Today I’m excited because not only do I have a gorgeous invitation to feature, we’re also treated to great details about the printing process! Eleanor at e.m. papers is a really wonderful designer, and this is one of her top selling designs based on an invitation that’s very personal to her.
I wanted our California wedding last August to have the feel of a ‘mid-summer nights garden party’ which is what inspired my design. I really like the fact that a design that was so personal to me has also become an e.m.papers bestseller!
My dad is a letterpress printer, otherwise I would definitely not have had the budget to have invitations done letterpress – twice (we also had a ceremony in Munich, Germany where we live the preceding November, and my Dad printed those up too). I was 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” (I don’t agree!). In spite of this, I spent a week sitting with my Dad 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, my (now) husband Armin documented it, taking pictures and video.
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 had 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 the invites was that they were permeated with the love, laugh and happiness that Armin, my dad and I spent during those couple of days in his shop getting them printed.
So great, thank you Eleanor! I couldn’t include the whole set of the process, so I highly encourage everyone to check it out on Flickr and see more pictures of the process and Eleanor’s notes. Also go see e.m. paper’s other great invitation designs on WeddingInviteLove as well on empapers.com.
Thanks again for letting me feature your invitation design, Eleanor!