Q: Letterpress, engraving, flat printing - there are so many options! What do they all mean?
A: This is a great question! Here are the most commonly used printing methods:
Traditional letterpress printing dates back centuries ago where printers used movable type made from metal or wood to print. To create an impression, printers had to compose individual letters into form, lock them into a chase and ink the type with a roller. A piece of paper is laid on top of the inked type and slid under the press. Pressure is then applied by manually tightening the screw and ink will be transferred from the metal or wood type onto the paper. Now imagine repeating this process a few hundred times a day, which is what we call an arm workout. - via Finger Smith Letterpress
PRO's: gorgeous effect, popular trend, elevates the printed piece style-wise
CON's: can be pricey, not the best choice if you require a quick turnaround
Engraving is actually the most traditional, formal and one of the most expensive method of printing invitations. In traditional engraving, the image is recessed (engraved) into the printing plate (usually steel or copper) and the plate is then inked, with the ink settling into the engraved areas. High pressure is then used to transfer the ink onto the paper – the soft paper is pressed into the inked indentations, leaving a raised image. The tell-tale sign of an engraved invitations is the “bruising” (or indentations) on the back of the invite. - via The Invitation Blog
PRO's: traditional, elegant, popular
CON's: more expensive, longer turnaround time
Thermography produces raised type, similar to engraving, although the process is very different. The paper is first inked, then a powder is applied (which adheres to the wet inked areas) and finally it is cured with heat. It produces an image that is raised (although uneven) and glossy, with no “bruising” or impression, as there is no pressure applied. The uneven, glossy texture and lack of bruising are the tell-tale signs of a piece printed thermographically, rather than engraved. - via The Invitation Blog
PRO's: budget friendly without sacrificing style and quality, very popular (it looks like engraving, but much less expensive!)
CON's: some limitations regarding color, and can only be printed on one side
- FLAT PRINTING:
Flat or digital printing is the most budget-friendly option out there. Invitations are printed on a digital printer or off-set printer, depending on preference and quantity desired.
PRO's: quick turnaround, most budget-friendly option, modern look
CON's: less formal or fancy, quality can be questionable depending on which printer you use
Q: I've always been under the impression that working with a designer would never fit within our budget - is that true? Do you have options for the budget-minded, who don't want to sacrifice quality?
A: We pride ourselves with finding options that work for all types of clients - from those with an ample budget to dream up something entirely custom, to those who have a limited budget, but still want something that feels totally "them."
Q: How long is the process to create my invitations, from start to finish?
A: Short answer: it really depends on what you are looking for, when the copy is approved, how many proofs we need to see, etc. Long answer: we like to sit down with clients and set a production timeline at the very beginning. We add some cushion to allow for any unexpected changes, and to ensure that the pieces arrive and are loved long before the wedding or event. Thus far we've been successful with making sure that our clients receive their pieces with time to spare!
Q: Do you have a retail space with cards, fine papers, envelopes, and all that fun stuff?
A: Kathleen owned and operated a full design studio and retail space in Brentwood for many years, but after relocating to Santa Barbara she decided to simplify and leave the retail space behind. That being said...there are some fun things planned for the future, so keep your eyes open!