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Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

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The Printing Industry Exchange (PIE) staff are experienced individuals within the printing industry that are dedicated to helping and maintaining a high standard of ethics in this business. We are a privately owned company with principals in the business having a combined total of 103 years experience in the printing industry.

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Die Cuts, Embossing, and Paper Textures Make Your Invitations Stand Out (Part #2)

Here are a few more unique things you can do with paper and finishing techniques when you’re designing an invitation:

Paper Textures

  1. Foil stamp your design on a faux velvet-textured sheet.
  2. Foil stamp or silk-screen your artwork onto a pigskin-textured sheet around Superbowl time.
  3. Print or foil-stamp your artwork onto a patterned holographic sheet (link to stickers and labels). When you turn the invitation in the light, the holographic pattern will appear and disappear.
  4. Choose a pearlescent sheet for your job. The subtle metallic sheen will be an eye catcher.
  5. Use a translucent sheet for your outgoing envelope (OGE). As noted in the prior blog post, a translucent sheet can be classy and elegant for an invitation, but it can also be appropriate for an envelope for a different reason. It gives you a subtle glimpse of the envelope’s contents. A teaser, if you will.

Letterpress Options

  1. Start with a heavily-textured printing sheet that looks like it was made by hand. Some available sheets have deep wells and crevices and are thick like chip board, soft like paper, and rough like stone. Use a letterpress to print your artwork. The words and images will be recessed into the paper. Remember that unlike offset printing, letterpress is a strike-on process. It not only adds ink to the surface of the paper, but like a typewriter, the raised letters of the letterpress strike the paper and dig into its surface. Think Williamsburg and hand-operated printing presses.
  2. Include a deckled edge on your invitation, or add a colored insert glued within your envelope. A deckled edge is the feathered paper edge you may have seen on formal invitations. It is created by a stream of water when the paper is being made and actually resembles the feathers of a bird. Or a burgundy sheet (perhaps with a pattern) laminated to the interior of the envelope can be a nice addition when you want an especially formal presentation. (link to envelopes)

Marketing 101. “Wow” the people who receive your invitations.

21 Responses to “Die Cuts, Embossing, and Paper Textures Make Your Invitations Stand Out (Part #2)”

  1. Letterpress printing is sweet. I wish we had more customers who would request it.

    • admin says:

      For me, a major appeal of letterpress is that it is tactile. It offers the reader a physical experience of touching the paper and the type, particularly given the contrast between the smooth type and the rough surrounding paper.

      In the age of the Internet and immediate transmission of information, it is nice to slow down a bit, hold a letterpress job in your hands, and feel connected to the print shops of colonial America. It is an art form.

    • Agreed. Not everyone wants all their information digitally.

      Thanks for the post.

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