Printing Methods

At A&P Designs, we offer three different printing methods you can choose from: letterpress, foil stamping, and digital.

LETTERPRESS PRINTING

Letterpress printing is the original form of printing. What began with hand-set wood and metal type used for books and newspapers has modernized into polymer plates which allows modern fonts and designs to be applicable for letterpress printing. Once the plates are made, the printing is done in our antique printing press, fed by hand one piece at a time and one color at a time. All of our inks are mixed by hand, and we mix everything by eye, often matching exactly to a specific Pantone color.

Letterpress printing looks great on thicker cardstocks and almost always utilizes 100% cotton paper stock (cotton gives the best impression and holds the ink nicely). Letterpress does have limitations with very dark cardstocks, however, due to the translucent nature of the inks.

Letterpress printing is an intricate art form and requires considerable time and energy to execute well. A single print job can require several hours on the press from start to clean-up.

The end result truly is something magical. To have hand-crafted, hand-printed wedding invitations is something you and your guests will cherish for the rest of your lives.

FOIL PRINTING

Foil stamping is somewhat similar to letterpress and engraving, in that the color is applied to paper with pressure. Once the design is finalized, metal dies are created. The dies are heated and then stamped with enough pressure to seal a thin layer of foil to the paper.

Unlike letterpress, foil stamping is opaque and does not use any translucent ink. As a result, the foil color does not change based on the color of paper on which it is printed. This makes metallic or lighter-colored foils an excellent choice for darker or colored papers. Foil can be used to create a variety of finishes (metallic foils have a shiny, lustrous finish with a big visual impact).

DIGITAL PRINTING

Unlike offset or letterpress printing where printing plates are involved, digitally printed invitations are printed directly from a digital file on a computer. Digital printers transfer four colors of ink (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) to the paper simultaneously, producing a full-color print after only one pass through the printer – meaning that each invitation takes less time. Unlike letterpress, which leaves a relief impression, digital printing produces a flat image without any texture.

Digital printing does have limits. Papers must be able to withstand heat and to go through a curved or straight path in the printer, which means that the variety of paper stock that can be used with this method is more limited than for letterpress and foil.