We think getting letterpress printing is even better than a gold watch. It is a great production option for special corporate occasions too, not just weddings. This invitation to celebrate Dunhams 50 years in business was designed by Riley Hayes Advertising. The type driven design is accented with a matching bright red matching edge color.
These pieces were inked with 3 color on one side with a tonal varnish on the other. We printed an invitation and map card together on a new favorite sheet – French Poptone Sweet Tooth White 280lb Cover. We like it enough that we are now custom making it to keep on hand as a house sheet. The thickness is about 40 points (.038 inch) which is a matching thickness to Crane Lettra 220lb. The good things are that it is less expensive than a cotton sheet like Lettra and smoother in surface, not as toothy a finish. It takes a great impression and works great for edge coloring as well.
Slate Studio in California does some really sharp interactive work. And their business cards are all kinds of Hollywood too. They pulled out all the stops on the card design and we worked with them through the production specs. The stock is our thick 200lb Cover Wausau Eclipse Black. We letterpress printed them with clear varnish on both sides, then a silver ink for the info text. Then they were foil stamped in a bright blue on each side. Finally, they were trimmed to size and edge colored in a matching bright blue.
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.
Space 150 is a Minneapolis based company that has made some waves in the creative community by reinventing its identity every 150 days. This version was designed by Evan Nagan. We’ve produced many previous Space 150 business card versions as well – see some of them here and here.
Like the previous versions we’ve printed, these business cards take some tricky production. They are printed three color offset on one side (flood of black, purple and blue) and 2 color letterpress printed on the reverse (blue and tonal white). They have a unique two color gradient treatment on their edges. The paper is Wausau Royal complements 100lb Bright White which is custom duplexed after offset printing to a final thickness of 200lb cover. For a great edge color effect we recommend a thickness of 160lb or greater. The thicker the better.
It’s a big task! Each identity version is cards for nearly 70 people…
Jeff at Biklops Design created these note cards and business cards for catering and event planning company Culinaria. We love the simple line work logo and are a little amazed it actually printed. It is one of those “it turned out really cool but was a pain in ass to print” kind of projects. Inking a solid like this with letterpress is one of the more difficult things to print. There is a constant struggle to maintain minimal variation in the color density. With a large solid area the press sheet warps like a ripple potato chip, making feeding the sheets in register a challenge. And keeping the fine line weight of the logo from filling in made for a fun time on press. To help with the filling in on the logo we ended up shortening the exposure of the plate, which still hardens the plate but lessens the amount of base/neck material on the edges of the printed image. So good job on the design Jeff, we can even print your curve ball.
The cards are printed letterpress on 220lb Crane Lettra Flo White 100% cotton stock. The final trimmed cards were finished with a matching light blue edge coloring accent. The text is printed after the solid so it has a sculptural impression. If the text were printed first, the solid blue on the opposite side would flatten the impression down to near nothing.
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.
We just love folks that can blur the line between the disciplines of design and illustration. Jessica Hische is certainly one of those rarities. Be sure and check out her site for more great hand lettering and typography. She designed these business cards for new project by Mischa and Jacob DeHart called Culinary Culture – A Site for Serious & Aspiring Foodies. We letterpress printed these cards on 220lb Crane Lettra, 100% cotton stock. They are printed three colors on the logo side and two colors on the text side. Additionally, the logo side needed the dark red run as two passes – something we often do in letterpress when there is a solid area of color and text on the same
plate. The heavy ink density needed to cover a solid versus the light ink density for text lets the type remain crisp and the solid run as saturated as possible. (That means this piece of paper ran through the press six times – four on front, two on back.) And of course they just wouldn’t be complete without some edge coloring. These have a contrasting green edge which is nice and noticeable on the thick 220lb stock. We usually recommend edge coloring be applied to stock heavier than 160lbC. Coloring can be applied to thinner sheets, but the effect is more pronounced with thicker paper.