To kick off the wedding stationery guide, I’m going to give a brief overview of the four printing methods offered at Banter & Charm: Flat Printing, Screen Printing, Letterpress, and Foil Stamping.
With flat printing (also know as digital printing) ink is transferred to paper by a digital printing press, the ink lays down flat on the paper leaving a smooth finish. Flat printing produces high quality prints in a wide variety of colors, making it ideal for photo cards, designs with multiple colors, or with large areas of color. All designs are available in flat printing.
The multiple colors and shades seen in the reproduction of hand painted flowers below is a great example of a design that is best suited for flat printing.
Screen printing (also called silk screen) is an artisan printing method that involves pulling ink through a fine mesh silk screen onto paper. The screen contains a stencil of the design (created using a photo emulsion and light), and ink is pulled through using a squeegee or roller. It’s often used for textiles (think t-shirts or tote bags), but screen print wedding invitations are gorgeous, especially on colored paper!
Screen printing is best suited for designs with one or two colors without delicate lines or very small type. I think is looks best with metallic or white ink on colored paper, but it’s also lovely on a cotton stock. You could also screen print on things other than paper: think wood veneer, tote bags, or tea towels. I offer screen print wedding invitations, insert cards, save the dates, and programs.
With letterpress, ink is transferred from a raised surface (a printing plate) to paper using the pressure from an antique press, creating impressions in the paper. A custom letterpress plate is created for each ink color, then paper is hand fed through an antique press one at a time.
Letterpress is priced per ink color. Because a separate printing plate is made for blind letterpress*, it counts as a “color” for pricing purposes.
1, 2, or 3 color designs with minimal ink coverage work best for letterpress. Most designs are available in letterpress, or can be re-worked to be suitable for letterpress. Letterpress can be paired with foil stamping or flat printing.
*Blind letterpress—no ink, just impression—produces a subtle elegant look. The Harmony invitation design shown below features blind letterpress for the lace graphic on the bottom portion of the invite.
A heated die is used to press metallic foil to paper, leaving an impression similar to letterpress. Like letterpress, a custom die is made, and paper is fed through a press one piece at a time. However foil is shiny and opaque (as opposed to letterpress inks that are slightly transparent). This means foil can be printed on dark papers with no show through.
Four signature foil colors are available: gold, silver, rose gold, and copper foil. However other colors (like white, shiny black, or bright pink) are available for special order.
Foil works best with minimal designs without delicate lines or large areas of color, and can be paired with letterpress or flat printing.
Check back later for a more in depth look at these printing methods, and to find out about the other customization options available at Banter & Charm! You can find all the posts in this series here: The Wedding Stationery Guide