Do Your Homework:
When jumping into the initial wedding planning and budgeting, I always ask for the bride and groom (and the bride’s mother too!) to do some basic wedding invitation research before deciding on Appalachia Press and Letterpress. Knowing all the beautiful possibilities and the prices associated with those options makes for a stress-free design consultation and memorable results.
Know Your Invitation Options:
LETTERPRESS – a vintage printing process that creates a slightly debossed, crisp and clean print. This is the grand-daddy of all printing and has roots that go back as far a the first printed bible in the mid 1400’s. With the commonality of computers, we forget the origins of type faces and fonts originally drawn by a scribe, cut and cast one letter at a time, and then set, ready to go to press.
At Appalachia Press, we honor the labor and elegance of past traditions and print each design with the greatest care and attention to detail in this unique process. Our designs are a union of art, historical traditions and modern design. Although we love to keep the tradition of hand setting metal foundry type alive, half our printing is done custom from digital files, translated into cast, metal dies, pressed into high quality papers. $$$
ENGRAVING – Old-school and classic, engraving is made with etched copper plates. This creates a raised type finish that is beautiful to the touch. Excellent for fine detail and typography but engraving can be the most expensive option. $$$$
THERMOGRAPHY – like engraving, but much less expensive and not as pretty, the image is coated with resin and pigment and heated to create a raised finish. Always ask to see samples of thermography. The quality is highly inconsistent but when used with that intent, can be fun and appropriate. $$
OFFSET LITHOGRAPHY – a surface printing process in which ink is transferred from roller to plate to paper, offset lithography is a very economical option. Most commercial wedding invitation pick-books use this method. You get many more color options and die-cut shapes but lose the custom, tailored-to-your-wedding design. And (gasp!) you may see the same invitation show up in your mailbox! $$
Hand-work is what makes Appalachia Press and Letterpress an exceptional choice. Hand-tinting, folding, ribbons and lined envelopes are lush extras that can make a one-of-a-kind invitation specific to your wedding.
Keep in mind that no invitation method is going to be “cheap.” Understand that the biggest cost involved is plate making, casting dies, and set-up. Whether you print one invitation set or one hundred, the set up costs are the same so, usually, the more you print the better the “per set” price will be.
Planning for your wedding is an exciting time. Knowing all the possibilities and doing a little homework can make the process engaging and fun for the whole wedding party. Remember to ask for assistance and lean on your bridesmaids for help and guidance. It will make the months preceding your wedding stress-free and memorable.