This is a follow up to our post about affordable wedding invites. These invites were designed by the bride and groom Stephanie Mead and Doug Kohnen at Docent Creative. Doug did some beautiful illustrations that turned out stunning on press. We letterpress printed and trimmed the cards for them. They are dense black ink on Crane Lettra 110lb Pearl White, 100% cotton. They sent us some photos of how they assembled everything with a tag and ribbon. They even silk screened their own envelopes. So, how do you get a gorgeous wedding invitation for a reasonable price?
Continue reading ‘Affordable Letterpress Wedding Invitations – Part 2′
This well crafted card was designed at VO2 Media in Minneapolis for Murphy & Co. Design, designers of exceptional residences. But don’t let the simple look of this business card fool you. It’s design subtlety has layers of complexity in production. Here’s how:
The impression is not very deep and the paper is not overly thick. It is Neenah Classic Crest Avon Brilliant White 130C. The design on the front side has a subtle vignette effect around the edges which is printed offset (flat). If you look at the close up detail carefully you can see a soft line screen very light gray in color over the tone of the paper. The information on the card is printed in three letterpress colors – light gray, dark gray and a deep red. We matched the deep red letterpress ink to the offset printed ink on the back of the card.
The design on the back of the card requires offset printing plus an overall varnish to help seal the flood of ink. (When a flood of ink is printed on uncoated paper, darker colors and especially reds can have a tendency to rub of the surface of the paper. Sealing the sheet with a varnish or aqueous coating helps mitigate this ink transfer.)
Producing a card like this is not quick, which leads to a note about expense and quantity. This piece of paper required three passes through our letterpresses and two passes through an offset press, then a final trim of the press sheets. That is labor intensive with a separate set up, wash up and press run for each color. In an age of digital printing where you can pay by the number of copies, there is a misconception that a lower quantity will make a big difference in price for letterpress. In fact, a production quantity of 100 business cards or 1000 business cards really does not make a big difference in the cost of a job with these kind of production specs. Pricing for custom work all depends on how complex your production specifications are. We advise that the more complexity in your project, the more it will cost. A one color card letterpress card can be cost effective. But like anything well crafted, five times through the presses most certainly costs more.
The economy being in the tank doesn’t mean people stop getting married. Letterpress wedding invitation sets can be affordable with a little planning. One of the things that we do to make printing them affordable is run all of the pieces on the same press sheet. Our presses are big enough to run several different cards on the same press sheet, then trim them down to size. This represents a huge cost savings over printing individual cards, setting up the press for each form on each card. Good god – that takes some time! Having a big press has it’s advantages.
We do not have a library of wedding invitations to choose from like many letterpress shops. Our approach to weddings is strictly custom. All the wedding work we print is either supplied by other designers or created in our studio.
Michael Carpenter at Switch Creative created these for his own wedding. We admire the simplicity and the typographic restraint. Three cheers to couples who can design their own invites and live to tell the tale.
You can see how he got all four of these cards printed together by comparing the final cards to the press sheet. The Invite, Reply, Save the Date and Thank You all pressed together makes the cost much more attractive than pricing them all individually. So think about the various pieces you need we’ll get them together on a sheet for you. It’ll save you money and create marital bliss.