6 Printing and Lettering Techniques


When I first started, I literally knew nothing about wedding invitations. I mean I knew a little from the few I had received with my family with friends of my family had gotten married or other family members got married. But I never understood what all the terms meant. We just did the Washington Wedding Experience Expo on January 12 at the Washington Convention Center in D.C. and we met lots of amazing brides. I noticed one thing that several brides told me. They did not seem to know much about invitations. So, I thought I would share a couple of blog posts with some helpful hints about some invitation tidbits.

Below, are 6 techniques on printing and lettering of invitations, menus, programs, etc. If you have any questions feel free to email our Tres Belle staff and our Invitation Design team are fantastic at what they do and can answer any and all questions that you have.

  1. The first technique is called Offset. This is where the text is set flat against the paper. It looks somewhat like it does if you printed it at home but at a much higher quality. It is usually the more affordable option, but as with anything the more colors you use the more the price goes up.
  2. The second technique was one that I had never heard of before entering the wedding industry, Thermography. This technique mimics engraving but at a much lower cost so it is a very popular option as well. It combines heat treated powders and ink to create a sort of 3-D look to the lettering. The give away that shows that it is not engraving is on the back of the paper you will notice you cannot see the indentations the way you can with engraving.
  3. The third technique is a popular one, Engraving. The printer would use an etched metal plate, and the ink is slightly raised. As stated earlier, it also leaves a distinguishable indentation on the back on the paper. This look though comes with a high price tag.
  4. The fourth techniques is called Embossing. Instead of the ink being raised the paper itself is being raised. This adds a bit of drama to the overall design of the invitation. It is used for things like borders or large initials, but you would not want to use it for your whole invitation, as it is hard to read.
  5. Letterpress is the fifth technique and one I also did not know about until I started in the wedding industry. The text is indented into the front of the paper using a hand operated press, which is the opposite of what engraving does from the back. It is on the pricey side of the techniques, because it is done by hand so it gives the old-fashioned craftsman feel to each invitation.
  6. The final technique is more for the envelope rather than a printing technique, Calligraphy. If you have a casual event, choose a font with few flourishes. Then use Calligraphy on the envelopes, you can either do it yourself, if you want to or you can hire someone else to do it for you. The straightforward font gives it a casual feel but the calligraphy gives it a bit more of a formal feel to make it feel a bit more like a wedding.

I hope that these few techniques have helped you to understand a little bit more about the invitation world. Though there is more out there. These are just a few of the ways to do you invitations. Our invitation designers are up to date on all the latest techniques and color trends, and would love to sit down with you to help you master the world of invitations.


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