Letterpress in a digital world

Letterpress in a digital world

Proofing cards with Kent Aldrich at Nomadic Press.


In the process of hatching Calhoun Design the need for business cards presented itself. For some businesses these small printed items are strictly perfunctory, done with little attention or expense. Often they are overwhelmed with information and visually forgettable.

Not so for us. We are a design firm and these small rectangles are examples of our work. They need to reflect our design sensibilities, our attention to detail, and cause a small pause in the conversation when received. They need to differentiate us from the insurance guy that just visited with you. In short, they are a compact piece of our portfolio that we hope you will hang onto.

Letterpress card printing Minneapolis

While designing them we made a number of decisions to increase the possibility of the recipient noticing, appreciating, and keeping our cards. The paper stock is noticeably hefty. The size is larger than most. The information is succinct. Nothing extraneous or irrelevant is presented. And they are letterpress printed.

But this is 2015 and we are a design firm that is immersed in the digital world. Websites and online projects are a large portion of our portfolio and our clients’ needs. Why print business cards using a method that has been around for hundreds of years, rather than using offset printing or possibly digital printing? Letterpress printing is a craft, if not an art. Without question, both offset and digital are more economical and could do the job.

We opted for letterpress printing because it reflects our attention to detail. There is an increased crispness to the type that brings extra life to the design. Letterpress allowed us to use heavier paper than could be used in offset or digital printing. And there is a tactile magic with letterpress printing. When given a Calhoun card the weight of the paper, its texture, and feeling the impressions in the paper of the type and art are all memorable. Rather than engaging only with the sense of sight, why not also appeal to the sense of touch?

In total, our decision to letterpress print our cards aligns with our not being satisfied with the typical. We are focused on delivering to our clients work that is consistently memorable, differentiating, and effective. And in this instance we were happy to do exactly that for ourselves.



Looking for more information? Connect and let’s discuss.