Stationery Guide Series | Week Two Printing Processes and What to Expect

We started our series last week getting familiar with the different paper types. I summarized a few options I love to work with in hopes that it would:

  1. provide you with more knowledge about the more common types of paper most stationery designers work with

  2. help you in your selection when searching for a stationery designer and invitations

  3. and prevent you from getting frustrated to the point you become overwhelmed while making a decision.

No worries if you missed week one, you can check it our here.


This week, we'll explore the most popular printing processes or types of printing methods. Just like paper, the printing method(s) you choose will greatly affect your budget and style. I'll give a brief overview of each, what other printing methods pair well and the typical turnaround time (after final proof approval) to print when ordering custom invitations and suites. Pricing for designs and paper weights vary, so it's a bit harder to give the precise investment for each. However, an estimate for each process is listed below so you'll have some relative idea of what to expect.



PROCESS TYPE | Digital

Produces a flat image without any texture yet yields a high quality, high resolution, full-color invitation. This printing process looks gorgeous on smooth and cotton paper.

INVESTMENT | $

PAIRS WELL WITH | Letterpress, Foil, Thermography + Die Cuts

TURNAROUND TIME | 2-3 days










PROCESS TYPE | Letterpress

Pieces begin as digital designs, which are then exposed to a plate. The plate is pressed to individual sheets of paper. A heavily impressed image on thick paper leaves the design and wording crisp and sharp leaving a beautifully debossed impression or texture.

INVESTMENT | $$$

PAIRS WELL WITH | Digital, Foil + Die Cuts

TURNAROUND TIME | 2-4 weeks





PROCESS TYPE | Foil

Similar to letterpress, this is the gem of all printing processes. The process includes a heated die stamped onto foil, which adheres to the surface of the paper and leaves the design of the die behind.

INVESTMENT | $$$$

PAIRS WELL WITH | Digital + Die Cuts

TURNAROUND TIME | 3-8 weeks










PROCESS TYPE | Thermography

When a piece of stationery is printed, resin is sprinkled on the wet ink and exposed to heat. The resin and ink fuse together, raising the lettering in an effect that is similar to engraving.

INVESTMENT | $$

PAIRS WELL WITH | Digital + Foil

TURNAROUND TIME | 2-3 weeks







PROCESS TYPE | Acrylics

Available in many different weights or mils and may be printed or laser engraved. Also offered in varying colors. Acrylics are a newer, trending item.

INVESTMENT | $-$$$

PAIRS WELL WITH | Digital + Foil

TURNAROUND TIME | 2-3 weeks







PROCESS TYPE | Die Cuts

a steel blade is used to punch out unique shapes, cuts and frames. Die cutting often accentuates certain design elements and adds a certain wow factor. Shapes and sizes for die cuts are unlimited.

INVESTMENT | $-$$$

PAIRS WELL WITH | Digital, Letterpress + Foil

TURNAROUND TIME | 2-3 weeks




After reading today's post, let me know which printing process you love most and are considering for your invitations. If you have questions about any of the ones mentioned, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'll be happy to assist.


Creatively crafting stationery you and your guests will love, cherish and remember for years to come.


I look forward to seeing you back here next Saturday for the next post in this series. Want to know when the other posts in this series are live? Sign up to receive them directly in your inbox when they're available.