When it comes time to start thinking about the design of your invitation suite, one of the points to keep in mind is what printing method will you select? There are a variety of different printing methods to choose from, each with their own unique features. Knowing about the different options you have prior to meeting with your stationer/designer, can help make said meeting that much more fruitful!
When deciding upon a printing method, it is important to keep in mind that each method also has different costs associated with them. Digital, or flat printing, is usually one of the least expensive methods, while letterpress printing—which is becoming more popular—can be one of the more expensive. While the difference in printing itself can affect your stationery budget, the selection of papers can as well! Do you want 100% Post-Consumer Waste paper? Or, perhaps you want 100% cotton paper? Certain papers will accept different printing better than others. It's important to look to your designer/stationer for guidance as to what the best paper is for each printing method, as well as which design will look best with which printing method. For the purposes of this blog, we will discuss four types of printing: digital (flat), letterpress, embossed, and foil-stamping.
Digital, or flat, printing is the most common printing method used in stationery today. Principally, digital printing is the kind of printing one normally does at home from a desktop printer. Digital printing includes professional inkjet and laserjet printing. Printing occurs using a digital image, depositing ink on the paper. No plates are needed.
Letterpress printing underwent a revival in the 1990's. Generally speaking, a reversed, raised lettering is inked and then pressed into the paper to obtain an image. The paper typically used for this style of printing has to be thick enough to accept the printing. Some letterpress printers use metal type (see photo), while others use a polymer plate that is made based upon your stationer's designs. A plate is made according to the design and type that your designer sets. This plate is then what is used in the letterpress machine. Because of the type of paper that is needed as well as the artisanal nature of the printing method itself, this is generally a more costly endeavor than a printed run of save the dates on a digital printer.
Embossed printing causes paper to raise or depress, and is typically used to make an image on paper have a three-dimensional effect. Blind embossing refers to embossed printing which does not use ink, but rather just creates the three-dimensional effect. Foil stamping involves the application of a metallic foil (like gold or silver) or pigment, and can be combined with embossing to create a striking image or used on it's own!
As Little Woman Design is a full-service graphic design studio, we can offer our clients the designs they want using the printing style and materials they want! For a free consultation, either via email, over the phone, or in-person, please contact us!
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