Letterpress is the fine art of a historical printing process perfected over centuries. It is considered one of the finest forms of printing available. Today, letterpress wedding invitations begin as digital designs, which are sent to film as a negative and then exposed to a polymer plate (the modern-day "metal" plate). Individual sheets of paper are fed through the press. The plate applies pressure to the paper creating a heavily impressed image, which leaves the design and wording crisp and sharp in appearance. Letterpress is the highest possible printed quality available at Invitations by Dawn.
A Brief History
The process of letterpress printing actually started in the 1400s with the invention of printing by Johannes Gutenberg. Minor changes were made to the process throughout the next few centuries. In the 1750s, John Baskerville initiated some significant advancement in printing, paper and ink production but the process still remained relatively unchanged until the 19th century – that's pretty amazing when you think about it! In the 1950s, letterpress printing was set aside to make way for offset printing, which took over for the next 40 years. In the 1980s, new technology emerged in the form of photopolymer plates. Photopolymer plates allowed the transfer of a photo negative onto a printing plate. This new technique reintroduced letterpress printing to the world and paved the way for new and exciting stationery designs like we see today. It's interesting to note that the original form of letterpress printing did not include a heavy impression like we admire today. Originally, letterpress was meant to lightly "kiss" the paper. Today letterpress is known and sought after for its deep impressions.
The Cost of Letterpress
Letterpress printing takes time and is labor-intensive since a large part of the process is still manual. It also requires the creation of unique plates for each invitation order and even multiple plates per order if more than one ink color is requested. The overall time and attention to detail required for quality letterpress printing, plus the cost of premium papers, lands letterpress wedding invitations in a higher price range.
Papers and Inks
We demand only the best paper for our wedding invitations, which is why we turned to Crane & Co. for the 100% cotton paper available to print our extraordinary letterpress wedding invitations. The quality of this soft, luxurious paper is unsurpassed and a true testament to why Crane & Co. is a leader and pioneer in the paper industry. Created from 100% recovered cotton fibers, this paper is a strong and pliable canvas perfect for the fine art of letterpress printing.
We offer a standard, 130 lb premium paper for all letterpress invitations. We also offer two types of cotton paper: 110 lb Standard Cotton Paper and 220 lb Premium Cotton Paper. Our premium cotton paper is the ultimate in luxury. Close to double the thickness of our standard cotton paper, this premium version is simply astounding. Its ample nature enhances letterpress designs beautifully, allowing your wedding invitation to become everything letterpress stationery is meant to be.
We offer a large selection of letterpress ink colors. Since the letterpress printing process creates even more vibrant colors than other printing processes, we wanted to make sure you had all the colors your smitten heart desired. You can choose up to two ink colors for any letterpress wedding invitation. There is an additional fee for choosing two ink colors but we highly recommend choosing two colors – the result is absolutely gorgeous!
Samples are $1.99 each. We would love to offer samples for less, but specialty lines like letterpress wedding invitations and real wood wedding invitations are more expensive to produce. However, we think it's important to allow our customers the ability to order samples of all of our wedding invitations.
Letterpress is a special process, and choosing letterpress wedding invitations is an important decision. We totally understand any questions you may have, and we'd love to answer them for you. Just call, email or chat with us online.
Call our Invitation Consultants at 1-800-257-9567 or chat with us online during the following times: Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (EST) Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EST)
You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wondering what the difference is between 110 lb cotton paper and 220 lb cotton paper? Let us show you! The photo below is the next best thing to holding our letterpress papers in your hands. It shows just how substantial the 220 lb paper (on the right) is compared to the 110 lb paper. Amazing, right? We think so!