I’ve got to be honest. I’ve never really liked Moo business cards, even after they’ve been foisted upon me by half a dozen companies. Moo is a Rhode Island-based company that sells custom-printed business cards online. They get the job done, but I’ve always thought Moo’s efforts were just cheap and unexceptional. Except for the little stick-of-gum sized Mini Cards, of course: those are so twee, easy-to-lose, and unwieldy that the only practical use I can think to put them to is as instruments of papercut torture applied to the Moo executive who first came up with them.
So I’m pleasantly surprised by Moo’s recently announced letterpress efforts. The Moo Letterpress Cards are available in 12 different designs (most of which are surprisingly tasteful, with elegant typography and vivid ink colors) and coms printed on a thick weighted card stock (Mohawk Superfine, 32pt weight), which is then debossed on both sides to give each card a feeling of texture and depth. Moo sent me a pack of samples to see for myself, and I have to admit, they look nice, they feel great in the hand, and there isn’t a Mini Card to be seen anywhere.
So they’re great. But let me be 100% clear here: these are letterpress in name only. Moo tells me there’s no movable type involved here at all, which is the very definition of letterpress. Instead, Moo is still just using digital printing techniques to squirt out your business details on a pre-designed business card stock, which is the same as the company has ever done. The distinction here is that those cards come on a quality stock for a change, and get a pre-set pattern debossed on them after they are printed. You still won’t be able to feel the type under your fingertips, because that part is digitally printed. It’s a shame. There’s a reason it’s called letterpress: using real movable type on high-quality card stock creates a sharp, tactile feel otherwise missing from printed text.
You get what you pay for, and Moo’s cards are cheaper than real letterpress. For example, a pack of 500 two-color letterpressed business cards from Brooklyn Social Cards will cost you $500. A similar pack of fake letterpress cards will cost you $339 on Moo. If ultimate letterpress fidelity is important to you and you want to see every letter in your business details branded right into a card’s skin, you might still want to spring for traditional letterpress.
Me? I’m still not going to order business cards from Moo. If I’m going to spend money on letterpress, I’d rather give it to artisans and craftsmen, not a faceless Internet printing company. But I have to admit, Moo has me closer to making an order than ever before.
You can order Moo Letterpress business cards here.