Simple letterpress business cards

We just had our good friend and graphic designer Mette Malling over from Denmark, (Copenhagen to be precise) for the weekend. Pleasantly enough, the weather here in Cologne was fair, but that didnt really matter as we were stuck inside the studio producing a short run of simple letterpress business cards for Mette on the Adana 8×5. Before Mette arrived I asked her to produce a design for the cards so I could prepare the artwork onto a transparent film and so when we began we only had to expose the graphic onto the polymer plate and then fire away with the design…or so we thought. Friday was not the the 13th but it may have well been if luck was anything to go by. Nothing worked out for us, Mette had used a small serif font for her card and although the Polymer was up for the challenge we were a bit rough handed during the wash out (actually Mette was) and we managed to lose a dot from the ‘i’ in ‘info@’ on the email address. Of course we had already inked up the letterpress and arranged the polymer on the base too and luckily we noticed the fault before actually doing a complete run. So, we exposed another piece of polymer and off we went. Now, unfortunately we were using the wrong polmer for the Base and so the inking was not working as well as planned but in the end and after much make ready we were able to get the simple cards done. 

I wish I had taken Mette’s advice and simply made the layout using our lead type, we even had a very similar font there but I thought it would have taken too much time to asssemble the letters into the desired layout. Well, not to worry, the cards turned out well in the end and I have been given a nudge to get my Golding Official printing press working properly so I can start doing larger runs of cards like 10 at a time rather than 1 or 2 which was sadly the case with the smaller Adana table press. Unfortunately, I fortgot to take some pictures of Mettes card so I will try and get her to do one and send it to me to upload. While I was on the subject of business cards I had a look around the web to see if I could find some cool letterpress business cards and so here they are. You can also watch a video here about business cards on one of my earlier posts, it is hilarious. And here is another post on how letterpress actually works. Enjoy!

nice simple design on this one too… simple one colour print

I like this but the main logo is not embossed but rather debossed. looks well smart though.

the paper is really nice and the imprint not too deep. looks smart.

lovely, you must be careful with letterpress not to overdo the pressure. Without ink you do need to give it a bit more depth. just the ticket here though.

Justine Ungaro cards, nice, wish i could see a picture of the other side too 🙁

looks like it is coming through to the other side on this one, but a nice design and idea all the same.

edge painting is a letterpress printing trade secret, or at least so it seems. Nobody wants to tell how they do it and there are lots of different suggestions out there so this will be the trial and error I am afraid but I will start with a nice tight clamp of the card and use a brush followed by a sponge or cloth to absorb the extra colour. I assume that this could work but I have read of cases of the cards sticking together. Airbrushing could also work as it is sort of instantly dry in the right conditions but then the ink is different and so it needs to be matched to the ink used for printing the cards. I will post a little update when I get a chance to do the edges, it would be great to do our own kikisoso creative business cards so watch this space.

another lovely example of the edge painting on Andy McMillan's cards. Mr. Manager no less!

like these little card sleeves and have tried looking for a nice 100% cotton paper sleeve myself for a client project but they are not easy to find. if anyone knows of a supplier then please let me know.

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