Well, that was a hell of a project. I may have (ever so slightly, maybe) blown the production budget of £150, but it was well worth it and I’m really proud of them, I managed to combine Letterpress printing from polymer plates, movable type and Ludlow slugs with laser cutting and digital prints. four types of paper and a fair few hours of cutting and creasing… I even made a website.

Let’s start with the theme… As with our save the dates that were printed a few months ago, I was going with OS maps and mountains. The wedding was in a pretty remote location that doesn’t show up on google maps or on GPS sites, so I wanted everyone to have a detailed map of the area included with the invitation pack. We wanted to emphasise that we were going to be in the Brecon Beacons, so I drew a little logo that would be present throughout ‘Join us in the mountains’. The idea was that this was adaptable to different bits of information with cute little infographics.

For the invite pack, I wanted a formal invitation piece, an addressed RSVP postcard and an information booklet that doubled as a map. Now the tricky bit… I wanted all of the different parts of the invite to be shown individually when bundled together, and still make sense, and look beautiful. This meant figuring out an interesting way of binding it together. More on that later…

So, on to the maps. I bought a custom OS Map from here and used this as the base for the handout. On top of this map I placed all the different places of interest such as hotels, wedding venues and pubs (of course). This then doubled as the information booklet about the weekend. 2 birds, one stone. These were digitally printed and hand folded with an accordion fold.

Next was the RSVP card. I wanted to personalise these and have them printed with a return address on so that guests could easily RSVP. To do this I decided to digitally print onto 300gsm Kraft paper in black. the contrast of this material with the black ink looked great and by using mail merge in InDesign it was really easy to set up all 80 of the cards with little fuss. The personalised name on these would also come in useful later on…

Then the one I had been looking forward to the most, the formal invite. I wanted to keep this nice and simple and make sure that it was letterpress printed. I had a batch of Crane’s Lettra 600gsm paper left over from a previous project, so it was a no-brainer to use this paper for the invite. It was important to keep with the same style as the other stuff and incorporate a map element somehow. I went around in circles for a few days and finally settled on using the contours of the mountain where we will get married as a blind deboss. I traced the outline of the mountain and had a polymer plate made for this. As I wanted to get a decent impression of this outline, I used the Farley proofing press so as to not break my old peerless with the pressure used. The paper is very soft so it wasn’t too stressful on the cylinder.

On top of this I created a simple typographic layout, which contrasted great with the deboss, and printed this on the Peerless press in black. It took a few goes to get it inking properly, but once I had levelled the rollers (again) it was giving a nice crisp print.

With that done, I got out my scalpel and started cutting. This took bloody hours and the cotton paper quickly dulled the blade several times.

With that completed, I had the three main parts of the invite finished.

Now to bind them all together. I had planned each piece so that the could sit on top of one another and reveal a little of the one directly behind it, whilst still (hopefully making sense). I have been fascinated with laser cuttings for a while and have worked with the Liquorice Press on some print jobs in the past. I knew that they had a new laser cutter and I was dying to try it out. I drew a silhouette of the Brecon Beacons and made modifications to the ‘Join us in the mountains’ logo so that the counters weren’t completely removed when cut away. I combined this to make a custom sleeve to hold all the different items. These were laser cut from Colorplan Forest paper, which is a stunning colour green and fitted perfectly with our colour scheme.

The sleeve was designed that the logo showed the map on the booklet through the counters when assembled, and combined to display part of the message that was written when all the elements were bundled together. Each item made sense individually but as a whole they worked in combination. I’m really pleased with how they came together as a group.

I couldn’t stop there though, no. They had to have envelopes. These were printed with the same contours as used on the formal invite, with our return address printed on the reverse. Kat found some very apt stamps. What better for a Welsh wedding than sheep…

Finally, those were done. Next I had to make a website. I used the excuse to try and figure out Parallax scrolling.


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