Glasgow Press are an amazing letterpress printing house based, as you may have guessed, in Glasgow ( but offering their print services throughout the UK.) I’m not affiliated or connected with them in any way, but thought their work was so nice it deserved a little post on the blog.
So, what is letterpress?
From their site:
Letterpress printing is truly an ancient art, dating back to A.D 175 in China. From those early days until the 1400s, the process remained more or less unchanged, with non-printing areas cut away from blocks of wood or stone.
Although letterpress printing has been entirely forsaken by the industry in favour of other methods better suited to mass production, letterpress still has much to offer. The look and feel are unmistakable – when combined with the right paper, the inked surface becomes slightly debossed adding another dimension.
Above Pictures are © Glasgow Press.
Digital pictures of printed letterpress type really doesn’t do it justice. You have to hold and feel to really get the benefit of the traditional method, that’s when you know it’s worth paying a little bit more for the quality.
I’ve always loved letterpress and the feel that, especially on business cards, you are holding real quality – not just some run-of-the mill print job. When you receive someone’s stock business card, you act with the faux-general, “oh yes, this is your details, nice” then stuff it in your wallet or pocket on the way to the bin. A well-designed letterpress business card I can guarantee you will look twice at, feel the dimpled lettering effect, smile and reply with, “wow, these are beautiful!”.
That’s certainly the reaction I had when I opened the sample pack of printed materials Glasgow Press had sent over. Accompanied by a personalised, handwritten message, it is very clear that they are passionate about what they do and will provide a more ‘human’ experience than dealing with websites like Moo – I previously wrote a post about my own Moo business cards. I’m not saying they’re better than Moo, just different. Moo is the ‘everybody’, Glasgow Press are ‘the creatives’.
The reflective quality of the underlying material really makes the logo ‘pop’ when the card is angled into the light. Straight-on, the word Norse (above) is black on a black background which is quite hard to see. It’s only when you move it a little does the logo catch the eye and curiosity ensues.
Undeniable quality on the Westwood Candles business cards. Silver printed on white.
Glasgow Press prints more than just business cards. The above shot contains a compliment slip, postcard and advertising / promotional print. According to their website, they can letterpress print: Stationery, Packaging, Invitations, Greeting Cards, Business Cards, Promotional mailers, Report Covers, Menus, Orders of Service, Christmas Cards… the list genuinely goes on and on!
I recommend getting in touch with them if you are looking something printed and they’ll let you know if it’s doable.
I think the above example is my favourite of all the letterpress prints. Set onto a creamy-white card which feels to be around 500gsm, the logo is set in a golden brown / olive tone which really screams of elegance. Apart from loving the actual logo itself, the printing really finishes it off to a standard it deserves.
My next business cards will most definitely be letterpress – the current ones are okay, but now feel bland in comparison! Letterpress printing is a little more expensive than regular printing (which is to be expected) but is by no means ridiculous.
They say on their site:
letterpress does take a little longer than conventional offset lithography and is usually used on fine papers which can add a little to the cost. We feel that the value which letterpress adds more than compensates for the small additional expense.
At the end of the day, as a graphic logo designer, the way I present myself needs to blow people away so as they will want to work with me. Business cards are still an effective and efficient way to pass details to a potential customer and if they come across as staid then what’s the point?