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.
Abbie at Passing Notes is a master of refined print design. Her type is always exquisite and these cards for her client Aphro Chic were a pleasure to print. They are on a thick 60pt blotter stock with a flood of bold geometric pattern on the back and two color letterpress on the front. The blotter sheet has a pulpy appearance with lots of soft fiber texture. We printed the business cards along with a note card on the same press sheet so the print dollar went a bit further. The business cards were edge colored in a PMS match yellow for the perfect finishing accent.
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.
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.
The fresh New Media firm, FRWD, from the other side of the city sent us their cards to get printed recently. They were designed by Justin Mckinley. Color choices and high-design sensibility really make these ones pop extra hard. Another prime application of edge coloring in a very tasteful way.
We have a lot of requests for blind (inkless) impression with letterpress plates. However, a tonal ink is often something we suggest rather than a truly blind impression. If the stock being printed does not lend itself to deep impression, the artwork needs some legibility or the art work is on both sides of the sheet, a blind hit can be ill advised. The amount of impression needed to clearly read a completely blind hit will create impression show through on the reverse side of the printed piece. One of the ways we get around this is to mix a tonal ink, shown here on both black and white business card samples. By printing a tone, we can lessen the impression and dial up the legibility a bit. The black stock is 200lb Wausau Eclipse Black. It is letterpress printed with a black and silver ink mix. The white stock is 220lb Crane Lettra Flo. White. It is letterpress printed with opaque white ink contaminated with 877 silver.
Here’s a sweet little run we just finished up for Mauseth Design out of Hoboken, New Jersey. They came up with this set of faux business cards with fake names and numbers for those certain instances where you just- well, where you just could use one of these little guys (e.g. Clubs, Bars, Lounges, Coffee Shops, Class Reunions, Chinese Restaurants and Traffic Stops).
Next time the public transit looks a little sketchy, you’re leaving the bar late and alone or your co workers simply won’t shut it – here is a gift we now ship with each custom project we letterpress. With tongue planted ever so firmly in cheek we present our very own 220lb, 100% cotton throwing star business card. It may not be deadly, but it will get the point across.
NOTICE: It is all fun and games till someone loses an eye. Don’t throw it at anyone unless you intend to use deadly force.
This is a big post with lots of images so be sure and see Part 2 as well. We’ve been an online friend with French designer Fabien Barrel for a while. He’s been kind enough to show our press work on his Graphic Exchange website. His site is a finely curated collection of designers and projects from all over the world. Be sure and see it next time you need some graphic inspiration. Fabien collected three other friends that also wanted letterpress printed business cards. Fabien Barrel designed his card and the card for So Goods. Fred Dauzat designed his card and the card for Limited Press. We letterpress printed these cards together with Continue reading ‘Four Friends Letterpress Business Cards – Pt 1’