This stunning letterpress business card was designed by 485 inc. for an arts group called Artistaday. And as the name would imply, Artistaday is a website that has a daily fine artist featured. Great stuff too, make sure and check them out here.
The typographic design is nice and bold, making the blind (inkless) impression really stand out. These business cards do something that does take an extra production step – heavy impression on both sides that lines up from side to side. To get this blind type to look really look good and provide enough sculptural to keep it readable without ink, it needed to be printed as a single sheet, then pasted back to back after printing so the impression on one side wouldn’t flatten the impression on other. The cards were printed on 110lbC Crane Lettra, then glued together for the final 220lb thickness.
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.
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.
We love thick stocks. It is a friend with benefits. One of the challenges in letterpress printing is working with the “show through” of the impression to the opposite side of the page. When you have a thicker stock it becomes easier to show more impression and have less show through.
These pictures compare 110lb Cover (300gsm) with 220lb Cover (600 gsm) Crane Lettra which is 100% cotton. What you should notice is that they both have a sculptural impression. But the thinner stock on the top does have some show through, while the thicker stock below has even more impression and no showing on the opposite side. That becomes important if you are doing a two sided business card and wish to minimize showing. The depth of impression on letterpress is controled by varying the amount of packing material underneath the sheet being printed. A single sided design is easier to achieve heavy impression because there isn’t as much worry about the back of the paper.