Adam Hudson Photo sent us these cards for letterpress printing. The unique narrow format really make them different in your hand. And the three color options of orange, green and gray on one side is a nice way to add some simple variety to an identity piece. We keep the plate set up on press and just add a couple wash ups to the printing process. A thick 220lb cotton stock takes a beefy impression. When a two sided card is pressed with a solid color, we almost always print the solid side first, then the text. This makes for a better sculptural impression on a text only side. Putting an overall impression on a solid area has the effect of ironing the paper flat and will diminish any impression of artwork on the reverse. Another ink effect we like on this card is the white ink on white paper. We are using a tinted white ink to create a nice subtle detail with just the right amount of contrast to keep it readable. Some times an inkless (blind) impression doesn’t have quite enough visibility to read clearly. We put a little bit of silver in the white ink to give it just the right amount of eye love.
The thickness of these cards allows them to also serve as a secret weapon. When your primary audience for business card hand off is art directors and designers, your card had better be memorable. A 55 point coaster board makes them fantastically textural and unstoppable. Clockwork Active Media Systems designed these for photographer rep Jeff Cerise – aka Secret Agent Man. They are hot off the press.
One thing to note about Coaster Board – it does not take a sculptured impression like other softer sheets. The surface will break. One of the detail photos below shows the surface cracking that will occur with to much pressure. This is likely especially in interior areas of artwork and must be watched for and adjusted to avoid this breakage. However, the finish of the stock is nice and pulpy – a definate stand-out among more typical paper mill stocks. We also like the “salty” look to the dark ink color on this stock. Gives it an aged / weathered appearance.
When Becky Rosenthal was launching her wedding photography business she asked us to both design and letterpress print her identity system. So many wedding invites are letterpressed, why not appeal to brides with the same tactility?
Here’s a couple design considerations for letterpress:
One of the things we like about letterpress is what happens to the white areas within a design. You can see in the logo below how the interior white spaces have a raised effect because the area around them is being pressed down. Creating those white spaces within a solid area is one of the things we try to include in our design work to show some dimension.
Another thing that works well in letterpress design is the inclusion of pattern. Rather than using large solid areas of color (which definitely are not well suited for letterpress) a flood of pattern adds both color and a texture that can be felt.