Creating Unique Business Cards

One of the challenges with modern business card design is that every card in your set is destined to come out the same. The proliferation of online card printing companies means that most cards you're handed are printed on thin, boring, low-cost card stock with basic designs and little creativity. It can be very difficult to create variation in a design and in printed materials generally. The nature of printing is that everything needs to come out the same, based on a single template, a single design and specific inks. But we're not satisfied with that. So we've perfected a printing technique that allows us to individualize every single business card you hand out. That's right, every card has a slightly different design. The technique is a variation on fabric dyeing and it allows us to create some of the beautiful prints below. 

 Letterpress business cards by Sanctuary Letterpress

Letterpress business cards by Sanctuary Letterpress

How color dyeing works

The simplest way to describe this technique is that your business cards are delicately dipped into a colored fabric dye and then left to dry in a standing position so that the ink doesn't bleed through the entire card. It's a little more complicated than that though. We use a premium fabric ink that needs to be warmed to exactly the right temperature before having the card dipped into it. As you can see on these images, layering multiple colors onto the card is definitely possible. However, as you can probably imagine, this requires multiple inks to be used in succession. 


Every business card is unique

This paper dyeing technique definitely isn't for everyone. In fact, it's a small minority of our customers who are willing to go to this length. But the results are spectacular. Short of doing calligraphy on each card, this is one of the few ways you can ensure that every business card you hand to a potential client is unique. There's something to be said for this. In a world of cookie-cutter business cards that are exactly the same out of the box, this individualization creates a talking point for you at conferences and events. It's especially interesting when you hand your card to multiple people within a circle. They'll instantly notice the similarities and differences and compare them. We've even seen people swap them to try and acquire their favorite color. 


Color and landscape options

There are several limitations to this technique that you should be aware of before requesting paper dyeing on your business cards. Firstly and most importantly is the potential choice of colors. While we'd love to be able to have a snowy-mountain landscape, but it's unfortunately not possible to overlay a lighter color over a darker color. We know, it sucks. It would be awesome if this were a possibility. But this is one of the limitations we live with when creating artworks with physical materials rather than digital prints. And secondly, your design need to factor in this use of color. All too often, we have clients try to add it in as a feature after their business cards have already been produced. This rarely works well. If you need any help with creating a design that incorporates paper dyeing, please contact us and we'll assist in this process.