I went for a very exciting visit to BlackHare Studio last week for some lessons in letterpress. My goal was to produce some personal business cards. With the help of VGreen Design, I came out with hundreds of cards and a handful of one-of-a-kind monotype letterpress prints.
The studio was located in a downtown strip and was fully equipped with several large letterpress units. I printed my business cards on a small, but effective table top press.
I blind debossed my logo into my cards first using custom photo polymer plates. I printed my cards three-up on a page to save time with printing.
I hand set all of the letters and numbers on my card…three times…using a modern sans serif typeface (Spartan).
I printed the rest of my information with a blue-green ink.
The cards were then cut down to the standard 3.5″ x 2″ size using a large papercutter.
After my cards were finished, we printed a handful of letterpress monotypes using an old U.S. Feed sign and some brayers on one of the large Vandercook presses.
I then dove into BlackHare’s collection of orphan type drawers to create an original letterpress poster for Surfwaco.
If you’re a fan of printmaking and graphic design, I suggest a visit to a letterpress shop. There are a lot of great ones across the country including, one of my favorites, The Firecracker Press in St. Louis, MO.