Category Archives: Currently working on

Working On: Business Cards

I’ve been working hard on business cards for what feels like forever, and I’m aiming for three different business card designs:
1. Double-sided design to give to people in person for impressions
(this might end up being a one-sided design with an open space on the back for comments about our meeting, like ‘Thanks for the coffee! Call me!’)
2. One-sided awesome design to leave places and give to people that are awesome/close friends/know me already
(something bold and exciting that doesn’t have to match all the other boring ‘branded stuff’)
3. One more simple design for super professional settings and to go in the folder of my press kit
(that matches my resume well, and just looks polished)

Why do I want to do so many different cards? Because I like to have options, and I think it’s important to be prepared. Having a variety of cards lends itself well to different situations and different meetings with people of various backgrounds (small firms, more out-there firms, large corporations, you get the picture).

Here are my three different card ideas so far (please pardon my tardiness because I’ve come down with an awful cold this week):

1.) a two-sided card

Note that these are all still works in progress, because I haven’t really experimented with typefaces too much yet (at least not much on the card pictured above).

2.) the one-sided card

I like the design of this card a lot, but it doesn’t really match anything else. I think that’s okay. Maybe? I think it would be fun to print it with a reversed copy on the back, so it sort of shows you that it’s one-sided, instead of just being blank on the back. There’s still some fine-tuning that needs to be done with the information text so that it’s a little more readable, but I really do like this design. (This design is like my baby, I really like it ever so much, but I think that more traditional designers would say that if I like it so much, I should let it go.)

3.) simple

This is the one that would be tucked into a press-kit folder, and therefore doesn’t have a back to show people. It’s a little shy, I suppose. It also might need some extra information about me, but then it feels too cluttered. We’ll see.

In class the other day we were discussing that business cards might become obsolete with the use of smart phones and QR codes (those pixelated squares that you can scan and information pops up). I don’t believe that we’ll truly become separated from our analog, physical objects for a long time, if ever. I just don’t think enough people will own and use smart phones to make QR codes the standard, and to forget business cards altogether. What do you think?


Ps. The top photo is from Brand New, a website that showcases re-branding of major companies, and shows the re-branding and new logo of Time Warner Cable. I enjoy browsing through their posts to see how companies try to keep themselves ‘modern’; always interesting to read the comments, too (which usually come from fellow designers).

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Business Cards

Let’s talk about business cards. They’re important. Other than the fact that they’re important, there are no other rules. It seems like most companies and designers are always attempting to outshine each other with their ability to take a 3.5″ x 2″ rectangle and create something incredibly creative and outside of that rectangle (har har). We’ve been working on logos and business cards in one of my classes lately, which coincides well with my desire to create a better graphic identity for myself for 2011. I’m planning/hoping to get a wonderful summer internship, and especially need to start looking for jobs for after I graduate, and a well executed graphic identity is so important (at least to me).

I’m in the midst of working on a variety of business cards for different situations. A ‘traditional’ two-sided card for clients and other designers, an exciting, one-sided business card to leave at art stores and coffee shops, etc. and finally a much more simple, professional, and straight-forward card for a press kit or interview. [I have been using this helpful article as a guide for getting my own press kit/graphic stuff together.]

Recently, I’ve been working on a logo that’s also more of a ‘watermark’ using a sans-serif E and lot’s of colored layers. (Maybe you remember my obsession with spinning things in circles and setting them to multiply to make beautiful patterns? Well, they end up looking like quilted applique stars, and I’m not really a quilting sort of person.) I think I like the ‘logo’ I’ve developed, but I haven’t really finalized the three separate business cards yet. I’m still grappling with the typography choices because I don’t really feel like any font ‘represents me’.

And so, enough words. Let’s look at pretty pictures of interesting ideas!

You can look at more interesting and fantastic business card ideas here.

Work, work, work

Just wanted to do another little round-up of what I’ve been working on lately! I’ve been playing around and learning a lot in Illustrator. These different beard variations use different settings and graphic styles to create very different end-results. I’m still sort of leaning towards the original design, but it is fun to try new things.

Emma Thea Hoop - so square!

I’m almost always trying different ways of representing myself. I made this ‘original’ typeface with rectangles and repetition. I really like how square and organized the margins are between all the main letters, while the E, T and H are all different in the front. I’m not 100% pleased with this, though; more of an experiment.

VIM logo variations

Vim logo variations for different applications – black and white, reversed black and white, a gray-scale and, last but not least, the full-color. The simple black and white (and reverse version) are okay, but not super dynamic. I need to up the contrast and adjust the lines around a little more to get across the same detail as the color and gray-scale versions. I still have SO. MUCH. WORK. left to do before I’m satisfied with this particular branding package. There’s so much important detailing that goes into making a website LOOK like a real website, even when it’s just a mock-up!!

Well, that’s just a small, quick update from here! I decorated my home over the weekend for Halloween, and it looks lovely! There’s SO MUCH you can do with just a simple pack of colored paper. I’ll try to remember to post some pictures for proof 🙂

Hope your week is going well; I’m exhausted and going to bed!


What I’ve Been Up To

This weekend was my ‘fall break’; a little mini-holiday from school. I’ll be returning to classes tomorrow, and back to more in-depth posts (apologies, apologies).
I’ve been on ‘vacay’ – but I’ve still been busy!
Things I did this weekend:

  • Added to this blog/website! The ‘home’ page is now a static ‘welcome’ page, and all of the blog content is under ‘Blog’
  • Added a contact form to the ‘Contact’ page! So great! You can try it out here.
  • Worked diligently on my 2011 ‘brand’ – i.e. what all of my different output will look like for next year (business cards, logos, favicons, text, etc. etc.) (Scroll down for the new color palette)
  • Started to re-work some old projects for my portfolio (the Vim project is first on the list for new additions)
  • Practiced some new Illustrator skills (like this and all of these)
  • Got a flat tire fixed
  • Bought a wig for my Halloween costume; I’m going to be an Egyptian!
  • Organized files on my computer (very therapeutic)
  • Started watching season #4 of Dexter

Emma Thea Hoop 2k11 color palette

Pretty, right? I’m trying to use more bold and ‘lively’ colors for the new year. And I’m leaning in a much simpler and geometric direction.

new Vim logo - much improved!

So fluid! So full of motion! So much improved over the first ‘final’ logo idea!
I think this insinuates ‘motion’ and ‘bicycles’ and the ‘brand message’ much much much better than the original. I also plan to make a lot of website improvements, add on some interesting and fun new features (customizable page for bags, galleries and other cool built-in functionality). I also want to (at least) think about point of purchase display for stores and how/what the packaging and tags and tissue paper and what-have-you would be needed for shipped products from the online store.


Still Working On…Alphabet Cards

Remember the alphabet cards from this post and the inspiration for the entire project from this post? Of course you do! I just wanted to give a little status update; I’m still working, but 26 letters feels like a lot. So far I’ve completed A, D, I, O and S. Here’s A:

Beautiful, right? I even 'shaded' this bad boy! Look at those screws!

The main issue I’m running into isn’t making the ‘letters’ but deciding what size card and what orientation to choose. It seems that the alphabet will be split half horizontal and half vertical orientation, so I’ve been toying with the idea of doing squares instead of a rectangle in one obvious orientation.

A + O - are squares going to reign supreme?

I also bought a rounded corner punch from Micheal’s on sale for $7. What a steal!

new, fantastic rounded corner punch

It’s out of this world! (Get it? Yeah, you do.)

So, as my newly accomplished letter cards spell – A-D-I-O-S!
More to come, as always.


ps. Apparently my t-shirt submission did not win fame, glory, and the opportunity to be on 150 different student bodies. Alas! I guess I’ll have to seek fame from something besides iDSA 😦

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My New Gap

Eh, sorry guys, didn’t know what to title this one… But hey! Here’s a fresh concept!

my entry!

Well, I whipped that one up pretty quick! Here’s my first entry/idea for the Gap Redesign on ISO50 I wrote about.

I went with the iconic navy blue on a plain background. I wanted to create something simple and modern, since that’s the direction it seems they’re trying to approach with their use of Helvetica in their new logo. I didn’t just make a blue square on the computer and drop in a font; I sketched this out first, then moved it into Illustrator and pen-tooled around it. Then there was some moving of proportions, etc. and ta-da!

Not very difficult or time consuming, but much better than their new logo. Because anything is better than their new logo.

I plan on taking some time to do another one here in a minute for fun; one that’s a little bit more “out there”.


Graphic Design: Gap Redesign Contest!

This is the new Gap re-design. Many designery people abhor it.  Want to do something about it? ISO50 blog is doing a Gap Redesign Contest! Hooray!!

To enter: “Email alex [@ symbol] with the subject line “New Gap Logo” and attach your redesigned Gap logo. Please make sure your file is in JPEG or PNG format and clearly displays your logo. Size 450w x 250h pixels please. Center the logo, make it look nice. Limit two entries per person.”

Due by Wednesday the 13th. More details and prizes, etc. here.


Currently Working On…Alphabet Cards + IDSA Shirts

I’m still working on IDSA shirts when I’m not President anymore?! Not exactly! The current officers are doing a ‘shirt contest’ for this years iDSA shirts and I submitted one design (so far). As I said before, I was working on creating I, D, S and A out of objects and I think the final result is pretty nice.

And some progress on the beginning of the ‘designer tools alphabet cards’. I’ve been steadily researching and writing out different things that make letters (which, to be honest, probably looks like crazy-person-talk if you don’t know what I’m doing because in no way does ‘olfa’ = ‘i’). There’s a printing place near by, Prima, that does cards that are the size I want (something in between 2″x3″ and 4″x6″) but I haven’t talked to them about doing small runs of different images yet. Yesterday I bought myself a rounded corner punch so that I can design the outlines, etc. better.

Here’s my super awesome ‘Ii’ card so far:
That snapped off blade is really clever, right? Right.
More to come! As always!


PS. any constructive feedback on either design is very welcome!

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