The business card that you share with potential clients and customers should make a statement. It can be loud, flashy, subtle, or simple and refined. The most important impact that a business card should make is to express the exceptional value of your business. Making the right first impression is essential to creating a lasting relationship with the people that will help launch you to success.
Letterpress printing, along with foil stamping, is a tried-and-true way to make a lasting statement with your business stationery. The extra time and effort to make a hand-crafted card will certainly create a WOW moment with your clients. At Rise and Shine Letterpress, we have years of experience crafting business cards for forward-thinking clients who want to make a great first impression. These ten techniques and ideas are fantastic ways to really impress and connect with your potential customers.
1. Start with Tradition—Black Ink Letterpress on White Cotton Paper.
Nothing conveys confidence more than simplicity. Bold, black ink with a deep letterpress impression has been the standard since the invention of the printing press for a very good reason. These cards, crafted for NYC-based jewelry brand GAMIN, make a powerful statement though the simplicity of traditional printing. Printed on double-thick 600gsm Crane’s Lettra Fluorescent White Cotton Paper, the back side has minimalist contact details also letterpress-printed in classic black.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Get a Little Gritty with Recycled Kraft Chipboard.
Recycled brown kraft chipboard is an excellent paper choice when you want to create a tactile, rustic feel for your business cards. Created from recycled paper scraps, every sheet has unique flecks of imperfections in the paper. This card was made for James Tormey, a certified meat consultant (how can I get that job?). His beautifully simple logo matches nicely with the texture of the kraft paper. Black ink is pressed deeply into the thick 50-point chipboard, allowing for the reverse side to have an illustration in black letterpress ink. Any butcher would be proud to hand out such a stunning card.
3. Add Some Shine with Gold Foil Stamping
Gold foil stamping has become the… forgive us… gold standard for adding a beautiful metallic glow to a business card design. Mona Ross Berman, owner of a flourishing interior design company, wanted a business card that was both classic with a hint of flair. Combining gold foil with a deep grass green ink resulted in a business card that anyone would be thrilled to receive. Printed on 300gsm Crane’s Lettra and then duplexed after printing to a double-thick 600gsm weight, we edge-painted these cards with a matching green ink color. Edge painting is an exciting way to finish business cards, adding an unexpected colorful dimension to the print.
4. Blind Debossing – A Letterpress Impression Without Ink
One of our favorite creative exploration methods is to reduce a design to its minimum viable components. What happens when you remove the ink entirely? With a blind deboss, we can “print” with the light and shadow created by a deep letterpress impression. In this example, Deep Space Program combined a blind deboss with a bold yellow color to create an engaging contrast between the business name and the individual contact information.
5. Brighten Your Day with a Bold Colored Paper
When traditional white paper just won’t do, it’s time to explore our arsenal of unique and colorful paper lines like Colorplan. Graphic designer Muneeb Arain wanted a bold color for his business cards. He chose a bright and cheery shade of Colorplan paper called Citrine. His design was then foil stamped in gold and duplexed to a heavy 700gsm weight after printing. The result is pure sunshine, for both the designer and the lucky clients who get to receive his cards.
6. Add Thickness and Color with Custom Duplexing and Edge Painting
With the availability of so many colors of paper, it’s easy to find a paper color that can be part of your brand standard. On these cards printed for designer and illustrator Susie Allen, Colorplan Smoke Grey and Ice White were mounted together to create a double-thick card with a different color on each side. Black ink was letterpressed on both sides of the card, and it was finished with bright yellow edge painting. Classic fonts and colors mixed with the surprise pop of the yellow edge painting makes for an extremely memorable card.
7. Explore Your Dark Side with Deep Black Paper
When you really want to stand out from the crowed in a stack of business cards, black paper can give you an edge. Classic Crest Epic Black with Eggshell Finish is perfect for letterpress and foil printing, showcased beautifully in this example for super cool restaurant and bar The Foundry Provisions and Spirits. Using a layered foil method, glossy black foil was printed first, followed by a coppery orange foil to make their logo almost glow like molten metal. Duplexed after printing to an impressive 700gsm weight, New Hampshire’s other bars and restaurants will need to step up their game!
8. Use Textured Paper and Foil for an Unexpected Combination
Kraft chipboard may be humble, but it was elevated in these unique business cards crafted for executive chef Jennifer Shaw. Her logo was foil-stamped in copper on kraft chipboard side, then mounted to 300gsm Crane’s Lettra 100% cotton paper. Contact details and a delicate drawing are pressed into the soft cotton paper side with matching copper foil. The finished thickness is 50pt, and the edges reveal a beautiful two-toned effect from the two paper varieties being mounted together. Our favorite thing: the naturally interesting two-tone edge without any additional finishing steps like edge painting.
9. Get Inky with a Flood Coat
Jubilee Paper, a custom wedding stationery company, created a beautifully simple design that also challenged our printing techniques. Flood printing can be a deceivingly simple looking technique, but it requires time and patience to get it just right. On the front side of the card, the logo was printed with a reversed plate, allowing for a flood of taupe ink to create a delicate raised emboss effect left over by the text not inked by the press. Skip fed by hand, we took care to create this project, and the end result is beautiful! Printed on 300gsmlb Ecru White Crane’s Lettra paper and then duplexed to 600gsm after printing, the finished card is both tactile and tasteful.
10. Combine Processes for a Completely Unique Presentation
You have a lot of ideas. So the design for your business card just can’t be accomplished with only one or two printing techniques. That’s why Rise and Shine Letterpress specializes in combining processes in a classic, authentic way. These cards, crafted for The Morris in Nashville, have a few extra bells and whistles that make such a strong first impression. On the front, Nightshift Blue from French Paper Co. was printed with gold foil. Then, it was duplexed after printing to 300gsm Crane’s Lettra cotton paper that was letterpress-printed with a matching dark blue. Finally, it was finished with a seal of a letterpress blind deboss on each side to create texture and add authority. And like the previous example, the edges of the card had a lovely two-toned effect from the duplexing. These cards really convey a WOW to every visitor!
11. Bonus Round: Get in Shape with a Custom Die Cut
What would a list of bright ideas for business card printing be without the addition of our own cards? Designed by Leslie at Rise and Shine Letterpress and printed by Ryan, the DNA of our shop is embedded into these unique cards. Copper foil is stamped onto Mohawk Keaykolour in Navy and then duplexed after printing to Keaykolour Steel Blue that was foil stamped with a shiny pigment black. The black foil really pops on the light blue background and even catches the light. Finally, after duplexing, these cards were die-cut using a custom die in a unique diamond shape. Creative die-cut business cards are something we love to do, and it seemed like a great process to test on our own cards.
How will you use these techniques for your next business card design?
Hopefully, you now feel inspired to create an unique and show-stopping business card! At Rise and Shine Letterpress, we are delighted to walk our clients through the process and suggest solutions to create the best business card for you. Please feel free to reach out to us and let us know how we can help create an amazing first impression for your clients.