Flat A.K.A. digital
Flat aka digital printing takes a digitally based image and transfers it to paper creating a smooth image with no impressions or raised text. The largest difference between flat printing and letterpress or engraving is that no special plate is needed in the process. Because of this, an unrestricted number of colors can be used without affecting the price.
While flat printing can be used for wedding invitations, it is most traditionally used for day of paper goods including wedding programs or dinner menus.
Pros: unrestricted number of colors, fast turnaround time
Cons: no raised or impressed texture
Letterpress is currently a popular printing option for wedding invitations and paper goods. Its luxurious look and timeless feel can be both feminine and fun.
Letterpress is a printing technique in which a raised plate of the invitation design or artwork is inked and pressed onto thick paper. The pressure of the transfer leaves the thick and soft paperstock with a deep impression of the design. Each piece of paper is fed individually through an antique printing press for each color being printed. This is why letterpress printing is priced on a per color basis.
Pros: luxurious feel and look, heavily texturized and thick stock
Cons: not ideal for invites with over 3 different ink colors, longer turnaround time
Foil stamping is similar to letterpress but is used when a metallic design or text is desired. Creating the same deep impression as letterpress, colored, metallic foil is sandwiched between a copper plate with raised artwork or verbiage and paper. Pressure from the printing press is then used to transfer the foiled design to stock. Foil colors used are traditionally silver, gold, copper / rose gold, and even white.
Pros: luxurious feel and look, only way to effectively attain a true and opaque metallic effect
Cons: limited colors, longer turnaround time
Combining two or more of the printing methods mentioned above, we can achieve your dream invitation suite where one method alone doesn't cut it. Metallic lettering with a photo of your engagement is possible by combining both digital and foil printing methods, used in our example here.
Pros: almost anything is possible
Cons: longer turnaround time