Printing our 'prop' card

The Counter Press prop card
There's a long held tradition for private presses to print 'prop' cards, small calling cards that explain who owns the press and what its purpose is. It's also a means by which to register ownership of the press name. The Briar Press describes them as…
Adapted from All About Prop Cards

(1982) by J. Ben Lieberman
The term “prop” is short for “proprietor,” stressing the individuality of the private press owner and operator, exercising freedom of the press. The prop’s card, or prop card, is akin to a calling card: printed on a letterpress, it has a standard form and bears a few essential pieces of information as described below … The prop card is used primarily, or ostensibly, for an address file. Hence, the prop card traditionally has the prop’s last name first, in the upper left corner of a standard 3x5 inch card, using reasonably stiff stock printed horizontally. The full name of the press and mailing address follow. Prop cards may also be double-sized, i.e., a 5x6 card folded to create a double 3x5 card, with the prop’s name at the top left on the front side, just below the fold.
Having already printed thank you cards, we decide our second print should be our 'prop' card. Time to make this official. Sort of.
Hand typeset 8pt Plantin Roman and Italic
The card was designed around a structural typographic background printed in opaque white on GF Smith Colorplan Real Grey using an 8-line condensed grot wood typeface. This was then overprinted with two columns of handset 8pt Plantin 110 roman and italic in black.

The white on grey reacts differently under different lighting to great effect
The finished cards – a limited edition of just 10.


  1. Great work, love the use of opaque white ;)

  2. I love your passion and enthusiasm for this art form. Your work is simply stunning.

  3. I could really buy everything - but my favorites are the accessories and paintings but for now on business card ll be my first choice . Lovely


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