ISA TUASON-MISHUKU OF PRINTCAFE PRINT AND PAPER CO.
In the age of digital influx, it’s easy to wonder if anything that can be done on paper is still valuable. The answer would obviously be, yes. Not only would it be valuable, but Printcafe Print and Paper Co proved that it could also be beautiful too. For seven years, Printcafe Print and Paper Co has mastered creating the mostly elegantly crafted and customized wedding invitations—punched with intricate details of calligraphy, watercolor backgrounds and even lively swatches of color.
What makes its birth extra special however, was the fact that unknowingly, their very first set of wedding invites were ones handcrafted for its owner Mayumi Sugai during her big day. “Our story began in 2010 when we are about to marry – we were looking for an invite supplier that could do invitations that were tasteful, elegant but not crazy expensive.. Our family had always been in the printing business so we were quite well versed with print techniques and had access to really premium paper, we thought we thought “why not make our own”? So we did our own design, printing and embossing on creamy Italian paper.. we had our own envelopes made, did a monogram on the envelopes and assembled each set ourselves before distributing to our guest.”
Their first official set of invites as Printcafe and Paper Co though, started in 2011. During Yumi’s honeymoon in Japan, she and her husband stumbled upon an unforgettable stationery store in Ginza, Japan. Being floored with the work they saw, and receiving constant requests from friends to pursue creating wedding invitations, Yumi decided to set up their shop. Fast-forward to 2018, Printcafe has successfully established five branches in Alabang Town Center, Festival Supermall, UP Town Center, Ayala Solenad Nuvali and its head office at Madrigal Business Park.
As their shop became a familiar name in the industry, Printcafe slowly expanded its products to stationery as well, producing notebooks, cards, planners and even specialty papers. But if you think this could mean a divided attention among stationery and wedding invite production, think again. Printcafe is always on their toes with the latest trends, design-wise. “Being a social stationery and mall retail store, we update ourselves with the latest stationery trends from all over the world. We are not afraid to explore design and to try new things,” Yumi explains.
Indeed their designs have shown versatility, thanks to their in-house designers and attention to detail, Printcafe continues to produce wellthought-of invites. They make sure that their creative process, from concept to production, not only heavily involves their clients’ vision, but is made with premium quality. Yumi goes through the process, sharing, “Communication is key. We make sure to keep our lines open and listen to whatever our clients want and make necessary adjustments or revisions so we could hit their plans spot on. Our artists are trained to be as flexible and creative as possible to adjust to different client preferences, but at the same time make suggestions to better the outcome.”
Running a business that finds gratification in seeing the joy of
the clients, don’t expect your standard invite. Printcafe continues to value personal touches. Aside from their creative designers and trend observations, Printcafe has makes sure that they get to know their clients well. Yumi believes it is one of the very sources they can draw inspiration from when conceptualizing wedding invites. “There are little things you pickup from [the] way [the couples] dress, the designs they are drawn to and their taste in wedding décor that leads you in the right direction when designing their invites,” Yumi reveals.
With their talent and keen sense of eye, they’ve snagged notable clients such as actress and host, Nikki Gil. It was their first attempt in letterpress offering, and the risk proved to be worth it. Aligned with their options of foiled letter invites, chic watercolor options, special colored envelopes, and simple calligraphy, letterpress has been another top choice.
Even in the age wherein Facebook invites are popular, Printcafe has found its place. Yumi points out, that even in a lifestyle of online communication, nothing bares sacredness like a tangible gift. She points out, “We think, more than ever before, if it’s a sacred, special occasion -- you must get actual invites printed on paper. In the digital age where most communication in done through text, chat or email, it is crucial you go through formal traditions to show the solemnity of the event. This way your guests feel the importance of your occasion right off the bat, and appreciate the effort you made to go out of your way to print invites and mail it to them.” More than tradition, sending over physical invites is an unspoken action of showing value to guests. Their invites are not a mere click of a button, but an enveloped work of art filled with handpicked designs and personally chosen colors that could very well spell out, “You’re been personally invited”.