HOW EARLY SHOULD I START DESIGNING MY INVITATIONS? The general rule-of-thumb for mailing invitations is 8 weeks before the wedding or 10-12 weeks for a destination wedding. That being said, our personal timeline is generally 4 weeks for production and an average of 2-3 weeks before that for the design process. We recommend coming in for your first design consult 4-5 months before the big day. Save the dates should be mailed 6-8 months in advance.
DO I NEED AN APPOINTMENT? YES! We take consultations by appointment only Thursday-Saturday to guarantee that a designer is available to meet with you and provide a full design consultation. We also work with couples at a distance! We treat phone consultations the same as in-person meetings - by appointment. Only our designers give complete pricing, quote accurate turnaround time, and offer you the Copper Willow consultation that your custom stationery project requires. Call 310.836.6004 or visit our online booking to make a date with us! Please note that all prospective clients are allotted up to 90 minutes of a complimentary consultation for invitation suites with then one 30 minute follow-up consultation once your design project is underway. All further consult time is billed at $100/hour.
*Upon booking your consultation online, you will be asked for a credit card to secure your appointment. The credit card will never be charged unless you do not show for your appointment. Cancellations must be made within 24 hours of the appointment so we may welcome another client in that time slot. After your appointment, our booking software deletes your credit card information.
WHY ARE YOUR HOURS SO SHORT? It's true that Copper Willow is open for consultations and retail sales for a limited number of hours each week. In order to provide our clients superior design and print, we reserve time before and after studio hours for uninterrupted, quality production time.
SHOULD I BRING MY PLANNER? Absolutely! We work with wedding planners and event designers on a regular basis and love when your event professional joins your paper consultation. Your planner brings a wealth of information about your event aesthetic that we can tap during the consultation. He or she also understands the world of paper and can help you stay on budget and on time. We love planners!
WHAT IS A PROOF? A proof is the bridge between your consultation and finished papers. After consultation and receipt of deposit, we create a digital mock-up of your design and send it to you as a PDF proof. You'll review the proof for design, quantity, paper selection, grammar, spelling, and a host of other elements. We will make 2-3 rounds of changes to the proof until it looks just right. Please print your proof at home or work before approval because you'll catch more typos or other errors. When it's perfect, approve the proof, and we'll print directly from it to make your design a reality!
WHAT IS THE TURNAROUND TIME? The creation of custom papers involves 2 distinct steps: design and production. Design time for wedding suites varies, but generally takes 2-3 weeks after the initial consultation and receipt of your text & deposit (less time for smaller projects). After the final design is approved, production time ranges from one week for a small quantity of business cards to 4 weeks for large quantity wedding invitations with custom-sourced elements and extensive assembly, We recommend that you visit us 4 months prior to your wedding for invitations, or earlier for save the dates with invitations.
WHAT IS LETTERPRESS? WHAT IS FOIL PRINTING? Modern letterpress is a printing method that uses an inked printing plate to press your design into the paper. The plate literally dents the paper to create a textural experience as well as a visual design. Foil printing uses a heated metal printing plate that stamps your design over a foil film onto the paper. The foil can be super shiny metallic, soft glow metallic, or matte solid color foil which is used to stamp white or light colors onto dark paper.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? We are committed to helping you find papers that you LOVE and that fit your budget. Prices vary widely depending on the type of project, the processes used, and the quantity you need. During the consultation, we fully explain our prices so you can make informed decisions and maximize the impact of your papers. It’s a great idea to come to your design meeting with your budget in mind. Knowing your ideal paper expense will help your designer select elements that fit your needs. For 100 wedding invitation sets (including invitation, reply card, and 2 envelopes), expect to spend:
$800 for digital printing on 100# cardstock $1200 for one color letterpress on 2ply cotton $1500 for one color foil on 2ply cotton
That said, our minimum order is $500 and the average price for 100 invitation sets is closer to $1800. Keep in mind that the lion's share of the cost is in the design and set-up, so small orders will cost more per piece than large orders.
WHY ARE LETTERPRESS & FOIL PRINTING MORE EXPENSIVE THAN DIGITAL PRINTING?
There are 3 factors that contribute to the additional cost :
1) printing plates are ordered per project and are costly to create, whereas there are no plates with digital print;
2) cotton and ultra thick paper favored for deep impression is more expensive than the smooth, thinner paper used in digital print; and
3) letterpress and foil printing require a longer set-up time, and each sheet is hand-fed by an actual person, requiring more man hours.
WHY DO YOU REQUIRE A 50% DEPOSIT? Your non-refundable deposit covers the cost of the design and a portion of the materials needed to produce your custom papers. The final payment, which is due at pick up, covers the remainder of the materials and all man hours used in production. A small portion goes to the cost of doing business that keeps our doors open!
CAN I AVOID SALES TAX BY PAYING IN CASH? No, this is against the law.
CAN I BUY A DESIGN WITHOUT PRINTING? No, Copper Willow is a design-print studio only.
WHO OWNS THE DESIGN ONCE ITS PRODUCED? All artwork and designs remain the property of Copper Willow Paper Studio. Your project includes the one-time license for use of artwork on items printed here in the studio. If you would like to obtain the rights to any of your custom art (including calligraphy and custom drawings) for use in other applications, fees start $25 for a color or black & white PNG or JPG file to $100 for editable vector files. Please ask your designer for exact pricing, which is based upon the complexity of the design. Elements such as fonts and paper resources are proprietary.
I FOUND A DESIGN THAT I LOVE ONLINE - CAN YOU COPY IT? No, we won't copy another designer's work. If you love a design but find that the company only offers digital print and you want letterpress or foil, simply ask to buy the design for your one-time use, and we'll be happy to print it for you.
I'M AN AMATEUR DESIGNER OR DESIGN STUDENT - CAN I GET PRODUCTION PRICING? How exciting! We are happy to print your designs and answer any questions you have about transforming your design into a finished product. We offer a flat 15% discount for printing your supplied artwork, but only businesses with a valid business license and a seller's permit qualify for production pricing. Once you establish yourself as a business with the proper licensing, we have a great wholesale program to explore!
I'M A PROFESSIONAL DESIGNER WITH MY OWN BUSINESS - CAN I GET PRODUCTION PRICING? Definitely! Visit our production page which is dedicated especially to your needs! We work with local and distant designers, but you must open a trade account with us to receive trade pricing. We have two levels of trade pricing and a business license and seller's permit are required -- read more HERE!