Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Making of the Wedding Invitations: Part I

I'm not a really an artsy-craftsy, person - I don't scrapbook, decoupage, or really do anything that involves a lot of cutting and pasting.  But, the one part of our wedding that I knew I wanted to do myself was design and print our invitations.  That being said, I still wanted them to look elegant, polished, and knew they had to be letterpressed.  There's just something about the soft, buttery thick paper and the crisp, sharp impression of letterpress that just made my heart go aflutter.  I had already taken a few letterpress workshops at the Irvine Fine Arts Center so I had an idea of what kind of commitment I was making.

My first step was designing the invitations (only after weeks of looking at hundreds of invitations for inspiration).  This part took me probably 3 months to come up with something that I loved.  I knew that I wanted to incorporate blind impression (letterpress with no ink) onto the invitation for a subtle added texture, and that I wanted to use both a script and non-script font (both were purchased at  I'm not a designer, but I was lucky and got my grubby little hands on a copy of AI from a friend who was awesome enough to install it onto my computer.  After another several weeks of clicking around on the screen, watching how-to youtube videos, but mostly help from my AI-savvy friends (thank you Megan and Mary!), I finally had the design done. 

Once finalized, I sent my design to Boxcar Press who specializes in making polymer plates for the letterpress machine.  They have incredible customer service, and very quick turnaround times.  They were such a pleasure to work with and I would use them again in a heartbeat!

Metal-backed Polymer Plate

I was also very picky about the type of paper used for the invitations. I wanted paper that was ultra plush and thick.  I ultimately picked the Savoy 620gsm (2-ply) weight paper in Natural White.  Although Crane lettra is probably considered to be a "superior" paper by some, I found the Savoy to be a much cleaner cut and I really loved the smooth matte finish.  I ordered all my paper and envelopes (I used Crane lettra envelopes in Pearl White) from Keldon Paper, who were so amazing to work with!  They are also conveniently located in Commerce so I was able to pick up all my paper/envelopes myself, rather than pay the astronomical shipping costs (the paper is very heavy!) 

Next step:  Pressing the invitations! 

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