Engraved Wedding Invitations - Engraving is the most traditional form of wedding invitation printing, and one of the most expensive. Text is etched onto a copper plate, which is then coated with ink and wiped clean, leaving the ink only in the indentations. Soft, high-quality paper is pressed hard against the plate, causing it to deform into the etchings, resulting in raised, crisp text.
Thermography - Thermography was developed as a less expensive alternative to engraving. The printer uses ink and a powder resin combined with heat to reproduce the raised lettering effect of engraving. The text has a shiny finish and is often said to not be as sharp as engraving.
Letterpress - This old-fashioned technique has become popular again. A letterpress printer presses inked letters or designs into a piece of paper, forming an indented surface. By repeating the process, he or she can create images with more than one color. Many people appreciate the tactile nature of letterpress, although some dislike its lack of crispness.
Embossing or Blind Embossing - Most often used for small insignias, monograms, or return addresses, this process creates a raised impression on paper by running the paper through two metal sheets. When no ink is used, it is called "blind" embossing.
Offset Printing - Most modern printing is offset printing, also known as lithography. From magazines to postcards, this flat style of printing is a familiar one, and appropriate for an informal wedding invitation. Traditionally, an inked image is transferred from an inked plate to a rubber "blanket", which is then passed over the paper.