When Johan Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 15th century, he had no idea that moveable type would go in and out of fashion — and that more than 500 years later, it would become a trendy way of turning greeting cards into works of art. Sure, you can still get your standard monogram, but today, modern card makers with a sense of humor incorporate slang, pop culture references, the occasional profanity, and intricate fonts into frame-worthy cards using letterpress printing, a technique that requires laying out metal tiles for each individual letter and shape. They’re pricier than your standard drugstore store card, but penned with your thoughtful thank you note, message of congratulations, or birthday wishes, they become priceless gifts.
Whether you were surprised, thrilled, nervous (or all of the above) to hear the news of your latest knocked up friend or family member, this card pretty much sums it up. (It’s probably a decent description of how the mom-to-be feels, too.) Find the same sentiment on cards for birthdays, engagements, weddings, and new homes at Steel Petal Press. (Steel Petal Press, $5)
Treat your favorite ’80s kids to a “Big” shoutout with this Paper Source card adorned with a vintage portrait of Tom Hanks, and let the Academy Award-winning actor express your appreciation for whatever sweet gift has come your way. (Paper Source, $6)
It’s a pretty safe bet that Gutenberg never imagined his letterpress printing system being used to comfort a friend after a breakup — but here’s the proof. Give this card with a bottle of wine and a good book (just make sure the couple really, definitely isn’t getting back together before you sign your name). (Etsy, $5)
Traditional letterpress printing and old-fashioned cross stitch patterns meet contemporary slang in this line of cards from Elum (other sayings include “WTF”, “Hugs Not Drugs”, and “Holla”). Think of it as an updated take on your grandmother’s embroidery samplers — wisdom for the modern age. (Elum, $5.50)
Here’s a sentiment you can use for a variety of events — graduation, new job, thank you, love — complete with a letterpress Loch Ness Monster and a simple message. Add your own note inside to make an even better impression. (Egg Press, $4.50)