Thursday, October 21, 2010

100% Cotton Paper and Handmade Hermes Baby typewriter business cards

Hello Everyone !
I just wanted to share an innovative (or well, at least I think so) way to make some unique business cards. These are going to be as unique as letterpress business cards (you can see some amazing ones from Dolce Press here) but in a very different way !

First of all as you can't really beat the visual WOW effect of many fantastic designs you need to have a very special paper.  The Paper has to stand out as if you do create the same business cards in normal paper it will just look like something  very cheap. Nothing wrong with cheap but, as the name suggests, the business card should drive you business or at least keep you in business :)

In my experiment I am using hand made 100% cotton Amatruda Amalfi Paper made in Amalfi, Italy (just close to Naples on the coast). It is made in Amalfi since the 12th Century with pretty much the same process.

This particular format (10x7cm) it is all but cheap (47.50 Euro x 100 cards that is around 66$) but on the other hand you are not going to pay any printing cost beside your own work ;-)

Obviously you can use much less expensive yet special paper. For example there is the curious sheep poo paper that is fairly priced yet very unique. I am using that for some letterheads and, beside the fact that like the cotton paper is done entirely without killing any tree. Entirely organic. There are hundred of possibilities so as long as your paper looks special the price doesn't really matter !

In my case I just love the Amalfi one so I decided to try it out. Here is one of the cards before the printing:

It has a  different texture than the normal Amatruda writing paper. It is not flat yet not a laid paper. It still have the typical texture and signs of cotton, hand made and hand cut paper 

For the second step you need to summon a typewriter :) in this case the Hermes Baby from the 70's 

Some attention in rolling the paper into the typewriter is needed. This is a smallish format so you need to set the right margins or at least be sure that you are not wasting (given the step price of the paper) one or more cards !

And here is the final result:

Below with a slightly better formatting 

 multiple copies of the same card - each hand typed ! (so it would be a bit like letter pressed!)

What do you think about the result ? 
Well obviously this isn't for mass production of several hundred cards  (If you need that, I recommend Moo.Com  that is rather inexpensive and allows you to print in two siders with your own photos on one side) but it could work well for few (50-100-150) cards. 

Before you start thinking that I am totally crazy ;) I do have some regular business cards too. For these I have used a typewriter like font (not for the whole card but for the address and telephone number).

Yet the "real thing" is a card entirely written with a typewriter as above. Obviously this isn't letterpress  or anything as fancy but I think that few (certainly not all) receivers can appreciate the difference in a 100% hand made card (paper is hand made and so the printing).  I feel that a script typewriter is very suitable for this as regular ones can be misunderstood for one of the several hundred of typewriter-like typefaces. 

Let me know what you think ! I eagerly await your comments


  1. This is a wonderful idea! I might just try it myself.

  2. Thank you Ryan ! I think it is for sure something fairly unique so give it a try - best for this seems to be script typewriters :)

  3. Those cards certainly show personal care and attention. If I received one, I would certainly take it as a very memorable compliment.

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  5. In the age of smartphone, Outlook, B-card scanner and backup courtesy of Plaxo, B-cards I receive have a shelf life of about 30 minutes.

    This would certainly be one that would be cherished, find its place on a pin board and not be thrown away. An excellent idea for those occasions in which you want to leave a mark!

    Thanks for sharing .. I may try it myself (though I'd have to find a typewriter)

  6. Hi David, this is a great idea! The paper looks beautiful. I am in the process of trying this myself, and I was wondering - were you able to successfully type this onto the business-card sized paper, or did you type this onto the full sheet of paper and then cut it to the business card size? Also, did you have to adjust the typewriter to suit the heavier paper stock? Thanks so much for your help already!

  7. David, I actually found this today by accident, looking for handmade paper shops in Zurich. Scary!