November 21, 2012

Guest Post: All About Stationery from Baci Designer

{Hi friends! I am currently out and about on the streets of NYC. I know..pinch me. Amanda from Baci Designer kindly agreed to guest post today. She is so sweet and probably one of the cutest pregnant women around. A big thank to Amanda for her generosity and lesson on invitations! And when you are finished here, go check out here portfolio and blog.}
Hi, Amanda from Baci Designer here! A very big thank you to the lovely Katie for having me!
Baci Designer is a wedding-focused custom stationery and event design company located in Northeast Ohio. Stationery is our first and true love so I'm here to give you a basic rundown of the different types of printing available - the same type of explanation I give to my clients during our initial meeting. If the terms thermopress and lettergraphy in the title of this post look odd to you - you're one step ahead of the game! It’s actually thermography and letterpress, but if you don’t understand what the difference is between these two printing methods, it isn't going to do you much good :) I'm here to help!

{One Color Digital Printing on Textured Stock | Custom-designed Program by Baci Designer, Image by Arielle Doneson Photography}

{One Color Digital Full Bleed Reverse Printing | Custom-designed Guest Book by Baci Designer, Image by Arielle Doneson Photography}

Flat Printing - Digital and Offset: The most basic and generally affordable type of printing is Flat Printing - either Digital or Offset. This type of printing can be done with dark ink on lighter, thinner papers (usually up to 100 lb.), but full bleed reverse printing is available to "fake" light writing on a dark stock. You can use multiple colors and two-sided & printing & is easily done.
Digital printing is done directly from a digital file on a computer - requiring no plates making it very time efficient and less expensive.  With Offset printing, ink is transferred from a plate to a rubber blanket then back to the printing surface - this in turn makes Offset printing a bit more expensive.  It does offer a better quality and color matching though.

{Blind (Without Ink) Letterpress Printing | Custom-designed Thank You Note by Baci Designer, Image by Arielle Doneson Photography}

Impression Printing - Letterpress: The adored, yet more expensive, printing method is Letterpress, which is a relief-type of printing done one sheet at a time. Letterpress offers a very high quality look and texture – it also allows you to use a wide variety of papers and custom ink colors (typically mixed by hand). This process is pricey because it involves a skilled artisan positioning polymer plates (a reversed, raised surface) that are inked and then pressed into a sheet of paper creating an impression. Each color is printed separately and large portions of full, solid colors are not recommended.

{Two Color Thermography with Blind Engraved Graphic | Custom-designed Invitation by Baci Designer, Image by Brandy J Photography}

Raised Printing - Thermography and Engraving: Thermography is a process that uses heat and produces raised lettering that has a slight sheen to it. This type of printing can be be printed on multiple colored papers (even shiny metallic stocks) and with almost any shade of ink (the only exception is a light ink on a dark stock - as it won't show up). It also works well with thicker paper.  Typically you are limited to two colors with thermography and it isn't recommended you print two-sided pieces because you risk ruining the first printed side since it is raised.

Engraving is sort of a combination of letterpress and thermography, metal plates engraved with your design are hand positioned and pressed into a sheet of paper creating a raised print and it is then passed through an oven to dry. The result is an incredibly elegant piece of stationery with a gorgeous raised texture. Engraving is great for fine lines and white ink (which is super difficult to print with - the only other true option is to "fake" it with the flat printing as shown before). Two-sided printing should also be avoided with engraving and color matching is available.


  1. Very informative! Thank you for the great information about the various printing options. Letterpress is still my favorite :)

    1. I love Letterpress too! I didn't know there was a whole different world to stationary :)

  2. YAY!!! So honored to be here today - thank you so much for having me, Katie :) Glad to hear the post was informative, Kate!!

    1. I told you. I learned a lesson or two! Thank you again! It was a treat having you :)


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