Digital, Thermography, Letterpress...oh my!

Print Processes: Digital, Thermography, Letterpress...oh my!

When choosing wedding stationery, you’re presented with so many choices! The print process can hint at your wedding style and formality as does your wording.  The print process can also have a huge impact on your wedding stationery budget as well as dictate your paper type and overall design. Below, I dive into the print processes I offer my clients and the expense you can expect from each.

Digital Printing

Digital printing is similar to what you'd get from a home printer, but professional printers offer higher quality, so you won't wind up with the fading or smudging you might get from printing them yourself. This process is ideal for more casual or funky wedding styles and for couples who are on a tight timeline or budget.  Digital Printing also allows for more full color saturation with images that might be more heavily colored.

Pros:  Least Expensive, Faster Turnaround
Cons:  Lighter Paper Type, Casual Vibe

 
Digital Printing
 

Thermography

Thermography has a formal look (only without the hefty price tag).  Thermography is a heat-based process that fuses ink and resinous powder to create raised lettering. It’s only subtly different from engraving work but less expensive.  You're more limited in terms of color, because this method fuses ink with powder, it's not as easy to get a pretty pastel hue. Stick with lightly colored paper and darker ink. Thermography is best for small graphics (like patterns)—full-color images won't come out well.

Pros:  Least Expensive with Formal Look
Cons: Limited Ink Colors, Smaller Graphics

 
Thermography
 


Letterpress

The letters are indented on the front and slightly raised on the back of the invite. The look is textural and sophisticated. It's normally used for traditional designs (but doesn't have to be) and is one of the priciest printing methods. This is a labor-intensive method in which  the text is pressed into the paper with a plate and coated with ink to produce a physical impression on the paper. Letterpress requires a thicker cotton cardstock (we recommend no less than 220lb for optimal impression). As with thermography, limited ink colors are available.

Pros:  Most Formal Look, Classic
Cons: Most Expensive, Limited Ink Colors

 
Letterpress
 

Foil Stamping

The paper-like foil leaves a metallic design behind. Foil stamping complements a luxe, romantic wedding, but it's also become increasingly popular for whimsical and casual invites.  A heated copper plate is used to push the foil into the paper, which leaves an impression much like letterpress. This printing process is considered "dry printing" because it doesn't actually use any ink.  Foil stamping is a great dual print method in that it can be combined with Letterpress and Digital Printing.

Pros:  Fun and Whimsical Look, Dual Print Processing
Cons:  Most Expensive, Limited Ink Colors

 
FoilStamping