Family Fun in the Print Shop: Printing our Wedding Invites

I've been remiss about posting, but I have a good reason! I've been working with my Dad to get our (California) wedding invitations printed and out the door.

I've mentioned that my dad is a letterpress printer, otherwise I would definitely not have had the budget to have invitations done letterpress - twice. I'm not only lucky to get them done for free, but usually my dad refuses to do wedding invitations because according to him people getting married are the 'worst clients in the world.' In spite of this, I've spent the last week sitting with him in his shop, going over my Illustrator files, creating color separations and finally working with him (or more accurately observing him) while he printed all 3 pieces of the invitation suite. While this was going on Armin documented it, taking pictures and video. I hope to make a little montage of the whole process but for now, I've just uploaded the pictures from the day in the print shop to the e.m.papers Flickr page.

I designed a 3-color invitation suite including an invite, RSVP card and map. The design used white ink on chip board, which I thought would be really easy. When my dad took a look at it he sighed and muttered something about 'designers always wanting something impossible...' I thought he was being melodramatic. What I didn't appreciate was how difficult it is to work with white ink, and white ink on dark chip board no less. We had to do a 'double bump' (run the white ink twice) to get it to read enough, and with letterpress getting everything to register (align) isn't as precise as with offset or digital printing. To make matters worse chipboard is heavy and more uneven in weight than normal paper, so it was tricky to get it to feed consistently on the printer.

It was a long 2 days in the shop. Although Armin and I were both surprised by how much we enjoyed it, I remarked to my dad "Wow. This is a lot of work" without missing a beat he responded "Yeah! that's what I wanted you to see!" At the end of it all, we have really beautiful invitations and a new found appreciation for what my Dad does (you think I would've paid more attention over the years.) The best thing about these invites though, is that they are permeated with the  love, laugh and happiness that Armin, my dad and I spent during over the couple of days in his shop getting these printed.

P.S. If you like the design I offer a similar DIY downloadable template here , here and here.

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