So, you’re starting to research wedding invitations and you come across words like digital printing, letterpress and paper weights. Now, you’re scratching your head like ummm what…? Don’t worry girl. I got you!
This article will break down terminology that is commonly used throughout the invitation process to help you understand the best print method and paper option for your wedding invitations.
Before we dive in, let’s have a brief lesson on paper weights. The thickness of the paper is measured by weight. Let’s use our standard 110 lb. paper as a way to break down what that means. The 110 lb. means that when you have 1,000 sheets (or a full carton) of paper, the carton will weight 110 lbs. This is the best way to measure the weight of paper so the higher the number, the thicker the paper. For reference, computer printer paper is 24 lb.
Now, onto printing. Let’s start by mentioning that we mainly use digital printing, letterpress and foil stamping for our invitations.
Digital printing is the process of taking an image from your computer and printing on paper. The process is similar to printing at home however, digital printers use CMYK toners rather than ink cartridges (most likely what you have at home) and therefore, produce a much higher quality end result.
For digital printing, there are 4 different paper options:
Classic Crest 110 lb. Matte
Our standard paper for digital printing has a smooth, matte finish leaving a clean, crisp print.
Classic Linen 100 lb.
A great option for a slight texture to add a little detail to your simple design.
Double-Thick 240 lb. Matte
A thick card stock that does not bend easily.
Cranes Lettra 110 lb. Cotton
A cotton textured paper, designed for letterpress printing however, can also be digitally printed on.
All of these paper options are available in white and off-white colors.
Letterpress & Foil Stamping
Letterpress is the process of pressing an ink-covered plate against paper, leaving an impression of the plate on the paper that you can feel. Letterpress is a more labor intensive process between creating custom dies, mixing inks and hand feeding each page on the press. Because of the process, letterpress is more expensive and used in more luxury invitation designs.
For letterpress designs, a new plate is made for each color used throughout the design therefore, we recommend keeping the design within one or two colors.
For designs that have graphics or watercolor artwork, this artwork will need to be digitally printed first then go through the same letterpress process mentioned above.
Foil stamping is a similar process to letterpress however, the foil is heat transferred from the plate on to the paper. Due to the high heat, the plates are made out of metal and therefore, slightly more expensive than letterpress plates.
Cranes Lettra is our standard paper for letterpress and foil stamping. The cotton texture has the ability to absorb the impact from the plates, leaving a beautiful impression on the cards. We offer this paper in both 110 lb. and 220 lb. options, depending on personal preference and budget.
Seeing is Believing
This information will fall into place once you have a sample in your hands. We offer complimentary sample kits so you can see and feel the different paper options in person before placing your order.
As always, I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments below!