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With a life-long passion for paper printing, Allison Chapman opened Igloo Letterpress in Worthington, hoping to spread her love of ink-pressed invites, cards and other paper goodies. But with no in-house graphic designer, affordable access to letterpress wedding invitations wasn't always easy for customers. "We had quite a few people enthusiastic about letterpress who didn't have access to making the design," says Chapman, explaining images need need to be crafted on professional software to transfer properly. "We felt we weren't serving the customer well, and we didn't want to not have an option for people." With that thought in mind, Igloo Letterpress has launched its first wedding collection in partnership with designer Robin Oatts of Genre Creative. We talk to Chapman about the ideas behind the designs and the letterpress concept.
There are eight designs in the new wedding collection. How did you settle on these styles?
We've been doing a lot of custom printing for local families and have gotten to know the style and venues popular here in town. We've been reading a lot of wedding blogs and following wedding trends. And we really wanted to come up with template designs appropriate for different venues in Central Ohio.
We also though about what would show well with letterpress design. The Diamond design has such a strong typographic element. It just is killer. Black is perfect on the bright white paper. (On the back) you just can't' help nut run your fingers over it.
So you can print two-sided with letterpress?
Yes. Using thicker paper allows for double-sided printing. Most people are used to 80-pound paper, and this is 220-pound.
Do you have a particular favorite?
I love them all. But one of the ideas that we were really excited about is using the invite as a gift. We wanted to have a few invites that had a piece that people could keep. The Always Smile was designed that so people could frame the quote from Mother Teresa with a wedding photo for the couple. We hope that does become a keepsake.
I'm all about sequencing of invites, too. In Seal the Deal, the pink invite has slits in it so the RSVP paper slides into it. You pull the stripes to take it out.
Do couples have to use the wedding collection or can they design their own?
We still will do custom printing, because some people do have a graphic designer they can work with.
What exactly is letterpress?
Letterpress is a relief printing making process, inking the surface and pressing it onto the paper. Printing is done from polymer plates. The style is created on the printer and people approve through PDFs. Then we make the plates after everything is selected. You have a good sense of what the piece is going to look like before the press. Because we mix colors by hand, and add one at a time, we invite the couple to come at the beginning of the printing process and check the color.
How much will invites from the collection cost?
Price does depending on the number printed. Just an invitation, the starting price is $400 for 100 pieces. For the invited and RSVP card, it starts at $1,200 for 100 pieces. If people add on pieces or a thank you note or place cards, we can price out a multi-item discount for extra pieces. We like to print them all at same time so we can manage color and make it cost effective.
For couples looking into letterpress for invites, should they start the process earlier than normal? Will it take much more time to print?
Once we have the files approved (post design), we ask for a 10-day production window.
Will Igloo continue to add designs?
We are anticipating we'll add seasonal designs. We had to slow down because we had so many ideas.