Using the oldest form of printing to create memorable letterpress business cards can help beat off the competition. Here are some stunning examples of exactly what can be achieved.
Letterpress printing has been around for hundreds of years and yet remains one of the hottest trends in stationery. Letterpress business cards still have the ability to turn heads.
The ancient technique involves a surface with raised letters or artwork inked and then pressed into thick, soft paper, adding an exciting, tactile quality to the design.
Known for producing a clean and elegant style, the letterpress technique is favoured by many designers for creating unique and creative business cards. Here we've picked 44 brilliant examples of letterpress cards: which one is your favourite?
01. Elias Mendoza
When Cocoa Branding was hired to create branding materials for Elias Mendoza, one of the most prominent immigration and naturalisation attorneys in the United States, it needed to convey the unique and personalised touch that Mendoza brings to his work with all types of family and business immigration needs. Part of the branding solution, designed by Rodrigo Suárez, are these heavyweight letterpress business cards.
02. Featherweight Printing
Creating business cards for her printing company has been a learning experience for Kate Huat. After a first run that didn't turn out quite as hoped, Kate invested in some Crane Letra 200lb stock that is hefty enough to take a front imprint that won't ruin the pattern on the back of the car, and that's also suitable for bold edge painting that really stands out. "I was a little nervous to spray these," says Kate, "since I had spent so much time and care on each step along the way, but I am very pleased with the outcome and hope to have more edge painting opportunities soon."
03. Bailey H. Robinson
Brooklyn-based tattoo artist Bailey H. Robinson has a very distinct take on traditional American tattooing, and when he brought in Two Arms Inc to produce a set of custom letterpress business cards, they were keen to design something that looked and felt like traditional turn-of-the-century type. The resulting card is an ornate delight that wouldn't have looked out of place in 1901 (except for the contact URL, of course).
04. Two Sisters Photography
Commissioned to create an identity for Two Sisters Photography, Fizz took inspiration from a Venn diagram and used that as the basis for cameo-style silhouettes. The silhouettes enabled Fizz to showcase each sister's style and personality through their profile treatment, and alongside the Venn-style card Fizz also created individual designs for each sister. Fizz went all-out in the production stakes, using three Pantone colours on 220lb Crane Letra cotton stock, and finishing everything off with a custom die-cut.
Impressworks printed these business cards for designer Mia Parcell. The job features a two-colour, double-sided print on our 600gsm Fluoro White Crane Lettra stock. Mia took care of the artwork herself, with Impressworks coming up with the circular execution.
06. Simon Featherstone
Simon Featherstone is a freelance lighting designer & programmer with vast experience in video and LED technology. He needed a branding refresh to help portray the qualities and capabilities of his practice to a wider audience.
The contemporary logo marque used a pattern derived from LEDs and combined it with a bold gradient running from cyan to magenta. The branding collateral uses a range of cool grey tones to suitably reflect the high-end nature of the industry and communicate a professional and knowledgable tone of voice.
07. Marilyne Scheepers
Marilyne Scheepers created this letterpress business card design Graphic Wand studio. The turquoise colouring on the edge of the cards enables a striking effect when staked. Simple typography and a clever logo allow these letterpress business cards to speak for themselves.
When it comes to paper, Gmund relies on tradition and innovation. On the oldest still producing paper machine in Europe, standards are set for the finest papers. Offizin Parnassia is a fine art studio born out of a love for old books. These Adicto cards were created to combine authentic design with passionate craftsmenship.
09. Lucky Cat Acupuncture
Identity for designer Lovely Mpls' wife's acupuncture clinic in Minneapolis. "She requested something that had a little bit of an anime style with some whimsy," he explains. The business cards were letterpress printed at Studio on Fire.
With four different designs to choose from, each stamp adds a splash of colour to Pepelatz employees otherwise simple white letterpress business card.
11. German Torres
These beautiful letterpress business cards feature the wild illustrator German Torres transforming from human to werewolf. Print shop La Trasteria created them using a two colour split fountain for the transformation and black ink for the other details.
These creative business cards are beautifully printed, and we just love the playful design, which depicts a smiley character by day and the stages that turn him into a wild illustrator by night.
12. Dane Holmquist
These detailed, beautiful letterpress business cards belong to illustrator and graphic designer Dane Holmquist. The talented artist created the intricate illustration himself, before elisting the help of printers DSJ in Santa Monica, who helped bring his vision to life.
Holmquist's mantra is 'If it has the potential to be cool, I will do my very best to make it so'. And he's certainly achieved that with this gorgeous design.
Brandconsultant Johanna Elisabeth Ecker wanted a business card that reflected both her personality and quality of her work.
So, working alongside designer Kurt Glanzer at Moodley Brand Identity, she developed these beautiful letterpress business cards, which doubles as a tiny notebook, which include a personal handwritten message for the receiver and 15 more empty pages for them to use as they wish.
What you see here is one of the neat letterpress business cards for furniture shop Bentply in Marylebone, London that can be made into mini bent plywood chairs.
The ingenious card design was created by art director, writer, and designer Richard C Evans and produced by Elegante Press in Lithuania. Just follow the instructions and the kiss-cut card can be folded into a miniature of the iconic 1934 plywood armchair designed by Gerald Summers.
15. Dot Design
Printed using two colours on both sides and die cut to shape, the carefully placed design elements on each side of these letterpress business cards avoid any overlapping. They're printed on 425gsm cotton and are instantly striking. Creating such a distinct shape really makes these creative business cards one of our favourites.
16. Derek Welsh
Glasgow Press achieved a monster 810gsm when creating these letterpress business cards by bonding 270gsm sheets of Ebony, Citrine and Bright White to achieve a stand out card for furniture maker Derek Welsh. Black letterpress to the Bright White side with the gloss black foil to the Ebony card really represent, making this a unique creation.
17. Whitney Shaw
The colours really won us over with this letterpress business card. Encorporating a variety of fonts, as well as a playful illustration, this is a design that would surely be cherished by the receiver. The use of larger 'W's' also allow for Whitney's name to stick in the mind, whilst keeping the design aspects to a minimal affect.
18. Bryon Darby
Often, less is more when it comes to design. It's certainly the case for this letterpress business card for photographer Bryon Darby. Using a minimal colour scheme and using the letterpress to create a series of beautiful patterns, we love its simplicity.
19. For Luca
When Luca was just three years old he was struck down with Meningococcal Septicaemia - losing both of his legs along with muscle and skin below his hips. When his dad contacted Blush Publishing for some business cards to help with Luca’s campaign they fired up the presses and produce this delightful design. We love the bright blue typography placed on a simple, white backdrop. Instantly eye-catching.
20. Amy Weibel
Amy Weibel is a art director & designer, with a passion for food, travel, technology and of course design. She is currently based in the bustling neighborhood of Chinatown, New York. The typography treatment on each side is simple and effective; whilst the trim is bold and memorable.
A self-promotional business card for the design studio Forge. "We wanted a card that would communicate our hands-on and unique approach to design solutions," they explain on their site. "We sourced the paper ourselves and used two printers." The offset typography is pleasing, printed on a 200lb uncoated stock, with the wraparound sticker an inspired touch.
22. Kitty’s Beauty Parlour
Print & Grain is full service graphic design and letterpress studio. They offer original custom design and letterpress printing. Print & Grain encourage a collaborative effort with their clients during the design process to create a unique and personal card, which will be letterpress printed on double thick 236lb cotton card stock, using an antique Kelsey Excelsior printing press. A strong example from their portfolio is this creation for Kitty’s Beauty Parlour.
23. Mei Yen Chua
A variety of techniques were used on this business card for Mei Yen Chua. The experimental techniques using overlays of ink works wonders. Each shape also been embossed into the card, combining slab-serif and serif typefaces. A confident and eye-catching card.
Moglea is a boutique letterpress stationery design studio created by Meg Gleason. She loves bold pops of colour, hand-lettered typography and intricate floral and geometric patterns. The letterpress studio is within a farmhouse in Western Lowa, and this influences her style, which incorporates animals and nature into the designs.
25. Denim Geek
This gorgeous letterpress business card comes from those talented folks at Blush - a bespoke and custom letterpress printing service that offers wedding stationery, personalised correspondence, greeting cards and of course, business cards.
Even though white letterpress ink is often extremely diffcult to work with and doesn’t give a very good solid on dark stock, it works extremely well in this design. The card was printed on 1000mic recycled board, so it's good for the planet too!
26. Leigh Cameron
The guys over at Typoretum have an incredibly impressive array of letterpress business card designs on offer. Specialising in comprehensive letterpress business card and stationery design, the printing service can work from artwork supplied or help you to design your own.
This creation for Leigh Cameron is simple, elegant and engaging. We love the stark contrast of the green coupled with the grey. The cards are printed on 750 micron recycled greyboard.
27. Britt Boyd
Print and Grain are quickly becoming known for their letterpress business card offerings within the design industry. Based in Portland, Oregon, they also provide letterpress inspired greetings cards through their Etsy shop.
This design for Britt Boyd is a stunning feat in typography and graphic design. The beautiful graphics, combined with an eye-catching font and coloured edges, make it one of their best examples.
28. Ninja star
Now, here's a letterpress business card that'll catch a potential client's eye for all the right reasons. Showcased on Beast Pieces, this design will certainly get 'the point' across (sorry!) Although it might not be the ideal shape and size to slip into your wallet, the understated letterpress design and carefully placed typography make it a must in this list.
29. Nili Studios
Another addition from the guys at Print & Grain, this lovely-looking letterpress business card was designed for creative agency Nili Studios. The nautical-inspired theme is perfectly executed with the chosen soft blues as well as the waves and anchor logo. The choice of font is also a brilliant choice, as its readability is showcased.
30. Druckerei Eisenhardt
A printing press that's been operating for over 42 years, Eisenhardt is a trusted German company offering the best in letterpress design. A family-run business, it works with both modern and traditional techniques in the centre of Frankfurt.
This letterpress business card design immediately caught our eye thanks to its bold choice in size, shape and typography. The orange-on-white colour scheme enables the font to stand out whilst the understated letterpress gives it the edge it needs.
31. Stu Horvath
Dolce Press is a boutique print shop and design studio located on the eastern end of Long Island. Specialising in letterpress, the design studio creates one-of-a-kind prints.
This letterpress business card was printed on super-thick kraft stock in black ink, showcasing what can be accomplished with one-colour printing. The letterpress cards were finished off with black edge colouring and printed on a Chandler & Price 8x12.
32. Silk Lab
A workshop based in Cracow, Lettera Magica combined their love for tradition, perfection, patience and respect for nature to create some of the most stunning letterpress business cards we've ever seen.
This design was crafted for creative studio Skill Lab and was printed on Duplex Orange paper. It measures at 90 x 55mm, which makes it the perfect size to slip into your wallet. We love their slight change in the usual rectangular offering.
33. J. Fletcher Design
J. Fletcher has been producing graphic solutions for clients ever since 2004. Describing himself as a 'one-man show, not a one-man band' his executions in branding are faultless. This design - created for Charleston Naturally - perfectly captures their ethos.
They're made from the highest quality products - often organic, mindfully local. Fletcher echoes this 'natural' ethos with this beautiful letterpress business card design.
34. Jason Turiff
Another addition from Dolce Press; this time, for studio engineer Jason Turiff. Every colour here is hand mixed from a base of 16 colors which allows Dolce Press to achieve the full spectrum of Pantone colours and more. The ink used for Jason's business cards was the perfect balance of blue and green. They were then printed on Crane's Lettra (Pearl White, 300gsm) paper.
Graphic designers Jasen Melnick and Katie Major used letterpress printing to create these awesome retro-style coasters to promote their award-winning boutique studio Fizz Creative. Their letterpress business cards design perfectly complements the duo's motto, 'Design straight up with a twist'.
Featuring two Pantone colours, and printed on thick, ivory white stock, these business cards won awards from the AIGA Cleveland Design Competition and from the HOW+Print Color in Design Competition.
We love these innovative designs by creative agency Dare. The company describes itself as 'a merger of a traditional agency and digital shop', so it wanted letterpress business cards that also combine old with new. Employees were invited to upload a picture of themselves and enter their email and phone numbers. An ASCII image was then automatically created using characters from their contact details.
The company then chose to letterpress these images onto individual business cards in order to re-emphasise the idea of traditional techniques meeting digital. Awesome.
37. Pablo Abad
This beautiful design was created by Madrid-based graphic designer and art director Pablo Abad. In a quest to create a new visual identity, Abad designed a bespoke geometric sans-serif typeface gara.
The clean, yet edgy letterpress business cards design makes it eye-catching but still easy to understand. Abad's love of illustration and typography is clear in this very personal project.
38. Shyama Golden
It's always an awkward moment when you can't pronounce someone's name or get it wrong. To ensure that never happens again, artist and designer Shyama Golden designed these funky letterpressed business cards with her catchphrase 'It Rhymes with Llama'.
Printed on Cranes lettra cotton paper, with 100% hand-drawn type and a hand-drawn llama, these beauties are one-colour letterpress printing at its best.
39. Luke Lucas
After developing a new script-based logo, typographer and graphic designer Luke Lucas decided to update his business cards to show it off. Featuring his name on one side and his logo on the other, Lucas's card is no ordinary one.
Printed on 600gsm Lettra cotton stock, this letterpress business cards design uses phosphorescent ink so that in regular light it appears as a simple debossing but when the lights dim, the logo illuminates in a bright green. Very cool.
40. James Prunean
As is often the case, simplicity can work wonders. A perfect example of this is these gorgeous letterpressed business cards created by graphic designer James Prunean for his brother, Ovi.
Prunean used strong, bold colours that immediately catch your eye and at a first glance look very similar to Pantone colour cards. Printed on 220lb cotton paper, the soft yet strong impression has reportedly helped painter Ovi beat off a lot competition. And we can see why!
41. Jennifer Daniel
These quirky but cool business cards belong to Bloomberg Buisnessweek's graphic director Jennifer Daniel. An internationally recognised illustrator, designer and art director, Daniel is also a lover of unicorns.
After having a hard time choosing from her designs, she decided to have three printed, each one as memorable as the next and featuring her RSI-inducing contact email along the bottom. We wonder whether she's got any unicorn grooming business off the back of them?
42. Plaid Lab
The Plaid Lab is the portfolio of designer Mark Saunders, and the design for his business card was clearly inspired by that name. The gorgeous, brightly coloured letterpress business cards design features a plaid pattern, consisting of crossed horizontal and vertical bands in two or more colours.
The cards were letterpress printed on heavy 220lb Cover Crane Lettra Pearl White stock and used overprinting inks to create the rich and saturated colours. The printing is so good, it actually looks like Plaid material forms part of the card. An obvious but very clever design.
43. Rabbit Hole
This beautiful design grabbed our attention as soon as we saw it. Why? Not only because of the gorgeous impressions in fluourescent green with a double hit of silver on Beer Matt Board 390gsm but also because you can turn it into a rabbit.
Yes, you read that right. Several shapes are die-cut out and can be put together to create a stylised bunny. Cool, huh? We bet the guys at letterpress and design agency The Hungry Workshop had great fun creating these for The Rabbit Hole Ideation Cafe.
44. Still Liquor
This classy design was created for Still Liquor, a bar and micro distillery in a reclaimed bootleg liquor and auto shop in Seattle. To convey the bar's rich heritage, New York-based multi-disciplinary design practice Javas Lehn studio decided to use the iconic Ford Model T silhouette, bold type and unexpected contemporary compositions.
The final, clean design was then letterpress-printed onto Eska board stock, using a bright shade of red to accentuate the bold type. If the bar itself is a classy as its business card, we'd definitely drink there.
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Have you seen a great example of letterpress business cards? Let us know in the comments!