The Postcard Response Card: What You Need to Know

The postcard response card is gaining in popularity. One less envelope can mean cost savings for the couple, while also saving some trees. There are, however, a couple of things to consider:

Avoid Mailing Mishaps

The U.S. Postal Service will not mail anything smaller than 3.5×5. Doing a postcard response at the minimum size can be advantageous however, as four cards can be laid out per page when printing (more per page typically means cheaper. In other words, the smaller the card the better). Just be sure your cards cut accurately. Even cards slightly under the minimum can be rejected – believe me, a postal clerk WILL measure. I often lay out postcard response cards 3.625×5.125 (adding an 1/8th of an inch to the dimensions) just so any cutting mishaps do not render my postcards unusable or returned.

Make Sure Postcards Will Actually Save You Money

Postcards can save you money, IF you’re not being charged for double-sided printing. Some printers, particularly online vendors, will not charge for printing on the back of a card. However, if your printer does charge for double-sided printing, compare the cost of the envelope to the cost of double-sided printing. Weigh this with the cheaper postage of a postcard vs. an envelope (assuming you’re fronting the stamp on the response), and see how you come out.

Cost-cutting solution: leave the back blank and use labels or a stamp for your return address. Or, leave one side blank and like a traditional postcard, use the left side for your message and the right for address information:

In general, the more formal the invitation, the less inclined I am to recommend a postcard. However, if you’re looking to cut corners, postcard responses can be a viable option.

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Metallic Mania: Foil Printing

For a reflective sheen, and some texture (think letterpress), you may wish to consider foil printing. Like offset printing, it can come with a heavy price tag for wedding invitations, but the effect can be phenomenal. To take gold to the next level, more brides are using this method for their invitations, and several online vendors are now offering this option.

Metallic Mania: Why Offset Printing Is So Expensive

Gold is everywhere right now and the demand for metallic invitations is hot. That little touch of sheen screams luxe. However, metallic printing can be pricey, particularly on a budget. In this series I’ll talk about some of the options for metallic printing, as well as provide some “cheats” to get the metallic effect without breaking the bank.

Printing in Metallic, the Old Fashioned Way: Offset Printing

Life would be a lot easier if we could go to our local Staples and buy a gold metallic cartridge for our HP home printer and be done. Unfortunately, home printers don’t offer metallic printing, and even digital printing, which is the most common option for printing invitations professionally, does not offer a metallic option. Offset printing is the only means by which we can print with metallic ink.

Cost

Offset printing is an expensive route and is generally reserved for larger “runs” (aka a lot of prints – think 5,000 company brochures). According to psprint.com, “offset printing works by transferring ink from a plate to a rubber sheet, which then rolls the ink onto paper, vinyl or other surface.” The cost for the plate, also known as the set-up fee, needs to be spread over 1,000s of prints in order to bring the cost per print down. Since the average number of invitations is 100-200, a person choosing this method to print invitations is going to pay a pretty penny.

Quality

Excellent. The “gold” standard in printing.

Availability

Offset printing is generally offered through both large print companies and some mom and pop print shops, as well as some online printers.

Considerations

If your invitation consists of nothing but text, it may not be worth the price to offset print just so your text is metallic. With the actual printing so small, it may be hard to distinguish whether the text is metallic or not. You may want to reserve this option for when your invitation has a larger expanse of color, if you use it at all.

The sheen of an offset printed metallic is duller and less intense than foil printing. If you’re looking for more of a reflective effect (think aluminum foil), you might be better off having your invitations foil printed.

For more information on offset printing:

https://www.psprint.com/resources/offset-or-digital-printing/

Stay tuned for my next post on foil printing.