These cards designed by Villainy and Associates really make you stop and turn the thing over in your hand. The understated typographic design gives the letterpress production value emphasis. It’s simple and pseudo executive – flashy without being too flashy.
We printed letterpress metallic gold for the information and letterpress varnish on the logotype. We like using a varnish on dark stocks for a tone on tone effect. That gives a slightly better legibility than a totally blind, inkless impression. The stock is a thick 200lb Wausau Eclipse Black with metallic gold edge coloring.
These business cards are elegant and simple with an unusual format. Although the feel of the design is traditional, the 4.25 x 1.25 inch size presents as an untraditional business card size. The client, William and Mary, makes premium gift wrap collections, so the paper crafting of the printing was very important.
These cards were letterpress printed with 2 ink colors on each side. The cards also have a heavy blind letterpress impression graphic on both sides. This blind area overlaps type on the reverse side. To get an even type appearance and a heavy sculptural impression on both sides we printed a 110lb sheet of Crane Lettra Fluorescent White and pasted it together back to back after printing. By duplexing the stock to a thick 220lb weight after printing the impression show through is eliminated. It is a time consuming and more premium production step, worth it for the final look of these cards. The final step was a round corner die cut.
This ephemera was designed by the folks at Shine Advertising to dress up a pocket knife mailing sent to their clients as a promotional item. You might ask if that is really letterpress? Yep, actually that’s four color process plus two spot color letterpress printed one pass at a time. That means that lil’ piece of paper went through the presses seven times. (six color passes and a letterpress matrix score) Certainly not a typical use of letterpress, but that’s why it was so fun to print it. Laying down color one at a time means a little guess work as you build the color density for the final image, but fun to watch it unfold. The process printed picture was from CSA stock images and worked pretty well to break out into plates even though it started as a heavily line screened image. The plates were printed with a 90 line per inch screen on Mohawk Loop Husk 160lb Cover.
Also be sure and check out the flash light wrap we printed for Shine last year.
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.
This invitation designed by the groom Tyler Thiessen at Neuhaus Design and illustrated by bride Jessie Turner makes their wedding invitation into a fresh art print. It is nice to see a wedding invitation that is illustration centric versus type heavy. They put all the text on the web. You can check out the couples wedding website here.
The illustration is simple with just a little overprinting of bright red and light blue inks. Most of the artwork knocks out, requiring very tight register. (like the blue dotted lines on the hot air ballon.) It is printed on Crane Lettra Flo. White 110lbC The card is like a small poster and folds up to a 5.5 x 5.5 square.
We won’t mince words, this was a hard invitation to print with letterpress. Registration was tight, and the paper does stretch with heavy impression over a solid graphic area. Plus, large areas of solid color are not ideal for letterpress. Letterpress is definitely not like screen printing these kind of solid colors. Most letterpress equipment will not be able to handle this kind of press work. We printed this one on a Heidelberg Cylinder that has the impressional strength to lay down some pressure. Chances are if you send an invitation our way with a lot of ink going down you will get an email with our handy disclaimer that goes something like this. Once all this is understood we can move to press. And as you can see, we DO print areas of solid color and it can turn out very beautiful. Just realize there WILL be variation within the job that is inherent to printing this type of work with letterpress.
These cards, designed by Jacob Ward have a heavy blind (inkless) letterpress impression on one side and black ink on the other. A blind hit needs a substantial amount of impression since it is relying only on the change in paper surface without any ink color to define the graphic. The large type size really pops on this card. If you have a good monitor and click through the pics below, you can see that even on a 220lb cotton stock there can be small amount of impression show through on the reverse side.
Sublimio is a multidisciplinary design studio in Italy. They designed these cards for an engaging visual and tactile design experience.
We printed a larger message card and business cards. The message card is very subtle with a blind impression only on 110lb Crane Lettra stock. The business cards use blind impression on one side and black on the other, completed with black edge coloring. They are on 220lb Crane Lettra.
“Show Through” is a term we use to describe heavy impression from printing one side of the paper bruising the sheet and showing small distortions on the reverse side. Show through is an important consideration when a design will be letterpress printed. The double thick 220 lb Lettra is great for a project that is a two sided design because it offers virtually no show through. Note that “virtually” is a key word here. If a heavy impression is desired, there will be some show through. Generally the thicker the paper, the more minimal the show through. But even with a thick stock, impression can knock back the impression from a previously printed side affecting its appearance. In the case of this business card we printed the flood of blind pattern first with heavier impression, then the black text side of the card with a bit less impression. Balancing this impression on a two sided design depends on the nature of artwork being printed. Talk with us early in the design process to work through these production decisions.
Jeff Holmberg designed these labels for a new line of coffee from Bull Run Roasting Company to be served and sold at their new retail location inside the Rustica Bakery in Minneapolis. Top notch stuff! Bull Run wholesales their coffee into some of the finer restaurants in the metro. This Reserve Collection is the first offering of their coffee at retail and it had to look tasty. The label is customized by rubber stamping the coffee variety and hole punching the bean and weight information. The ripped edge of the label on the kraft bag balances a raw yet refined look. Nice work Jeff.
We letterpress printed in two color on Strathmore Ultimate White label stock. We kiss cut the labels with a steel rule die with several punches to add the coarse perforated edge when ripped and opened. Yum and Buzz.
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.
When a design firm gets all the details right, it’s a beautiful thing to print. These business papers for Dohmen were designed by GS design in Milwaukee, and the details are tight. We just finished printing them and thought it was a design well suited for letterpress. The radial dots under heavy impression create a tactile logo, the custom converted rounded envelope flaps echo the logo shape and the edge coloring
is a perfect accent on the business cards and folding note card. The business cards are Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 165lb Cover. They are 2 color letterpress printed with edges colored to match the logo PMS color. Since this was a single sided business card, some impression show through on the back side was not a concern. However, check out the photo of the back side of the business card and you get a visual on what we’d be looking at if there were printing. Printing on both sides with letterpress is possible. Be aware if if deep impression is used, there will be show through from side to side, even on thick stock like 165lb Cover. We can pull back on impression and minimize show through for two sided cards. The note cards are Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 130lb C – just a little thinner to help get a nice fold. The letterhead and envelopes are Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 80lb Text. We like the additional weight of an 80lb vs. a 70lb text weight for letterpress printing. It helps everything feel a bit more substantial and does better job with a heavy impression. And the custom converted envelopes are pretty cool – check out the side flaps – they even follow shape of the rounded seal flap. We freak out about stuff like that – nice.