Letterpress is an enduringly stylish option for wedding stationary, and it’s a technique I was keen to employ when it came to my own invitations. I commissioned Beatrice Bless from London’s New North Press.
Beatrice invited me to New North Press' Hoxton studio where I was able to look through the extensive library of fonts, motifs and decorative borders. This proved vital in helping build up a picture of the kind of style I wanted.
In addition to the movable letterpress text plates - pictured below - Beatrice explained that it was also possible to have a bespoke plate made out of custom artwork. She must have spied the illustrations I was feverishly clutching.
It was interesting to see the printing process in action. New North Press always prints on an Albion press which means that each print is inked individually with a roller, wound into the press and pulled by hand. It takes time and skill, so don’t expect a fast turnaround: oil-based inks take at least 24 hours to dry, so jobs of multiple sides and/or colours aren't quick.
But the end result is worth it. The technique leaves a light impression on paper to create a slightly embossed feel, and this, combined with a good quality paper – go for a heavy 250 to 300gsm – works to create a luxurious effect.
I love the finished invitation, especially the monogram – personalising your Burberry or Smythson is now de rigueur, so why not your invitations, too?
For a further twist, I chose to combine the letterpressed card with a laser cut paper band from Paperchase, hand drawn RSVP cards, and retro cassette tapes from Moo.com, allowing my guests to submit song requests for the evening reception.
For a bespoke letterpress wedding invitation quote, visit new-north-press.co.uk. Alternatively, New North Press letterpress workshops start at £108 per person / £72 students and include a printed example of your work.
Pictures: Joss McKinley, Beatrice Bless, Patricia Campbell.