Am I in need of business cards? Not particularly. I probably have close to ten different designs on hand that I’ve designed over the years. Though I have a lot of cards, I’ve never done a letterpress version, in part because they are very expensive to produce.
This year, I finally took the plunge. I’ve done a number of letterpress card designs for my clients and every time they’d sent me samples, I’d wish that I had my own. I knew that it was time to make the commitment and to finally make it happen. Since they’re so expensive to produce, my design strategy was to keep the information contained on the card very basic so that they’d never become outdated (there’s nothing worse than being stuck with hundreds of leftover cards when personal information changes!)
Blind embossing the red crosses added the tactile element that I was looking for. I’ve been drawn to the symbolism of the red cross since high school and I love its simplicity.
Since I was doing an all white card with just one color of ink, I knew I wanted one colorful touch and decided to do colored edges on my card (PMS 185 U). I’ve always admired colored edges from afar because to me, they’re that final detail that shows that someone really thought the design through on all surfaces.
The final decision with these cards was which printer to choose. I’ve followed the work of Studio On Fire for a long time and have seen their work firsthand from clients I’ve referred there and the overall reviews about their services are glowing. Yes, they’re very expensive but I knew that I wanted every last detail on my first letterpress adventure to be perfect and they’re known for producing exquisite work. Was it worth it? At this point in my career, yes. I’ve gone through the trial and error of designing a lot of sets of cards for myself in the three and a half years since I finished school and I wanted to step it up. It was time for me to commit to a more premium look for my brand.
I wouldn’t recommend letterpress cards as your first card. My advice is to design a few inexpensive sets first and experiment to see what works best for you. When you’re first starting out, your style is constantly changing so making a huge monetary commitment is not a great idea. For the first three years, I ordered all my cards through Overnight Prints because the quantities were small and I could change them constantly. But, once you’re comfortable with your branding and feel like you’re grown into an aesthetic, take the plunge. The results are totally worth it.