A Custom Die from Start to Finish

Each card is a separate work of art, worthy of preservation not only as a memento of the occasion for which it may serve, but for the sake of originality of fancy, beauty of color, and skill in drawing it evinces. Messrs. Dempsey & Carroll have evidently been fortunate in securing the aid of artists whose ingenious fancies flow through fingers of skillfullest touch.

 The Home Journal, 1879

We like to think this is still the case! Often clients come to us looking for something a little more unique, and a lot more personalized. That’s where our graphic designers step in.

One of our designers has a background in illustration, so along with designing for Dempsey & Carroll she often creates company logos, house vignettes, and even pet portraits.

In this particular case our client was looking for an acorn design to represent her family that could be used on a wide variety of paper sizes.

After the initial visit with the client, loose sketches of the design are drawn to find just the right composition for the subject matter.

Further feedback and discussion narrows down the focus, and they begin to discuss texture and depth.

When a final drawing is approved, two different images are created to guide our Master Engraver: The line drawing to clarify the contours, and the shaded drawing describes the depth. 

The Master Engraver carves an interpretation of the drawing into a steel die with wonderful textural touches.


The finished design and die is owned exclusively by the client. Since its creation the client has used this acorn on Correspondence Cards, Calling Cards, Gift Cards, and even a darling Book Plate!

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