Almost as spectacular as the cards themselves is Jonathan’s backstory below. I can relate because falling in love with letterpress is so easy to do. It’s meditative, deliberate, and yields beautiful compositions with unmatched character. Keeps you coming back for more and more and more.
I’ve been obsessed with letterpress for years, even going back as far as when I was 12 at summer camp and printing personal stationery on a small hand-press. As my design career progressed, I realized I wanted to make a bigger commitment to this beautiful craft and open up my own printing shop. In thinking about how people make decisions, in the way they purchase products and how they vote in politics, these are often based not on logic, but on passion and emotion. When it comes down to it, this is my passion, and I’m making a large commitment to it (including buying two presses and renting a large studio for my sizeable and ever-growing collection of wood type). So, I’ve voted to make letterpress part of my life. Maybe you should too.
In designing the cards, I wanted to make it contemporary but also reference old political broadsides. And, because I can’t ever turn down a bad pun, I used three different taglines: “It Just Feels Right”; “For All Pressing Matters”; “On Issues of Pressing Importance”.
I’m always a fan of thicker cards, so I printed it on 134 lb. stock. I may only be able to carry 5 at a time in my wallet, but it feels damn good when you put it in someone’s hand.
I wanted a bit of a challenge for myself, hence ridiculously tight 2-color registration printed on a hand-cranked Vandercook SP-15.
The biggest lesson learned is not to run multi-color business cards 6-up on a proof press. The pressure of a cylinder press can cause the paper to stretch a little, just enough to cause registration problems. I could get the top row of cards in perfect register, but the bottom wouldn’t even be close. My solution was to cut the bottom 3 cards off the plate, and just run 3 up at a time. Sometimes less is more.
FPO (For Print Only), is a division of UnderConsideration, celebrating the reality that print is not dead by showcasing the most compelling printed projects.
FPO uses Fonts.com to render Siseriff and Avenir Next.
FPO is run with Six Apart’s MovableType
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UnderConsideration is a graphic design enterprise that runs a network of blogs, publishes books, organizes live events and judged competitions, and designs for clients.
Brand New / Displaying opinions and focusing solely on corporate and brand identity work.
Art of the Menu / Cataloguing the underrated creativity of menus from around the world.
Quipsologies / Chronicling the most curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events of the graphic design industry on a daily basis.
Speak Up (2002 – 2009) / Discussing, and looking for, what is relevant in, and the relevance of, graphic design. Archives Only.
Word It (2003 – 2010) / Encouraging creative diversity in the community through monthly, one-word challenges. Archives Only.
Brand New Classroom (2010 – 2011) / Providing a space for critique and opinions on student identity workArchives Only.
Department of Design / Designing corporate and brand identities and full development of printed and digital matter for clients.
The 2010 FPO Awards / 2011, self-published.
The 2010 Brand New Awards / 2011, self-published.
Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling and memorable portfolios of creative work / 2010, self-published.
Events & Judged Competitions
Brand New Conference / A one-day event on the development of corporate and brand identity projects by some of today’s most active and influential practitioners from around the world.
Brand New Awards / Celebrating the best identity work produced around the world.
FPO Awards / Celebrating the best print work from around the world.
Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design / 2009, Rockport.
Women of Design: Influence and Inspiration from the Original Trailblazers to the New Groundbreakers / 2008, HOW Books.
The Word It Book: Speak Up Presents a Gallery of Interpreted Words / 2007, HOW Books.