I don’t usually recommend that photographers use one of their photos on business cards, no matter how amazing. I think it limits what you do to that one image in people’s minds and, as we all know, there is SO much more to the range of work you do. When Elizabeth Perkins, a photographer from Roanoake, Virginia came to me for a new logo, business cards, and stationery wardrobe, she sent me a collection of images to let me get a feeling for what her work is like. One image, a stairway she shot in England, captivated me for some reason and I decided i wanted to use it and see what we could do to adapt if for Letterpress Printing. The singular image had to be turned into a one-color, fairly coarse halftone that could be made into a letterpress polymer plate and printed on black paper. This meant we had to print the negative image in order to make it look positive on the black paper. I know those reading this far are probably mostly photographers, so you can get your mind around this, yes? OK, then we printed it in white ink, so there was a bit of bleed-through from the extra-ultra-thick, black Museum Mount paper, creating something rather elegantly gnarly. Well, how can i explain this? We followed this up by printing the logo I designed for her in gold foil, with the contact information on the back also in gold foil.
I have to say, this is one of the most arresting business cards we have ever done. It has everything: a gorgeous but not too literal bit of Elizabeth’s work translated to something iconic; elegant typography; drama;Artfulness, and everything but a steak and mashed potatoes for utter satisfying gorgeousness. If I do say so myself.
Before Elizabeth and husband Jeff opened her shop in Roanoake, they also wanted us to send letterhead, envelopes, invoices, tags to hang or put up near the photographs, mailing labels and thank you cards.Here are her script cards and envelopes:
And above, her tags.
Below, one of her receipts, a correspondence card and hang tags.
They told me the opening was a grand success, with many well wishers, lots of excitement and even a few sales. I only wish i could have been there too to celebrate with them. Doing a job of this scope makes me feel like such a participant!
It was immeasurably fun to work through all this as Elizabeth’s plans developed and evolved over time. Finding something that expressed her personality and style … it’s one of the most pleasurable aspects of doing my work. The experimental nature of always pushing things a bit further than they have gone, too, makes me very happy. This project opens up a whole new conversation about images and letterpress printing. Working on the next experiment right now.
Congratulations Elizabeth, on your new shop. Thank you for allowing me to work on all this with you.
All photos by Pablo Abuliak