Laser-cut business card casts an impressive shadow

Australian design studio Filter's rebrand included these business cards, which fold out to create a cool 3D shape. We find out how they were created...

For smaller and newer studios such as Filter, based in Brisbane in Australia, it can be a struggle to gain recognition. Although founder Claire Hamilton has worked in the design industry since 2000, in both London and Australia, she recently took the decision to rebrand and rename her studio as a fresh start.

Part of that process involved designing eye-catching new stationery, making the most of a small budget.

Filter’s letterheads and compliment slips are printed on Enhance Silk Arctic 104gsm and printed with black and a sealing varnish

Filter’s business cards have a laser-cut logo, meaning they can fold out to create a 3D effect, and the entire set is printed on bold black silk card.

"A few challenges arose when we realised that it was easy to make one business card with cut lettering, with a fold at the base of each letter," says Hamilton. "But to systemise that for a high quantity proved an impossible thought for some printers to consider."

“A key consideration for the specialist printer was to test the distance apart of each of the tiny holes in the perforation,” says Claire Hamilton

This led to a lot of liaising with specialist printers and experimenting with different weights of paper. "The width of the laser cutting was also tested to make sure the letters didn’t simply fall out like a die-cut stencil," she adds.

"The letterhead and compliment slip also required testing to ensure that enough show-through of the reversed logo was visible, but that the white paper stock was bulky enough to hold a solid single pass of black, with rub off onto the next sheet."

The result is simple, eye-catching and a great testament to how solid planning and careful thought can achieve interesting results without having to spend a fortune.

This article was originally published in Computer Arts issue 210.

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