There are few people more passionate in wedding planning than paper people. You know what I mean (and you know who you are). You keep every thank you card you’ve ever received. You think the smell of a good linen finish borders on being an aphrodisiac. And when it comes to your wedding invitations, come hell or high water, you will have letterpress. Even if you have to build your own freaking machine to do it. (Spoiler alert: you don’t, and I’m about to tell you why.)
Which means that when the reality of letterpress cost starts to settle in, so can the panic. Because as it turns out, ages old specialized printing techniques can be, um, what’s the word? Oh right, expensive. But before you seek out a paper bag to breathe into, there’s hope! And it comes in the form of Thomas-Printers, a woman-owned small business print shop that specializes in affordable letterpress printing. Here’s how it works: you supply the design and Thomas Printers will have gorgeous invitations to you in about two weeks or less. Eat your hearts out, papyrophiles (yup—lovers of paper!).
Thomas-Printers is a community-minded print shop run by Kseniya Thomas in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Kseniya was trained at the print shop of the Gutenberg Museum—yes that Gutenberg—in Mainz, Germany, and is a co-founder of Ladies of Letterpress, a professional organization for both new and experienced printers. Here’s her philosophy:
I strive to make my shop the fastest, friendliest letterpress printer out there. Our usual turnaround time is ten to fifteen business days—even at the height of invitation season. We can usually accommodate rush orders as well. Good customer service is the most important thing with us, and the best part of that printer-client interaction is talking with clients about letterpress, educating them about what we do and how letterpress works best, and working together to make a beautiful finished piece. Our invitations are keepsakes, for the couple and their guests. I believe in making things by hand and keeping people involved with the making. I’m so thankful every time someone chooses a handmade invitation over one made by a machine in a huge plant. Choosing letterpress and finding a printer you trust is a big wedding planning decision, so we endeavor to make the whole process easy and fun.
Thomas-Printers is a little different from most wedding stationery companies because they specialize primarily in printing, not in design and printing, which means you provide the design, and Kseniya prints it for you for less than you’ll find just about anywhere else. It also means you’ve got options: you can design your invitations yourself, work with a designer (or your sister, BFF, cousin, you know!), or use letterpress-ready DIY printables. Thomas-Printers can even help you find a design or work with you to create one from scratch. And no matter where your design comes from, they will work their magic:
We are commercial printers, so ninety-five percent of what we print is designed by our clients. We are always happy to help with file prep, though, or advise you on what will work with letterpress and what won’t work as well. We pride ourselves on being fast, being friendly, and being fastidious. Printers are known for being finicky about their work, and we keep that in mind with every job we run.
Since every job is different, pricing is dependent on the specifics of a given project. We offer foil stamping, edge painting, custom duplexing, die-cutting, and envelope lining, among many other services, and we are always happy to send custom quotes to anyone thinking of making the leap to letterpress.
And the results earn raves like these:
Oh my goodness: the invitations are gorgeous! I know you work with these kinds of objects all the time, but for me, they took my breath away: I love print, and this reminds me how much. —Amy, New York, New York
They are beautiful! Thank you so, so much. You are a master craftswoman and your company is an absolute gem. I will be using you for all future “fancy” printing I need done and recommending you to all my family and friends. Thank you again! —Michelle, El Cerrito, California
WE LOVE THEM! They’re amazing! Eric and I are super happy that we ordered so many, since we basically want to frame and keep all of them. This has been by far the best part of wedding planning. —Emma, Carlsbad, California
The heart wants what it wants. And if your heart happens to want letterpress that doesn’t cost an eye-bugging amount of dollars, today’s your day. Get in touch with Thomas-Printers for a custom quote. They pride themselves in beautiful work and seriously good customer service. And you’ll be supporting a woman rocking a machine that weighs a few tons in a centuries old craft. Perfect.
Thomas-Printers is gifting APW readers 100 free flat thank you notes (some restrictions apply) when they place an order for 2018 wedding invitations or suites. just MENTION THIS POST WHEN YOU GET IN TOUCH.