Letterpress is a very old form of printing, meaning it’s a highly inefficient form of getting the job done. The inefficiencies make each invitation unique, and create beautiful, crisp impressions. It also means each invitation is printed by hand, one-by-one. This labor of love is what causes the price per piece to be so high.
Letterpress doesn’t work well for large areas of solid color, however this form of printing does lend well to ornate script.
Letterpress printing is obviously a classic choice for invitations, but it also can create a modern wedding invite suite with funky fonts, unique patterns and blind embossing (not using ink to make an impression on the paper).
Historically, wooden type was placed together to create a “plate”, and then each paper was pressed into the type. Now, we usually use plastic molds to create some pretty awesome patterns, type and arrangements. Anything we can dream up in Photoshop can be transformed to your Letterpress Wedding Invitation.
Old-school printers scoff at the letterpress impression, as it was seen as the incorrect technique. We now prefer that deep impression, as it gives it the true “letterpress” look.
Choosing your paper is one of the most important aspects of your print job. Crane’s Lettra is a classic choice, but there are many more out there that offer the soft, luxurious touch that is essential to a deep impression. Choose a paper that stands well on it’s own. It should be both sturdy and soft. Most print shops will have samples they can show you in a 5×7. Paper will feel much more dense in a small chip, so it should be felt in the full size before choosing.
Letterpress Printing can also be done on envelopes, and is a nice way to tie in your entire wedding theme. Return addresses and your pattern, monogram or theme can be placed on the outside envelope, giving guests a feel for what’s to come. In the photo above, you can see the letterpress printing we did on Dustin and Erica’s wedding envelopes!