After over 3 years, we finally gave our business cards an upgrade!
Our new cards have been letterpressed in two Pantones on 118# cover (Savoy in Brilliant White). The cotton has such a wonderful feel to it...and this card in particular has been given some extra zing with a light dusting of metallic powder. [hr]
If you're curious about letterpress (and printing in general), here are a few facts:
The most popular "printing" techniques for business collateral are digital and off-set, followed by foil-stamping and letterpress, followed by screen printing, laser-cutting and metalpress. (Laser-cutting isn't exactly a printing technique...but it gets the same job done.)
How much do they all cost? Well, that's a complicated question. Print pricing is VERY specific to each and every project; it depends on a number of factors, including (but not limited to): the quantity you need, how quickly you need them, what kind of colors you're using, how important color is to your brand, what kind of paper you want to use, etc.
Here's a BASIC breakdown:
Digital // Great for low quantities, quick turnaround, and full-color layouts Off-Set 4-Color-Process // Minimum usually starts at 250 or 500 pieces, relatively quick turnaround, full-color layouts, and great image quality Off-Set with Pantone(s) // Minimum usually starts at 250 or 500 pieces, relatively quick turnaround, great if you need a specific color Off-Set with 4-Color-Process and Pantone(s) // This works well if, for example, you need to print both a color photo and a logo that needs to be a very specific shade of navy blue. Of course, each time you add a Pantone color, the price goes up.
[ Hot ] Foil-Stamping // If you're looking to print in neon or metallic, OR apply a "light ink" on dark paper, this is probably the answer. Minimum is roughly the same as off-set. And, you guessed it: each time you add a color, the price goes up. A custom die must be made for each color you use. Basically, what happens is a machine stamps a thin sheet of heated foil into the paper. So, instead of ink being applied, a layer of foil is essentially "cut" and bonded to the paper.
Letterpress // Letterpress has a turnaround more like foil-stamping because custom plates have to be made for not only each color you use, but also for different types of graphics. It's great if you want something a little more tactile, vintage/classic, or upscale, but if you need something printed in full-color this won't work.
Keep in mind: You can always combine several techniques!
Here's a quick video about letterpress using the same machine our printer uses: