Lettered & Designed: Alt Summit Business Cards


An extra dose of crazy hit my house when I was thinking up this year’s business card.

150 business cards with hand-calligraphed art and stands.

Check me into the loony bin. I spent 12 hours on my cards this year. At least.

I wanted to make them amazing and showcase my calligraphy prowess. Originally I  wanted to design my own line of washi tape and hand out rolls of tape with words like “radical”, “awesomesauce” and “groovy” calligraphed all over. But a $3000 minimum buy for business cards seemed a little steep. I’m still thinking I want to design a line of washi tape. So if you’re reading this and you have strings you can pull. EMAIL ME. I WANT TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN. 


Since that wasn’t an option, plan b was set in motion. I wanted to create some artwork to remind attendees at Alt that they’re amazing. Last year’s Alt Summit was inspiring, but I still left the conference with this sense of serious doubt and overwhelm.

I don’t want others to leave with that same sense of anxiety, so I made a little reminder that they’re awesomesauce.


I designed new cards to include IStillLoveCalligraphy.com and my new logo (notice it yet?). I worked with We R Memory Keepers for the letterpress cards and paper (I’m one of their project boggers) to make custom plates. I printed the cards in about half the time it took to stamp the same amount of cards last year. I messed up here and there with the ink on the plates, but I didn’t want to stress myself out over perfection because I’m sure people would be understanding if I letterpressed them myself.

I designed and had a local company cut the easels. they’re clear acrylic easels that can hold artwork or even an iphone (sideways). Equal parts useful and decorative!


Then I used the leftover letterpress paper to letter out “You are awesomesauce”. Calligraphy on letterpress paper was not fun. The weave and texture of the paper made the going really slow. I found that the Esterbrook 356 and 357 with iron gall ink worked best (minimal feathering) on this paper. I had origionally started with Dr. Martin’s gold ink, but it was a little unruly and took about 3x longer than with the iron gall ink. I love this old world iron gall ink as it’s slightly transparent, but moody. It destroyed both of my prized vintage nibs, though.

Here is the cost breakdown of each business card:

  • easel: $1.20
  • lettering: $2.50
  • envelope: $.09
  • washi tape: free
  • letterpress printing: $1.12 (time, not supplies*)

Total: $3.82

Most of the cost was in time designing, printing and lettering. Since these are fairly expensive (for business cards), I have the fancy ones and plain ones. I plan on asking people which one they want in case they’d rather not go home with more trinkets.

I hope I have enough cards for Alt!! I plan on bringing my stamping stuff in case I have to make up a few last-minute cards.

*Plates and paper provided by WRM.


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    1. Kristin H says:

      You are awesomesauce! Loove how it all turned out, especially the new logo. That ink is soo pretty, too.

    2. Alex says:

      Just lovely! Your new logo is beautiful too.

    3. Sylvia says:

      They’re perfect! Can’t wait to see you in two more days!

    4. marissa says:

      Love this. Wish I was going just so I could get one. Easel included?! Wowzers. YOU ARE DEFINITELY AWESOMESAUCE! :)

    5. alicia says:

      I’m tired just reading about it. Amazing job!

    6. Kate @ This Wandering Life says:

      People would be crazy not to invest in you after seeing your work! You are so talented, Melissa.

    7. Corey Savage says:

      This is a great way to demonstrate your talents. The business cards that are creative are the ones that people will hold on to.

    8. Melissa says:

      The cards look fabulous! As does the new logo. So sorry to hear about your nibs. How devastating that they were ruined.

    9. Katie says:

      I would take home a fancy one in a heartbeat! These are SO awesome – what a wonderful idea. I love the clear acrylic easel.

    10. Misse Daniel says:

      Your business card is amazing. I have the quote sitting on my desk, reminding me of my awesomesauce.

    11. Melissa says:

      Saw artsyville is carrying custom washi tape. You may reach out to her to see her supplier.


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