Cranky Bucks Promotion

Direct mail marketing with added production value.



A new printed promotional piece was needed for the grumpy guy's business (print is important to show off their skills). Faux money that customers can use towards their printing projects was the solution. And who's better qualified for a whimsical counterfeiting job than a crafty old letterpress printer?


$250.00 Cranky Bucks. The money was done in three denominations.


Direct mail marketing is an effective way to reach a very targeted audience. People respond to and trust companies when they have something they can actually touch and hold. Print shows a company is legit. Plus, direct mail is an underused medium.

That all said, if you are going to send mail it should be enjoyable and worthwhile to receive. This is the mailer we created for Cranky Pressman.


The idea was simple - bundle up some bank notes and send them to potential and existing printing customers in ad agencies and design firms. The piece included a hand-carved illustration and Cranky's tongue-in-cheek tone of voice. An old-fashioned money band was produced to hold together the cash and offer details. Of course everything was nicely letterpress printed.


Images above show some of the details designed into the notes. The styling was influenced by the dollar bill but the quirky graphics make it obvious that it wasn't a serious reproduction (which could have been frowned upon by the authorities if done too realistically). The smaller details, typography, seals and sequential numbering add interest and playfulness.

Once this business to business promotional offer has run its course, the design and illustration will be repurposed for use as gift certificates to be sold to customers who want to give the gift of Cranky Pressman letterpress printing services. This will provide extra mileage from the design and production.

Our studio's work included:

Concept, graphic design, copywriting, illustration, typography and print production management