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February 20, 2008 - 8 comments

Letterpress Business Cards for Mike Davis

They arrived this afternoon.

My husband needed business cards so we decided to ping Leslie Topness who was offering the letterpress special I shared with you a few weeks ago and get some cards printed.


Keeping it simple and to-the-point was a goal. They came out beautifully. (Thank you Leslie...)

The typeface is Musee by Dino dos Santos of DSTYPE Foundry.


Alas, my photo of the impression doesn't do it justice. (Note to self: Work on that macro depth of field.)

If you are interested, PaperSpecs has a free webinar about the design and production of a letterpress piece with Judith Berliner, owner and founder of Full Circle Press.

Sign up toute suite because space is limited.

Update: Well... Here's another attempt (below) to share a better detail of the cards. I thought an angle (above) would show the impression better and with the shallow depth-of-field, I guess it turned out to be more of a distraction.

Mike Davis Business Cards Detail

Update No. 2: Just in case there is any confusion, the cards were my design. Leslie was the printer though she also does great design work. And, below is my third attempt (via flatbed scanner) to show a more accurate detail and color. The quality of her printing is really great (I think given I'm not a printer) and my sincerest apologies for doing a rush job on the above photos. Lesson learned.

Mike Davis Letterpress business card detail

Published by: dpdavis in Design, News


February 21, 2008 at 6:18 am

Gorgeous card. Letterpress is especially conducive to simplicity and elegance and design.

February 21, 2008 at 8:14 am

Hey thanks Johno. That means a lot coming from you 🙂 Letterpress definitely creates maximum impact for understated simplicity.

February 24, 2008 at 10:16 pm

Beautiful cards.
(not sure how I feel about that view-camera/short-depth-of-field photoshop effect, though)

February 24, 2008 at 10:40 pm

Hi Dave. Thanks for the compliment.

It isn’t a Photoshop effect. Just shallow depth-of-field from a 60mm macro lens. It doesn’t work for the detail shot and I didn’t get permission to advertise his contact details so had to use the larger aperture to “hide” it.

Dave (again)
February 25, 2008 at 3:14 am

Wow – that updated photo is incredible. Absolutely beautiful typeface and printing job!

February 25, 2008 at 5:15 pm

It’s nice that you’re happy with these. I can’t help but note the lack of make-ready that was done. (Modern “platepress” printers tend not to bother, or know how to do it, preferring to simply add more ink and hit it harder.) You can see this in the fade from marginally less ink and impression on the left, to the more dense and overly impressed “RIES.” on the right. Letterpress is all about the details. Platepress tends to dispense with them, being satisfied with overall effect.

February 25, 2008 at 7:02 pm

@mjb — Hmmm. Interesting and I’m wondering if what you are seeing is more my lack of skill (and studio) in making a decent photo? (see the light shifting from light to dark?)

The reason I say this is because when I’m looking at the real deal, the ink is quite even from left to right and on the diagonal in either direction.

Maybe scanning the card would be better?

February 26, 2008 at 1:54 am

well, unfortunately, i don’t believe that’s the case. Rather than look at ink coverage, look at the weight of the characters in relation to one another. Note how the right most characters appear fractionally more bold. E.g., the “r”s on editor and photographer. Yes, it’s subtle, but it’s exactly what I look at when assessing my own work during make ready, and well, the work of others… If there is a God, he’s still in the details.

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