Straight from Hawaii, Human Hand sent us this fine business card design for letterpress printing. And we love the name. After all, human hands touching the tactile printing is what this letterpress card is all about. It is a subtle tonal varnish on one side and PMS 877 metallic silver ink on the other. The paper stock is our custom 200lb Wausau Eclipse Black cover weight.
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These cards were designed by the Thorburn group here in Minneapolis. They are letterpress printed with a silver ink on both sides of a custom duplex black and white stock.
Custom pasting of a duplex of paper stock is a good way to make a project with look and feel unique. It’s very often the best way to get both the colors and stock thickness desired for a project. And lets face it – most of the stocks available from paper companies as pre-duplexed options are pretty fugly colors and/or texture combinations. This stock is Wausau Royal Complements Eclipse Black 100lb cover pasted to 100% cotton Neenah’s Crane Lettra Flo White 110lbC. For production, these two papers were pasted together, then letterpress printed.
As an end note, I worked at Thorburn several years before the jump to full time operations of Studio On Fire. Check out the Thorburn site here for some solid design work.
These extra fine business cards were designed by Merge Creative and Touchpoint. Once in hand they require a good touching and groping session. They wanted a card with an OMG factor and this is certainly one of the most elaborate cards we’ve put together. The paper stock has a surprising skin-like feel. It is from the Appleton Coated Curious Collection. We custom duplexed the card from two colors. The black side is Skin Black 141lb Cover. That is pasted to Skin White 141lb Cover for a total thickness of 280lb Cover. With that kind of heavy, this card definitely has a thump factor.
Production went something like this… The black stock is hot foil stamped in a clear gloss foil and a mirror finish metallic silver. The white stock is letterpress printed in metallic silver ink. Then the black and white sheets are pasted together in register into a heavy duplex sheet. Those sheets are covered with a protective mask on both sides. The masked sheets are laser cut into the custom shaped business cards and the protective mask is removed.
This was an update to the look and feel of the orange Touchpoint business cards printed over a year ago. Those were on Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 165lb. The production of them was elaborate as well. Those cards were offset printed with and orange solid, foil stamped in clear and metallic silver, letterpress printed in silver, masked and laser cut to final size.
These letterpress business cards took us some time in production with six passes through the press. They feature a brown paper imprinted with a woodgrain texture in tonal varnish with the text in a metallic silver ink overprint. The offwhite side of the card is printed in three colors in tight, tight register. The stock is custom duplexed Crane Lettra Pearl White 110lb cover to Wausau Royal Complements Chocolate Truffle 100lb cover. The final card was round corner die cut to size.
In our custom letterpress work we see an almost daily request from designers for white inks and/or light colored inks printed on dark colored paper stocks. Since white ink and light colored inks are not completely opaque, the ink will print on the paper with some transparency. This ink transparency is more evident the darker the paper color. This issue represents a learning curve for folks coming to letterpress print production for the first time. White ink does not turn out bright white and light colors will not print lighter than the stock color they are printing on. Metallic inks are a notable exception and will print opaque on colored stocks.
These card design offers a look at what letterpress printing CAN do. These business card were designed by Aadvark Brigade, Chris Straley Photography, and JDH Group. The designs shown are printed on the same black paper stock – 200lb Wausau Eclipse Black.
- The Straley card is black and silver ink.
- The Aardvark card is Opaque white and silver inks.
- The JDH Group is black, silver and metallic blue overprinting the silver inks.
The final cards turned out great and offer a nice comparison of how the various inks letterpress print side by side. Notice how the white ink has almost a blueish appearance. The black ink gives a nice tonal effect and a metallic color overprinting silver offers some additional opacity to the color.