A CUT ABOVE - LASER CUT WEDDING STATIONERY
Following my post a few weeks back showcasing our laser cut Save the Dates, I received many curious questions about the process I went through to create them. So I thought I would talk a little about laser cutting paper, the process and the price you might expect to pay for falling in love with the technique.
Historically, laser cutting has been used for more industrial applications, but over the past few years, we’ve seen the trend soar in popularity down runways and in interior and industrial design, blending art and technology to produce unique results. More recently the fine art foray into laser cutting paper has resulted in a red-hot trend across the wedding stationery industry. Just like other luxury techniques such as letterpress and embossing, laser cutting takes an ordinary invitation and transforms it to a whole new level. There is just something so magical and unexpected about the intricate technique, it is such an impressive example of just how versatile paper can be.
Laser cutting uses an intense, focused beam of light to cut through, engrave or score the paper. The path of the laser beam is controlled by a computer, which interprets a digital file such as a vector, PDF or even a jpg, and replicates it onto the paper. As the laser beam is guided along the paper, everything in its direct path is vaporised, burnt or melted away and a jet of gas surrounding the beam pushes away any residue resulting in a clean and highly finished cut surface.
Laser cutting is a time-consuming process. Most designs will take between 2 and 10 minutes per item to cut. While that does not sound like a lot, multiply 10 minutes by 100 invitations and before you know it you’ve clocked nearly 17 hours of labour time just for cutting. There’s also testing, trimming, packing and delivery to account for, so all up it is best to allow approximately 2 weeks for the process. Allow a further 2-4 weeks for your custom design to be created.
There are no two ways about it, laser cutting is not for the budget conscious. Although a machine does the cutting, it’s still a very manual process, which requires a skilled, hands-on operator. Pricing will depend on the complexity of your design and your chosen materials. Most laser cutters will charge per minute, so the more complex your design is and the thicker your paper, the more expensive it is going to be. As a rough guide, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $15 plus per piece. Keep in mind there is also likely to be a printing process involved plus other accompanying inserts with your invitation, so your laser cutting cost isn’t the only cost to factor in.
Love Carli works with an experienced laser cutter right here in Melbourne who cuts our designs and we cannot recommend him more highly. If you’re interested in a custom wedding invitation design incorporating the laser cutting technique, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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