Business Cards

Edge painting, edge coloring, colored edges; there are many names that describe this process and we have used them all. This process is not new by any means, but we have noticed more and more people are asking for it in the last few months. Edge painting can be matched to an existing color in the design or it can be done with a contrasting tone to add an unexpected pop of color. Finishing processes like this can really add polish to a card design.

This process is often done with engraving ink, which has a matte finish for the non-metallic Pantone colors and a shimmery finish for the metallics. If you’re looking for a very shiny metallic look, foiled edges are the way to go (more on that farther down).

We send out for this process, so it does add to the production turnaround. Below are some examples of business cards with edge painting.

When a shiny metallic finish is needed, foil edging is the best method. We outsource this process as well, so be prepared for longer turnaround. There is a wide range of foil colors available, however gold and silver are by far the most popular. There aren’t many things quite like opening a box of foil-edged cards and seeing a field of metallic staring back at you. Here are some cards with gold foil edging.

Notes: Various papers used in the painted-edge stack, Huckabit business cards printed in three colors on 179# Crane Fluorescent White Kid finish cover. Gold-foil edged cards printed in two colors plus gold foil stamping on 110# Crane Lettra Fluorescent White cover.

Javier Garcia of Javier Garcia Design has written on his own blog talking about the process of designing and printing his letterpress printed business card. Since we could not say it better than he did, we’ll just show you a picture of the finished card and give you a link to his blog post if you’d like to know more.

Notes: Printed in 3 colors on 179# Crane Fluorescent White cover

When asked if we offer embossing, we hesitate to say no right away. Often when asking for embossing, people actually mean a blind hit. Embossing is a process that requires a die and a counter die, while a blind deboss

is letterpress printing without ink which allows us to use our standard printing plates. While we do not offer embossing in-house, we are happy to out-source this process when combined with letterpress printing. Below are examples of blind debossing.

Blind deboss Peter Samuels Photography

Check out the just-opened Heart wine bar on Valencia St near 24th.  It’s a beautiful space and a great new addition to the Mission’s bountiful offerings for food and drink.  Kitchenette is serving food, there is art on the walls… and we printed their business cards.

Notes:  One color printed in two passes, on 110# Lettra Pearl White cover, die cut

We love working for wineries, in part because the letterpress process is such a great complement to what making wine is about- a traditional craft, an interest in quality over quantity, and an appreciation for having good work to do.  Chanda Williams is one of our favorite designers not only for her beautiful work but because she brings us so many great clients.

Notes:  Printed on Somerset Velvet Soft White 300g printmaking paper

We rarely get to use lead type anymore- in this age of desktop typesetting, few designers are comfortable delegating the typesetting to someone else, and hardly anybody remembers the traditional protocols around specifying typesetting.  Nevertheless, on occasion we get to use the type that rests in our cases and it’s always nice to revive the old skills and working processes.  When Jonathan Richman came into the shop to talk about a business card for his side business doing masonry he spotted the type cases and said, “I want that!”

I promised to draft something for him, and later that day began looking through the type for something suitable.  I pulled a galley of type out of the galley case but it was a short galley mixed in with the long ones, so I dropped it, pi-ing an entire galley of 12 pt. Nicholas Cochin.  Was it a sign?  Who knows.  It’s what we used, after several hours of picking up the type and getting it standing on its feet again.  One of these days we’ll distribute that type properly….

Designer: Dependable Letterpress Client: Arcane Masonry

Black ink on 110# Lettra Ecru cover, printed from hand-set foundry type

Category: Business card

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