Truman and Minhee Cho
How did you get started?
Five years ago, Minhee was a miserable magazine designer and wanted to start a stationery company. I was tired of hearing her complain, so we jumped in! Our designs are innovative, modern, vintage-esque. We don’t do kitschy. If you want a Fifties-style invite, we may mix a retro-diner font with a modern, sleek type instead of taking something from that era and going crazy with it.
You’re a married couple. What did your own invitations look like?
We’ve known each other since elementary school, so we had a vintage school theme. We raided the notepad section of an old office supply store in Chinatown; we fell in love with the patina of an antique ledger paper. We made rubber stamps, labels, custom die-cut mini manila folders, and mailed them out in pale-blue, glassine- windowed envelopes. Unfortunately, some of the sheets we used were too fragile and the letterpress didn’t work. So, here’s a tip: If you’re using vintage paper, do a test-run first.
What printing technique are you partial to?
Letterpress, but we let the design dictate what’s best. We offer flat-printing, letterpress, and engraving. Flat-printing is the most affordable; it can cost as little as $2,100 for 100 one-color suites. With flat-printing everything is smooth to the touch. Letterpress is a bit more involved. It leaves a deep impression on the paper, which is usually softer and thicker than what flat-printing requires. Prices start at $2,800 and can go up depending on the number of colors used, and how many items are involved in the suite. Engraving leaves a raised texture on the surface of the page. That starts at $3,800 and is typically considered the most elegant and traditional medium.
How can a couple keep costs down without sending a sad-looking piece of paper?
Avoid reprints—a couple will be short ten invites and they’ll say, “We have to send these out.” Then our printer is like, “What, ten? Just ten?” Use a rubber stamp instead of printing the return address on the envelope, and reuse it for your thank-you cards. We have embossers and stamp vendors we work with—Joseph Treu, on West 27th Street, is open to the public.
And if money is no object?
Use custom watermarked paper, or commission an illustration. Calligraphy is a luxury, and we like Nan DeLuca’s work.
What are you doing a lot of lately?
Victorian-inspired design and Western. Also, couples still like to brand themselves—they want custom logos.
Destination wedding invites need to communicate a lot. How do you do this without overstuffing the envelope?
Booklets, letterpress maps, and schedule cards work well. Wedding Websites are a lot nicer than they were a few years ago. Use an existing company like weddingwindow.com, and ask your designer to set it up so it matches the invites. It would cost $750 for us to do that.
Is there anything you’re not into?
E-mails on the RSVP or Websites on the invitation. Print it on an extra insert and take off that unsightly “www.”
Tips From the Trade
“These make clever shower invites or thank-yous. We can even customize the silhouettes to look like your bridesmaids.” From $4.50 each.
Invitation Photograph by Hannah Whitaker/New York Magazine