Letterpress is a historic printing method that has become the go-to printing method for wedding and party invitations, greeting cards, stationery, business cards and more. The majority of our letterpress vendors print on antique machines, meaning no two pieces are entirely identical. Subtle variations in inking, color, impression and position are to be expected when printing on these machines, but these small variations are what makes letterpress so beautiful. In addition to a wide variety of ink colors, you can also print using Blind Embossing (printing with no ink) or Foil Stamp (think metallic paper that uses heat and pressure to press it into the paper.)
Engraving, a printing process that is still does the exact same way as it was hundreds of years ago. To engrave, a metal plate is etched with artwork or text, the plate is positioned on an engraving press, then they spread the ink over the plate, wipe it off and what is left is the etching filled with ink. Paper is then fed into the machine, a whole lot of pressure is applied and the result is a highly detailed impression left on the paper. There’s a whole lot of other technical jargon that we won’t bore you with, let’s just say the results are absolutely beautiful!
Thermography, similar to engraving leaves ink raised on the paper. Instead of being the ink being transferred to the paper via a metal plate, it’s flat printed and while the ink is wet a fine powder is applied, then heat and the end result is the ink rising up to leave a shiny raised feel on the paper.
Flat printing is a method just like the printer you may have at home, but on a larger scale! The digital printers used by bigger companies can print huge sheets of paper, not just your typical 8.5x11. A variety of colors can be printed all at once, and unlike letterpress or engraving, it is flat on the surface of the paper. Not pressed in like letterpress or raised like engraving.