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All April long, we want to remind you that it’s Letter Writing Month! To celebrate the art of the written note – we are offering 20% off all stationery in shoppe and online.

Something we truly love, is taking the time to hand-write thoughts and well wishes to people who’ve touched our lives and allowed us to invite joy all around.

Click here to shop the stationery archives! 

We hope you take this month as a reminder of how special a handwritten note can be!

Happy writing!

Emily McCarthy

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Categories: letterpress, stationery, the shoppe
Throughout the 10 plus years I have been working in the paper industry, I have seen the good, the bad, the ugly and unfortunately, the DIY disasters. In a new world of DIY everything, your invitations should not be one of them. Please hire a professional for this timeless piece of your marriage as your invitations will be something you treasure for many years to come. Here are my top 5 reasons to hire a professional to design or print your wedding invitations.

Thinking about printing your invitations at home or at work? My guess is your printer doesn’t provide archival inks and offset printing quantity. What does that mean? 5 years from now, you’re going to look at your wedding invitations only to discover the ink has started to fade and turn yellow or brown. Over time, the design will mostly disappear leaving you with a faded piece of paper that has also started to yellow and fade. Stick to offset printing, letterpress, thermography or letterpress and 100% cotton papers so that in years to come, you can share your invitations with your children and they will see it in the same way you intended: classic, timeless and representative of your wedding day. I still have a copy of my grandparent’s folded traditional wedding invitation – still in the same condition from almost 75 years ago.

Graphic designers and Stationers have specific software they license to create invitations and graphics. This software is extremely expensive and they are trained to use this properly. When it comes to the artwork on your invitations, a seasoned designer can properly illustrate graphics for your invitation – either from scratch or from trusted libraries of design elements. Attempting to use clipart from your word program or pulling images from the internet will not result in a good quality image. All images on the internet have been reduce in resolution so they will often appear blurry. Images needs to be at least 300 dpi in resolution to be used in graphics and printing, while all web images are only 72 dpi in resolution. If you do choose to design your own invitations, please do not take artwork from other designers’ websites and samples – this is highly unethical and unfair to these professionals.

Graphic designers and Stationers have extensive libraries of fonts available for commercial use. Their sources will far exceed the font selections available on your computer. We take time to study font trends, purchase updated versions and new scripts to make available to our clients. From choosing a classic font designed by a calligrapher or a block print that will stand the test of time, we know what will best in the design and what will not look dated after a couple of years. Chances are, if you can find fonts on a free font website, they have been in the market for quite a few years and are starting to look dated. Best to stick to classic fonts and hand-rendered lettering.

Oh, how this is SO important for your wedding invitations. Referring back to my blog post a few weeks ago, this is just the icing on the cake – there are many layers to the correct wording on wedding invitations. So many in fact, that a true professional will know all of the proper etiquette rules for your wedding invitation wording. Through their experience, resources and etiquette guides, they will provide you with the correct name order, host lines, time, date and location specifics. I cannot tell you how many wedding invitations I have seen over the years with improper wording and etiquette. A few of the most common mistakes are: 1) Using “Requesting the honour of your presence” while getting married outside of a church setting. This is reserved for a house of worship ONLY. 2) Including the Zip code in the address line, 3) Not including full spelled out names of parents and bride/groom and 4) Not spelling out the state on the envelopes – this is just to name a few! In addition to wording etiquette there are specific ways your invitation should be layered in the envelope, addressed and mailed. 

The paper industry is a very broad industry – there are hundreds of paper options available to the public, trade-only and designers. We have the experience to know how designs will look on specific papers with chosen printing techniques. In most cases, the printers you have at home will not be able to support a thicker stock appropriate for wedding invitation. Paper and envelopes often get stuck in the printer leaving you with frustration and an unsuccessfully printed invitation. It is also important that all of the paper is purchased from the same company. Paper runs can vary at times leaving you with varying shades of whites or ecrus. Buying from discount sites can sometimes leave you with mismatched envelopes and paper. 
Whether you work with me at EMMA J DESIGN or one of the many talented stationers available to brides like you, please let us assist you in designing a unique and timeless invitation for your wedding day. 
Have questions?

One comment

  1. Kit Gana says

    wow!! This is really a very good tips. thank you for sharing this post.

    Unique Weddings

    September 26, 2012
Categories: etiquette, invitations, letterpress

So excited to show you how Baby Rhett’s letterpress birth announcements turned out! My favorite printer Steve at Fireside Printing did such a fabulous job and I thank him dearly! I used the pattern I designed for Rhett’s bedding as inspiration, added a photo took a couple of weeks after he was born and completed the back design with a custom monogram design. The announcements were printed on 100% Cotton Crane 220lb Lettra.

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Categories: letterpress
It’s about time! Time for me to finally design and decide on my own letterpress stationery. I just received a beautiful package of custom letterpressed stationery from my wonderful printer (Fireside Printing) and I could not be more thrilled with the results. The wardrobe is 2 pieces: A7 Flat Notes with a fretwork board and EM interlocking letters in addition to a small 4Bar Flat Card with my name in calligraphy by the talented Bride Whelan. I plan to use the larger cards for longer notes and correspondence and the smaller cards for quick notes and enclosure cards. We printed the wardrobe in my signature seaglass blue color on 220lb double weight Crane Lettra. Let me know if you are interested in placing an order for custom letterpress stationery for yourself – it is the ultimate treat! [email protected]

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Categories: in the life of..., letterpress, stationery
Check out the latest Spanish Moss Wedding invitations for Amy and Jacob. The couple wanted an invitation that represented the southern elegance of Savannah along with a personalized touch like the monogram of interlocking Bs for their last names. The invitations were letterpressed on 100% cotton Crane Ecru Paper.


  1. JMW says

    Oh, I'm in love with the Spanish moss design – gorgeous!

    August 4, 2011
  2. Laura says

    these are beautiful. do you do anything the pinapples?

    August 25, 2011
Categories: letterpress, wedding invitations
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Alysse from MGE in which we have created a beautiful wedding paper wardrobe for Jen and Michael! Their invitations have been signed, sealed and delivered to their lucky guests so I’m happy to share the final product! Jen and Michael wanted a design that was representative of The Ford Plantation as well as the southern accent of magnolia flowers. We created a custom letterpressed folder and completed with 100% cotton Crane 220lb thickness paper for the wedding invitations and response cards. We also designed a special events card to communicate the weekend activities. Jen also wanted a coordinating thank you note card to use for wedding gifts. Enjoy!


  1. Julie says

    You do an amazing job! Very, very talented

    August 3, 2011
  2. Kaper Design says

    I love these! The color and design and perfect.

    August 16, 2011
Categories: letterpress, wedding invitations
I had the pleasure of working with Courtland Smith, one of the dynamic duos of No. Four Eleven – only my favorite home store in Savannah! She was married in Oxford, Maryland and had a beautiful reception on the water. Here are a few highlights of her letterpress invitations with the double “S” with shell detail in addition to the beautiful monogramming done by Courtland at the shop. 
Letterpressed in Navy on Ecru Crane Paper
Complete Wedding Invitation Wardrobe. Photo by Sarah Buck Photography
Custom embroidered napkins completed each chair setting.
Napkin with table card and menu cards
The beautiful tablescape with coordinating linens
Lounge area complete with embroidered coordinating pillow and rug.

Courtland and Claire are so talented, visit their website or stop by their store!

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Categories: letterpress, wedding invitations
Leigh and Ryan decided to marry in December around the holiday season, so we wanted a design that had a festive feel, but not over-the-top Christmas. Here’s what we came up with and their choice of wedding monogram allows them to use the logo in the future for stationery and linens!
Crane Ecru Paper with Gold Letterpress + Save the Date

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Categories: letterpress, wedding invitations
Check out the Wedding Paper Wardrobe for Charissa and Brannon! Their wedding is New Year’s Eve so the day is quickly approaching. What a great way to ring in the new year!
Crane Paper with Grey Letterpress


  1. She's Absolutely Ridiculous says

    Hello there! I just stumbled across these beautiful invitations and I would love to talk to you about getting these for my own Savannah themed wedding. Please email me at [email protected] if you can. Thanks!

    January 16, 2011
  2. Dana says

    Hi Emily,

    Would like to have a quote
    on the blue spanish moss invitation on your website.

    Please email me at:
    [email protected]

    March 31, 2011
  3. Elizabeth says


    I would also like to have a quote on the spanish moss invitations.

    please email me at [email protected]


    April 19, 2011
Categories: letterpress, wedding invitations
I have had the pleasure of working with photography duo and oh-so-cute couple, Azelle Photography, to refine their brand and develop new marketing material. We started by just making some slight revisions to their existing logo like using a thinner and more feminine font while adding a touch of parisian ironwork below with the tagline. Next, we moved onto their marketing packet to present to brides that includes information/pricing cards, samples of their work and bios. The latest project was the business card design. They really wanted to push the envelope with a letterpress printed card along with creating a custom pattern of their logo elements to blind deboss in the background. Check out how fabulously they turned out – I couldn’t be happier! Like what you see? Contact me at [email protected] to begin the design process. Cheers!

One comment

  1. Muddassar Shah says

    Several collectors, business cards especially antique cards celebrity cards or cards made of unusual materials.
    Plastic business cards.

    March 15, 2011
Categories: letterpress