There are so many decisions for you to make when designing your business cards and other collateral. One of those decisions is the printing method you want used for that collateral. Below, Ellen Petty, of Identity Kitchen explains why her company recommends photographers who want to elevate their brand choose letterpress as their printing method. Join in the discussion by sharing your opinion and answering the questions at the end of the post.

As the days of film photography have been replaced (for the most part) by better and better digital methods, photographers have had to work hard to create their signature style. Creating their photography autograph can take years to establish. So when a photographer comes to us with a request to create collateral to elevate their brand and capture a higher (and more expensive) audience, our suggestions will usually be letterpress printing.

Why? A few reasons, the exquisite feel cannot be replicated, and nothing feels more exclusive and boutique. But, it is the handcrafted artisanship that helps express their craft and care that goes into our client’s businesses. Letterpress printing is a traditional method of printing that embeds ink into softer more fibrous paper as the plate hits the paper. Each impression left is slightly different from the last, and yet just as beautiful. It is this individualism that we believe best expresses the brands of many of our clients. Plus, in our green world if you must print, make it worth it.

The cost to print letterpress business cards can be as much as $1-2 per card. Definitely a bit more expensive than offset printing. But if that card results in that job you are trying to land then it is the least expensive advertisement you can buy. And what is that saying about making a first “impression”?

Below are some examples of some of our favorite letterpress projects. All projects were printed by Amemone Letterpress. Its owner, Carrie, has been known to hand cut and hand paint cards one at a time. How special is that?

Join the conversation on the Pictage Forums Here

What materials do you use for your branding?

Are you proud of the way your business cards look? Why or why not?

What’s your favorite thing about your business card?

Written By Ellen Petty

Ellen Petty is the Head Brandslinger at Identity Kitchen, a marketing and design studio specializing in photographers.


  • Nick says:

    Thank you for these examples, Ellen! I’ve been thinking about our eventual next step in our branding, and I thought letterpress would be awesome for our cards, but I’ve only ever seen letterpress cards with serif fonts. It’s nice to see some other looks 😀

  • Hello, I am a wedding photographer in San Francisco, and I’ve been looking into letterpress printing. I have been doing lots of research and asking around among other photographers about their experiences with letterpress printing. I am curious if something needs to be said that lots of photographers will reach for letterpress when they are thinking about stepping up to the “next level” clients. Does that take away from the uniqueness that letterpress is often thought to create if many others in your area have this same printing medium implemented? The design work will be different obviously, so maybe it comes down to the fact that many people will not actually pony up the cash to go letterpress? Any thoughst?

  • Ellen Petty says:

    Thank you Nick!

    Josh- I think it depends on the brand image you are creating. Many of our photography clients want their brand to feel exclusive and expensive. A look and feel letterpress can surely deliver. There are so many actual applications of the medium and variations, they will not necessarily look the same. Just make sure that it fits the brand you are creating for your studio…as well as your budget.

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