I'm looking for American Psycho style business cards.
June 15, 2006 9:54 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for American Psycho style business cards.

Basically, heavy white paper (where I have a selection of whites), and two lines of black text (name and phone number) that is in a nice font and maybe engraved looking. I want them to look expensive.

Every online business card site I've seen so far either makes nice four color glossy cards, or cheesy raised letter cards that look like something you would get from a car mechanic.
posted by andrewzipp to Work & Money (22 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Before the age of the internet, there existed this archaic technology called the telephone.

OK, silliness aside, just look up and call your local printer. They will happily accommodate almost anything you want, for a price.
posted by randomstriker at 10:01 AM on June 15, 2006

I'm sure a local printer would be able to do this. My local printer did something fairly similar for a very low price (500 cards for $22.00, it would have been about $38.00 for 1000 of them).

The Internet is great, but some things just turn out better at a brick-and-mortar establishment, and custom printing is one of those things, IMHO.
posted by sablazo at 10:02 AM on June 15, 2006

Response by poster: Yes, but...there are about two hundred printers in my area. I'm kind of looking for someone that specializes in fancy business cards, something kind of old fashioned I think. I don't think Speedy Action Graphics is what I'm looking for. Any suggestions how to narrow it down a bit?
posted by andrewzipp at 10:07 AM on June 15, 2006

Look, you are just going to have to buckle down and call a around to few printers until you find what you want. Sometimes things have to be done the old fashioned way. For starters, ask who your employer uses.
posted by randomstriker at 10:11 AM on June 15, 2006

Isn't Crane's the rich and luxurious standard for all things paper?
posted by GaelFC at 10:16 AM on June 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

I think what you may want to look for in a printer is one who will do letterpress printing. Letterpress is pretty rare nowadays, and is mostly just used for this sort of thing -- impressing the heck out of people. I've heard the results are spectacular. And what's better than being able to tell folks "oh, no .. it's letterpress. Yeah, I paid extra."

If salmonberry or someone else in the printing business comes in they'll probably be able to direct you better.
posted by fishfucker at 10:25 AM on June 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

oh, and the letterpress process should give a slight engraved appearance, I believe. I'm picturing it would look like if someone hand-typed all your cards on a typewriter (except with better results), but I'm not an expert in these matters. You'll probably want a nice heavy matte stock to print it on.
posted by fishfucker at 10:27 AM on June 15, 2006

go to someone who does a lot of wedding invitations since invites are still "fancy" like the way you want your cards. they will be able to do this, easy.

just please tell me you're not planning on becoming a serial killer, ok?
posted by lannanh at 10:28 AM on June 15, 2006

What you want is raised ink or thermography/thermographic printing. There are online sources for this and you can get it locally from most in print shop, because they'll probably be ordering it out anyway.
posted by jacobjacobs at 10:33 AM on June 15, 2006

the only place I can think of, in Canada, is Birks. They sell ultra-high-end stationary, and also handle wedding invitations. You might want to visit a high-end department store in your area to make a similar request.

I was looking for calling cards some years ago. A calling card lists your name only, is on ultra-thick paper, and the sides of the card may be bordered in black or in gold. The only example that I had in my hands had been printed in Japan by a high-end printer.
posted by seawallrunner at 10:43 AM on June 15, 2006

I think what you are looking for is not letterpress, but rather engraving. Done properly, letterpress gives a slight depressed appearance in the text, while engraving gives the raised effect. (In letterpress, ink sticks to the raised portions of the type, while in engraving, there are depressions for the ink to stick in) Letterpress is a cheaper, since you're using moveable type (in the lead / antimony sense, not in the blogging software). Engraving is going to cost more, since a new plate has to be made for each job.

Thermography is an attempt to create an engraved effect cheaply -- it's offset printing, with a special powder added to the wet ink. When the powder is heated, you get the raised effect.

If you're looking to look expensive, engraving or letterpress will both get that effect. For engraving, check out wedding invitation. If cost is really no object, I think Cartier does an engraving service, but you will be spending about $1.25 per card. (Although, they keep the plate forever, so the next order gets a little cheaper)

Do not do thermography. It looks cheap.
posted by printdevil at 10:52 AM on June 15, 2006 [3 favorites]

I got cards like that for my photography sideline from the local printer... took 'em a PDF and a laser printout, got back nice textured cards with raised black ink. I'm sure they'd have done the layout as well if I'd wanted.
posted by kindall at 10:54 AM on June 15, 2006

Call a white-shoe or other high-profile law firm in your area, ask for an admin assistant, and ask that person where they get their cards done - most high-end law firms have cards that are of the style to which you refer.
posted by pdb at 10:56 AM on June 15, 2006

There are a bunch of letterpresses (and letterpress directories) listed here.
posted by Alt F4 at 11:21 AM on June 15, 2006

Basically, what most everyone else said - get thee to a printer/engraver. Cranes has some info, and samples.

BTW... Back in the day, this was called a "calling card" (not phone-related). When my brother was in the Navy, he had one - basically had his name and rank, that's it. A few links that might be helpful.

Sorry. I've been reading "Miss Manners" lately.

posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 11:27 AM on June 15, 2006

Another vote for letterpress here. If you're in New York City you can learn to do it yourself!
posted by Songdog at 11:28 AM on June 15, 2006

Peter Kruty's custom letterpress work is as good as it gets. Get your name on the front and your email address on the back in a small point size 19th century metal type with lots of whitespace on ever so slightly off-white heavy stock (maybe 4-ply illustration board).

And if you own/can buy your name's domain (andrewzipp.com) then something like your name in black type and the ".com" part pressed into the card (so it's faintly visible) would be infinitely cool. No email, number, or fax - just your name and the whisper of .com. Think Danny Ocean's business card in Ocean's Eleven.
posted by junesix at 11:35 AM on June 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

The American Psycho card: ""That's bone. And the lettering is something called Sicilian Rail." (Which doesn't seem to be an actual typeface.)
posted by kirkaracha at 12:47 PM on June 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

The truly expensive and impressive option is engraving. The oldest, most traditional printer in your town might still do it. The 1st or 2nd printer you call will know who does engraving. Letterpress is a nice alternative.

Carlson & Turner Antiquarian Books (241 Congress St.; Portland, Maine 207/773-4200) - secondhand books, prints; in the basement, owner Scott Wilson rattles out small print runs on an old-fashioned letterpress.
posted by theora55 at 1:13 PM on June 15, 2006


This guy can make them so thick you could tile your roof with them. It's wedding season, however, so it will take a little while.
posted by craniac at 1:20 PM on June 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

not sure where you live... but I used to work at a higher end party supply store (that doesn't exist anymore) that had a stationary department back before everyone could afford their own printer. We did everything from printing out birthday invites on the inkjet to ordering high end engraved wedding invites and business cards. There are still several places like this around. You might check with these folks. BTW.. these are in Houston. Confetti and More than Paper. I am sure that there are more.
posted by nimsey lou at 4:29 PM on June 15, 2006

Artlite in Atlanta can do them. They have swanky swanky paper, and cardstock, and other goodies. They do a brisk business via phone and internet, so they'd be happy to accomodate you yanks.
posted by zpousman at 7:35 AM on June 16, 2006

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