May 05

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Business card stamp tutorial: Part 1

The other day, the talented photographer Sherry Lu asked if I could make a business card stamp for her. After asking her a few questions about what she wanted on the stamp, I set to work.

Here was the initial sketch: Sherry stamp 02

Sherry wanted the stamp to promote her Instagram page, so I made a simplified version of the Instagram logo. Here it looked a bit like an old 8″ floppy disk, but I fixed it by making the lens bigger.

Next, I used tracing paper to trace the design with a pencil, and then transferred the design onto a piece of rubber block by rubbing the tracing paper (face down) with a pen cap. After going over the letters with a pen to prevent fading, an Exacto knife was used to trim off the white space around the letters.sherry 02

Then the tough part– cutting the letters. I used to use a Speedball lino tool to do most of my cutting, but then I came across letterboxers who get extremely clean cuts by using craft knives or exacto knives to do most of their cutting. So nowadays, I use fresh blades on an Exacto knife to do all the preliminary cutting, and the Speedball tool only for cleaning up at the very end. It was pretty late at night and I neglected to take any photos of the process… oops.

Here is the first test print. As you can see, the lines are pretty crude.


The test print is then examined and the rubber block is refined accordingly. Many more test prints are made and many more adjustments follow. Usually, it takes me between 15 to 20 test prints before the design is clean and the lines are smooth.

Here you can see the process from the left column down, and then the right column down, from first print to final print.

sherry 01

Here’s a quick mockup of what they could look like on business cards:

sherry 04

The stamp itself is now complete, and I just have to find a mount for it so that the stamp is protected from bending. A mount also makes a stamp easier to hold and press. I usually make my own mounts from wine corks, wood blocks, or ceramics. In this case, I think I’ll be mounting on wood. I’ll post photos once the stamp is mounted.

Click HERE for Part 2 of this tutorial

Permanent link to this article: http://project-aika.com/2013/05/business-card-stamp/

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