I’m often asked about my most popular custom wedding invitation designs, and there is not one that takes the cake. However, there is a color and style: gold! So today I wanted to review all of the ways to print Gold! Engraving, Foil Stamping, Letterpress, Thermography, and flat printing are five of the most popular ways to achieve this look for your wedding invitations, and I thought I would explain the five styles for you below.
Engraved Invitations: Engraving? is the finest, most distinct form of three-dimensional “raised printing.” This is also the most expensive option.
As a highly skilled craft dating back to the 16th century, engraving conveys an unspoken message of distinction and timelessness. It has a warmth and elegance all its own. Running your fingers over a piece of engraved stationery reveals the textures unique to engraving — finely detailed, raised letters with slight indentations on the reverse side of the paper. There is no substitute for true engraving.
Each color selected requires a separate engraving plate and a separate pass through the press.
It is easy to tell whether a piece of stationery has been engraved. Simply turn it over. If there is an indentation (caused by the pressure from the engraving press), it is engraved. You can also tell by looking closely at the impression on the front. The paper will be smoother and there may be a little ripple to the sheet.
The suite shown above is from Scriptura.
Foil Invitations: Because a custom plate is created for foil invitations, this option is also pricey. However, it also has the most stunning impact! For all you shiny gold lovers, then this option is for you! The foil offers the perfect amount of shimmer and shine (just like glitter, my other favorite detail), and the look is timeless, classic, and completely glamorous. I adore foil for more formal weddings! Although it looks beautiful in gold, foil stamping also looks just as fabulous in other metallic shades, like silver, copper, or rose gold! Rose Gold happens to be my favorite right now!
Letterpress Invitations: Letterpress is one of the oldest printing techniques and it is very similar to foil where you need a custom place created. When you run your fingers over the words on your invitation, they will feel as though they are set inside the design (the printing technique pushes the plate into the paper). This option is priced similar to foil, and this look is lovely for classic, rustic, and vintage weddings alike. Although it looks beautiful in gold, letterpress also looks just as fabulous in bright and soft matte colors. The suite shown above is from Oh So Beautiful Paper’s website.
In thermography, a special powder is added to the ink that is to be printed on the paper. The printed piece is heated, causing the powder and ink mixture to dry, which in turn results in a raised effect on the paper. As you run your fingers over the invitation, it will feel as though the words are jumping off of the page!
Flat Printing: This technique is essentially complete digital printing. It is, by far, the most economical option. Rather than involving plates, inset, or raised printing, flat printing is achieved by simply printing the invitation at a print shop. This is basic digital printing that prints ink flat on the paper. While with this method there will be no shimmer or shine, you’ll evoke the look of gold using a golden color (and save a pretty penny on your printing!) The ink itself will not shimmer like the other options, but using shimmery paper as a base or backer is always an option!