Recommendations for custom color letterpressed business cards ?
March 22, 2012 7:41 AM   Subscribe

Recommendations for custom color letterpressed business cards ?

I would like to have some fancy business cards made. Good (thick) paper with my information letterpressed into said paper.

I already have the general layout & idea for the card, but considering that I lack knowledge of the letterpress world, I may not be able to accomplish exactly what I want (as far as fonts, etc) and that is totally fine. Free or inexpensive design help is fine as well.

I would like to order about 100-200 cards at first, and if at all possible, I would like to alternate the coloring of my first and last name (again, this may not be a great idea, but considering my design I think it is necessary.

Additionally, to get the best price, I realize that I probably shouldn't use someone in my area (Manhattan). So I would like to do all of this via the internet while ensuring that I get a quality product.

My card would have the following information and that is it:

This is how the coloring would work for the card. I would probably only need about 3 or 4 different colorways.

name@ = color 1
othername = color 2
.com = color 3 (or grey, most likely, this would not change)
123.456.7890 = black (or grey) again, this would not change
posted by darkgroove to Society & Culture (12 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
it would probably be worth looking at Etsy sellers. A lot of letterpress folks there, and many of them do custom orders.
posted by naturalog at 7:44 AM on March 22, 2012

My aunt runs a letterpress in Maine. She does (or at least used to do) small-batch jobs like this with some regularity. memail me for her contact info.
posted by gauche at 7:58 AM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

We are really really particular about paper weight and color, and have had a lot of success working with Travis at Parklife Press. He has been great about working with us on very tiny details/color matching, and I even recommend him for anyone getting invitations for weddings. He isn't cheap, but certainly very reasonable for high quality work.
posted by zara at 8:02 AM on March 22, 2012

Alternating the color of text on a line is not impossible, but it requires really, really tight registration that not all letterpress printers will be able to achieve satisfactorily. Consider that you're doing two complete print runs, changing your plates and colors in between. I've seen jobs done this way: the eye is very sensitive to this particular kind of mis-registration. My wife is a letterpress printer and I can guarantee that she wouldn't do this on her press.

Also, if you're going to get this done, get more than 200. Most of what you'll be paying for is a fixed set-up charge; the marginal cost of each card will be trivial by comparison. And each color you add is going to significantly increase the overall cost of the job.
posted by adamrice at 8:08 AM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Good to know adamrice, I'll pay special attention to make sure this doesn't get screwed up.

And in regard to the number, I was just pulling that out of my head. I've done a little more research and it seems that the norm is 500. Which I'm fine with.
posted by darkgroove at 8:16 AM on March 22, 2012

I've heard great things about Moo.
posted by beisny at 8:44 AM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Moo do great quality digitally printed cards, but not letterpress printing.
posted by Magnakai at 8:50 AM on March 22, 2012

I've seen great results from Hoban Press. Beautifully done work!
posted by karizma at 9:21 AM on March 22, 2012

Yeah, Etsy is great for this — there are a bunch of letterpress printers, both professional and hobbyist, with surprisingly competitive pricing even on small batches. (I've ordered from Lucky Duck Letterpress and I like them a lot for actual hand-set type; others might be better for digital/polymer plate work.) As others have said, though, you should expect that each color you add to the card will add a lot to — maybe roughly double — the price of the job, since each color is adding another trip through the press and significant complexity of setup. Maybe think about reducing the number of colors and adding the design differentiation you want in some other way, with typeface or size?
posted by RogerB at 9:28 AM on March 22, 2012

Response by poster: Ooooh. Hoban looks sexy. I'll def look into them. Than you karizma.
posted by darkgroove at 9:29 AM on March 22, 2012

With letterpress, each color you add is basically the same cost as one color because it requires another trip through the press. So, if 1 color = $100, then 2 color = $200, 3 color = $300, etc (numbers are totally for example only). Also, if you need more cards later, the only saving is the plates.
posted by dripdripdrop at 9:32 AM on March 22, 2012

Boxcar Press? They also offer design services.

Or you could contact these guys. I'm married to one of them. ;)
posted by mon-ma-tron at 3:57 PM on March 22, 2012

« Older advanced shipping/packaging solution   |   I want to work when I'm working and not work when... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.