The history of print is rooted in letterpress. We’ve come a long way from the hand set type of a traditional printing press. And while digital printers make printing fast and affordable, we haven’t left our roots behind just yet.
A Time Honored Tradition That’s Back!
For over 500 years, from the invention of movable type in 1439 to the development of offset printing in the 1960s, letterpress dominated print. As printing techniques became more refined over that period, print quality came to be judged by the level of visibility that printed plates left on the paper. A less visible indention was considered a higher quality product.
Today, it’s a deep impression in the paper that gives letterpress its appeal. Typically printed on heavier, softer sheets of paper, letterpress inspires a sense of quality, solidity, and elegance. It’s a go-to method for printing wedding and event invitations and can help to add a sense of maturity and sophistication to business cards. And it’s an effective design element that will help your brand to stand out from the crowd.
How Does Letterpress Work?
Letterpress pieces are often noted for their craftsmanship, because the process is typically completed by hand. It involves a plate or set of plates that are used with a traditional printing press.
First, a plate is created with your artwork/design. If you’re using a single color, or no color, for your letterpress design, only one plate is needed. Each additional color requires a separate plate, and a separate pass through the press.
Whether you’re using one plate or several, a plate must first be locked into the press. Ink is mixed, then carefully applied to the press rollers to ensure an even spread. Then, one piece of paper is run through the press per pass.
When the stock is run through the press, the rollers apply ink to the plate, which is then pressed into the paper. The final product leaves an impression in the paper, which can either be blind (no fill) or filled with your selected color of ink.
Artistic techniques like letterpress, foil stamping, engraving, and embossing and debossing give your printing a unique and memorable look and feel. If you’re interested in making a positive and powerful impression for your brand, by utilizing these exceptional processes, call Paw Print—we make printing easy!
These days, we can pretty much find anything we’re looking for on the internet. We shop, research, and connect with others in the digital realm. And it’s where most marketers are being coached to put their resources.
It’s true that digital is here to stay, and it’s opened up a world of possibilities for marketers. However, print still holds a place of prominence in the marketing world. Print has a 70% higher recall than digital,and about 80% of direct mail is opened. With fewer marketers investing in print, it represents an opportunity to give your marketing strategy a unique touch.
A lot of different items go through our doors at Paw Print, but our most popular item consistently continues to be business cards. Often a business card is one of the first things a customer or potential client will receive from you. A well-designed business card can go a long way towards creating a favorable impression of your business, as well as generating engaging conversations between you and your customers.
Why Should You Print Business Cards?
The traditional function of a business card is to provide customers and professional colleagues with contact information, like your phone number, address, and website. While business cards today tend to offer variations of this content, the truth is that this information is easy to find on the web. Having it in a physical form is helpful, but is not as essential as it was in the past.
The key role of a business card today is to make an impression. Your card needs to say something about your brand that goes beyond how to contact you. To be the most effective, you need a card that recipients will want to hang on to, so that you will stay top of mind and clients will keep coming back to you for their needs.
Business Card Design Tips
1) Aligned with Your Branding
Consumers today access content from numerous sources, and they expect to be able to move across platforms seamlessly. This includes print, and it means that all of your marketing platforms should consistently utilize the same visual design elements, like color, layout, font, and images. You will want your business cards to contain these same elements because your card is a reflection of your brand. If your card doesn’t accurately reflect who your company is and what customers can expect from you, it will lead to confusion.
2) Focus on Quality
One of the benefits of print is that there are many paper stocks to choose from. This leads to a wide range of variations in the color, thickness, and feel of paper. It’s important to remember that your business card functions to create a favorable impression of your business, so don’t skimp on quality. A heavier stock has a superior feel and speaks confidence and quality. Your customers will be able to tell and feel the difference.
3) Ensure Readability
It’s important to remember that digital files look different than a final printed product will. Just because you can read something when it’s blown up on a computer screen does not mean it will be as easy to read when printed. Make sure your text is both large enough to read and clear, so that it is not obscured by complicated font or design elements.
4) Talk to Your Printer
Sometimes text or borders can get cut off if they aren’t far enough from the edge of the card. Ask your printer where to place information so it won’t be lost when printed and trimmed.
5) Don’t Forget the Back!
Many business cards are only printed on one side, leaving an empty side you could be using to make more of an impression. While you don’t want both sides to be the same, you can use the back of the card to include another design element or more details about your services. It gives the impression that you offer a well-rounded product or service.
6) Get Creative & Design for Impact
A business card doesn’t have to be a flat, simple rectangle. Printing options today allow for many variations on texture and shape. You could do a deboss on a card to achieve a 3D effect, or use cutouts for a creative touch. Other “wow” enhancements include engraving, foil stamping, thermography (raised ink), die cut shapes, and spot coatings.
7) Simplicity, Simplicity, Simplicity
Consider the bare essentials that you must include on your card. If you really want to drive traffic to digital resources, for instance, don’t include a physical address on the card. Trying to cram too much information and too many design elements onto a small card could make it memorable for the wrong reasons. Simplicity portrays professionalism and the sense that you make things easy for your customers.
8) Convey an Emotion
A big piece of the marketing pie is that people buy on emotion. Consider what emotion you want recipients of your card to experience. This requires a bit more thought, as you have to know who your clients are and what solution or sense of fulfillment they are looking for from your business. How can you portray what you will offer your clients? Try to capture the enthusiasm you have for your business in the card you hand out.
Print has stuck around because of its tactile power. Being able to hold something in your hands improves recall and sends a more personal message than a digital communication. If you’d like to add business cards to your marketing strategy, or feel your current card needs some love, contact Paw Print & Mail today to start the discussion.
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