Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gocco--What and Why?

Let's not dwell on niceties and instead jump right into wedding things, shall we? Researching stationery was one of the ways I found weddingbee, so it's a good place to start.

Invitations and Save the Dates are the first glimpse that guests have of your wedding, and therefore take on a certain importance--you want it to say something about the couple's style, as well as convey the feel and tone of the wedding.  In my search for invitations to purchase, I continually came across brides who had made their own invitations.  Make my own invitations? I hadn't even considered it, didn't know it was possible (beyond writing with magic marker on posterboard).

When I saw the variety of homemade yet professional-looking invitations, I also saw a lot of the word "Gocco" flying around.  This is old hat for some of you, but for those of you new to Gocco (and may have missed Miss Pretzel's cool tutorial), here's a short intro: Gocco is a screen printing process that allows you to create your own design for a variety of media, including stationery. You create an image on paper, make a carbon photocopy, burn the carbon photocopy image onto a screen with the bulbs provided by Gocco, and then ink the screen with whatever colors and press it down onto your media.

There are already a lot of posts regarding Gocco and the basics of using a Gocco, like Mrs. Pretzel's posts and these videos:

One of the many helpful youtube videos (they explain the process)

Source (this video is more about showing the process, with no chatter)

And let's not forget:
Paper Source (please watch this and all her other videos, this woman is adorable)
Weddingbee wiki on Gocco

The Gocco allows you to print images and colors on papers that you may not be able to get away with on a regular home printer, because of a few issues:

I'm going to print my invitations on 5x5 square paper. I could conceivably run a whole lotta 8.5x11's through my printer and then painstakingly cut each one out, but that's a pain in the ass (for me, because I'm lazy).

I want to use 110lb or heavier paper. Many printers cannot handle this thickness. But with the Gocco, you're pressing down an inked image onto the paper so the thickness is not a problem (unless you are printing on something ridiculously thick, like your pet).

Quality of Print
Lastly, the pressed ink from the Gocco screen gives a bit more "3D" quality to the printed image compared to an inkjet or laser printer. We're probably only talking fractions of a millimeter here, something you can't feel with your finger and to be honest might be completely imaginary on my part, but the Gocco process gives a slightly more professional quality (but really, this is a minor point--for me it's more about the paper size and thickness).

So, Gocco: worth it or not? Discuss.


  1. I second the ironing tip, especially for those larger solid designs. Put the iron on a low setting, and iron your to-be-Gocco'd design through a sheet of tracing paper, 5-7 times. It makes transfer onto the screen much more uniform.

  2. Isn't the Gocco one big carcinogen?