Category Archives: Graphic Design

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?

♥eth

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.

Typography

We briefly talked about typography (you know, words as visuals) in a class the other day, and it gave me a desire to round up some of the excellent online resources I’ve recently found concerning typefaces and typography for design (websites and portfolios specifically).

First, you might want to read this “What Font Should I Use?” article on Smashing Magazine to start off on the right foot. If you’re still stuck, you can always try Pentagram’s ‘what type are you?’ interactive quiz. Next, Smashing Magazine has an excellent article about Best Practices of Combining Typefaces. Hoefler & Frere-Jones also has a quick little explanation of four ways to combine typefaces, but it’s also clearly an opportunity for them to advertise their own fonts (which are beautiful and too expensive for me!). It’s important to think about what common fonts there are on Windows and Mac computers if you’re designing a website and aren’t planning to use a service like TypeKit or Google Fonts (I’ve found that I like to stick with basic fonts that I can display on the internet AND use in my portfolio, so it’s a little more consistent). You can easily use TypeKit on your WordPress blog if you’re using one of the compatible themes!

But wait, there’s so much more!
Typography for Lawyers, is indeed intended for lawyers, but has helpful other tips like – don’t underline things unless they are a hyperlink – and it also explains a lot of the basics of typography like – what is kerning, anyway?

How To: Make Your Web Typography Better has eight simple pointers to think about

Type-a-file makes CSS typography easier; creates well-designed style sheets to add to your websites (err, I’m still a little confused about this because I like the idea of what they’re talking about, but I’m really still very much an amateur when it comes to coding and websites, so as helpful as this might be for everyone else, I’m still sort of lost….I don’t even know if I can upload files to my server since I’m not doing any hosting with my domain? Oh well. I’ll figure it out sooner or later!)

And finally, I recently found this list of ONE HUNDRED educational resources about web typography on Smashing Magazine and I haven’t even begun to look through it all yet!

♥ eth

PS. The top photo is a sample from David Carson’s website – he’s a really interesting graphic designer and he was featured in the movie Helvetica, a documentary by Gary Hustwit about typography, graphic design and ‘visual culture’ – looking at how type can infiltrate our daily lives. I would reccomend both Helvetica and Objectified, another movie by Gary Hustwit, to EVERYONE – not just designers – because they do inspect how design affects our daily lives regardless of occupation and interests. Did you know that most road signs, nutritional labels, and maps are created with Helvetica? Amazingly interesting.

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New Endeavor

Another new endeavor?! What? Yes! I had another brilliant idea today, and so I’m going with it. I read this post this morning and felt inspired (re-invigorated, jazzed, caffeinated, you get the drift). I’ve done 365 photography projects in the past, but they usually fizzle out when I get too busy with other things (school, homework, designin’). So now I’m going to do a 365 “creative” project – simply making something every single day! My goal is to spend about 30 minutes to an hour max to simply make (new) stuff . The first project is posted up here on a new tumblr-log for viewing pleasure. I’ll be adding to it every day.

For today’s thing I used this tutorial as a guide to make a simple (yet stunning, right?) rainbow path. Then I fiddled with some transparency and brush settings and TA-DA! Pretty thing!

rainbow path

I think these Spirograph graphics could be easily transformed into really amazing space-themed things. Being able to inspire yourself with your own work is an interesting feeling.

Hope you’re just as excited and productive as me this week!

♥eth

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.

♥eth

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”.

♥eth

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] iso50.com 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.

♥eth

Project Ideas

– personal re-branding “identity” for 2011 (extended to all internet and print things) (including a well-managed ‘press kit’)
– personal typography chart (like this one)
a new airline
alphabet cards
– re-branding a ‘dying’ brand ((like that one guy’s Playboy assignment))
– packaging for products I’ve already designed (like Serenity Stones)
– finish ‘branding’ things -> ViM and Converse
guinea pig environment
– circular bench for the sunroom (inspiration board here)

And last, but not least, design competitions!

♥eth

Inspired: Objectified

I’ve started a personal project inspired by this poster for the movie Objectified: A Documentary Film by Gary Hustwit. The poster was designed by Build and I love the way they make letters out of objects (not a fresh idea, per-say, but always a great one when executed well).

*As an aside, if you haven’t seen Objectified, I highly recommend it. It’s a fascinating documentary about – duh – objects. If you’re a designer, it is an easy and interesting way to explain design to your friends/family – and if you’re not a designer, it’s still fascinating because of all the interesting concepts that are brought up (i.e. the relationship of cars to their owners)

I’m working on two different ‘alphabets’ – one made of famous designs (like the Panton chair making an ‘S’), and one set of letters made of tools used to ‘design’ (various tools and crafting objects, etc.). I already have the letters I, D, S, and A done because I put them together for a t-shirt competition for this year’s IDSA @ GT.

Progress will be posted ASAP 🙂

♥eth

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