printing methods, paper types, embellishments, say what?
trust me, I totally get it. when I first entered the stationery industry, I was beyond overwhelmed with all the options there were for, well, everything. even after two and a half years of being in the business, I still don't even know everything there is to know about paper types, printing optimization, and all that fancy stuff. but I definitely do know enough to help you make the right decisions for your custom stationery, which is why I put together this little guide, this page was designed to break down all those snazzy terms you've seen me use throughout my website so that you can have a better understand of what the hell I'm talking about. If you still have questions after taking a look below, don't hesitate to ask. I'd be happy to help!
the printing method refers to how the design will be applied to the paper/surface. I offer 4 different types of printing methods for your custom stationery:
- digital flat -
this is the most standard printing method in wedding stationery. there is no special detailing, however, it is ideal for multi-colored designs and offers wonderful quality and long-lasting color. digital printing is often combined with other printing methods in one piece.
- foiling -
this printing method offers a beautiful, shiny finish that highlights the line work in lettering and designs. this process requires a custom plate imprinted with your design that is pressed against the foil, then transferred to the paper through heat and pressure. some of my crowd-favorite designs are foiled pieces! foiling is available in gold, copper, rose gold, and silver.
- white ink -
this printing method is just what it sounds like - printing in white ink - and is typically used when the paper/surface is a dark color. So what makes this worthy of its own mention? well if you tried printing white ink on any ole, regular printer, you'd be sadly disappointed. printing a rich, opaque white requires a special printer that knows just how to lay white ink onto paper.
- letterpress -
this printing method is the most luxurious printing method available at my studio. this process also requires a metal plate that is run through quite a large machine that feeds one sheet of paper at a time into the press, where the plate is set and creates a deep impression on the page with your design, leaving a crisp and sharp result. letterpress printing is ideal for imprinting 1-2 colors. example below is provided by shine wedding invitations. be my first letterpress invitation order and receive 20% off your order!
there are endless types of paper in the world, so it would be impossible to tell you about all of them, but here are the main ones used in my studio
- smooth card stock -
This paper is a classic go-to that will allow your design to be the center of attention. the smooth card stock options have an average weight of 110lb., which will give your invitations a luxury feel to them without sacrificing your budget.
- textured card stock -
not only does this card stock have a thick weight to it, but the subtle grooves found in the paper will be an undeniable detail that your guests will want to feel over and over again. textured card stock is best when used for a minimalist design and limited colors.
- vellum -
This flexible, translucent paper offers so many possibilities when it comes to adding detail to your custom stationery. this paper can be used for all the things - invitations, place cards, menus, wraps, and so much more! Vellum can be a one-man show or can be layered on top of a solid piece of paper to create an even bigger wow factor. vellum offers an unexpected detail, while still staying budget-friendly. definitely a favorite around the studio.
- handmade paper -
my absolute favorite. this delicate, natural paper has so many gorgeous details to it, your guests won't be able to pick their jaws up off the floor. each piece is completely unique, with imperfect edges, intertwined fibers, and a rich texture that makes this paper the most luxurious option my studio offers.
embellishments is a large category that refers to all the details that get added to the suite after the printing process has been completed. embellishments can be used for functionality or pure design aesthetics. embellishments can be a great way to add detail to your suite and there are options for every budget. I've noted each option with a '$' to indicate affordability. for detailed pricing, please inquire.
- underlay mat -
An additional piece of card stock that your invitation is mounted to. the mat will provide a thin border around the invitation. These are available in a metallic and matte finish.
- ribbon wrap -
a piece of ribbon that is wrapped around the entire suite to hold all the separate pieces together. ribbons are available in many different styles and pricing for these styles will vary. Ribbon is one of the most luxurious wraps my studio offers.
- belly band -
A piece of paper, about an inch and a half to two inches wide, that wraps around the invitation suite to hold all the pieces together.
- envelope liner -
A piece of paper that is applied to the inside of the envelope. This will typically have a design printed on it that compliments the suite inside.
- twine wrap -
A piece of thin twine wrapped around your invitation suite to hold all the pieces togehter. you can have the twine wrap alone or add a wax seal.
- wax seal -
A gorgeous, imperfect seal imprinted with a design that is applied using hot melted wax and metal stamp. my studio offers custom designed stamps using your very own wedding monogram or date and a wide range of wax colors.
- vellum wrap -
A piece of vellum that wraps around your whole suite, offering just a glimpse of the beauty waiting inside. vellum wraps can be plain or printed with a delicate design and held together in various ways.
- pocket envelope -
A type of envelope that your invitation piece is mounted to and the additional cards are stuffed inside a pocket that unfolds from the attached panel.
- laser cut envelope -
An envelope that has gorgeous, intricate designs laser cut on the flap. my studio offers 10 border cut designs, 9 motif cut designs, 3 monogram cut designs, and 6 edge cut designs. please inquire to see examples of each.
- vintage stamps -
stamps that were used decades ago will give your postal carrier a good dose of nostalgia. this service includes finding vintage stamps that will beautifully compliment your entire invitation suite, assembling your suite, stuffing your envelopes, and applying the postage for you.
- hand deckling -
this is a process that offers the luxurious look of imperfect edges without the high cost of handmade paper. Each piece starts with flat edges then gets torn down by hand, one side at a time.