Letterpress Business Cards
Timeless and traditional, Letterpress is one of the oldest forms of printing in the world. The uniquely crisp impression of Letterpress is highly sought after due to its precision and old-world charm. We continue to push the possibilities of this printing method to create new and exciting results.
The Detail of Letterpress Printing
Each and every order is delicately examined and produced by our master letterpress operators. We strive to provide the highest quality of workmanship.
Cotton & Letterpress the best combination
Timeless and traditional - Letterpress Printing is one of the oldest forms of relief printing, creating a crisp impression of your printed design.
Letterpress in Motion
Explore More Possibilities with Letterpress
Letterpress Wedding Invitations
Create the most elegant and beautiful Wedding Invitations with Letterpress. Stunning both to see and feel, this traditional printing method is the perfect choice for your special day. Available in a range of stocks and sizes, Letterpress is an ideal option for all your wedding stationery.
Create the most elegant and beautiful Wedding Invitations with Letterpress.Read More
- Popular FAQ
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- Design Guidelines
Most Popular Questions
Letterpress, or letterpress printing, is a method of relief printing that utilizes a printing press: a process by which a predetermined set of copies are produced by a repeated direct impression of an inked, raised surface against sheets or a continuous roll of paper. And in the world of business cards, it’s an approach that creates a host of incredible results.
The incomparable crisp impression forged by the letterpress printing process is more popular than ever before due to its razor-sharp precision and vintage aesthetics (and feel).
This painstaking and comprehensive process makes letterpress one of the planet's most preferable business card printing methods, and from start to finish, not a single detail is spared.
Our letterpress printing process involves making a bespoke plate of each design to ensure the ink is successfully imprinted into the card stock with the aim of developing a finish that is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the touch.
What are Business Cards?
While the term business card represents the exact form and functionality of a - well - business card (a card that is used for the purpose of business), it's a topic worth exploring, nonetheless.
Here we go.
Business cards: a definition
Traditionally, business cards are used as a primary means of business people presenting their contact information to other businesses and partners or potential customers and clients.
Typically presented in a compact, rectangular format, a business card features a valuable mix of graphical content, branding and key contact details aimed at offering critical information while creating an impactful first impression.
To put the visual value of a business card into living, breathing perspective, here is a traditional rectangular-style business card from our personal library:
Even in the digital age, business cards are an effective networking tool thriving and in countries including China and Japan where the exchange of business cards is almost ritualistic. Business cards offer a physical way of sharing information about who you are, what you do, and what you're all about.
Having your business card ready to present to others when required demonstrates a higher level of professionalism, and even today, these miniature promotional works of art are one the world’s most effective direct marketing tools.
Business cards: the origins
Here's a brief glimpse at the origins of business cards for your reading pleasure:
Initially known as 'trade cards', business cards began their life back in 17th century England. As there were no notable street numbers in London at the time, these ‘trade cards’ had two primary functions: advertising and navigation - yes, they were mini maps as well as promotional tools.
By the late 1800s the popularity of trade cards had spread across the country and overseas, becoming a tried and tested promotional tool for everything imaginable, from baby milk and pianos to live produce patent medicines. The business card, as we know it today, was born.
Of course, over the centuries, advancements in printing and technology have transformed the business card, making it a more visually-striking, innovative and functional networking tool than ever before - but let’s not forget that it all began with the trade cards of the 17th century.
Business cards: the sizing
These days, business cards come in all kinds of wonderful shapes, sizes and mediums, but for your reference, here is a rundown of standard, or traditional, business card sizes according to region:
A standard European business card size is 90 mm (3.543 inches) in Width and 55 mm (2.165 inches) in Height. This can vary slightly depending on your printer, so make sure to check in advance the preferred size used by your supplier.
A standard North American business card size is 89 mm (3.5 inches) in Width and 51 mm (2 inches) in Height.
Want to know more about business cards? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any business card related questions you may have.
What is blind letterpress?
Blind letterpress is a process used by Jukebox to achieve subtle impressions in cardstock without strongly affecting the opposite side of the stock. This creates a visual effect similar to debossing, where there is an impression made without any ink. This process does not create as deep or obvious impressions as those achieved through the traditional debossing process. Blind debossing will not produce an opposite emboss of your design on the back side of the card. You may see some slight show through on the back of thinner stocks, but this will not be an embossed effect.
Blind debossing can be used on almost any type of stock, however if you are choosing this method so you can print on the back side of the card, we recommend one of our 24pt Mega Thick stocks.
Can I have a full bleed Letterpress design?
We can produce letterpress designs with full bleed (print to the edge); however, it is highly recommended to avoid full ink coverage on backgrounds. Letterpress Printing areas with large ink coverage may appear spotted or blotchy and you may receive a File Error about this from our Prepress team.
The reason for this limitation is due to the fact that letterpresss requires an immense amount of pressure and ink to create solid flat colors across large areas. The entire flood of color is printed in a single pass of impression. This amount of pressure can cause paper fibres to lift from the stock and cause the print to look mottled, flecked, or salty. Offset printing and digital printing are more capable for large ink coverage because these presses roll the ink onto the sheet evenly from one side to the other.
Letterpress looks best with minimalistic designs and is typically laid out with ample white space. If you prefer to fill the background with a full coverage of designs or backgrounds, please consider using a pattern instead of a single block of color.
You may request a Custom Print Quote and submit your files to see if they will be suitable for Letterpress.
Is my design suitable for Letterpress?
Not all designs are suitable for Letterpress output. Below are some guidelines for Letterpress printing:
A small number of colours (1-3 spot colours work best)
A wide range of colours in the design
Raster (pixel-based) graphics
Gradients or shades/tints of a colour
Setting up press-ready files for Letterpress
Letterpress cards are printed with spot colours – which will need to be defined in your supplied press-ready PDF file.
Please see: Setting up press-ready spot colour file.
Letterpress is one of the oldest forms of printmaking that dates back to the invention of moveable type in the 1400's. Instead of antique moveable type, we use a printing plate with a raised relief surface. This printing plate is inked up and pressed against a sheet of paper. This pressure also leaves a slight indentation, or impression into the paper.
Before the 1960's letterpress was the most popular form of printing. As times changed, offset printing and now digital printing have almost completely taken over. Letterpress is still greatly sought after for its unique ability to use Pantone spot colors and achieve deep impression into the paper. The old-world charm of letterpress has now become an essential process for creating embellishment in print.
Letterpress is a more labour intensive process compared to Digital and Offset printing and as such, is quoted as a premium service.
This specialty process creates the most elegant pieces – perfect for wedding invites, special occasion announcements and premium high end business cards.
Get a Glimpse of Jukebox Letterpress Printing In Action
Can I see a sample of Letterpress?
Samples of our Letterpress products are available by ordering a Specialty Sample Pack.
What Paper Stocks is Letterpress available on?
The recommended stocks for Letterpress are the Cotton or Pulp paper stocks.
The following stocks are available for a standard order of letterpress business cards:
- 45pt Brown Kraft
- 40pt Cotton
- 20pt Cotton
- 20pt Pulp
- 16pt Pearl Silver
If you are interested in a paper stock that is not listed above, please request an inquiry via a Print Quote.
What colours are available on Letterpress?
We offer the widest range of colours with Letterpress printing. Over 2,161 colors are available for you to choose from out of the Pantone Matching System! You can specify any CMYK value, or standard Pantone formula colour. We also have options for specialty inks in Fluorescent, Pastel and Metallic shades. To view available Pastel and Fluorescent options see:
We offer silver, gold, bronze, brass and copper for Metallic ink options.
Please note, if you require White or a specialty ink colour not listed as one of our regular options, you can submit a Print Quote request for pricing and availability.
What inks are used for Letterpress?
We use the highest quality offset-grade inks on our Letterpress equipment. We house a full range of both rubber based and oil based inks to best suite your project.
Letterpress pastel colours
We can provide a wide range of custom pastel spot colors for Letterpress, including:
|Pantone 0131 U||Pastel Yellow|
|Pantone 0331 U||Pastel Red|
|Pantone 0521 U||Pastel Magenta|
|Pantone 0631 U||Pastel Violet|
|Pantone 0821 U||Pastel Blue|
|Pantone 0921 U||Pastel Green|
|Pantone 0961 U||Pastel Black|
Colour samples are for reference only
We offer the full range of inks from the Pantone Plus Series Swatch Book which includes all the pastels and neon colors. Learn more about these specialty colors for Letterpress via a Print Quote.
Letterpress fluorescent colours
Our range of fluorescent colours for Letterpress include:
|Pantone 801 U||Neon Cyan|
|Pantone 802 U||Neon Green|
|Pantone 803 U||Neon Yellow|
|Pantone 804 U||Neon Orange|
|Pantone 805 U||Neon Red|
|Pantone 806 U||Neon Magenta|
|Pantone 807 U||Neon Violet|
Colour samples are for guidance only.
We can offer a wide range of custom colours for Letterpress via a Print Quote.
What is the finest detail possible for letterpress?
The finest detail for letterpress printing is 0.2 pt line weight.
Letterpress printing is a different process for printing. As it is an older form of printing, there are some restrictions on the design. Our Prepress team will inform you of any issues.
What products are available with Letterpress?
We have a wide range of products available with Letterpress output. The most popular uses for Letterpress include:
- Business Cards
- Wedding Invitations
Please note, the largest size we can Letterpress is 12 x 18 inches.
Can colours be combined in Letterpress?
Colours cannot be combined in the same way they are with Offset and Digital output.
Colours should be solid. Gradients, shades and colour combining can be done using colour half-tones, however this is not recommended. This is a complex process that a designer will need to set up for you.
Ink colours can be "overprinted" on to each other – however as we cannot test every ink colour, the combined colour can be somewhat unknown, so it is not a recommended setup.
Can you combine Letterpress with other printing?
Yes, Letterpress can be combined with other forms of printing such as CMYK Digital or Offset output. Please place a Print Quote request for this.
Is Letterpress only for printing letters?
Letterpress is not just for printing letters and text – it can be used to print many kinds of graphics.
The name “Letterpress” is from a time when individual pieces of movable metal type (letters) were arranged and set for printing. Letterpress processes are now more advanced than this, we cast custom plates for each order which can be any combination of text, shapes and graphics.
How is Letterpress different from other types of printing?
Letterpress is the oldest of the major printing processes. It uses a plate with fixed raised surfaces and pressure to apply ink to the material. This pressure also leaves a slight indent (or relief) in the paper.
It is not a CMYK print like Digital or Offset output.
Letterpress is a more labour-intensive process (compared to Digital and Offset output), and hence premium and expensive service.
See: What is Letterpress?
What is the difference between debossing and blind letterpress?
Debossing makes use of two separate metal dies that come together with the sheet of paper inbetween them. The force of a press sandwiches the paper between these two dies and sculpts the paper with the effect of deep impression into the sheet. The reverse side of the paper will appear embossed while the front will appear debossed, or pressed in.
Blind letterpress uses a single metal die that presses into the surface of the paper on one side. It's called blind letterpress because this process is usually done with ink. Without the ink, all that is left is the impression into the surface of the paper stock.
Debossing is best for shaping larger areas where a greater level of depth is needed. However, the reverse side will be heavily affected.
Blind letterpress is ideal for small details on thicker paper stocks and looks best on soft cotton paper.
Can you guarantee colour accuracy on Letterpress?
We can offer colour matching (and even Pantone colours) on Letterpress – however there still can be some minimal colour shift.
Can I specify the amount of impression left by the Letterpress print?
Yes, the amount of pressure used for letterpress products can be specified by adding a note during the order process. This will affect the impression left in the finished product. Please contact our Customer Service team to ensure that the note was received and to verify that it can be achieved.
Although there is a minimum level of pressure that has to be used, letterpress impressions cannot be very deep like the deboss method. For a more pronounced impression, you may want to consider a deboss or emboss order.
How many colours can be printed with Letterpress?
We can produce Letterpress prints with over twenty colours! However, there are some strict requirements for this type of process.
For designs that have more than three colours – a custom quote will need to be made. Please request a Print Quote and upload your print-ready file for review. An estimator will assess your design and will notify you of any limitations or design challenges.
For standard orders of single or double sided letterpress business cards, we accept a maximum of three spot colours (or "passes"). We call it a "pass" because a letterpress can only print one color at a time so printing a second or third color means the paper needs to "pass" through the press again. Below is a breakdown of the variations:
- 1 colour one side only
- 1 colour front side, 1 colour back side OR
- 2 colours one side only
- 2 colours front side, 1 colour back side OR
- 3 colours one side only
The use of the same ink-colour on both sides of the card is counted as two separate passes. For example, if the colour black is used on both sides of the card and magenta is used on the front side only, it would be considered as a three colour letterpress business card.
Have a question? Ask Away!
Select Business Card Template:
Select File Format:
- Bleed Area
- Trim Area
- Safe Area
Bleed Area refers to images that extend to the very edges of a design. To prevent an unwanted white border from showing at the edge of your design, or for the design to appear slightly off-center, be sure to extend any background colors or design elements all the way to the edge of bleed (.125” past the trim on all four sides).
Trim Area refers to the amount of the image that will appear on your finished product. These areas will also be marked with ‘cut lines’ on your proof and are where we aim to cut your card.
Safety Area in most cases refers to 1/8 of an inch inside of the Trim Area. For thicker papers 20pt and up or wooden papers the Safety Area increases ¼ of an inch inside the Trim Area. we strongly recommend you keep important aspects of your design such as text and logos well inside of the Safety Area, otherwise, they may be cut off.