Defining the Process: Print, Letterpress, Engraving

There are so many options available when it comes to invitations. From envelopes that fold and close a million different ways, to paper that comes in a variety of thicknesses and finishes, to the final printing process that can range from two to three dimensional, it’s enough to make your head swim.

Creative By Me is happy to help guide you through the sea of choices, but we’re also here to help with the research along the way. Today we’re discussing what differentiates print, letterpress and engraving.  (Samples shown were found around the web unless specified.)



®Creative By Me Invitations


This method is probably the most common technique used when creating invitations. Similar to your home printer, ink is distributed in pixels by a printer, then dried. The end result is a flat, smooth finish. This technique is popular because it allows for easy customization of design and color.

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Letterpress invitations tend to be a little more expensive due to the more involved nature of the process. The text is arranged on a press, inked with the color of your choice, and then stamped into the paper. The effect is an elegant invitation with indented wording. The letterpress method dates back many years, and still results in stunning invitations. However, be aware that your design, color and fonts will be restricted to the options available at your printer, and you will need heavier paper to handle the press.



Sort of the opposite of letterpress, with engraving your text is raised rather than indented. The effect is created by designing a one-of-a-kind metal plate that is then heated under the paper causing the design to raise. Also a bit more pricey, engraving allows more freedom with the design than letterpress, but also requires heavy duty paper to stand up to the process.


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