LETTERPRESS – Letterpress is a printing process that was developed in Europe in the 1400s to alleviate the time intensive number of handwritten manuscripts. It started with the use of hand-cast, metal type that was aligned, inked and then sent through the press to transfer the ink onto paper. Today metal type is still used, but the process has been developed to also include copper plates, which contain the grouped wording and/or graphics. Letterpress printing is a labor-intensive process that requires high quality, cotton paper, which allows the letters, or image, to create an impression pressed into the paper. Today letterpress has seen resurgence and is a print form that is admired and appreciated for its elegance, quality and unique results.
FOIL STAMPING – Foil stamping is a beautiful print option that instead of using ink, uses foil as the medium to create an image. Foil is a way of adding a true metallic shimmer to any image and also creating an opaque image on a wide variety of paper colors. Similar to the process of letterpress, a metal plate contains the image, however, in foil stamping the plate is heated allowing the foil to bond to the paper. Two defining features of foil stamping are the metallic effect that catches the light and shimmers in a way that cannot be achieved with metallic inks, and the opaque quality allowing for light colors to be printed on dark papers in a way printed inks would not be visible.
OFFSET– Also known as lithography, offset printing was developed in the late 1800s and the early 1900s. Historically it has been used in the printing of mass-produced images and documents such as newspapers, magazines, books, posters, etc. The result of offset printing is a detailed, smooth, flat image. The inks used in the process come in any color and are generally matte, although metallic inks are available. Today, offset is the most common choice for printing. It is also the most affordable option, while still providing clean, elegant results.
ENGRAVING – The practice of engraving can be traced back to the early 1500s and is known to be the most traditional of all print forms for wedding announcements. Engraving, like letterpress, was designed to be an alternative for the laborious work of writing out long documents by hand; and is characterized by raised letters on a page. Engraving can also be identified by the “bruising” or impression that is left of the back of the page when the paper is pressed into the etchings on a copper plate. To achieve the best results high quality, thick paper is hand fed through the press, resulting in a clean, sophisticated image that to this day continues to be an established standard of tradition.
THERMOGRAPHY – Thermography, or “raised printing” is an economical alternative to Engraving. Instead of the paper being raised to the ink, a fine powder resin is heated over a flat printed ink to create a raised appearance. When the resin dries it is shiny in appearance. Available in many colors, thermography is a favorable option to achieve a raised appearance at a cost savings to that of Engraving.
BLIND EMBOSSING – A blind emboss is a raised impression where no ink is applied. The process is similar to engraving in that the image is pressed into the paper from back. Traditionally a blind emboss was used for a family crest, monogram or the border of an engraved invitation. More recently, blind embossing has been utilized to incorporate subtle patterns and images. A blind emboss is a beautiful way to add subtlety and sophistication to any design.