After much futzing, I am finally happy with my business cards. I've been through several designs in the last year and none of them "passed muster". Iterative design process, indeed.
Part of the problem has been with nailing down my own branding. I assume it will always be a work in progress but I think these cards should hold up pretty well. Or at least I won't be sick of them by the time I use the last one.
I knew I wanted my brand to show my love of classic, clean and high quality craftsmanship. But I also wanted them to have an element of the handmade. I knew I wanted edge-painted, letter-pressed cards on 160lbs cotton paper. But when I priced out the original design, it was a bit out of what I was willing spend on cards.
So I shopped it around, and ultimately found Hoban Press. They had a template design very similar to my own (same font, similar layout) for a fraction of the cost, so I decided I would start with those and edge-paint them myself.
People keep asking how I did it so I thought I would share my process for painting the edges. It's tedious, but quite simple.
First of all, the paper's weight is a big part of making this work, so don't skimp on that.
Start by setting up your workspace somewhere you won't need to move it around until the cards are completely dry. Then, very carefully align the outside edges of two boards with one edge of the cards as shown in the images below. Use a couple of small vice grips to hold it all firmly together. This is by far the most difficult part, but once you get it, the rest is pretty easy.
Leave this to sit until TOTALLY dry. Then disassemble and rotate the cards to expose a different edge. I suppose the more intelligent way to do this would be to cut the boards to fit your cards, but I do not currently have those tools on hand. Just continue to repeat the process until all sides are finished. Waiting for the cards to dry is the most time consuming part of this process, but the results are so simple and clean that I think it was well worth the wait.
Shoot me questions if you have any. I'd also LOVE to see photos of your edge-painted projects if you feel up to sharing.