I always knew I was going to design my own invites. I worked as a graphic designer for a theatre company to put myself through college. And since I am a little bit of control freak, I knew couldn’t farm the invitation out; I had to design them myself.
I love letterpress! I’ve always dreamed of letterpress invites for my wedding, but when looking at our budget and the price of custom letterpress I had to reluctantly let go of that dream. Now with digital presses being fast and economical, many printers like to do “short” runs on those presses instead of the offset printers. To me they feel very commercial, and I wanted to give my invites a very personal touch. I was about ready to compromise on the invites and take them to a print house, when during my daily wedding blog reading I can across the Gocco on Weddingbee.
Let me just say that the Gocco is my answer to personalizing all our wedding stationery! I did a lot of research online to find the right price and model for me, and came across Northwood Studios online. I purchased the PG-11 version instead of the PG-5 because of the registration capabilities from Northwood Studios, as well as the extension package with the basic inks, a How To Gocco DVD and CD along with extra bulbs and screens. I think it was well worth the extra dough. The CD doesn’t work (which I need to email Judy about), but the DVD was hilarious! It was straight out of the 80s and had obviously been an old record from a VHS tape, but it had some great advanced Gocco techniques. Also, included in the extension package was a written guide, which proved extraordinarily helpful!
I got the birds and branch image from istock via Miss Penguin’s wisdom on her own save-the-dates. This is the card design, but for the envelopes I just used the birds and branch as well as our address. As a designer, I felt like I was cheating. I could have come up with the illustration in Illustrator but am a) too busy and b) just plain lazy! Besides, it was so easy to download and import into Illustrator ”“ it look 5 minutes to download and import rather than the 8+ hours to draw myself. I love the fonts! I used Futura Medium (block font) and Laurell (cursive font), which I acquired years ago.
I double checked everything a million times before I flashed the screen because I knew I only had one shot to get it right! After all, this was my first ever Gocco project. Side Note: Always remember to use the blue filter to avoid excess carbon from imprinting onto the screen. Also, conserve bulbs and screens. I printed the birds on the front and the address on the back while using one screen in order to conserve the single use screens and bulbs.
Again, I used the wisdom of Miss Penguin on Gocco Printing and registering. Above is a photo of me printing the back of the envelopes. Because I had printed the front first, I covered the screen with regular paper to avoid the ink printing on the back.
I loved how the envelopes turned out, but was very disappointed in the cards. I used a turquoise ink for the birds and branch on this beautiful chocolate brown paper by ArtCo. that I got at Xpedex Paper here in Denver. When I printed it the ink looked fine, but when it dried the ink turned silver. I think it must have been a reaction to the chemicals in the paper because when I printed the same ink on white paper the turquoise was fine. I seriously considered redoing the save-the-date cards, but I discovered the problem after printing about 25, and I didn’t want to waste screen, bulbs, and paper. I guess it was a great learning experience, but now I have to rethink my invitations because I wanted to use the same ink and paper for invites!
Final product. Overall, it was really fun — even though I am disappointed with the colors of the cards. Next Gocco project: INVITATIONS!