After taking my letterpress class at The Arm in October, I was determined to make my own letterpress business cards. I finally got around to making them last month and I'm really pleased with the way they turned out!
I rented studio time using a Vandercook SP-15 to make my prints. I designed my business card layout in InDesign and then submitted it to Boxcar Press so that they could turn it into a photopolymer plate. The photopolymer plate is created in the reverse of your design with the raised portion being the part that makes the indent in the paper. You'll notice part of my design has been cut away because I wanted to create a two color business card.
Here is the print, hot off the press. You'll see that it's only half complete because when you do two colors you need to run it through the machine twice. After the first run, you clean off the blue ink from the machine and then add the second half of your photopolymer design, re-ink the machine with the second color and run the paper through again. It's a tedious process but well worth it to get the two color design.
Here is the two color design of my business cards but the "bean" in my design isn't quite centered. I had to re-adjust my paper and to get it to print correctly.
I took a (blurry) picture of my friend Caroline printing on her Vandercook. I helped her design her calling cards and I love the way they came out! The color and geometric patterns really make them pop!
After cutting my cards out using my crop mark guidelines and rounding the corners with my corner rounder, these are the finished cards. My only complaint is that the green is slightly more yellow than I would have liked. I had to mix inks to create the green that I wanted and it was a little bit harder than expected. Regardless, I absolutely love them!
I love the texture and feel of the paper (bought, where else, at Paper Presentation) and the lovely, deep impression of my design, thanks to the Vandercook Press and my photopolymer plate. I'm officially hooked!