Offset, letterpress, foil… buh? Our wedding invitation printing techniques primer #Invitation advice#Wedding 101#invitations August 14 2015 | Catherine Clark bijouxandbits Mermaid invitation from Concertina Press Offset, foil-stamped, letterpress, engraving… if you want awesome printed invitations but this is all gibberish to you, this is the wedding invitation printing techniques primer you need. We're going to break down all your options including the ones we just mentioned AND some economical and eco-friendly invitation alternatives. Let's talk shop about printing. Offset printing and thermography Price: $ The least expensive technique involves a high-speed offset press that transfers the ink onto paper. It prints a single color at a time, layering each color on top of the other to produce the design. This technique is easily found online at places like VistaPrint or your local print shop. The text can be left flat as with normal offset printing or thermographed for a raised effect using a powdered resin. This can mimic an expensive engraved look, which we'll talk about later. Digital printing Price: $ Related Post 5 tips (including the oldest trick in the book) when it comes to DIY wedding invitations DIYing your invitations is a great way to save money and it is much easier than you may think to get jaw-dropping, one-of-a-kind pieces. However... Read more Digital printing, espcially in small batches, can be very economical. While the actual digital printing has a higher cost per page than offset printing, there is an offsetting cost savings because there is no need to make printing plates. Digital printing can also be turned around really quickly if you're in a hurry. The trade-off is that a lot of printers aren't able to digitally print on thicker paper stock, so you may be relegated back to offset if you want a thicker invitation. Foil stamped invitation from Minted Foil stamping Price: $$ – $$$ Related Post An elegant Star Wars invitation suite, for a more civilized age When we first thought about having a Star Wars-themed wedding, I knew I had to design all the stationery myself. Of course, we chose a... Read more Things start to get fancier from this point on. In foil stamping, the design of your wedding invitation is etched into a copper plate, and then foil (either metallic or otherwise) is heated and applied to the paper with pressure. This can be especially dramatic with light-colored foil on a dark background. Depending on the design, foil stamping can sometimes get a little pricey. If you choose this route, check about turnaround times since this technique is sometimes outsourced, adding to the time needed to produce them. Letterpress invitation from Darling + Pearl Letterpress Letterpress Price Level: $$$ Related Post 10 design programs to use for your DIY wedding invitations (including 5 FREE ones!) Feeling the design spirit and want to DIY your own wedding invitation set? We feel you. Sometimes what you want only exists in your brain... Read more Letterpress is similar to foil stamping, except it's pressing ink into the paper instead, leaving the letters indented on the front and raised on the back of the invite. Letterpress mostly requires a thicker, bulkier paper like cotton fiber, which allows for the best visbility. To save some cash, limit your ink colors. Engraved invitation from Invitation Girl Engraving Price Level: $$$$ Related Post The DIY Art Nouveau wedding invitation books that you'll want to keep forever on your shelf I love Art Nouveau. So we've been making DIY Art Nouveau book invitations, with the help of a very talented friend, who owns an old... Read more Engraving is the granddaddy of printing techniques and the price reflects that. The lettering is raised on the front and indented on the back, and the paper and ink requirements allow you a lot of flexibility in color (like brilliant light-colored ink on dark paper). It requires a heavy-duty cardstock due to the intense pressure of the printing process. Engraving without ink is called embossing, which will give you a colorless stamped look. Die-cut invitation from Avie Designs More finishes and final touches Invitations can be mounted on stiffer paper for extra thickness and edges can be trimmed to a bevel, painted, or foiled to add another element to the design. Alternately, you can look into die-cut invitations (like the design shown above from Avie Designs) or even engraved on metal or wood. Carved wood invitation from Wood Chick Invitations Email invitations and other economical options Related Post Is PIY the new DIY? Why printables are the easier DIY wedding invitation If you're balancing your limited budget with your grandiose design taste, Minted's print-it-yourself wedding invitations could be a great potential solution. Here's how it works... Want to pack in the concept of printed invitations altogether and go digital? Here are some of our favorite resources for emailed invitations and download and print-style. Email invitation resources IMcreator wedding websites Glo email invitations eInvite.com Print-it-yourself resources Minted VistaPrint e.m. papers Have you decided if you'll be sending printed invitations? Formal letterpress gorgeousness, funky email invites, Sharpied flip-flops? Tell us about it in the comments! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Catherine Clark Catherine Clark is Offbeat Bride's Senior Editor. In her spare time she loiters at her local library, makes art, watches movies en masse, plays video and tabletop games, poorly cooks healthy things, cuddles with her feline fur baby, and blogs at BijouxandBits.com. @enidjcoleslaw @bijouxandbits @bijouxandbits PREVIOUS Slushies, food trucks, and brunch: 10 delicious ways to make your wedding food fun NEXT Wedding shoes in small sizes for our friends with little feet Show/Hide comments [ 2 ] Nice collection i love the way it represent the print on that it's look Awesome… All the collection is just superb..specially Engraving i just love this… Thanks for share such a lovely post…. Reply I'd say that the pricing for letterpress printing is off. Especially now with all the smaller presses popping up, you're not limited to the big name presses, and this competition has helped bring down the price of letterpress printing (as has photopolymer plates). Letterpress is typically less expensive than hot foil-stamping, because hot-foil can only be done with custom etched metal dies, which are much more expensive to make than the photopolymer plates that most letterpress printers now use. The machinery and type of paper used in both is basically identical. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.