Seeking Engraver
May 7, 2012 8:35 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to find an artist to commission who specializes in work that looks like classic engravings; less something like Wondermark / Harper's illustrations and more the decorative and detail work like on an Emperor Norton note. Any recommendations, and if not, where (and how) can I look?

Specifically I'd like a calling card design.

Also, I have no idea how much a reasonable amount for this is - I imagine it depends on the skill of the artist and how elaborate a design I want, but are there any starting points for figuring this out?
posted by 23 to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm by no means an expert, but I'd think there's a lot of tattoo artists who'd be able to nail this style particularly those who do traditional "American Traditional" Tattoos.

Then take that to a printer who can do the type of printing that you want. Note I don't think you'll need an engraver, and you might want to check with the printer first to see what format that they'd like everything in.

Alternatively you can try a crowd sourced method like 99 Designs
posted by bitdamaged at 9:19 PM on May 7, 2012

If you live near a university*, there will be several printmakers, painters, and graphic designers that could all create what you are looking for in the university's graduate art program, and probably some undergrads who could do a fine job as well. But at least one of the grad students will probably have work that uses a similar style. And the school is always happy to have you make the request since it benefits their students' portfolios and pockets. You can send an email requesting that the administrative assistant to the director email out to the fine arts listserv. You could also post an ad in the school paper and perhaps on Craigslist as well under art/media/design.

Prices will vary based on experience, the design you're requesting, the number of revisions you'll want to make, etc.

*If you don't live near one, ask your alma mater's fine arts program or just pick a school and come up with a reason why to include in your email so that your email doesn't sound too random.
posted by vegartanipla at 10:16 PM on May 7, 2012

A good friend of mine makes work that, at least to my eyes, resembles this style somewhat. I pasted some examples for you.
posted by stthspl at 3:01 AM on May 8, 2012

The etsy seller color quarry seems to work in that style. Everything in her shop is birth announcements but most letterpress artists seem to do business cards. (I have no affiliation and don't know the artist).
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 4:12 AM on May 8, 2012

@The Elusive Architeuthis: Thanks! That's pretty much exactly what I had in mind. And I was just living in Providence until last year...

@bitdamaged: Hadn't heard of 99Designs; looks a bit like having other people run spec work for you, but I'll keep it in mind.

@vegartanipla: I actually went to Brown until just a year ago; I poked around with my RISD friends, including people who work in the print shop, but I didn't really come up with anything. I wasn't aware you could just contact the grad school, though - is there a particular office where that wouldn't be weird?

As far as local, I live in Tokyo, so while there's probably something my chances of finding it are much smaller.

Thanks, everyone!
posted by 23 at 10:00 PM on May 8, 2012

You just find the email of the director of the art school (or go straight to the admin of the director), and tell them in the body of your email what you're looking for/how much you'll pay/if you want prior portfolio examples/etc. and ask them to have it sent out to the graduate (or undergrad, or whatevs) listserve. The director will either email it themselves or send it to their admin who will email it out.

If the emails are hard to find, just call the school, get yourself transferred to the art school, and ask the admin directly. They've heard these requests before.

I am really surprised no RISD print worker could/would do what you're asking.
posted by vegartanipla at 9:34 PM on May 15, 2012

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