for you and help you better understand all the ways your invitations can be printed and here’s why it’s so damn important.

When you understand the differences between the different print methods available, you can better plan who can design your desired look and answer questions like:

  • Do you need a designer or a calligrapher?
  • Does the designer have enough time to accomplish the look and vibe you want to achieve? (Let’s be real, no one wants to pay for rush fees, amiright!)
  • Does your budget currently allow for this method?
  • Will your design actually show up on the paper?

I wanted to give you an idea of price ranges in the most non-threating way possible. So, I included non-panic inducing donuts ? next to each printing method. The more donuts you see the more expensive the method.

Now if you’re wondering why I didn’t include actual dollar amounts. Well, prices vary greatly between every designer/calligrapher and I just wanted to give you a general category of where to think money wise. For something more accurate than donuts, reach out to your designer/calligrapher and get a custom quote for the services you want for your stationery.

If you are interested in learning more about the different printing options I offer you can always grab my pricing guide here.

Feel free to jump ahead to the Wedding Invitation Style you like most!

Digital Metallic Letterpress Thermography Hand-Lettering

Digital Printing ?

This is by far the most common printing style due to its vast affordability and speed. Most stationery you come across, whether custom or pre-designed, utilize the digital printing method.

Customization at it’s best. Digital printing gives you the most options for customization by far. Your designer can simulate white printing, include your favorite cartoon character, or incorporate a custom painted masterpiece. Literally limitless options here!

Super fast turn around. This is by far the quickest printing method, with just days for turn around (at least for pre-designed stationery.) Check with your designer to see much time they need to create your custom design. As a general rule of thumb, I encourage couples to reach out at least 6 months prior to their wedding. (FYI, reaching out as soon as you have a date is always best.)

White ink all the way. If you love dark papers with White ink then you should look into White Ink Printing! It is a bit more expensive than color printing, but many printers now offer this service.

Color Prints on Dark Paper are a real thing. If you want bright color designs but you want bold colorful paper, be sure to ask for white+color printing. Like, white printing, white+color is definitely on the pricier end, but let me just say, the end result is totally worth the extra money. Without the white underlayer, graphics tend to not show up or look dull and leave the viewer wanting.

Mix and Match to save some cash. Use digital printing on all the collateral cards in your suite and be bold with the printing method of your invitation. Using digital printing in the majority of your suite will definitely cut down on your investment and still allow you to let your stationery dreams to take flight.

Letterpress ???

Letterpress is one of the most common upgrades to wedding stationery suites because of it’s iconic elegance. The majestic impressions of the letterpress technique are accomplished by imprinting the given design (or maybe just a portion of the design) into the paper using custom made metal plates.

Beauty takes time. While letterpress stationery is gorgeous, it does take quite a bit of time to get right. So make sure you reach out to your designer way ahead of time, like 8 months ahead of time.

Less is more. Letterpress is kind of a less is more technique but can be combined with digital printing to give a bit more oomf. But in my personal opinion, letterpress by itself is just gorgeous!

Versatile styling. Letterpress isn’t just for traditional gatherings. I have seen some exquisite letterpress suites that rocked a modern flair. So if you like to throw caution to the wind when it comes to tradition, don’t overlook this print method just because of it’s history.

Perfectly Imperfect. If you are perfectionist letterpress may not be ideal for you. There are always imperfections either with ink color across the run or how well the paper took the impression. So be sure to talk this printing method through with your designer if imperfectly perfect isn’t your thang.

Metallic Foil Printing ?? – ???

This technique is where your design will incorporate actual metallic or opalescent leaf and is absolutely to die for!

How to save a bit of moolah. If you like the foiled look, whether digital or press, consider only using this technique on one card. This significantly decreases your investment while still giving your invitation a bit of extra pizazz.

THERE ARE ACTUALLY TWO METHODS OF METALLIC FOILING

Digital Foiling (??) This technique applies the metallic foil to the toner of the printer, much like a minc but on a much larger scale. This is the more affordable and quicker option of the two foiling techniques as it doesn’t require any press plates to be made.

Foil Press (???)This technique impresses the metallic foil into the paper and leaves an imprint. It’s essentially a combination of letterpress with metallic foil.

Some important things you will want to consider.

Colors are limited. Although you do have several options, colors don’t abound like with digital printing. Most places offer about 9-12 foils to choose from.

Turnaround varies by technique. If you are on a tighter timeline and really want the foiled look you will need to go with digital foiling. This technique can be accomplished in just a few weeks, whereas foil press can take months. So be sure to reach out to your designer to see when they need you to reach out.

Thermography ???

Have you ever touched a business card or a book and the ink was raised? That is thermography. This unique print method gives you a look that can’t be matched with any other printing method.

Not well known. Which roughly translates into “this is gonna cost you.” Since there are not many printers offering this technique, thermography will definitely set you back a bit.

The unique factor is high. Again, since this isn’t super popular at the moment, your guests will definitely be wowed by its unique look.

Hand-Lettering ???  

Do you like the intimacy of a handwritten note and the flowy-ness of calligraphy? Then hand-lettered stationery is totally up your alley.

No two cards will ever be the same. I mean a real life (non-robot) person will be handwriting every card. That means there is a lot of time, effort (and love) going into every single card.

Colors and Designs may be limited. The type of papers and colors available for this type of design cater to the ink flowing well on the paper. So what is available may vary greatly calligrapher to calligrapher.

Pricing this is hard. Calligrapher pricing varies A LOT! Location, time-of-year and workload all factor into how calligraphers price this service. IF they even offer full stationery suites because not all calligraphers do.

Give your Calligrapher a TON of time If you know you want hand-lettered stationery, reach out to your preferred calligrapher at least 8 months before your big day. If you can reach out even earlier please do! Your calligrapher will thank you for the extra time.

Ready to figure out what you need to put in your suite?

Read all about what you need an what’s just extra in last weeks post.

Have you been toying around with the idea of using one of these techniques for your wedding suite? Feel like I forgot one? Comment below with your favorite printing method.

There's a lot that goes into choosing your wedding invitation style. These 5 print methods definitely give you options and I break down all the things you need to consider before saying, "I do" to the stationery of your dreams.