Wedding Essentials - - WE DISCOVERIES - Words LOREN DIMAANO Pro­file pho­tog­ra­phy MANNY LLANES Pho­tos cour­tesy 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”.

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