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Ask the expert: Barnard & Westwood

Posted on by Beyond Bespoke

Alasdair Abrines from Barnard & Westwood talks about the process of creating a luxury invitation for a private client event

What was the project?
For Beyond Bespoke’s South West 2015: Luxury and beyond event they were looking to create some beautiful printed invitations that had both a subtle tactile finish and a sleek elegant design in line with their brand. With the nature of the event it was imperative that the finished product was of the highest quality.

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What was involved?
After discussions with Beyond Bespoke’s design team it was agreed that the best way to achieve the required result was to foil block the invitations. By using a glossy black foil we would be able to produce an eye-catching detailed impression whilst also giving the text and imagery a debossed, textured finish.

Once the design was finalised we were able to get a foil block produced and order in the paper. The stock chosen was a luxurious 750gsm Mayfair Ivory material. Not only would this paper mean the end invitations would be on a nice thick board but the smooth texture of the surface of this paper meant the foil would have a much better chance of printing evenly.

Once all the materials arrived we were able to set the foil blocking plate up on our Platen press and begin foiling the invitations.

After being cut down to size and signed off for quality control by our Head of Production the invitations were packaged up and delivered out to Beyond Bespoke as quickly as possible to allow plenty of time to get them posted out to their VIP guests.

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Any challenges along the way?
Given the size of the area to be foil blocked we initially had issues with the foil printing evenly onto the invitations. We were finding that the two thin lines around the border were not printing cleanly in all 4 corners. To overcome this, our machine operator was able to experiment with different temperatures and pressures to get the foil to effectively release.

To ensure each invitation had the best finish possible we actually ran them through the machine twice. This also had the added benefit that it gave an even greater debossed impression to the text and logo.

What are you most pleased with?
By effectively foil blocking the invitations twice we were able to get a really sharp, clean image that held the debossed indentation really well. This resulted in a very luxurious invitation that had both a stunning visual and tactile finish. We were very happy to hear that the Beyond Bespoke team really liked them and hope the lucky guests do too.

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What next?
Barnard & Westwood has recently become a 100% Employee Owned company and so that in itself has brought with it a huge range of different opportunities to explore new avenues in the future and grow together as a team.

We are also increasingly taking part in internal and external events to exhibit the variety of different traditional printing and bookbinding skills we specialise in. The rest of 2015 is looking quite busy for events including further collaborations with Beyond Bespoke, a Movember themed event in November to raise money and awareness for the Men’s Health charity and several more projects in the pipeline.

For more information, visit Barnard & Westwood

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