Updated: Mar 3, 2020
Elegant, textured, and timeless. Classy, colorful, and fun. Engraving, embossing, and debossing... The options are endless! But, deciding on a print style can feel a little overwhelming, especially since they can sound similar by name. So, what exactly is what? We’re delighted to simplify it for you.
The appearance is raised letters and high detailed texture on the front, while bruised and willowed on the back. But don’t get turned off by the term “bruised!” It’s actually a very beautiful aesthetic. Quite luxurious!
Text or an image (like your initials or wedding crest) is etched into a metal plate. That recession is then filled with ink and stamped onto paper with heavy pressure of about a few thousand pounds.
Engraved invitations are used for traditional appeal. That timeless touch is priceless and so worth the expense!
Embossing creates raised letters on the front, but also clean and reversed impression on the back. This style is dearly appreciated for its timelessness, and the aesthetic is strong and clean.
Embossing creates defined textured to the paper by pressing text and design into paper. It also requires an etched metal plate, but color is usually secondary to the process. Blind embossing (inkless) is usually preferred because of its sophistication; however, colored embossing is still attractive!
The look is deep texture of letters on the front, embossed appearance on the back. Although strong in effect, debossing can also be timeless yet it screams formidable personality! Quite resembling to the strength of love.
A sheet of paper is sandwiched between two metal plates, one with your design and the other to receive that design into. Since the first plate is pushing the design into the paper, the other plate needs to be able to hug and hold that impression.
Like embossing, blind debossing is preferred. Color is secondary but not at all impossible!
Letterpress – blind, inked or foiled
It creates light impression of text or image on the front, flat and smooth on the back. This style is more modern and trending but can appear traditional depending on your font of choice.
A metal plate with your etched design is kept stationery, ink is rolled onto it, and then is met with paper for stamping. The impression is not as heavy or textured as emboss or deboss, but still impressive nonetheless!
Depending on your preference, flat or light impressions are made on the front, and is smooth on the back. If you want the shine, shimmer, and extra glam, this is your pick! Foil stamping is versatile and can add flare and luxury, but also simplicity and elegance to your invitation.
This process is quite similar to engraving or letterpress in that a metal plate and pressure is applied to paper. Except, the plate has to be heated before the foil is applied and sealed to paper.
No impressions are made on the front or back, and it remains smooth all the way through. An invitation does not only or always need any of the above print styles to make a statement. Flat printing speaks to simplicity – a thing unmatched.
Invitations are digitally printed through a computer file. Details show up cleanly and crisp. The detail in the artwork is sometimes so accented that it sometimes can have a slight appearance to that of engraving!
Here's a fun video of Lisa explaining print styles. You'll even be able to see some examples in movement!
Hopefully you’re feeling a bit more studied on these print styles and can now understand the differences and worth in each one. And can you mix and match styles? Of course, you can! Our studio is filled with highly versed designers who can guide you even further based on your taste. Contact us if you would like to schedule a consult and check out our portfolio for more examples!