Understanding Printing Techniques

Luxury wedding invitations Sydney foil and letterpressWhen you first come to choose your wedding stationery, you may not be aware of how many different printing techniques and processes there are, what their specific advantages and drawbacks are, or the price differences between them all. It’s so important to inform yourselves about printing techniques before making a decision! We’re all exposed to lots of images on social media, and you may get an idea of a style in a photo that you love, without knowing how it has been produced, and it may or may not be within your budget.

Fine Invitations has a pricing structure with 4 separate tiers, which is designed to provide a solution for everyone. More information on average prices here. Please contact us if you would like a specific quote.

Below are descriptions about the different printing techniques and processes.

Printed wave shape wedding invitations SydneyDIGITAL PRINTING
Digital printing is an excellent option for wedding invitations, as it allows for vibrant colours, intricate designs, and fast turnaround times at a relatively low cost. Digital printing uses a high-quality laser printer to transfer an image directly from a digital file onto the paper, without the need for printing plates. This printing style accommodates a wide range of colours, flexibility in design, and quick production times.

The digital printing process results in crisp, high-quality prints that can reproduce complex artwork, shapes, photographs and calligraphy. Digital printing is generally the least expensive printing method compared to alternatives like letterpress or foil stamping. It is a modern, versatile, fast and cost-effective option that allows couples to create beautiful, customised wedding invitations with a wide range of design possibilities. Available in all pricing tiers, including printing your own design.

Wedding invitations Sydney arch shape, coloured card, embossingWHITE INK DIGITAL PRINTING
White ink printing is a popular option for wedding invitations, as it allows you to print on dark coloured card and create a striking contrast. It’s great for printing on colours like black, navy, or burgundy to create a stunning, high-contrast look. The white ink produces crisp, clean lines and stands out beautifully against the dark background, making your text and design elements pop. This digital printing method is great for achieving a modern, elegant aesthetic for your wedding invitations and adds an extra level of sophistication.

However, white ink printing is more expensive than standard digital printing, as it can only be done on a specialist printer which uses white toner, and it requires a longer turnaround time – usually adding a few extra days to production schedules.

Overall, white ink printing is an excellent choice for creating unique, high-impact wedding invitations that make a lasting impression on your guests, and is not as expensive as letterpress or foil stamping. White ink digital printing is available as an option in our Premium and Luxury ranges.

Modern wedding invitations SydneyLETTERPRESS
Letterpress is a unique printing technique that creates a distinctive, high-quality look and feel for lovers of elegant wedding stationery. Letterpress involves making metal or polymer plates which are usually coated with ink, and then pressed directly into thick card (often cotton-based) to create a deep impression in the card. This results in a tactile, three-dimensional effect with crisp, clean lines. Letterpress works best with text and small graphics.

The letterpress process is labour-intensive and done entirely by hand, one piece at a time, using specialised old-fashioned printing presses. This attention to detail and craftsmanship is what gives letterpress invitations their luxurious, high-end aesthetic. Letterpress invitations are more expensive than digital printing due to the specialised equipment, skilled labour, and set-up costs. However, many couples are willing to pay extra for the beautiful, one-of-a-kind look and feel that letterpress provides for their wedding stationery. Letterpress is available in our Luxury range.

Luxury wedding invitations Sydney with embossed initialsEMBOSSING
Embossing is a printing technique used to create a raised, three-dimensional design or pattern on wedding stationery. The process involves using a metal die that is pressed into the card from the back, creating a raised impression without the use of ink or foil (often referred to as “blind embossing”. It creates a subtle and sophisticated effect that is much admired.

Embossing is a skilled process that requires precision to execute properly and achieve the desired high-quality result. It is therefore one of the most expensive processes, available only in our Luxury range.

Embossed wedding invitations with their raised 3D effect are memorable for guests. Wedding stationery with an embossed component is a perfect choice for formal, traditional weddings, as it elevates the overall look and feel of any invitation to be opulent, luxurious and stately.

Debossed letterpress wedding invitation SydneyDEBOSSING
Debossing is essentially the same process as embossing, but the deboss die is pressed downwards into the front of the card, meaning that the image or impression is depressed instead of raised (it will show through in reverse on the back of the card).

It looks especially good on cotton-based stocks which are fluffy and soft, and the image can be pressed deep down for maximum effect. Shown here: an embossed ampersand with the rest of the text in letterpress. Available only in the Luxury range.

Luxury foiled wedding invitation SydneyFOIL STAMPING
Foil stamping is a printing technique that uses heat and pressure to apply a layer of metallic foil onto wedding invitations, adding a luxurious, shimmery and elegant look.

It is a “dry” printing process that does not use any ink. Instead, metallic foil is stamped into the card using heat and pressure. The foil comes in a variety of colours, including gold, silver, rose gold, copper, white, black, and more. This allows the foil to complement different wedding colour schemes. Foil stamping creates a slight indentation or debossed effect in the card, giving it a quality, premium feel. Foil stamping works best on high-quality cardstocks that can withstand the heat and pressure of the process.

Compared to other printing techniques like letterpress, foil stamping is marginally more expensive, but adds an extremely elegant and luxurious look to wedding invitations. The foil finish is shiny, lustrous and eye-catching, making foil stamped invitations really stand out. Foil stamping is an excellent choice for wedding invitations where you want to convey a sense of sophistication, glamour and luxury through the use of metallic foil accents. Available in our Luxury range and may be combined with digital or other printing techniques.

Sydney wedding invitations foiledDIGITAL FOILING
Digital foiling is a printing technique that adds a shiny, metallic finish to wedding invitations without the need for physical foil stamping plates. Unlike traditional hot foil stamping, digital foiling uses a digital printing process to apply the metallic foil directly to the card. This makes it a more affordable and efficient option, especially for short print runs (our minimum is 20).

The digital foiling process involves printing an area of text or a graphic in black laser toner, and applying metallic foil onto this using heat (the machine is similar to a laminator). This creates a smooth, reflective finish. Digital foiling is a popular choice for wedding invitations as it allows couples to incorporate luxurious metallic accents without the higher cost and longer turnaround time of hot foil stamping.

However, there are several important things about this method of foiling that you should be aware of:
1) Digital foiling can ONLY be achieved on completely smooth cardstock (it doesn’t work on any other type of surface, not even a slight matte texture).
2) It’s ideal for small areas: names, simple line drawings or graphics but will not work for borders or for complex graphics with very fine lines, nor can we use it to foil the entire invitation.
3) The results with digital foiling are subject to imperfections – such as black specks or other small areas of black toner showing through the foil.
4) We carry gold and rose gold foil for this purpose, but if you want any other colour, it needs to be ordered in, and that will of course increase the cost.

Overall, digital foiling is a versatile and cost-effective way to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to wedding invitations. It’s a great option for couples looking to elevate their stationery without breaking the bank, as long as you understand its limitations. Available in Stock & Print (we’ll give you instructions for how to submit the files) and In-House Design & Print ranges. All other foiling is Premium or Luxury.

Quicklinks: Stock & Print | Design & Print | Premium Range | Luxury Range