Japan Printing

160 Broadway, Ground Floor New York, NY
Phone: (212) 406-2905

Letterpress Business Cards

Letterpress business cards are widely considered to be among the most elegant and attractive business cards in existence today. Letterpress business cards are instantly recognizable by the indentations that are left when the ink is applied to the paper. The letters and logo are literally pressed inwards, which results in a very tactile surface when the cards are handled. You can think of letterpress as being the opposite of raised ink printing. We are happy to offer this service locally in our NYC printing facility.

Stemming from printing methods that surfaced in the 15th century, this technology has not changed very much over time. Other printing methods such as offset and digital printing have eclipsed letterpress in popularity due to their efficiency and lower operating costs. This decline in popularity has made letterpress business cards a rare sight to behold. The limited supply has also contributed to their appeal, mostly because of their exclusivity.

Regardless of the supply or demand, letterpress business cards offer some very unique characteristics that make them an excellent choice for people seeking impressive business cards. One of the most apparent attributes is the soft, textured papers that many people use on their letterpress business cards. In order to get the desired effect of indented lettering, softer papers are typically used. Even though these papers were designed to be soft for the sake of the equipment, the byproduct is a paper that feels really nice in your hand. Outside of letterpress printing, it is rare to see these softer stocks used at all.

Another appeal of letterpress is that it allows for 3-dimensional effects without sacrificing ink color or registration. For example, there are 2 other options for adding dimension to your business cards. The first is raised ink (thermography). Raised ink uses a special power that is melted onto the wet ink and rises when heated. The problem is that it leaves a plastic-like, wet finish, that alters the color slightly. Its similar to how a piece of cloth looks darker when wet. That is an undesirable side-effect of thermography. The other option is embossing/engraving (not the same but similar). These methods require that the paper be sandwiched between two engraved plates. In either option, registration (alignment) is an issue that has major limitations. With letterpress, you don’t have to worry about altering the ink color because nothing is going on top of the ink. You also wouldn’t need to worry about proper registration (beyond industry tolerances) because you don’t have to print on a target that will be embossed after you print. So letterpress is a great option for adding dimension without much sacrifice.

There are some limitations with letterpress business cards. The two most apparent ones would be the times and cost. Because these business cards are hand made in our NYC facility, they require an adequate amount of time to produce. We are very rigorous with our quality control process, so we need time to check and recheck our work. That labor also contributes to the cost, which is the second major drawback of letterpress printing. The cost is definitely higher than most other print methods. However, we have worked very hard to be as efficient as possible. As a result, our business cards are considerably less expensive than our competition.

There are many aspects of letterpress business cards that are incredibly appealing. Without seeing these business cards in person, its difficult to truly appreciate them. We invite anyone to stop by our NYC store to see samples first hand. It would be our pleasure to sit down with you and provide a free consultation.

Contact us today at 212-406-2905, or email at info@japanprint.com for more information!