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Which Printing Method is Your Best Fit

July 21, 2022

Before you get your heart set on those gorgeous invitations from that bridal magazine or on Pinterest, consider which printing style is the best fit for your event or project.

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Best Fit Printing Method

Before you get your heart set on those gorgeous invitations from that bridal magazine or on Pinterest, consider which printing method is the best fit for your event or project.

  • How many invitations/pieces do you need?
  • When do you need them in hand?
  • What is your mail-by date?
  • Which print styles are available?
  • What is your budget?

With your answers in mind, let’s see which printing method will work with your budget and timeline.

Printing Methods for Your Wedding Invitation

Digital Press

Method No.1 – Digital Press

Digital printers spray the ink onto the paper rather than imprint it. As a result, digital images tend to have a flat, one-dimensional appearance, but the rich colors more than makeup for the difference.

This printing method is best for reproducing color and black-and-white photographs on your cards, announcements, and invitations. No other printing method can match the crisp look and true color match that digital printing provides.

This style also has the fastest turnaround and is the most affordable.

  • Paper Weights: 80lb, 100lb cover
  • Textures: smooth or lightly textured (like linen or felt)
  • Turnaround Time: 7 to 10 work days from final proof approval
  • Printing costs start at $300

Method No.2 – Offset Printing

Offset is similar to digital, but the quality is higher and slightly more expensive. Offset printing uses a rubber stamp-like cylinder to press the ink onto the paper.

This printing method is used more for save-the-dates, as it’s less formal. Unlike digital printing, requires a custom plate and the ink is premixed beforehand.

This method adds a few extra days to the process and requires a minimum of 100 prints per plate. The designs and lettering are more vibrant than digital, plus you have free rein with your color and paper choices.

  • Paper Weights: 80lb, 100lb cover
  • Turnaround Time: 10-14 days from final proof approval
  • Printing costs range from $700 – 1200

Method No.3 – Thermography

Thermography involves adding a resinous powder to the printing ink, which becomes slightly raised when heat is applied.

This printing method requires a die for each piece/color and a minimum of 100 prints per die. This style is the best fit for a single-color design with mostly lettering and clean line graphics.

  • Paper Weights: 80lb, 100lb, 110lb, 140lb cover
  • Turnaround Time: 6+ weeks from final proof approval
  • Printing cost ranges from $500 – 700
Screen Printing

Method No.4 – Screen Printing

Screen printing involves creating a stencil of an image on a screen of porous mesh traditionally made of silk. Then a squeegee is used to pull paint-like ink over the stencil, forcing it through the mesh onto the paper. Most commonly used for printing t-shirts.

Unlike the inks used in other printing styles, screen printing ink sits right on the surface, resulting in rich, vibrant colors.

You can screen print almost any flat surface; paper, chipboard, fabrics, wood, leather, and metal…

This printing method requires a screen for each piece/color and a minimum of 100 prints per screen. Best for 1-4 color designs with lettering and graphics.

  • Paper Weights: 80lb, 100lb, 110lb, 140lb cover
  • Turnaround Time: 4+ weeks from final proof approval
  • Printing cost ranges from $400 – 1200
Letterpress

Method No.5 – Letterpress

Letterpress involves setting type and motifs in reverse on a letterpress plate. The plate is inked and then pressed onto the surface of the paper. This pressing process transfers the ink and leaves a deep impression creating a three-dimensional print that has a feel unlike any other type of printing.

This printing method requires a plate for each color and a minimum of 100 prints per plate. This method is best for 1-2 color designs with mostly lettering and clean graphics. Letterpress requires high quality and generally heavier-weight paper that will not tear or thin when pressed. 

100% cotton CRANE’S LETTRA® Papers feel like fabric and look like hand-made paper. 

  • Paper Weights: 110lb cover (21.5 pt) Crane’s Lettra – 220lb cover (40.3 pt) Crane’s Lettra
  • Turnaround Time: 8+ weeks from final proof approval
  • Printing cost ranges from $500 – 1500

Method No.6 – Foil Stamping

Foil Stamping is similar to letterpress or engraving in that the color is applied using pressure. The dies are heated and then stamped to seal a thin layer of foil to the paper. This method is great for a secondary print element like a border or monogram.

  • Paper Weights: 80lb, 100lb, 110lb, 140lb cover
  • Turnaround Time: 4-6 weeks from final proof approval
  • Starting at $100 – 250

Which printing method best fits you? Comment below.

Now that you’ve found your printing style, the next step is paper. Check out my post all about Paper Types.

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