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Engraving vs. Thermography?

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tropiqalkiwi

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I am at the point of ordering invitations and need a bit of advice.

I have imagined engraved invites announcing our wedding since I started planning. I love the look and feel of engraved, but when I brought it up with my FI, the only difference he can see between engraved and thermographed is the price. I am a trained designer so obviously I care way more about printing and papers and such, and please feel free to tell me I am being an invite snob, but engraved feels more traditional and artistic to me. Thermography is much shinier and feels like simply a process created to mimic engraving for cheaper.

Then again, if he can''t tell will anyone else notice the difference? Is it worth it to spend an extra $100 for engraved if I''m the only one who will care?

Is there anything that you cut back on from your initial imaginings that you regretted? Or conversely, thought what was I thinking holding onto that idea?!?
 

lovesparklies

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Apr 5, 2008
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I think this is a case of guys not noticing the details like we girls do. Since you've been imagining engraved invites forever AND you're a designer I think this might be something you'd regret if you didn't do. Will the extra $100 blow your budget? If not, I say definitely go for the engraving.

P.S. I would notice the difference. Not that I would judge a person for choosing thermography but I just love engraving.

ETA: Just think of all the things we brides do that no one else will notice! If it's important to you then I think that's reason enough.
 

honey22

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I think most of your guests won''t notice the difference, it''s not like they will have both to compare. That said, if you are comfortable spending the extra money then go for it, but think first whether another $100 towards something else in your wedding will make more of a difference.
 

meresal

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Date: 3/23/2009 1:37:25 AM
Author:tropiqalkiwi
I am at the point of ordering invitations and need a bit of advice.

I have imagined engraved invites announcing our wedding since I started planning. I love the look and feel of engraved, but when I brought it up with my FI, the only difference he can see between engraved and thermographed is the price. I am a trained designer so obviously I care way more about printing and papers and such, and please feel free to tell me I am being an invite snob, but engraved feels more traditional and artistic to me. Thermography is much shinier and feels like simply a process created to mimic engraving for cheaper.

Then again, if he can''t tell will anyone else notice the difference? Is it worth it to spend an extra $100 for engraved if I''m the only one who will care?

Is there anything that you cut back on from your initial imaginings that you regretted? Or conversely, thought what was I thinking holding onto that idea?!?
I actually don''t like engraving, and chose thermography because I tend to think raised print is more traditional. Engraving is just too artsy for my taste and I''m not a big fan of the foamy paper that you have to use. Just my opinion though.

With that said, it''s all up to your own tastes. What do you want? and Is it worth it to YOU?
 

Haven

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It all depends on your own personal preferences. Alternative methods to engraving became popularized over time to provide a less expensive option. Will guests notice? Some of them. But that is not what matters, what matters is what is important to you.

I am an invitation snob, so we had beatiful hand-engraved invites from Crane & Company. We just had our engraving plate framed with one of our invitations, and I absolutely adore it.

(Meresal--What do you mean by "spongy" paper? I'm intrigued! And, engraving is raised. Are you thinking of that imprinted method that Paper Source does? I don't remember what it's called, but the text is almost embossed into the paper with it, whereas engraving results in raised print.)

Get what you like, that's all that matters.
 

meresal

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Date: 3/23/2009 10:12:49 AM
Author: Haven
It all depends on your own personal preferences. Alternative methods to engraving became popularized over time to provide a less expensive option. Will guests notice? Some of them. But that is not what matters, what matters is what is important to you.

I am an invitation snob, so we had beatiful hand-engraved invites from Crane & Company. We just had our engraving plate framed with one of our invitations, and I absolutely adore it.

(Meresal--What do you mean by ''spongy'' paper? I''m intrigued! And, engraving is raised. Are you thinking of that imprinted method that Paper Source does? I don''t remember what it''s called, but the text is almost embossed into the paper with it, whereas engraving results in raised print.)

Get what you like, that''s all that matters.
Haven, I must be confused then... I''m thinking of something that involves the print being sunken into the stationery, which requires a much thicker foam like paper (ie, If you pressed your fingernail into it, it would leave a definite line). I''m sure we are thinking of the same thing.
Since I am mistaken, then I will clarify, I do believe that thermography is just a middle between engraved and ink-jet. We have a guest list of over 200, so mine for engraving, would have been over $300 extra... and since I thought it was something completely different, I couldn''t figure out why I would want to pay more. LOL!! Oops. I''m still not a huge invitation person, so I wouldn''t have paid for that anyway.
Can you post of picture of the style your looking at? I''m super traditional, so I love seeing what girls with a little more "color" have chosen!

Here is a picture of what I was thinking of when you said engraved. I was confusing it with "Letterpress". My bad


pressed invitations 2009.jpg
 

Haven

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Letterpress--That''s it! Yes, that is what I was thinking of, too, Meresal.
 

Pandora II

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I spent the extra for hand-engraving and wouldn't change it for the world.

My invitations were engraved by the same guy who does the banknotes for the Bank of England, and I have this fabulous thick copper plate that I will really treasure. I REALLY notice when invitations are thermographed or hand-engraved and much prefer the look of the latter.

It had very formal and traditional English invitations, and a lot of my guests commented to my parents on the hand-engraving (and my horrible aunt was green - she's very fussy about such things and because it was her son's wedding a few months before mine, she had to stay quiet over the invitations her DIL's parents sent out - flat printed on cheap card with all the gift info on the inside of the invitation, and the ink rubbed off so they were all smudgy. Must have nearly killed her
)

There were only a few things that I was really prepared to splurge on for my wedding and this was one of them. I'd always wanted them and I would have really regretted not doing so for the sake of £100.
 

Rhea

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If you care and can afford the cost, get the fancier ones. There were things that DH and I both cared for the wedding that the other person couldn''t understand at all.

I can''t tell the difference in printing methods. It''s one of the things that didn''t matter to either of us and I throw away invitations right after the wedding. I would never notice, comment, or care. But you do, so get the fancier ones.
 

Sparkalicious

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tropiqalkiwi - I''m in the same position right now and am trying to decide if we should do letterpress or not .... I''m thinking that if there is anywhere else where you can sacrifice expense, then go forward with the engraving that you desire because it''s something that "you" really want. If the price differential isn''t outrageous, it''s definitely doable.
 

jasontb

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Well I think thermography *was* created to mimic engraving. IMHO, I would not spend extra for engraving unless you were going to go with the super simple classic engraved cranes-style invitation. I don''t see the point in using an old-fashioned printing technique on a fancy new invitation with graphics and colors, etc.

Anybody looking for cranes style engraved invitation should also check out Reaves Engraving. They do *great* work for much less than others. They''ll send you samples for free.
 

KatyWI

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Wow. I just checked out the Reaves website, and it looks like they do classic engraved invitations with designs very similar to Crane for a fraction of the price!!

Has anyone used them? I''m trying to understand how it can be so much cheaper! I suppose you do pay for the prestige in the Crane name, but still!
 

tropiqalkiwi

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Thanks for the helpful advice everyone! Apparently, I need to step outside of purely financial thinking to be able to see more holisticly. It turns out that I really do care about it and I think it is worth the extra cost for engraved.

Haven - Did you ever post your invites? I would love to go with cranes - what beautiful paper! - but they are a bit out of budget for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, its nice to hear from a fellow invite "snob"


Pandora - The Bank of England?!? A copper plate!?! *swoon* How fantastic to be able to do that! I''m super excited about having the plate as well and will show it off in my home after the wedding. How do you keep it - is it in a special box or hanging somehow?

Jason - Thanks for the advice! I am going for a very classic invite. I have no desire for decorations, I want simple black text on a nice ivory/ecru card. Which is why I think engraving would be so wonderful - the engraving would then be the featured part of the invite. I have been finding a lot of inspiration from traditions of the 50''s/60''s and want to have a very elegant/formal feel to my wedding. Reaves is exactly who I am planning on using, they seem to be the way to go, and why the diff is only $100 between the two processes. Did you get invites through them? If so how was the process - were they on time with shipping etc?

Katy - I replied in your other thread before I got here, but like Jason mentioned, they send free samples! Just go to the site and input your name and address.
 

lovesparklies

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I used Reaves Engraving for my invites and I should be getting them this Thursday. They were VERY prompt in getting back to me with questions and later with the proofs of the various elements of the invitation suite (I think they emailed the proofs the day after I sent in my order forms!). All in all, it will be a little over a month from the day I placed my order to the day I receive them in the mail. I paid the $20 flat fee for expedited service, though (totally worth it in my opinion). They use Crane paper but are not a Crane dealer so maybe that's why their prices are cheaper??? You have to specifically request their Crane samples so make sure to do that.

One of the reasons I went with Reaves is because they have an autopen calligraphy service -- they write the addresses on the outside and inside envelopes using a machine that holds an actual pen. I'm familiar with this sort of thing from working on Capitol Hill where most offices use these machines to sign official documents.
I didn't want to shell out for hand calligraphy so this was a good compromise.

I'm crossing my fingers that everything turns out well! I can let you know after I get them. Let me know if you have any other questions!
 

JulieN

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I personally would either go engraved or laser printer. I don''t like the shine of thermography.
 

Pandora II

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Date: 3/24/2009 1:55:49 AM
Author: tropiqalkiwi

Pandora - The Bank of England?!? A copper plate!?! *swoon* How fantastic to be able to do that! I''m super excited about having the plate as well and will show it off in my home after the wedding. How do you keep it - is it in a special box or hanging somehow?
I''m ashamed to admit that it is currently at my parents house wrapped in bubble-wrap in a box... the printer has the most gorgeous green boxes that the invitations come in and I''m using it to keep all the left-over STDs, invitations, order of service, menus etc in until I sort my life and cupboard space out enough to do a proper wedding box.

I''m not sure if I will display it, I rather like keeping things in boxes (gemstones too) so I can happen upon it once in a while - the printer has an option where you could have it turned into a silver plated dish. Copper is also a bugger as it needs polishing and that will gradually wear down the plate, although it is incredibly thick.
 

tropiqalkiwi

Shiny_Rock
Joined
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Date: 3/24/2009 2:28:41 AM
Author: lovesparklies
I used Reaves Engraving for my invites and I should be getting them this Thursday. They were VERY prompt in getting back to me with questions and later with the proofs of the various elements of the invitation suite (I think they emailed the proofs the day after I sent in my order forms!). All in all, it will be a little over a month from the day I placed my order to the day I receive them in the mail. I paid the $20 flat fee for expedited service, though (totally worth it in my opinion). They use Crane paper but are not a Crane dealer so maybe that''s why their prices are cheaper??? You have to specifically request their Crane samples so make sure to do that.


One of the reasons I went with Reaves is because they have an autopen calligraphy service -- they write the addresses on the outside and inside envelopes using a machine that holds an actual pen. I''m familiar with this sort of thing from working on Capitol Hill where most offices use these machines to sign official documents.
I didn''t want to shell out for hand calligraphy so this was a good compromise.


I''m crossing my fingers that everything turns out well! I can let you know after I get them. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Thanks for letting me know about the calligraphy service! I''ll have to look into that option before I order. How neat to know that they use that technology on Capitol Hill...are real signatures not pretty enough?

I''m so happy to hear that they got back to you promptly and such. I used a company for my std''s that said it would be a 3 day print time - but it ended up being 7 business days instead


I look forward to hearing about (and maybe seeing) them once you get them later this week, I''m sure they will look great!
 

tropiqalkiwi

Shiny_Rock
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Date: 3/24/2009 8:01:58 AM
Author: Pandora II
Date: 3/24/2009 1:55:49 AM

Author: tropiqalkiwi


Pandora - The Bank of England?!? A copper plate!?! *swoon* How fantastic to be able to do that! I''m super excited about having the plate as well and will show it off in my home after the wedding. How do you keep it - is it in a special box or hanging somehow?
I''m ashamed to admit that it is currently at my parents house wrapped in bubble-wrap in a box... the printer has the most gorgeous green boxes that the invitations come in and I''m using it to keep all the left-over STDs, invitations, order of service, menus etc in until I sort my life and cupboard space out enough to do a proper wedding box.


I''m not sure if I will display it, I rather like keeping things in boxes (gemstones too) so I can happen upon it once in a while - the printer has an option where you could have it turned into a silver plated dish. Copper is also a bugger as it needs polishing and that will gradually wear down the plate, although it is incredibly thick.
Oh, don''t be ashamed! I have hundreds of projects at home that I said I would get to years ago and still haven''t...
I love the look of copper, in fact I was going to register for copper pots and pans until my FI pointed out all the polishing it takes to keep them looking that shiny....we went stainless steel instead


The idea of having it made into a plate is a great one, that would be a nice way to display it, I''ll have to look into that and see if it is an option for mine!
 

lovesparklies

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Joined
Apr 5, 2008
Messages
295
They use the autopen on Capitol Hill because the Senators/Reps don''t have time to sign all the things coming through the office themselves. It would take him/her hours each day to sign everything.

Anywho, I''ll be sure to report back about my invites and post pictures. I was really happy that they were so fast with their service. I totally procrastinated in getting my order in because I was agonizing over the wording of everything so I''m really cutting it close on getting my invites in the mail on time.
 

teapot

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Jan 5, 2009
Messages
165
I would notice, not like I would think less of what method anybody chose. If you could afford the engraving, I say go for it. If I could, I would have everything engraved. We couldn''t afford it... Maybe that is why I would notice. I wanted it but couldn''t get it.
 

Haven

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I''m not Pandora, but we had our engraving plate custom framed with our invitation. I love it! We ordered our invites from Crane & Co.

Here''s a picture:

havensinviteframedPSSSSSS.jpg
 

rockin11

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Messages
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I have to admit that I am a paper snob as well(so much so that I opened my own stationery/invite business) When we got married (we eloped 4 years ago) the biggest expense I would not budge on was having engraved invitations. I just did the simple traditional (crane like)style from Jenner. I ordered it from the store where I used to work. I wanted Crane but the Jenner looked the exact same and I was trying to be nice on my Mother''s wallet. I went to my former bosses house to pick up my invites and she pointed to the table and told me to have a look. All I saw were Crane boxes so I asked her where mine were and she said that they were on the table..I then looked some more and told her that someone else''s order was there and she must have not set mine out. She then came over and opened the boxes and they WERE my invites. She switched my invites to crane and paid for the price difference as a wedding gift. I shrieked and cried and so did she! We always use to refer to those brides that went with Crane as "Crane Brides". She was so sweet and said she wanted me to be a "Crane bride". To this day I still think of that and cherish those invites. All brides have things that are important to them and invitations were the most important to me. I will say that some people did comment on them being engraved and how beautiful they were but honestly most people probably had no clue and could have cared less....but I knew and that was the most important thing.
If you have always wanted engraved invites then that is probably what I would do. Although there are beautiful invitations out there that are not engraved. It is just a decision that you will have to make. I am sure that whatever you choose will be beautiful.
 

Haven

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Date: 3/24/2009 1:55:49 AM
Author: tropiqalkiwi

Haven - Did you ever post your invites? I would love to go with cranes - what beautiful paper! - but they are a bit out of budget for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, its nice to hear from a fellow invite ''snob''
Of COURSE I''ll post a picture of my invites! We went renegade with black invites and white engraving, which was really outside of what I had envisioned because I was a super traditional bride, but it was love at first sight when I saw them in the Crane''s book. And really, you can''t go wrong with Crane''s.

Here''s the thread I started with my invites and the beautiful hand calligraphy my mother did for us. Sigh. I think the invites were my favorite part of the planning!

Here''s a picture of our invite:

HavensInviteFinalPS2aaaa.gif
 

ice-queen

Shiny_Rock
Joined
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Here''s my question, because I don''t know enough about this to know the difference....

If you get an invitation in the mail, how can you tell whether it is Engraved or Thermography?
 

Haven

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Date: 3/24/2009 10:15:38 PM
Author: ice-queen
Here's my question, because I don't know enough about this to know the difference....


If you get an invitation in the mail, how can you tell whether it is Engraved or Thermography?
Thermography is kind of shiny, and even a little bubbly, if that makes sense.

Engraving is raised, but not shiny, and the back of the invite is indented behind the engraving. (It's hard to explain, but you can tell it was engraved because from the back the invite is not totally flat, it is sort of pressed in where the text was engraved.)

Aaaah, I'm not doing a great job of explaining this. Sorry.

ETA: Here's a video from the Crane's website about the difference between the two printing processes.
 

tropiqalkiwi

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
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Date: 3/24/2009 3:28:16 PM
Author: Haven
I''m not Pandora, but we had our engraving plate custom framed with our invitation. I love it! We ordered our invites from Crane & Co.


Here''s a picture:
Haven, thanks so much for posting what you did with your engraving plate...it looks awesome! I think that might be what I end up doing to immortalize ours
I really like how you did traditional invites but ''flipped'' the colors, they look wonderful.

Also, your moms calligraphy is beautiful. I will probably end up using Reaves calligraphy service or do them myself. We did calligraphy in middle school, so hopefully they won''t look totally tragic if I end up doing them. I also really like the map, how fun to have such a creative mom, I bet you did lots of fun projects as a kid.
 

tropiqalkiwi

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Date: 3/24/2009 10:18:55 PM
Author: Haven
Date: 3/24/2009 10:15:38 PM

Author: ice-queen

Here''s my question, because I don''t know enough about this to know the difference....



If you get an invitation in the mail, how can you tell whether it is Engraved or Thermography?

Thermography is kind of shiny, and even a little bubbly, if that makes sense.


Engraving is raised, but not shiny, and the back of the invite is indented behind the engraving. (It''s hard to explain, but you can tell it was engraved because from the back the invite is not totally flat, it is sort of pressed in where the text was engraved.)


Aaaah, I''m not doing a great job of explaining this. Sorry.


ETA: Here''s a video from the Crane''s website about the difference between the two printing processes.
Ice-queen, Haven did a good job of outlining the differences. But for fun I''ll also give you the overly dramatic analogy I''ve been using with my FI:

Engraving feels like raised paper with ink on it, thermography feels like very fine puffy paint
 

ice-queen

Shiny_Rock
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Messages
150
Thanks Haven and tropiqalkiwi!! I just pulled out a bunch of past wedding invites I''ve received to check it out...they were all Thermography except one...it''s funny, because I never noticed the difference before.
 

Pandora II

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Date: 3/25/2009 2:28:48 PM
Author: ice-queen
Thanks Haven and tropiqalkiwi!! I just pulled out a bunch of past wedding invites I''ve received to check it out...they were all Thermography except one...it''s funny, because I never noticed the difference before.
LOL, I''m ashamed to admit that the first thing I do when I get an invitation that could be either (and not just wedding invitations - At Home cards, business cards, formal events invitations etc) is to run my fingers over the print and check the back.

I don''t think less of anyone who goes for thermography, but I''m always intrigued as to which of my friends are fellow print snobs and care enough about these things to go the extra mile...
 

rockin11

Shiny_Rock
Joined
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Messages
169
Date: 3/25/2009 3:40:07 PM
Author: Pandora II

Date: 3/25/2009 2:28:48 PM
Author: ice-queen
Thanks Haven and tropiqalkiwi!! I just pulled out a bunch of past wedding invites I''ve received to check it out...they were all Thermography except one...it''s funny, because I never noticed the difference before.
LOL, I''m ashamed to admit that the first thing I do when I get an invitation that could be either (and not just wedding invitations - At Home cards, business cards, formal events invitations etc) is to run my fingers over the print and check the back.

I don''t think less of anyone who goes for thermography, but I''m always intrigued as to which of my friends are fellow print snobs and care enough about these things to go the extra mile...
LOL Pandora..I am guilty of that as well! Ummmm..and I hold the paper up to the light for water marks
. I love and appreciate beautiful paper! I have to admit I personally buy engraved products only for wedding..at home..and maybe birth announcements. The rest of the time I use thermography or flat printing.
oh! and to our defense...I have a few friends that have admitted to doing the same thing.
 
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