By Erin La Row, editor, PostPress
A wedding invitation is a first glimpse at a couple’s wedding day. It sets the tone for the ceremony before guests ever arrive. Alexia Vondrachek and the team at Prettiest Pixel, located in Shawnee, Kansas, design and produce luxury wedding stationery. The company takes classic, luxury invitations and adds a modern element. Each design is as unique as the clients it works with.
The Prettiest Pixel team was approached by a wedding planner to provide a quote for the wedding planner’s clients, Matthew and Santos.
“The production goals were to execute a perfect and high-quality design that is representative of our work but in line with Matthew and Santo’s vision of the perfect wedding invitation,” Vondrachek said.
The design needed to be dark but formal, trendy and modern at the same time.
“We needed design elements that were not too feminine but bold and high-end in concept,” Vondrachek said. “We chose a leathery textured paper underneath the main invitation to enhance the overall design.”
Vondrachek designed and created the graphics in Adobe Illustrator. At times, pieces of stock art were used to fill in small details for the wreath or crests. “And at times, they were purely illustrated by me or our other designer, Nikole Williams,” Vondrachek said.
The design team used Stardream cover stocks and Sirio Ultra Black for a stunning dark black finish on the envelopes. The team then used digital white printing for the writing. “We love using white printing to finish off any detail,” Vondrachek said.
The main invitation was made of a flexible clear acrylic and finished with hot foil stamping in gold. The remainder of the items were made from Stardream Papers, which Vondrachek said run well on Prettiest Pixel’s laser printers.
Embellishments include gold foil on the acrylic that then was placed over a deep black, textured background, providing a unique presentation for a wedding invitation. Vondrachek said the white printing also is unique given it was printed in-house using a German supplier for the toner on a small HP Laserjet printer. Other embellishments include the custom wax seal and engraving.
“That was the perfect accent and one of our favorite things to do for our clients,” Vondrachek said. “The challenge with that is we have to use very specific temps on the wax so the seal is done without defect. Heidi Muder-Hoang, our head of foiling, is perfect at that!”
In addition to the HP printer, the team used a Xerox printer and Metallic Elephant clamshell hot foil machine for the hot foil stamping. Ribbons and quality adhesives for the liners that are clean, clear and easy to apply with speed helped complete the project. With all of the assembly done by hand, Vondrachek said it takes a sharp eye.
“Ultimately, the production has to be perfect, and the borders are really the challenging part. I think all pressmen and women can get on board with that! Being in the wedding industry is a challenge at times due to the fact that we have to be perfect at all times with our production,” Vondrachek said.
The result was a stunning invitation the clients and judges loved. The Prettiest Pixel’s acrylic invitation took home gold for Best Use of Foil/Embossing – Announcement/Invitation (Creative) in the 30th Annual FSEA Gold Leaf Awards.