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How Ordering Bespoke Online Works

click here for the 'cliff notes' version...

The starting price you see includes all your setup costs, your personal Bell'INVITO designer, plus the 10 extra components of your full order.

What does Bell'INVITO do that is different from other specialty printers?
For each Bell'INVITO bespoke order, an in-house designer is assigned to your order. Your Bell'INVITO designer is intimately familiar with professional design software, the nuances of specialty printing (like an architect building your home instead of a handyman), and is educated to advise you regarding the best etiquette for your specific situation. We know that you come for more than a pretty piece of paper. 

The Bell’INVITO difference and its mark of distinction note elevated attention to detail. All items are specialty printed, meaning they are created from materials and with a type of distinguishing craftsmanship that is unlike typical online custom printers. Specialty printing is simply very special. We're honored to have earned the distinction in our industry of doing this difficult task very well. We offer flat printing, letterpress, engraved and embossed printing, etching, multi-level embossing, foil, edge shaping with hand-painted finishes, hand-calligraphy, and a combination of these expert methods.

Within the timeline you chose with your order,our designers send your full suite with all the details we've collected from you online in an emailed PDF called 'Proof Set 1'. 

Your designer will work with you on revisions for two additional rounds and up to 30 calendar days. If you need more time and more changes, we're happy to keep perfecting. The balance for additional work can be paid when your order ships. Our design team bills at $37.50 per 15 minutes. Time needed is quoted on request.

Once your artwork is approved, your Production Timeline begins!


What takes so long?
In short, specialty printing employs print methods that create a tell-tale texture as a result of the processes. A printing plate (picture a metal block with your design etched into it) is made for every color you've chosen to appear in your specialty printed items. Each plate is paired with the ink of your choice and individually set up on a vintage printing press. The impression left from the ink kissing the paper is unlike flat printing, which we use primarily for watercolor and photograph printing, but can be used on your full order as a lower-priced alternative. Our press gurus hand-feed each card through the presses for each individual color. This allows them to produce the intricate, highly specialized work we're known for. Specialty printing produces a wow factor like nothing else. 

On day one of your Production Timeline, plate-making artists, master craftsmen, and quality control specialists meet for a download from your designer. Their goal is to get to know a little something about you and your order so they can tailor it to your style. Next, each expert takes off creating their aspect of your order. Once the elements touched by each expert come together, the magic is applied to every subsequent piece of your custom creation.

What are the different types of Specialty Printing?

How is Bell'INVITO digital printing different than other printing I can order online?

We queue up your order to our super-savvy digital machines manually to ensure quality, and we use out 100% cotton or #130 semi-cotton papers. If your order is a wedding invitation, or something called "2-ply" or more, this printed sheet is thickened to make the statement piece you're looking for. Fine cotton papers are finicky and require some extra TLC when printed digitally. Less expensive papers like the 'premium' papers large online printers offer are a bit thinner and print somewhat less beautifully. We choose to use the finest materials when our name is present, so you have confidence with every order. Digital does not offer shiny metallics, but you can get multi-colored printing without the need for plates required for the next printing methods explained.

What is letterpress?
Letterpress orders require a printing plate. To offer you the best turnaround times, those plates are made as soon as your approval is received. As in all letterpress printing, each color is applied by a different plate, one at a time.

The first impression requires testing and re-testing to reach the right shade and placement. Next, a quality control check is completed and the machine is thoroughly washed down. If you have a second color, your second new plate is applied to the press and the process begins again with a new setup and a second round of stamping each color onto each card by hand. Letterpress requires a thick, pasty ink that does not transfer metallic color well, especially on cotton paper. If you want a letterpress-style impression but with a metallic glint, you'll need to upgrade to foil stamping.

What is foil stamping?
Foil stamping orders require a copper printing plate. Some printers use other, less-expensive metals, but these break down and don't give a consistent impression. We opt for copper so your quality is on point. Plates are made as soon as your approval is received. As in all foil stamping, each color is applied by a different plate, one at a time.

This first impression requires an artist's eye to reach the right coverage and placement. A quality control check is completed on every piece. If you have a second color, your second plate is applied to the press and the process begins again with a new setup and the second round of stamping. Foils can be matte or shiny, but since they are not inks, the assortment, although vast, is limited to what is available from the foil companies. Foil leaves a smooth impression that is mostly opaque, depending on the foil.

What is engraving?
In traditional fashion, engraved printing (known in the industry as 'die stamping') begins with a set of engraved copper plates and counters (the 'back plate' made of a different material). Once plates are etched and ready the first plate (or 'die') is mounted to the press. Next, the machine is set up by a master craftsman for printing. The first ink color is poured into the vintage press fountain. As the ink flows it is monitored and tested by the craftsman for consistency before the printing can begin. Once perfected, each card is hand-fed for an unmistakably elegant raised-color print. Your quantity is completed, with a few extras for good measure, and the machine is thoroughly washed down. If you have a second color, your second clean plate is applied to a freshly cleaned press. The fountain is again filled with the new color, the setup is reconfigured, and the artist spends time perfectly aligning your next round of color impressions to the first round they have already applied.

How is quality checked?
Once printing production is complete, envelope liners (if chosen) are die-cut and applied into your envelopes by hand. As a final step, a quality control specialist (fresh set of eyes!) counts each order, and a second specialist confirms the count and records the details of your order for our records. Your order is carefully wrapped and packaged for shipping.

What if I want something different?
Any request for customization is welcome, however, these orders incur additional costs. While small changes may be accommodated through a small extra cost in the revision phase of your online order, total customization must be estimated with our Custom Order Pricing Tool via an appointment with a Bell'INVITO designer.

Due to the number of hours that are involved in custom ordering, an appointment charge is set that covers the cost of the designer's time. We credit 50% of your appointment cost back to your order placed within 30 calendar days of your appointment. Anything is possible! We're happy to help you brainstorm to find the right fit for your event and budget either in-person or on a video chat.