business cards

(click on each pic. for a closer look)


Not going the usual route to print up business cards, was the way to go.  As an artist I need to get together a self-promotional packet every so often.  Part of the packet will include a business card.  As usual I’m the kind of guy who takes the long (long) road.  I started with the notion that I’d make my own cards, given that I have experience cutting (engraving) a block of end-grain wood to be printed.  So I cut & proofed then cut & proofed some more until I realized the little (tiny) letters were getting lost in the process, U started to look like V & R was reading like K (something like Avrelio Madkid).  It can be hard to accept defeat, but the more I looked, the more I thought of seeking professional help.  No, I didn’t kick-back on a therapist’s couch & to try to recount childhood malaise, confusion fraught dreams, &/or low grade, hard to define stress.  Instead I turned to the Denver based letter-press printer Genghis Kern (a.k.a. Jason Wedekind).  Jason & I e-mailed back-n-forth (while I sweat & cussed my way through a soulless digital rendering) till he asked me the kind of question only a caring printer can ask: “Ummm, where’s your phone # dude?”  Humility (the great equalizer) helped me see that no amount of e-mailing can make up for a lack of focus (& good sense).  Before long, Jason had me drawing up a version of my original wood-engraving that was clear (but not without personality) enough to use.  After I photo-shopped & manually cleaned, cut & erased the original we were set to move off the drawing board & onto the printing.  We both agreed that an Arches 140lb. cold-press paper would work best.  I then painted the paper with watercolor & Jason started on the polymer plate.  The plate is made by exposing the (photo sensitive) polymer to a special UV light coupled with the negative, then carefully rinsing off the unexposed areas under water.  Pic. 1. has the negative Jason used & the freshly painted sheets ready to get going.  Pic. 3. also has a close-up of the polymer plate in the chase.  We had to decide where the text & the card will measure-up; this also determined the dimensions of the cards.  By this time, Jason’s hands are in a blur of measuring, cutting & stacking (pics. 2,4 & 5).  Like the great Genghis Khan conquering the Eurasian Steppe, Jason moved to his Chandler & Price (circa 1920) press to tweak & adjust, he then fired up the engine & made short work of my lil’ cards (pics. 6,7,8 & 9).  We admired our work; boxed up the cards (pic. 10), talked about future projects & I went back to my dream to conquer a goal.  Genghis Kern gave me a little ammo to defeat the army of doubt, indecision & art galleries, a tool to move forward & a way to connect (phone # included).


—Aurelio Madrid

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