Printing Methods For Wedding Invitations || The Bride's Guide to Wedding Stationery

 
Flat printed wedding invitations or letterpress wedding invitations? Find the right printing method for your style and budget using this insightful list and video series by Blushed Design: Fine art wedding invitations.  #weddinginvitations #weddinginspiration #fineartweddings #fineartweddinginspriation #printingmethods #bridesguide

Recently we chatted about different paper types and I listed the printing methods that I recommended for each one.  I did not go into any detail regarding each printing technique, hopefully I can help shed some light on that now through this brief video, or through the short list I have listed below it:

A simple guide to printing methods for wedding invitations.  Which method is the most cost effective? Which printing method can I pair with watercolor? Which printing method is best for handmade paper?  All answered in this handy little blog post by Katrina | Blushed Design, wedding invitations and fine art portraits

Flat Printing

Flat printing is the "standard" form of printing for Blushed, which I hesitate to say because I'm afraid that this makes it sound super boring and cheap, but it's not dull at all!  It's the most cost effective, yes, but it is also the best way to showcase a wide variety of artwork.  Everything from pencil or ink line drawings to watercolor florals or washes are done using the flat printing method—in fact, it is the only way to print watercolor (shown above).

The only paper type that does not work well with flat printing methods is handmade cotton rag paper... unfortunately.  If you really want to cry or you secretly hate your stationer, ask them to flat print on cotton rag.
Or, take my advice and just say "no" to this headache and pursue one of the other options!

 

Printing Methods for wedding stationery - Letter press wedding invitations

Letterpress

Letterpress is the current queen of the stationery trends.  If you have browsing invitations on Pinterest, you have probably pinned a few letterpress designs.

Letterpress is a method of relief printing that uses a printing press.  The designer uses a plate to create an impression on the paper in the desired color, using ink, foil or a blind press.  Simply put: The designs or letters of an invitation is literally "pressed" into the paper.  This creates a pillow-y effect around the design itself.  As you might imagine, this method creates a beautiful, tactile experience that the viewer can both see and feel.  My personal favorite is a single color press used for the text and a blind letterpress (meaning no ink, so it's just the delicate impression that you see) for the design itself—so delicate and ethereal!

Each color is applied with a different plate—each of which has a starting price tag between $300-500—which causes the price to rise quickly with each color that you use.  If you're dying to use letterpress, but what to showcase a lot of artwork, you can also pair letterpress with flat printing for a beautiful effect.

 

Wedding Invitation Printing Methods - Silver foil wedding invitation calligraphy design by Blushed Design: Fine Art Wedding Invitations and Portraits. #weddinginvitations #fineartweddings #fineartweddinginspiration #weddinginspiration #silverfoilinvitations

Metallic Foil Printing

Foil printing! A huge trend in the past few years and I don't see it going anywhere for a while.  I actually really like foil printing and wish more of my brides would take advantage of this beautiful effect.  But, it is quite a bit more than flat printing, so if you don't love the look, don't do it!

There are two types of foil printing:  Foil stamping and Toner transfer foil

Foil stamping is similar to letterpress, which means that you also have to pay for a plate—a large, hard surface with a raised design on it that is pressed against the paper.  As we discussed above, the plate itself and the labor intensive nature of using the press will greatly increase your costs from the start.

Toner transfer foil is a method that you may have seen this method on Pinterest or in the craft section of a department store.  Simply put, a laser printer is used to create a single color design in black.  Then, the special foil is placed on top of the design and placed through a machine (similar to a laminator) that heats up the ink and foil, causing the who to adhere to each other.  The rest of the foil is simply swept away.
This method is not as expensive, but it is labor intensive as each piece is done by hand and very few print shops offer this specific method.

 

I hope this little post has been helpful for you!  Feel free to leave any questions that you have below and I will do my best to answer them for you!

 

 
Custom, fine art wedding invitations are just an inquiry away!  Work hand in hand with wedding stationer, Katrina Crouch, to create your beautiful, one of a kind, fine art wedding invitations. #blusheddesign #weddinginvitations #fineartweddinginvitations #fineartwedding #customweddinginvitations
 

Love what you see?
If you are interested in starting your custom wedding stationery design process, I would love to hear more about your story and the dreams you have for your big day! I can hardly wait to meet you and get started on your one of a kind heirloom!

Images in this post are by Katrina Crouch and Shanell Photography

 

August 2018 Desktop Calendar - Free Download

 

I know that it's not a very popular opinion, but August has always been one of my favorite months.  Maybe it's just because it's my birthday month? Or maybe it's because small elements of a regular schedule start to creep back into our life, while still remaining that sacred season of "summer".

Either way, I do enjoy it, and I intend to celebrate with a little bit of festivity on my desktop—who said work had to be boring?

To sign up for this FREE design (and a new one each month), fill out this form and I will send it directly to your inbox!

If you love this design, I also added it to some of the products on my Society6 account!  Below are a few examples of my favorite products with this design:

 

 

Watercolor Flowers | 5 Step-By-Step Tips For Success

 
Watercolor flowers tutorial. Step by step tips and tricks for those who are just getting started! Blog post AND video tutorial for watercolor beginners.  Blushed Design | Fine Art Wedding Invitations and Portraits

Have you ever wondered how to get started with watercolor?
Or... how do I get my watercolor florals to look effortless and organic?
Then I've got a treat for you!  After many requests, I have finally pulled together my top 5 tips for creating watercolor flowers!

For the sake of ease, I have put together a little video for you as well as a written list down below the video for those of you who still prefer to read (or just can't stand the sound of my "stage voice"—I don't blame you! hah)
Enjoy!

 

TIP #1: WORK FROM LIFE

Don't copy another artist's work, or the watercolor floral mug that you just adore.  Use pictures of real flowers.  Or better yet? Put actual flowers right in front of you!
This will help you to avoid the cookie cutter effect that often happens with beginner's watercolor flowers.  You fall into a formula and before you know it, every one of your beautiful botanical looks exactly.the.same.
Hmm, not what we're going for!
To mend this, look at real flowers (or dogs, or people or whatever you are illustrating) and follow the natural variations that happen.  I like to use Pinterest to find these images.  Again, I'm not searching "watercolor florals", but I'm looking for photographs of actual flowers so that I can illustrate them.  If you don't already have a Pinterest board for this, you can re-pin some of the images on my Botanical board.

Do you already have an amazing reference board?? Leave a link to it in the comments, I would love to explore it!

TIP #2: WARM UP

This is critical.  Whenever I fail to warm up, I end up really messing up my final piece... and then I have to start over.
It doesn't have to be long or intense, just get your fingers moving again, feel how the paint moves and create something FUN!  This is where most of my calendar artwork comes from each month, so if you like those, there's proof that not every warm up is a total loss ;)

Ps. Have you signed up for my monthly desktop calendars yet? They're free and come to your inbox each month, my treat!

 

TIP #3: DON'T FEAR NEGATIVE SPACE

Negative space to modern watercolor is similar to gesture drawings to figure.  They don't follow the outline of the objects exactly, but show up just enough to help the viewer to define the shape.
If you feel like your flowers just look like large colored blobs, try leaving some white space (negative space) between each of your petals, and the folds of your petals.  It's okay if you accidentally merge two together! If fact, it's a good thing if there is some variety in this aspect.  Give it a try and let me know what you think of the exercise!

TIP #4: ADD DEPTH

There are lots of ways to add depth to your paintings, but my favorite ways are through size and value.
For size, try to mix up the different florals that you are including.  Do you have a large peony in there?  Then add in some medium sized leaves and petite flowers in a different color to help balance out the composition.
My other favorite trick to add depth is value.  Value refers to how light or dark an object is.  The goal is to get a variety of values within a single piece—shoot for 3-5 values.
Let's go back to our previous example: Let's say your large peony is a deep wine color.  Then your smaller flowers and leaves need to be a lighter color.  Let's say your smaller flowers are a rich mustard yellow color (which is on the lighter side of "medium"), then your leaves should be lighter or darker than that.

Pro tip: I love to go back in after my painting have dried to add in a few extra leaves to the "background".  I make these extra light so that they are hardly noticeable.  This takes my paintings from "good" to "great".

TIP #5: DON'T OVERWORK

I struggle with this!  It's easy to keep adding to your artwork and trying to make it better or "fix" things that you don't like, but with watercolor it's better to come back and add more later than to go to far and have to start over!
Try to relax—if you notice yourself going over the same element over and over again, or feeling anxious, then stop.  Walk away from your painting for a few minutes or even overnight.  Trust me, you'll like it better after a break, and you'll be able to see with fresh eyes how you need to continue.

__

My favorite watercolor supplies:

Pinterest Board: https://www.pinterest.com/blusheddesigns/botanicals/
Strathmore 300 Series Watercolor Paper: https://amzn.to/2JZ7jmN
Winsor and Newton Starter Kit: https://amzn.to/2OlEKmD
Paint Brushes: https://amzn.to/2AdmzNb

 

Read these next:
Favorite art supplies for drawing and painting
Watercolor Home Decor

 
 
 

Historic Trinity Church Wedding in Detroit | Kathryn and Christopher

 
Anemone Wedding Invitations : Historic Trinity Church, Detroit Michigan Wedding Invitations. Anemone wedding invitations. Blue watercolor design by Blushed Design, Wedding Invitations and Fine Art Portraits  #blueweddinginvitations #watercolorweddinginvitations #bespokeweddinginvitations #michiganwedding #midwestwedding #anemoneweddinginvitations

Photos in this post by Shanell Photography LLC and Jean Smith Photography

History in the Making

Many of the brides that I work with are complete strangers before we connect to create their dream wedding stationery, but Kate and I have actually worked together in the past!  In 2016, Kate and I worked on a styled shoot together at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial (you can read about that invitation suite here).  Her company, Firefly Premier Events, provided the rentals, while I provided the stationery (shocker, I know).  We ended up having a lot of down time while the photographers were busy with the models and we connected over being hungry, and our jobs in the wedding industry.

Fast forward 2 years, and it's time to create for her own wedding!  Kate (unknowingly) had also subscribed to my newsletter and has used my desktop calendars for months.  We discovered a shared love for romantic, organic watercolor florals and reconnected over that.  It was a match made in heaven!

Watercolor Anemone Wedding Invitations for a Detroit Michigan Wedding.  High end wedding in Detroit Michigan by Blushed Design, Wedding Invitations and Fine Art Portraits  #blueweddinginvitations #watercolorweddinginvitations #bespokeweddinginvitations #michiganwedding #midwestwedding #anemoneweddinginvitations

Aesthetic and Florals

As you might expect, partnering with someone who knew and loved my style was a dream come true and gave me the freedom to create something beautiful and unique for Kate and Chris.

Their wedding was high end and sophisticated, but still had plenty of whimsy and romance.  Their color palette included navy, slate, french blue, olive green and a light grey.  Watercolor florals were the perfect choice to provide the beautiful variety of hues that they were looking for as well as the movement that would translate the whimsy that their event had.

Silver foil wedding invitations for a historic trinity church wedding in detroit michigan.  Blushed Design, Wedding Invitations and Fine Art Portraits  #blueweddinginvitations #watercolorweddinginvitations #bespokeweddinginvitations #michiganwedding #midwestwedding #anemoneweddinginvitations #silverfoilweddinginvitations

We decided on silver foil on double thick, 240lb paper (more about paper types here), that gave the invitation suite a luxuriousness that the guests could see and feel.

One of my favorite elements of the design were the illustrations on the reply card—another idea from Kate!  They are so cute and add just a little bit of fun without compromising the overall aesthetic.
The suite was finished by stacking the individual elements together, wrapping the entire suite in embroidery thread twice to bind it, and then slipping the entire group into a beautifully lined inner envelope.

Kate and Chris,
I hope your marriage is even more beautiful than your wedding day.
That you grow closer to each other in the days to come, continue to develop friendships with people who will build your family up and keep smiling!
Love and prayers, Katrina

Detroit Wedding with beautiful shades of french blue and slate.  Photo by Jean Smith Photography.  Blushed Design: Wedding Invitations and Fine Art Portraits
 

Love what you see?
Let's get started on your custom wedding invitations today!  I would be honored to hear more about your story and the dreams you have for your big day!  I can hardly wait

Venue Illustraiton: Greencrest Manor, Battle Creek Michigan

 
Greencrest Manor, bed and breakfast and wedding venue in Battlecreek Michigan.  Venue Illustration by Katrina Crouch of Blushed Design: Wedding Invitaitons and Fine Art Portraits.

I have been dreaming of a wedding at the Greencrest Manor for about a year now.  Located in Battle Creek, Michigan, this darling bed and breakfast has the historic charm that I love combined with vast grounds and beautiful gardens.  Being in the wedding industry, I instantly thought of what a great wedding venue it would make.

You can imagine that when Agata of Ines and Marie Events contacted me about creating a watercolor illustration of the venue for their styled shoot, I jumped at the opportunity!  I partnered with Justina to blend this illustration with her invitations as the envelope liner, and it looked perfect!  I cannot wait to see more of the pictures from the shoot—the sneak peeks were absolutely gorgeous.

I saved some of the videos that I shared on my IG stories during the painting process to share with you.  Enjoy!