With feet firmly under desk at Friar Gate Studios, it was time to put together some new business cards with the new address as well as the rather delightful new domain I’ve acquired; http://harrod.graphics

My original cards, designed when I first became self employed over 3 years ago were ok but I had designers restlessness over them and they did include the last iteration of my logo, so all things considered, time to update!

I had a wish list as long as my arm for my ideal business card, really thick stock, letterpress, laminated layers, edge painting and on and on. But it’s cost, all cost, so I had to reign myself in a little and focus on what was really key to me. I settled on letterpress and thick paper.

I don’t need an endless supply so a short run on a letterpress fitted well and letterpress plus thick stock are the perfect companions, the plan was in place!

Now I needed a Derby letterpress printer and the folks at The Small Print Company fitted the bill perfectly. I’d purchased a Christmas card from them via etsy via twitter, which was just spot on so I was confident that they could produce the goods! Thick card, letterpress, local. It was all coming together!

Working with Hannah and Chris at Small Print, we devised a plan to get the results we wanted and stay on budget. I visited Chris in his studio at Banks Mill, five minutes walk from mine at Friar Gate. We discussed options for type and sizes, how to reproduce my logo for letterpressing and paper choices. Chris is really passionate about the whole printing process, indeed he recommends films based the appearance of classic printing presses. They’d just finished moving into Banks Mill but he had time to chat, show off the cases of type and answer my noddy questions.

Decisions made, artwork mocked up and Chris put together a lockup in no time. I struck upon the idea of filming the production, which enabled me to sneak in on the production, ask more noddy questions and generally be part of the process.

Below is the brief movie, just over a minute long, hopefully it shows the process which is relatively simple but takes the care and patience of a dedicated craftsman. What you don’t see are the minute adjustments to the press, the addition of layers below parts of the frame to raise the elements to the exact height to get a great impression and the care that Chris put into the frame.

I can’t recommend avoiding the lure of cheap online printing for once and getting involved in something with a little craft! And if you want some hand printed paper goods do head to The SmallPrintCo


The magnesium logo block


Stacks of completed cards, sat drying.


Pots of printing ink


SmallPrint Studio


Early print samples in search of perfection!


The frame for my cards