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
These letterpress business cards were the perfect fit for web development and design company Ackmann & Dickenson. We like how these guys frame their business as “Craftsmen of Fine Technology”. They designed these cards and we letterpress printed them to reflect craftsmanship.
And this card did require some crafting. We started with the making of a custom duplex paper – 160lb Mohawk Loop Ivory Smooth pasted to French Construction Nightshift Blue 100C – totaling a thick 260lbC card. Next we letterpress printed them with two colors on each side, silver and tonal navy inks on the blue side, then blue and gray inks on the ivory side. We printed a couple 8up forms to meet all the employee name versions needs and then die cut them with small inverted corners. Viva tactility and technology.
Letterpress seems pretty far removed from the slickness of the iphone. Yet even the most technically focused business can benefit from the tactility of letterpress business cards. In fact, we would argue that they are the perfect counterpoint. Marko Karppinen & Co is a software developer in Finland specializing in iphone and ipad applications. We designed and printed this card for their ten person company.
The back of the card is printed with a heavy blind (inkless) letterpress impression. The front side is printed with gray ink plus accent yellow bars. A key production step to virtually eliminate show through and have heavy impression on both sides was to print two separate sheets and paste them together after printing. For this step we use Potdevin pasting and rotary presses. The pasting machine applies glue to the back of a sheet. That sheet is then paired with the sheet for the reverse side of the business card and run through the rotary press to firmly squeeze them together and eliminate any air bubbles. The stock is 110lb Neenah Classic Crest Solar White custom duplexed to a thick 220lb weight. Special finishing is a yellow edge color. A well crafted card indeed.
We made some new friends in London at a digital agency called Forward. They rebranded themselves recently and designed these cards that feel very undigital and textural, and that is what we do best. They are printed on Ahlstrom Blotter stock with custom duplexing to bring the thickness to about 50pt. This blotter board has an uneven pulp formation that gives the flood of ink a washed, almost denim feel on the soft paper stock. The cards are edge colored in a matching purple. And this was no small task, an office of over forty people is a lot of cards. We ran them 10 cards up on press five press forms.
Here is another fantastic project designed by Fabien Barral over at Graphic Exchange. He brought in wonderful organic drips and brush strokes that interpret with a unique sculptural quality under letterpress impression. We put down a lot of letterpress printing on this sheet. It’s a good way to make a project affordable – - spread the cost over several items all on the same press sheet. The paper stock is Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 165lb Cover. The sheet contains four business cards and three large note cards. We printed a slightly contaminated opaque white ink for the tonal white effect, also a dense black ink. For our white ink, we usually put just a
hair of silver in the opaque white to give it a little tone. It also has the benefit of creating a stronger sheen difference between the inked impression and the uncoated paper stock than you would get with a blind (inkless) print. After printing this project went to live in French customs for a little while. And that should answer another question we get a lot – Yes! we do ship international all the time. Just let us know if you have any specific customs needs for your country.
These are the brand new cards for Dita Eyewear in Los Angeles. Bryan Crabtree designed them and did a nice post over on his blog too. The blind flourish on the light side and the diamond pattern on the black gives these cards a tonal and elegant look.
We first printed these as two sheets, a natural color and black stock and then pasted the sheets together after printing. This step eliminates show through of the impression when printing a two sided design. We’ve found that the gluing of the sheet after it is printed does flatten back some of the impression, so we start with a heavy impression initially. The lighter color stock is Wausau Compliments Natural White 100lbC and is printed with a blind pass and black ink. The black stock is Wausau Eclipse Black 100lbC and is printed with PMS 8001 silver and black ink. The final thickness is 200lbC, about the thickness of a US dime. After printing and gluing, the cards were die cut to the final shape with angled corners.
A strikingly simple business card designed by Blok Design out of Mexico City. Sweet type. We letterpress printed on some heavy 4 ply cotton museum board. Edged colored in a delicious yellow. A modern and materially elegant card indeed.
Open wide and say aahhh. Great. Now turn your head and letterpress some tongue depressor business cards. We just printed these for MCAD design undergrad Matt Van Ekeren. The cards are for his soon to launch website designthattalks.com The simplicity of the idea here is brilliant. The business card object plays off the url perfectly.
For the production, we hand fed them on our Chandler and Price letterpress. We used a small block of deep relief Boxcar base in an unusual way. Instead of using photopolymer plates, we used a 16 gauge copper plate mounted with double stick tape adheisive. We used copper rather than polymer in this case so we could be a little more aggressive with the impression on the wood. To accomodate the thickness of the tongue depressor, we had to back the platen off a few flats. Then, since the artwork is so tight to the edge the big challenge was fitting the guides pins EXTREMELY tight to the print area and not crush them. But it worked! We printed a couple hundred on both sides. A real challenge to hand fed, press was on a pretty low speed setting. Not something we’d like to do everyday, but we are suckers for trying things that are unique. But we did have Matt open all the individually packaged depressors.
Also, take a look at our Chandler and Price hand guard. It is a window-shade-like device that opens up as the press closes and pushes your hand out of harms way. Kind of a nice safety feature.
Caryn Gutterman designed this business card for photographer Scott Regan. We are suckers for letterpress printing the unique, custom and out of the ordinary. And these business cards are no ordinary cards. If Scott Regan hands you a business card, you will KNOW he’s handed you a business card. The thick stock is 60pt blotter stock. It is a little more textured on one side than the other. The texture of this stock is deep – reminds us of the finish on an egg carton, kind of raw and porous in appearance. It takes some work to print a solid letterpress, even more work on this stock. It’s not a fine surface like cotton sheets, but it’s soft and takes a nice impression which makes it attractive for letterpress. The paper just drinks up the ink and leaves paper fuzz everywhere – guess that’s why it’s a blotter stock. But the result is really beautiful. There is an uneven nature to the way the ink lays on the heavy formation of the paper. We printed the gray ink first, then the tightly registered yellow logo. The card was trimmed and edge colored in a PMS matching yellow. We like the simple modern design combined with the raw material – people will hang onto this card for sure.
These cards were designed by Reddoor Creative in LA. Finely designed and printed business cards speak volumes about a business or an individual – and there are no half measures here. These cards are letterpress printed 2 pms colors each side plus a blind hit. The paper is custom duplexed Fluorescent White 268lb 100% cotton Crane Cover Kid Finish. We’d say they have a “thump factor”. Duplex means pasting two sheets of paper back to back. In this case, we had the sheets pasted AFTER they were printed. We started with a press sheet for the front of the cards and another press sheet for the back
of the cards, each sheet being at 134lb Cover weight. What this accomplishes is deep impression on both sides of the card with out show through from a heavy letterpress impression. Custom duplex pasting a sheet is the best way to achieve that heavy impression both sides and get a nice thick card with the artwork on both sides looking top notch. After pasting the press sheets together they were trimmed to size and edges were colored to match the printed pms. Coloring the edge of paper that thick really makes the most of the edge coloring effect. I think I want to
buy a house from this guy.