08-08-2012

W2P (Wed-to-Print)

Author: Kerry Rice

When I moved here from South Africa in 2008, broadband was all but a foreign word back home. That’s probably why I am still in awe of the wondrous world of things I can create and buy online.

Author: Kerry Rice

AttributionNo Derivative WorksSome rights reserved by William Arthur Fine Stationery

When I moved here from South Africa in 2008, broadband was all but a foreign word back home. That’s probably why I am still in awe of the wondrous world of things I can create and buy online.

Amazon still thrills me. It’s not just that I can order books and know they will actually arrive in the post, but the fact that if I can imagine it I can probably order it. I recently discovered I could even order personalised return-to-sender stickers on Amazon!

Personalised print. Sigh. Anyone who has read my previous blogs will have gathered that I have a growing obsession with almost any form of print that I can personalise and order online. Photobox alone is making a fortune out of me.

So when it came to printing stationery for my upcoming wedding, there was never any doubt that some savvy web-to-print operator was going to win the business.

I cut out so many pictures of invitations, save-the-dates and orders of service from wedding magazines that my wedding scrapbook contains about 20 pages devoted to stationery. I’ve even had to acquire a box to hold all of the samples that I ordered (all of which I had to pay for incidentally). My ‘shortlist’ stretched to two pages.

In the end though I settled on a small social stationery specialist with offices in London and San Francisco. They offer templates from graphic designers all over the world that you can personalise, and which are then printed digitally at its US or UK office, depending on where you are.

To someone who’s been immersed in the world of print for the past few years, this may not seem particularly groundbreaking. However from the research this bride-to-be has done on social stationery over the past few months, this level of sophistication certainly seems to be in its infancy.

The designs I liked best all seemed to come from the USA. Yet until I found the company I ordered from, not one company I looked at seemed to offer the option of having the stationery digitally printed in the UK. Instead I’d have had to personalise online, sign off an electronic proof and then wait for my invitations to be printed in the USA and shipped to me in London. In the age of web-to-print applications and high quality digital print, this seemed absurd to me.

My invitations arrived this week, having been printed in less than a week after I signed off the proof. The print quality is great and the card stock is perfect. Not only that, but the invitations, information cards and envelopes arrived in pretty individually-wrapped packages that match my stationery colours.

Now I just need to think of more things that I can personalise and have printed for the wedding…