printing process
Learn more about our printing processes by clicking on the links below...

Thermography Printing
Flat Printing
Digital Printing

Production Workflow
Ink Colors
What is Pantone?

Thermography Printing

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The Thermography print process produces raised printing similar in appearance to Engraving and is a great alternative to the more expensive Engraving process.

The process for Thermography printing is very similar to Offset printing, except that while the ink is still wet, it is lightly dusted with a colorless resinous powder. The paper then passes through a radiant oven system to bake the powder and fuse it to the ink, which creates the raised effect. Because of the resin and heating process added to the ink, colors tend to be a little more intense or vibrant than Flat printed colors.

Please note that due to the process, the raised effect of Thermography printing cannot be achieved on both sides of one card. For example, our folded response cards, folded enclosure cards and folded wedding programs will feature raised printing on one side (the cover) and flat printing on the other side (the text on the inside of the card).

All of our wedding stationery (except items printed on dark papers) are printed using the Thermography process. However, to avoid having excess Thermography resin trapped in the folds of envelopes, we print all return addresses using the flat printing technique (explained below).

Flat Printing

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Flat printing, also called Offset printing or offset lithography, produces a finished product where the ink is completely flat on the paper with a matte finish.

The first step in the process is to create a printing plate. An image of the design to be printed is put on the printing plate using a photomechanical processes and the plates may be made of metal, plastic, or other materials, depending on the type of press being used. A different printing plate is created for every product which will be printed (one for the invitation, one for the response card, response envelope, etc). If multiple colors are to be printed on the same product, a different plate would be created for each color in each product. To keep our products affordable, we only offer one-color printing at this time.

Once the plates are made, the press run can begin. The printing plate is attached to a cylinder on the press, specialty Pantone ink is applied to the plate's image area, transferred (or "offset") to rubber blankets or rollers and then to paper.

All of our products printed on dark papers (such as Black and Chocolate) are printed using the flat printing technique.

Digital Printing

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Digital printing is a modern, affordable process which produces a finished product where the ink is completely flat on the paper.

With Digital printing, no plates need to be made - digital artwork is sent directly to the printing press, making the process more affordable than Offset or Thermography. Also, since a printing plate does not need to be created for each color printed, multiple colors can be included on one product without increasing the cost.

Rather than using specialty Pantone inks, colors on the Digital press are generated by four color toners (cyan, magenta, yellow and black, or CMYK). By using these four colors in various percentages, the digital press can create just about any color under the rainbow. These toner inks sit on the surface of the paper (rather than sinking into the fibers of the paper) which produces rich, vibrant colors.

Production Workflow

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After you place an order and we receive your proof approval, pre-press production begins. 'Camera-ready' artwork is created for each item to be printed and the plate-making process begins. It usually takes 48-72 hours to have the plates made. After the plates are made, your order is then added to the print queue. Depending on the number of orders in production at the time, it can take 2-5 business days for your order to reach the front of the queue. After printing, your order is checked for quality then packaged for shipping.

Ink Colors

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Since Pantone inks are mixed, Thermo ink colors can vary slightly...

Digital printing ink colors won't match Thermo... CMYK vs. custom ink

What is Pantone?

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The Pantone Matching System is a set of standard colors used by the printing industry, each of which is specified by a unique 'PMS' number.