When Katie and I got married, way back in 2003, we came to the rather earth-shattering realization that most of the wedding invitations out there totally blow. Torn vellum, pansy-ass fonts, doves and church steeples...it was a rough scene. So, at the time, we were left with no other option than to take matters into our own hands, designing and hand-printing our own invites, programs, etc.
Eventually, we took that experience and folded it into our design company, creating custom pieces for weddings and the like. We used to print the invites ourselves, but we quickly learned that doing so meant sacrificing a lot of economic and environmental sustainability. So we started outsourcing our designs to various letterpress shops in and around New York. The great thing about letterpress is that the plates that are created from your designs can give a really nice, old-world feel of quality to your work. Plus, since it's such a hands-on, small-batch process, it makes room for a lot of customization and individual care.
One of the shops we started outsourcing to was Thomas-Printers, a printer-owned shop in Carlisle, PA. We liked Thomas because, like many letterpress printers, they not only had a great eye for detail, they were also concerned with creating as little impact on the environment with their trade as possible.
Though creating fully customized art and layout with clients is a superbly rewarding approach to doing wedding invites, it's also very involved and can be pretty pricey. With Yonder Yest, Thomas-Printers and owner Kseniya Thomas have attempted to offer a more affordable, still customizable letterpress option for invitation printing. They tap establish designers (raven + crow studio, for instance), ask them to create designs that will translate to letterpress well and be easy to customize, and produce straight-forward, easy to price out finished products. It's a nice business model that marries (hah, get it?) economic sense and ease of use with the level of detail and individuality that I think everyone wants to be able to afford for their wedding.
Plus no doves flying off into the sunset or footprints in the sand, man.