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Common Printing Process in Wedding Invitation Production

Aug 17, 2007
One common question a couple may ask for printing wedding invitation is that why they still need to hire a professional wedding invitation printing company when it is so easy to make colorful printouts with the printers for household use.

There is no doubt that printers for home use nowadays are of quite high quality. However, some of the printing process or technique for making a wedding invitation cannot be done with a household printer. And this forms the reason for a couple to hire a professional wedding invitation printing company.

Four Color Printing
The most common printing technique for printing wedding invitation is four color printing. In fact this is not only for wedding invitation, it is the printing process for printing nearly all printing materials such as magazines and leaflets.

The four colors involved in this printing technique are CMYK - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Blank. Most color printing can be achieved with this technique. In fact some home use printers are also using inks or toner with these four colors. One may ask "if this is the case, why don't we just print the invitation ourselves?" This perception is right and wrong. It is right because color prints such as photos can be printed with household printers, with very high quality. On the contrary, it is wrong because for some kind of paper, it will be totally a mess if they are printed with household printers. In this case we have to go for a professional printing company. If special color such as fluorescent color is needed, a fifth or even sixth color will be needed to be added to normal CMYK colors. However, more colors imply a higher printing cost.

If the couple is going to provide there own design for wedding invitation printing, extra care should be taken to the resolution of the images. In most cases, an image or photos with resolution of 350 dpi will be good enough for printing.

Hot Stamping and Emboss
Another technique that is heavily used in wedding invitation production is hot stamping and emboss. Hot stamping and emboss are very similar technically because they can be done using the same machine. On most wedding invitations, there are golden or silver wordings and these gold and silver color are printed by using hot stamping. In fact it is a layer of gold or silver color film which "sticks" on the paper.

Patterns or monogram logos are sometimes embossed on the paper. Sometimes hot stamping and emboss are done together to make an embossed gold or silver colored pattern. In this case the emboss process is called registered emboss. The use of hot stamping and emboss can create a sense of nobleness on the wedding invitation.

A technique that is a little bit similar to emboss is engraving. Engraving is done using a metal die and opaque engraving ink. The main difference between engraving and emboss is that an effect of raised pattern on the paper can be done with engraving while the back of the paper will also be "raised" when emboss is used. You can see the raised pattern on one side of the paper only with engraving but you will see the pattern on both sides if emboss is used.

Die-cutting and Laser Cutting
Die-cutting is a technique that is also used very often in wedding invitation production. Indeed it is not a printing process but a post printing process. Beautiful "cutting-out" can be made on the wedding invitation. If this technique is used for a wedding invitation, the couple has to remind themselves that extremely fine lines and cuts cannot be done with die-cutting. If extremely fine lines and cuts are required, laser cutting will be the choice. Since the cost for laser cutting is a lot higher than die-cutting, the design of "cutting-out" should not contains extremely fine lines and cuts if budget is a concern.

Besides laser cutting, any technique related to laser is laser marking. With laser marking, patterns can be "marked" on the paper. The effect of laser marking varies from material to material. For some paper you can see the marks on the paper and for some out kind of paper, you can only use you hand to feel the marks.
About the Author
Jerry Leung is a wedding invitation designer based in Hong Kong. Leung has a great interest in Chinese Style Wedding Invitations. His works can be found from http://www.983wedding.com/, some other vendors of wedding services can be found from http://www.imarry.org/ and http://au.imarry.org/.
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