How to Order Letterpress Business Cards
Ordering unique letterpress business cards is easy. Here’s how you can strengthen your image with a classy deep impression card on thick, 100% cotton paper.
Business is all about making a good impression, and the first impression matters most. One of the best ways to make a good first impression is with carefully printed letterpress business cards.
Before you read on, you should order a letterpress sample kit, so you can see how good our printing looks in person. Be careful when you open that envelope. The crisp deep impression might leap out and bop you on the nose!
If you want a unique business card, you have be bold.
Printing is only half of getting letterpress business cards that make an impact. If you don’t have a great design, you don’t have much. Luckily, letterpress makes you think in simple terms, forcing you to reduce your design to its raw, key points. Simple ideas stick. That’s the secret that makes letterpress so cool. Don’t tell anybody we told you.
First step: Study and understand these details about designing for letterpress.
Printing is done one color at a time.
At Rise and Shine Paper, we use many different kinds of letterpress printing presses, but they all have one thing in common: the color comes from hand-mixed printing ink, and it is applied one color at a time. That means that each color requires its own press run, its own setup time, its own printing plate, and its own wash-up. The budget increases with each color you print. We’re not complaining—we love to print multi-color projects. However, we believe the limiting factor of the expense of letterpress helps designers refine their ideas to perfection.
Paper is more important than your mom’s birthday.
Paper is just as important to the message as the design. Paper communicates, too. Fine cotton paper says one thing; thick chewy recycled pulpboard says another. It’s up to you to choose the right medium for the message. We’ll be happy to give our recommendations, though.
Die cutting is awesome.
We can print and die cut on the same press. Die cutting is where you use as custom made steel rule “cookie cutter” to punch out a shape. It gets locked into the press just like a printing plate. The shape can be square or round or a combination of curves. When you have a border that goes around the card, we prefer to die cut (even if it’s rectangular) so we can guarantee it will be equal and even on all sides. The registration is almost microscopically precise.
We can print fine lines or thick lines, but sometimes they don’t go together.
Letterpress is like driving a car with a manual transmission, no brakes, and a busted windshield. You’re on your own. There’s not a lot of control, and it is up to the finesse of the press operator to adjust the inking to fit the design. That is why we’re all crazy. When you combine very fine lines with very bold ones, we must make compromises. It’s best to have similar line weights in your design, either fine or thick, so the ink can be adjusted perfectly.
Big flood colors are possible, with a few exceptions.
Printing with big flood colors is a really neat look. We can knock out big type in a flood of ink, but small type will get filled in. There’s nothing you can do about it. It works best when we can print a dark color on top of a lighter flood color, like with these business cards.
White ink on black paper doesn’t work so great.
Letterpress ink is fairly transparent, so when you print white on black, it looks like a mottled grey. You can print silver on black with success. It requires us to put a lot of ink on the press, so bigger lines pop better than fine ones. An exception to this is with hot foil stamping. Foil is totally opaque so light colors can be printed onto dark paper with this technique.
There’s a lot that goes into letterpress design. The point is that we try to be helpful and give you the information you need to get it right. Our goal is to help you become more successful, and to make stacks of cash that you can use to order more prints from us! If you have any questions, e-mail or call us at 800-213-6408 right now. We are friendly, and love conversation.
Next: Finish your design and request an estimate of letterpress business card pricing.
Send your file in for a pricing estimate. Before you do, it helps to know these questions:
- How many colors?
- How many pieces do you need? We can quote for several quantity options.
- What kind of paper do you want?
- How soon do you need it?
- What finishing techniques do you need? Die cutting? Scoring? Drilling? Grommeting?
The more information we get, the more accurate your estimate will be. We can provide pricing without seeing the design, but it will be subject to change after we review the artwork.
Then: Send your final artwork.
Once we get approved artwork, we’ll send back a .PDF proof for you to review. Once we get your approval, we’ll turn your design into film, and use that to make photopolymer relief plates.
Finally: Start the presses!
Our experienced letterpress printers will set your job up in one of our vintage letterpress printing presses. A letterpress project can take many hours from start to finish. Sometimes we must let the ink dry overnight and start again in the morning. Our standard turnaround is 5 days for in-stock paper. If you request a custom stock, there will be a short delay while we order the paper from our suppliers.
Once your project is complete, we carefully wrap the prints, box them up, and ship them to you anywhere in the world. Our preferred shipping vendor is UPS.
Letterpress is a great printing technique for many different designs. Chances are, it’s right for you. If there is anything we can do to help you with your project, please let us know. We love getting calls from customers, and just talking about printing. Call us at 800-213-6408 any time to discuss your project.
For us, our hard work pays off when we learn that a card we printed has helped a customer improve their business. The better we do for you, the better we’ve done for ourselves.