The artisanal art of letterpress printing

In this issue of Community Update, we have selected de Havilland Memories with our Commitment to Excellence Award.

Letterpress printing was the main form of printing for hundreds of years until the introduction of rotary presses in industrial printing. However, the modern-day usage of letterpress printing is considered an art form and can be found on limited edition spirit or cosmetics labels and especially on luxury wedding stationery.

The printing provides deep impressions (known as ‘debossing’) in paper or card and gives a beautiful, unique tactile quality. It is used for creating exquisite wedding stationery and is a show-stopper in its own right.

Florrie de Havilland is the brainchild behind de Havilland Memories- a much sought-after UK-based wedding stationery company. She uses an original 1960’s Heidelberg Platen, which she has affectionately named ‘Penelope’ to create stunning letterpress printing,

“One of my recent commissions was for a lovely couple called Anastasia and Gary, who wanted wedding invitations for a summer destination wedding in the Dordogne region of France. The wedding will be a ‘multi-day’ wedding fashioned over a weekend in a stunning Chateau.

The first stage of the consultation process was to meet the lovely couple in person and where better to do this than over afternoon tea?

For this particular couple, it became evident quickly they wanted an elegant, formal wedding, through the well-thought-out mood board they brought with them. Anastasia, in particular had very clear ideas about the style of wedding invitation and wanted a black and white themed style.

With colour themes, I always come up with several suggestions and though the monochrome was the first idea, the couple actually preferred the dark chocolate and champagne off-white combination. As a previous Design Engineer myself, I know that designs in ‘our mind’s eye’ can look different on paper, part of my job is to help guide couples towards having that ‘WOW’ feeling with the final design.   The other modifications I made were to use the couple’s surnames, rather than just forenames and the champagne-coloured wax seal and thread gave the whole design the desired elegant feel.

The final invitations were lovingly packaged with a ‘keepsake’ invite personally addressed to the couple.  Anastasia and Gary phoned me in tears of joy, they were amazed at the 3mm thickness of card and the overall artisan effect of the letterpress printing. The invitations were the perfect match for their white and green floral theme.”

de Havilland memories can supply the full range of wedding stationery from the first impressions of beautiful invitations, to the circular ending of thank you cards, creating timeless wedding mementos for generations to come.

de Havilland memories will be at the following wedding fayres:

The Sussex Wedding Fayre:

4th February 2024

West Heath Wedding Fair:

18th February 2024

T 078 21140700