November 27th, 2007
Christopher Young recently emailed me this stunning paper lace wedding invitation that he designed, along with some interesting tidbits about his creative process for the invitation.
Christopher says, “I created the attached invite which was inspired by Victorian paper lace- however given today’s printing technology I had to rework the lace so that it could be laser-cut. I created a Vector file of the lace shapes to be cut out and collaborated closely with my printer, Coeur Noir in Brooklyn, NYC. Although they normally print with traditional letter press printing, they were very interested in working with me on this very elaborate challenge. In the end, the invite was a combination of a few printing processes, but for the lace effect we utilized paper laser cutting. What is interesting about this process is that each invite is cut one by one!
I illustrated the sacred heart and then set the type so that it is all on the same card. After these elements were printed, they were then sent to the laser cutter for the lace effect.
I am currently working on a similar looking Valentine for a luxury brand which will incorporate both debossing and laser cutting in tandem in hopes of creating an even closer effect to traditional paper laces. As I am currently researching this project, I thought your website offered wonderful sources of inspiration. I hope you may find my work of interest as well-
Needless to say, Christopher’s work is definitely of interest here! I was incredibly excited to see such an inspiring contemporary paper lace design. It was also thrilling to read such a detailed explanation of the creative process. I confess to feeling pangs of envy that I did not think to do something like this for my own wedding invitation. (Future brides: take note!) However, I couldn’t resist replying to Christopher to ask about debossing; I’m familiar with embossing, but wanted to know more about debossing.
“In truth, I wish the wedding invite were more dimensional. If you send me an address, I can send you one so you know what I mean. It is so ironic that given our technology, it is very difficult to reproduce the 19th and early 20th Century quality of paper lace. Often when I find original pieces, as you probably know, they are somewhat tattered or missing pieces. But they are so textural, which is why I am exploring debossing. Like embossing, debossing uses plates to implant a design into paper- except debossing presses the design INTO the paper, rather than have the design rise out from it (embossing). This is a very expensive process and that’s why my valentine is being produced by a luxury company, as they will probably cost about $40 each to produce! I know, it’s really crazy. Laser cutting is the main expense.”
My thoughts: I can see that a substantial amount of planning and effort went into designing and creating this invitation. I’ve never seen anything comparable. For a bride who is looking for something exquisite and unique and luxurious, this is truly a spectacular idea. Thanks for sharing it, Christopher! I wish you all the best with designing the Valentine. I’ll look forward to seeing it!