Invitation Terminology

A Handy Reference to Invitation Terms:

Invitations are as unique and wonderful as the individual(s) for whom and by whom they have been created. However, there are certain standards by which most invitations comply, either out of tradition, or for practical reasons, such as to ensure envelopes are available to fit them.

Following is a handy reference guide to the terms applying to invitations mentioned in descriptions throughout

Size Name:
Astor: 3 3/8” X 5 3/8”
Belmont: 4” X 6 1/16”
Classic: 5 ¾” X 7 5/8”
Club Note: 4 7/16” X 5 ¾”
Dixmore: 4 7/16” X 5 5/8”
Duchess/Legend: 5” X 8 ½”
Embassy: 5” X 6 5/8”
Grande: 5 7/8” Square
Harmony: 5 ¾” X 9 ¼”
Imperial: 6 ¼” Square
Jumbo: 5 1/8” X 7 ¼”
Keepsake: 7 ¾” Square
Lee: 5 1/8” X 7”
Marquis: 5 ½” Square
Princess: 4 ½” X 6 1/8”
Regal: 5 ¼” X 7 7/8”
Royal: 5 ¾” X 7 7/8”
Slim Line: 3 ¾” X 8 ½”
Splendor: 6 5/8” X 10”
Symphony: 6 ¾” Square
Tea Length: 4” X 9 ¼”
Tiffany: 5 ½” X 7 ¾”
Upright: 4 ½” X 6 1/8”
Windsor: 6 1/8” X 8 ¾”
Yorkshire: 5” X 7 ¼”

French-Fold Invitation: A single piece of paper stock folded in half to double-thickness, then folded in half again. Examples of traditional French-Fold invitations may be seen here.

Gate-Fold Invitation: Any invitation which has flaps that come together in the center front. The paper may be a tri-fold or possibly five-panel stock. Examples of gate-fold invitations may be seen here.

Layered Invitation: Any invitation with multiple layers of paper which may be stacked and glued for heavier presentation, or loose and tied with a ribbon at top. Examples of Layered Invitations may be seen here.

Pocket Invitation: Any invitation which includes a self-pocket to hold the invitation and accessory cards together. Examples of pocket invitations may be seen here.

Single-Card Invitation: A single piece of paper with no folds. Examples of Single-Card Invitations may be seen here.

Single-Fold Invitation: A single piece of paper stock with one fold, usually at the top or left side. In many cases, the printing on a single-fold invitation is on the front of the invitation with the inside being completely blank. Examples of single-fold invitations may be seen here

Tri-Fold Invitation: Any single piece of paper with two folds creating 3 distinct panels. Examples of Tri-Fold invitations may be seen here.

Wrapped Invitation: Any invitation that is wrapped with the same or different stock. Examples of Wrapped Invitations may be seen here.

Z-Fold Invitation: A Tri-Fold invitation which folds in the shape of a Z.

Paper Types:
100% Cotton Paper: Paper made from 100% cotton fibers. 100% cotton fiber paper is desirable for invitations for events such as weddings due to its soft feel and archival quality. Examples of 100% cotton invitations may be viewed here.

Bright White / Brilliant White: White paper stock that is white-white, not off-white. Examples of bright white paper may be seen here.

Brownkraft: Invitations made of paper that resembles a brown paper grocery bag. Often these invitations are made from recycled paper stock. Creamy / Wedding White: Paper which is between Bright White and Ivory / Ecru, Creamy White Paper is a soft off-white. Examples of wedding white invitations may be viewed here.

Ecru / Ivory: Paper stock that is a dark off-white to yellow-off white color. Examples of ivory and ecru invitations may be seen here.

European / Shimmer Paper: Invitation paper which is coated with a metallic shimmer finish. Examples of shimmer stock invitations may be viewed here

Gloss Cover Stock: Paper which has a shiny or semi-gloss finish applied to the printed side. Examples of Gloss Cover-Stock invitations may be viewed here.

Parchment Paper: Paper which is created to resemble the look of antique parchment. Parchment paper is generally used in French-fold applications. Examples of Parchment Paper Invitations may be viewed here.

Recycled Paper: uses the term Recycled Paper for any invitation which contains a minimum 30% PCW fibers.

Translucent Vellum: Invitations which utilize an acetate stock to create a translucent “paper” for printing or overlays. Examples of Translucent Vellum Invitations may be viewed here.

Vellum Invitations: Invitations created with any paper other than 100% cotton may be referred to as “vellum” in the invitation industry. See also Translucent Vellum.

Print Techniques & Design Descriptors:
Digital Printing: A relatively new technique which allows 4-color design and wording to be printed simultaneously. Digital printing results in flat-printed wording and is useful for printing designs behind wording and color photo invitations.

Embossing: A technique used to create a raised effect in design on invitations. Papers may be “blind embossed” which means there is no treatment other than the raising of the paper from the back, or treated with a foil, ink or other color- or texture-adding material. An example of a blind-embossed design on a wedding invitation may be viewed here.

Engraving: A time-honored and early form of printing formal correspondence, engraving involves a metal (traditionally copper) plate engraved in reverse with the wording to be printed. The engraved letters on the plate are filled with ink and the paper is pressed into the plate from the back, causing the the letters to be raised up in the paper and the ink to be applied simultaneously. Engraved Wedding Invitations may be viewed here.

Foil-stamping: A technique utilizing very thin sheets of foil material (metallic or matte) applied from the front and bonded to the paper for design or printing purposes. Foil-stamping results in a flat design which is not raised/embossed. An example of a foil-stamped design on a Bar Mitzvah Invitation may be viewed here.

Letterpress: A time-honored printing process involving stamping designs and/or letters into a thick paper from the front, creating an indentation which is simultaneously inked. Letterpress is experiencing a resurgence in the invitation market. Examples of Letterpress Invitations may be viewed here.

Pearlizing: Generally-speaking, a pearl foil applied to an embossed design, giving the finished product a finish resembling a pearl color. Examples of Pearlized Wedding Invitations may be viewed here.

Refractive: A form of foil-stamping which results in a design which is altered in differing light conditions. Designs utilizing refractive foil may not be fully visible in low-light conditions, creating a subtle and surprising element when viewed in higher-light conditions. An example of a refractive border on a wedding invitation may be viewed here.

Screened-printing: A lighter version of the same ink color used as a backdrop for your invitation wording. Screens are defined by the percentage of full ink used. An example of a screen may be viewed here.

Thermography: A modern print-process designed to mimic engraving by recreating the raised effect of the letters or design utilizing a powered substance which adheres to the ink before drying.

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