Letterpress printing has been around for hundreds of years and yet remains one of the hottest trends in stationery, so it's little surprise that letterpress business cards can still 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 some brilliant examples of letterpress business cards to inspire your designs.
- The 10 commandments of business card design (opens in new tab)
01. Maldini Studios
Maldini Studios is a Stockholm-based interior design and construction firm that specialises in design and carpentry for private and public spaces. As part of a larger identity project for Maldini, Jens Nilsson (opens in new tab) created these fantastic letterpress business cards on textured stock from GF Smith and Arjowiggins, making good use of the bespoke Donadoni typeface he created for the studio.
02. Gala Tuesday
Produced by Jukebox Print (opens in new tab) for Gala Tuesday, these letterpress business cards create an instant impression thanks to their die-cut pineapple shape, backed up by eye-catching pink and green paper stock, plus a luxurious finish in the form of some gold foil.
03. Stawomir Mielnik photography
Polish print and design studio PanBonTon (opens in new tab) came up with a very clever camera-inspired card for photographer Stawomir Mielnik, using uninked embossed lines to represent light, and turn a simple cube into a pinhole camera.
04. Sauvage Garage
Sauvage Garage is a creative collective consisting of graphic artists, photographers, writers, illustrators and more, from all across France. Its business cards (opens in new tab), designed by Anne-Perrine Couët and printed by Letterpress de Paris (opens in new tab), keep things simple with strong colours and an evocative graffiti logo.
05. Stefan Leitner
Photographer Stefan Leitner (opens in new tab) asked Kristina Bartosova (opens in new tab) to design a simple business card for him. Instead, inspired by his extrovert personality, she decided to do the exact opposite, and designed a bold logotype that really stands out when rendered in letterpress.
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Voltalab (opens in new tab) is a recording studio built in the space where Cargo Studios and Suite 16 used to record classic bands such as Joy Division, The Fall, Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses. Fieldwork (opens in new tab) designed a whole identity package inspired by the building's rich heritage, including these stunning minimal business cards. The cards showcase the logo mark, which is a visual play on the Voltalab name and combines references to a test tube rack and an octave on a keyboard.
07. Spotted Zebra
Sarah Mangion (opens in new tab)'s branding for Spotted Zebra, an online resource for writing, events and media management, needed to feel professional, bold and sophisticated with a slight quirkiness. Her letterpress business card design combines the logo in a simple geometric typeface, and a hand-drawn zebra illustration to add a custom feel.
08. Le Balene
We love Eleonora Petrolati (opens in new tab)'s wonderful stylised whale-based logo for Italian communication agency, Le Balene (opens in new tab), and how she's turned it into a distinctive business card design. But what really marks this project out is her inclusion of a set of stamps and coloured inks that people can add their own little customisations to.
09. Quentin Monge
Created using white foil, these five-colour letterpress business cards on triplex colourplan paper certainly pop. Using a bold and colourful pattern only plays to the card's strengths, which will certainly make for a memorable exchange. Designed by Don't Try Studio (opens in new tab) for Quentin Monge, they're some of the best-looking we've ever seen.
10. The Fox Yards Company
Produced by Jukebox Print (opens in new tab), these ultra-thick cotton paper letterpress business cards bring 3D embossed design to the table. Using Jukebox Print's own innovative method, the attention to detail is wonderful, with the letterpress used to add text as well as a quirky textured background.
11. Christina Yan
"Christina Yan is a talented prop stylist based in Toronto," explains creator Belinda Love Lee (opens in new tab). "This whole stationery set exudes sophistication and timelessness with a bit of edge. Each piece was letterpressed with the finishing touches of gold foiling, gold edging, and embossing."
12. OF ZOOS
Using a simple yet effective pattern of illustrative animals, these letterpress business cards pack a punch when it comes to originality. Designed for Singaporean online literary journal OF ZOOS, we love designer Charmaine Yeo (opens in new tab)'s execution.
13. Rafal Borek Photography
The Letter & Press (opens in new tab) Behance page states: "Mr Rafal from Ireland needed some business cards for his photographic business. But not a usual ones – really wonderful and over the top. So we printed the graphic with our historic press which can really show fine detail."
14. Mild Whistle
Combining craft and precision to produce a beautiful aesthetic, these cards from Singapore-based agency Oddds (opens in new tab) are about as beautiful as they come. The Oddds website states: "The identity broadens with usage of letterpress accompanied by glamour with modernism. This is created with the intertwining between bronze and a soft tone of turquoise. The play of metal tones and pieces with cotton represents the designer's ideologies of art direction and design."
15. Elias Mendoza
When Cocoa Branding (opens in new tab) was hired to create branding materials for Elias Mendoza, an immigration and naturalisation attorney in the US, 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 was these heavyweight letterpress business cards, designed by Rodrigo Suárez.
16. Bailey H Robinson
Brooklyn-based tattoo artist Bailey H Robinson (opens in new tab) has a very distinct take on traditional American tattooing. Two Arms Inc (opens in new tab) was keen to design something that looked and felt like traditional turn-of-the-century type. The resulting letterpress card is an ornate delight that wouldn't have looked out of place in 1901 (except for the contact URL, of course).
17. Motor City Chop Shop
This design for Motor City Chop Shop has its finger on the pulse of Detroit's motorcycle culture. Created by Company Folders (opens in new tab), the card's surface features a dotted emboss effect for a cool background texture that doesn't compete with the letterpress text. Tires and handlebars turn the curvy font into a chopper, while the slanted letters add a sense of speed and movement.
18. The Yard VFX
The Yard VFX (opens in new tab) is a visual effects company based in Paris. When Mr Cup Studio (opens in new tab) was tasked with redesigning the studio’s identity, the entire graphic language was built around the fact that it would be printed using letterpress. The eye-catching letterpress business cards feature a debossed astrological design, with the studio’s URL in striking silver.
19. Mia Parcell
Impressworks printed these letterpress business cards for designer Mia Parcell (opens in new tab). The job features a two-colour, double-sided print on our 600gsm Fluoro White Crane Lettra stock. Parcell took care of the artwork herself, with Impressworks coming up with the circular execution.
20. Simon Featherstone
Simon Featherstone (opens in new tab) is a freelance lighting designer and programmer, with vast experience in video and LED technology. The contemporary logo marque uses a pattern derived from LEDs and combines 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.
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