31 March 2021
Ink Press Elephant and Heart Card
Ink Press is our longest running, most successful greeting card collection. In 2019 Ink Press won the prestigious ‘Henry Cole Classic Award’, which recognises card collections that have stood the test of time. These cards continue to be adored today, and for 2021 we have launched additional new designs, as well as a brand-new collection of mini Ink Press cards.

Robert Reader is the talented artist behind these iconic and charming designs. We’re always keen to share the stories behind our wonderful cards and so we asked Robert to share more about the inspiration and story behind Ink Press.

Ink Press Classic card collection
Ink Press
First, Robert told us “I studied photography at the Surrey institute of Art and Design where I gained a BA Hons degree. After a move to Cornwall I started working freelance as a photographer and illustrator, licensing images for publication with my partner and collaborator Ally Gore. Together we set up a design studio in 1997 which covered illustration, textile design and photography.”

You can check out their design studio website here.

Ink Press beer card
Ink Press
Next, we wanted to know the inspiration behind such iconic designs, characterised by their geometric style and clean lines. Robert said “my work is inspired by the pioneering graphic design of the mid-century movement, a post war period of new ideas and energy that encompassed all area of design and art. I am drawn to the experimental use of shapes, colour, and typography."

Ink Press Mini card collection
Mini Ink Press
We also find it interesting to know how artists design specifically for greeting cards, and whether it’s different to designing for other products and purposes. Robert told us that “with art cards in mind, the design process can be more personal, and offers much more freedom of expression. I’m thinking of all the influences that I’ve carried with me: films, books, posters, adverts, record covers, cartoons, and art. All my experiences can flow into the designs.” There are certainly a wide variety of subject matters present throughout the Ink Press card collection, demonstrating the diversity that comes from freedom of expression with designing greeting cards. With an entire collection to fill, the possibilities are much less limiting than a single piece of art, for example. This also means that there’s more likely to be something for every customer, with more choice in cards. Robert went on to say “my design process always starts with a sketch on paper. I keep a notebook with me at all times, as inspiration can come from anywhere. Then onto a final line drawing after which I will begin in photoshop, always hand drawn with a digital pencil, usually reducing the ideas to simple forms and shapes to convey a more complex idea.”

Bright New Things card collectionBright New Things

Robert Reader's contributions to The Art File's expansive greeting cards collections include Ink Press and Ink Press Classic, Imagine, Bright New Things, the brand new Ink Press Minis, and our special Ink Press Anniversary collection in the imagine below, which use neon inks and black gloss screen print which give a fabulous contrast to the usual Ink Press finish of uncoated textured board. Robert's collections span Occasions and Relations cards as well as Everyday cards.

Ink Press Anniversary card collection
Ink Press Anniversary
Lastly, we wanted to know how Robert has found working with us, The Art File, after several years. Robert said “working with The Art File has always been a great collaboration, because of their dedication to production quality and design, enthusiastic openness to new ideas, and willingness to take risks.” Robert then expanded on his last point, saying “one of these risks was the Ink Press range, that in its infancy needed time to grow – but now it’s still going strong over 11 years later!”

Imagine card collection

We highly recommend taking a look at Robert’s website and social media pages for more brilliant designs and updates: 
As always, if you have any questions about our new products, or anything else, please send an email to and we’ll be happy to help. To keep up to date via our social media platforms through these links - FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn – or just search ‘The Art File’. Customers can browse a hand-picked selection of our products on our online shop.