Since this journal post, we have stopped selling personalised cards. We continue to print packaging for our range of vintage lighting products using letterpress and personalise Leuchtturm and Moleskine notebooks using mechanical typesetting and letterpress.
Nina Simone’s interpretation of My Baby Just Cares For Me is a true classic – the song is delivered with style and subtlety and recorded with warmth on analogue equipment. Her rendition makes a good reference point for our Nina Simone greetings card: we took Anthony Peters’ screen print and reproduced it with finesse and originality on our vintage Heidelberg print machines. The card is available to buy here.
The Nina Simone greetings card proved a challenge to print due to the area of solid black that forms the basis of the design. We only use high quality cotton-based stock to print our cards, which is extremely absorbent of the rubber-based inks we use. Our Heidelberg platen presses are capable of exerting pressure of up to 40 tonnes, and nearly all of this was required to realise the jet dark black background this card requires.
Once the black layer was printed, the presses were re-set with the next plate for the turquoise of the piano itself. The piano must be perfectly aligned so that the colours ‘kiss fit’ with no overlap or blurring. The skills required are second nature to our in-house printers, but it takes lots of technical knowledge which only comes with decades of letterpress experience.
The result is certainly worth it; the card is a thing of aesthetic and tactile beauty. Even before it carries any ink, the heavy card stock we use is inviting to touch. When printed, the impression left by the Linotype press creates subtly textured artwork which is irresistible. We like to think that the depth and simplicity of the card perfectly complement the original artwork and the song that inspired it.
About the artist – Anthony Peters describes himself as a maker of things. He’s a gifted designer and illustrator, obsessed with creating narrative using minimal graphic techniques and a limited colour palette. His work has been exhibited in London, New York, Milan and Paris and he’s a long-standing collaborator with Print Club London.
Anthony has this to say about the card: ‘My Nina Simone piece was originally a submission for a Print Club Blisters show – the piece sold out within hours of the show opening! I have always loved Nina’s version of ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’, it’s a beautiful and upbeat piece from an amazing artist who is normally a little more maudlin. From the opening piano to the wonderful lyrics, her version is a timeless meditation on the purity and blindness of love.
I’m so happy that the piece has now been used by Print Club London and Urban Cottage Industries – it seems fitting to translate the work into a beautiful 2 colour linotype card, with those rich inky colours. It makes the work feel timeless, like the song it represents.’