A new product we’ve been asking for (for several years) has finally arrived. Crane Lettra is now available as a 90lb cover stock that is thick, but not so thick, and good for duplexing.
Being the paper nerds that we are, we busted out our calipers to compare the thickness of duplexed Lettra stocks. Our 220lb Lettra stock calipers at .039″ (40pt) and the new 180lb cover stock calipers at .031″ (30pt), roughly a 25% reduction. Available in fluorescent white, pearl white and ecru, we’ve added this to our list of preferred house stocks.
Our first project to hit press with this new stock was for director Nathaniel Freeman. Letterpress printed with a navy ink and a custom varnish, the 90lb pearl white stock was duplexed after printing–concealing the impression show through in the center of the card. The finished product features a nice sculptural impression, but with slightly less bulk to the card.
Designed by Calgary based design studio Wax, these cards for a small business bookkeeper are quite possibly the smallest thing we’ve ever produced. Measuring out at a compact 1″ x .6,” the cards were so petit we were unable to trim these down using our paper cutter (there simply wasn’t anywhere to hold onto them) so a custom made 8up die was used. Printed on Crane Lettra Flo White 220c with one ink on both sides.
We photographed them with some firecrackers we had laying around the studio (what? don’t you have firecrackers on your desk?) to give you a better sense of their size.
Jane, from the family/design/lifestyle blog See Jane Blog, approached us to design and produce some fresh cards for her before she headed off to the annual Alt Summit blogger conference in January. Jane was great to work with, she had a few ideas and elements she wanted included but really lets us run and create something that would look great letterpress printed. Some of our favorite features include the custom diecut (designed to accentuate her signature asterisk) and the thin linework pattern (referencing back to her patterned blog header).
Production wise, these were printed on Crane Lettra Flo White 110lb cover stock that was custom duplexed to a 220lb weight after printing. With two inks, a blind impression and a custom diecut, the presssheet for these cards ran through the press a total of four times.
You can also read about these in a lovely post over on Jane’s blog.
Today’s post is brought to you by the color pink! Rubine Red, to be exact. Created by the fellas over at Duct Tape and Glitter, these cards used almost every production process we offer, printing with three ink colors (one of them a flood) along with a blind impression, custom duplexing after printing and finished with a swipe of edge coloring.
Despite the multiple processes these went through, we were able to keep an eye on the cost by printing the fronts and backs up on the same presssheet. By setting up the sheet this way colors that were common to both sides (like the Rubine Red) only had to be setup on press once, rather than once for the front and then again for the back.
After printing we duplexed the presssheet back to itself which created a hefty 220lb sheet and also allowed us to conceal any impression show through (impression area from the front the shows on the back of the sheet) in the middle of the card.
Designed by Priest + Grace for Howler magazine, these oversize business cards are an amazing example of what a good design and a little tonal ink can do. Howler magazine is a quarterly publication for soccer enthusiasts in North America, so it only made sense for these cards to reference the size and color of actual penalty cards used in soccer.
There are several production techniques we used to successfully produce these cards. First, instead of printing all of the information blind we used a tonal ink color (a red ink on the red, yellow on the yellow). When something is printed blind it relies solely on good lighting conditions to be legible. Our solution is to print using a tonal ink, which creates just enough contrast between the artwork and the paper to make your contact information visible. Secondly, these cards were printed with fronts and backs up on the same sheet, duplexing the sheet after printing. This allowed us to run a heavy impression on press but then conceal the impression show through by duplexing the sheet back to itself.
The red cards are printed on Mohawk Via Scarlet Vellum 80C (duplexed to make 160C) and the yellow cards are on French Poptone Lemon Drop 100C (duplexed to make 200C).
Yael Miller, from Miller Creative, designed these gorgeous business cards for Olli Salumeria, a salumeria that makes dry-cured salumi in Virginia. Though the outcome is, dare we say stunning, these cards posed several production challenges along the way.
As a general rule, we don’t suggest using letterpress when the design uses floods of color and require clients to agree to our Solid Areas Disclaimer before we will proceed with their job. To achieve a nice solid coverage of color we had to run the ink heavy across the card, thankfully we had added some additional stroke weight to the artwork in the pre-press stage so the line work would not fill in on press. Another trick we used was lightly wetting the sheet before running- this cuts down on the appearance of saltiness and variation across the color.
Flood aside, take a look at that red. Yael refers to it as “Ferrari red,” and we can’t say that we disagree. The design actually specified a Pantone GOE color, which is not a Pantone book we match to, but since we custom mix all of our colors we were able to match a swatch that was mailed in for reference. We took one of our base red inks and pumped it up with a hit of fluorescent red to really get the color to pop.
These cards are printed on Crane Lettra 110lb cover that we custom duplexed after printing to make 220lb. By duplexing after printing we were able to run the flood without completely flattening the text on the other side of the card (not to mention we love any excuse to make a business card thicker). A custom diecut, shaped to reference a ticket or label, finished off the cards in an unexpected, yet refined way.
This project can also be found on FPO, DesignWorkLife, and Miller Creative.
This business card was designed by Webb de Vlam as part of their new identity launch. With design offices in both London and Chicago, they wanted a card that would surprise and delight clients and employees. The variety of bright accent color truly brings this project to life. The overlapping colors in the logo mark also create dimension by overprinting ink colors – a nice print interpretation of the online media logo.
The business cards are letterpress printed on Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 165lb C with four spot Pantone colors. There are three spot gray colors common to all the cards – that was the easy part. What made things interesting were the ten additional accent colors that switch out on the logo and edges – each person in the company receiving a palette of four color versions.
There has definitely been a trend toward larger companies using letterpress printing in their identities. We manage business card projects for companies with one person, or several hundred employees. These type of projects are most effective when they are planned with shell sheets in mind. A shell is a sheet with multiple cards ganged up that has all the common colors and logo already printed. That way, when a new hire or reorder occurs, we have those sheets on hand and ready to imprint on future orders. Typically, this works best and is most cost effective when the variable information on a card is planned in only one color. We advise companies to think about their card needs inside the next 18-24 months when ordering shells. Contact us to establish a letterpress business card production plan for your company.
Sometimes when you run an island in the Bahamas, you’ll need a business card that reflects the surrounding beauty. This textural business card was designed by island director Cathy Daly for Musha Cay, David Copperfield’s lush 700 acre tropical retreat.
These cards were letterpress printed in three colors on an appropriately sandy colored Mohawk Loop Antique Vellum Husk, custom pasted to a 220lb weight. Note how the island seal is printed in with just tonal transparent white ink. After the letterpress printing, these sheets were pasted back to back with digitally printed sheets (with the island beach image) for a 320lbC final weight. Those sheets were trimmed into oversize 4 x 2 inch business cards and edge colored in a matching blue.
We recently printed these business cards, designed by the fellows at Point Form, a Canadian design collective.
A little tricky production was in order with their design. The paper we used is a 100lb French Poptone Sweet Tooth custom pasted (duplexed) after printing to 100lb French Poptone Lemon Drop for a final 200lb Cover stock. Pasting sheets after printing can add a little cost, but with a two sided card it is the best production move because we don’t need to worry about impression show through from a heavy letterpress imprint. Note that there is no indentation from one side to the other.
We’ve worked with BAKER here in Minneapolis on a few really fun letterpress projects over the last year or so. And they’ve designed some beautiful things for pressing. Most recently, their second installment of the bird themed holiday ornament cards rolled off the press. It is a little bird (a good luck Cardinal) with an ornate frame that die cuts and punches out of thick 60 point blotter stock. It is printed two color each side.
Last years card for Baker was a die cut bird ornament as well. The same production specs, but featuring a punch out owl.
Also in the last few months, we worked through the letterpress printing of the new Baker identity on their business cards. And is was quite the undertaking. They have an interesting post about the process of icon development here. Each employee has their own icon and each card has four color ways. With over 60 employees that was a lot of icons and business cards! They are a custom duplexed 200lbC black and white stock in an undersized narrow card format. (1 x 3.5 inches) BAKER is printed in silver on the black side and the white side receives the four different color variations.
BAKER is a Minneapolis based Branding + Design firm specializing in package design. On the web: bkrdsn.com or tweet: @bkrdsn