Last week I wrap up a print design job for my cousin. I created EDDM Postcards for his new business and I have to say everything came out great. Working on this job got me reminiscing about my past print work.
I have done multiple business cards job as well as clothing tags and more for my design clients as well as for myself. Today I hope you don’t mind with tagging along as I share my old business cards designs and what I learn from each experience.
My 1st card
Prior to graduation (for my associates degree), we were required to take a portfolio class. We had to come up with a business name and create samples of what would be our marketing materials. The image to your right wasn’t the first draft of this card and I wish I could find those files.
They were however square but more colorful. I had decided to do design work under the name Floetic Designs. At the time I was into writing poetry and enjoyed the song “Floetic” by a group called Floetry. I combined the two, hence the name Floetic Designs.
These cards were never printed up. I didn’t have any money nor could I find a printer to print square cards. Nowadays, I know several printers that not only print square cards but other shapes and sizes.
My 2nd card
Everyone who received these loved them and so did I. I was able to find an affordable printer to get them done. The name change was because I wasn’t getting a response when sending out my portfolio. Although, I got good feedback at school but in the real world, I got nothing. “AnD” stood for my name, was pronounced A & D Productions.
So let compare the first two. Both cards are square and double sided. On the 1st card the whole logo was shown one side and I used very subdued colors. I have to admit that logo on the back was repetitive and that entire side was not well designed. On the 2nd card I enlarged and crop the logo for more of an artistic look and went with a bright green color. The back gave a brief description of what I did. The name A & D Productions didn’t last very long because everyone thought I was in the music or entertainment industry. I had failed to convey that it was a web design business.
My 3rd Card
I first launched the artiatesiadeal.com, it was my portfolio blog. At the same time I took to social media to find work and created the twitter handle @artdeal because my first name is very long. I got great feedback for my shortened name and eventually created some new cards.
I had made a connection with a printer on twitter and got my cards printed for free. I refer to these as my blog cards because I didn’t have a brand. As you can see I moved on from the square design and went with the standard size with rounded corners.
I also went back to listing my services instead of a brief description like on the “A & D Productions” cards. Which turn out to be a bad idea because at some point I wanted to stop offering certain services.
My 4th Card
I called these my social media cards because they were design for when I attended social media week here in NYC. I decided to use Moo.com and order their minicards. Since these are smaller, there’s not much in terms of design I could do so I kept it simple.
I optioned for the text card template design and came up with six different statements: “Geek Girl @ Heart”, “iBlog about Graphic Design”, “iBlog about Freelancing”, “iBlog about Tech & Gadgets”, “I love Social Media”, “ArtDeal”, WordPress Enthusiast”, and “Techie Girl @ Heart”. I wanted a mixed of fun sayings and things to help describe my blog.
On the back was my contact info. The cards were cute, people like them but since they are not your standard size I’m not sure how many people held on them. I believe this size card it great for other ideas but not as business cards.
My Last Business Card
Around the time I got these printed I was headed to a conference and I needed some new cards. I love experimenting but with my tight deadline, I didn’t want to rack my brain trying to come up with a design I like. So using Moo Cards again, I stayed with the same style as above and added a small twist this time around.
I created four different designs and on the back along with my contact info, I added a photo. I love these and got a great response when handing them out. As you can see I have gone through several different cards and designs. Some I really loved and some I even up disliking after a while but overall I find it fun doing print work.
Here are some tips I learned with getting marketing materials for my business:
- If you are going to use a name other than your given name, test it out first and get a feel of what people response to. You don’t want to invest in a large order to just turn around and have to reorder in a short period of time. Take your time to avoid wasting money.
- Never loose the contact number you put on your business cards. Its’ not professional to cross out and replace info on your card.
- There’s no need to get 1000+ cards, especially on your first order no matter how cheap it is. You never know if you may want to change your look or info, or you fall out of love with them. I recommend that 50-200 max is a good goal.
I love getting printed materials, especially when I had a hand in designing them. I hope I have helped you avoid making some of the mistakes I made earlier on.