One thing is for sure: the popularity of metallics isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I get asked to create designs in gold all the time, and unfortunately this lovely metallic (and its other shimmery friends copper, silver and BlueHost??? rose gold) can be tricky and expensive to print. I’m here with the different options for printing gold and some ideas on how to incorporate a little shine into your wedding invitations or other designs without breaking the bank.
Foil Stamping: When you’re poking around Pinterest and find a gold wedding invitation that you love, chances are it was printed using foil stamping. This is a pricy printing method that uses a copper plate and a sheet of foil to essentially stamp your design on the paper. The materials are expensive and the process is labor intensive, which is what gives it its price tag. But this is the best method if you have your heart set on shiny metallic gold.
Letterpress: It is possible to letterpress in gold. There is a metallic ink that can be used, though the results aren’t super shiny and tend to be a little on the darker side.
Screen Printing: While the results aren’t as shiny as foil stamping, screen printing can achieve a really lovely shimmery gold color. This printing process is still quite labor intensive, but not nearly as expensive as foil stamping. This is a great solution when you’re looking for a larger gold piece, such as this ketubah I designed.
Stamping or Heat Embossing: Stamping and/or heat embossing is a great way to incorporate some gold accents in to your paper goods. For this method, a custom rubber stamp is created with your design. Then, you can either use gold ink for a subtle shimmer or add embossing powder for extra shine. This is a fun DIY and great for details like a monogram on top of a menu.
Heat Transfer Foil: This is the method I use to create my gold foil prints and is your closest look to foil stamping. This is done by printing a design with a laser printer and running the design and a sheet of foil through a laminator to create a bond. You get a great shiny look, though each print isn’t perfect and creates a cool vintage texture. This is perfect for one-off designs like signage as long as you don’t mind a little texture to your metallic.
Flat Printing: This method is ideal for the budget-conscious bride or for smaller wedding details. This is basic digital printing that prints ink flat on the paper. While with this method there will be no shimmer or shine, you’ll evoke the look of gold using a golden color (and save a pretty penny on your printing!)
Other Gold Details: Don’t forget, there are other ways to bring gold in to your suite! Address the envelopes with a gold gelly roll pen, line the envelopes with a shimmery gold paper, use gold ribbon to tie the suite together or even add a gold charm. It is the small details that really bring your paper goods to life!