Archive for February, 2009

C2- the making of a business card

So I’ve come to discover that business card design is tough.
Wait, let me rephrase that… GOOD business card design is really tough. My friend Connie- after two days of working on her own business cards, can officially testify to this. Designing your own business cards, as a designer, is even harder. It’s like an architect designing their own house, and interior designer picking their bedroom paint color, a graphic designer designing their own wedding invitations… (gee, why do these all sound so familiar?).
And why though, is a business card in general so hard to design? Think about it- it’s like everything you want people to know about you- in super-uber-condensed-purely-graphic form. It’s like YOU concentrated, just add water- or in this case- just add a paycheck and you’ve got a job! Yes, add to all this the pressure of designing a business card for yourself, and YOU are a self-employed designer working on keeping the bacon coming in. Oh, the layers of complication just keep on coming. Not only is it super-concentrated-you in graphic form, but it has to be clear, it has to grab you, and maybe most importantly, it can’t get complicated (sound’s like designing business cards and my opinion on relationships are pretty similar… but that’s another post altogether…). And by “not getting complicated”, I mean, graphic hierarchy is KING. I’m always going on about this, but pay attention at graphic design in magazines, in bus ads, whatever, what do you see first, and then what do you notice second? Once you start noticing this… you understand how important that is. What I truly enjoy in what I do as a stationer, I guess you’d call me, you have to marry (ooo, sorry, please pardon the pun) the balance between the written hierarchy and graphic. Sorry to make another architecture reference, but it really is like architecture and interior design- they have to work together.

I love (and I can’t emphasize this enough) the evolution of design. Love it. So this is why I’m choosing my friend’s design challenge to illustrate here…. because it always starts in a place of “I can’t look at this anymore”, and ends in a lovely happy place. Here is where she started, options and more options:
Here are the back side options…

and here are the front side options…
And after a lengthy discussion on (among other things) the merit and importance of using the word “Chicago” on the card, even though seems like everything is virtual now (Yes, it’s important, we concluded- simply because it’s Chicago. Urban, beautiful, raw, sincere, Chicago- and with a name like Connie Cermak, why wouldn’t you specify Chicago?!), HERE is the final product…

Beautiful! Bravo, Connie!
And to those reading this, I would keep an eye on this one… www.conniecermak.com … coming to a computer near you very soon.

Rock n’ Roll wedding invitations

I was listening to the ‘BS Report’ the other day, Bill Simmons’s podcast, and his guest was writer Chuck Klosterman. Simmons usually mixes in a lot of pop culture with his sports writing, and Klosterman writes about sports a lot for a music and pop culture writer, so I figured it would be a pretty entertaining listen. At one point they compared the relationship between Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwan’s NBA careers to the relationship between Motely Crue’s “Dr. Feelgood” and Guns N’ Roses’s “Appetite for Destruction”, so yeah I’d say it was entertaining.

So you are probably thinking “what does the Sportsguy’s podcast have to do with wedding invitations?” Well it just so happens that Chuck Klosterman mentioned at the end of the podcast that he was engaged. This was kind of surprising news since he once wrote….. “No woman will ever satisfy me. I know that now, and I would never try to deny it. But this is actually okay, because I will never satisfy a woman either.” Maybe he was wrong, maybe not, but I know how to make one part of this wedding satisfying to Mr. Klosterman…..Spilled Ink Press needs to do his wedding invitations! I’m telling you, we are perfect for this couple. Sure our invitations are nice and classy and beautiful and all that, but our greeting cards are an entirely different story. They are cynical and sarcastic, and a lot of them have skulls. I can’t think of a better client to combine our invitation style with our greeting card style than Chuck Klosterman.

For example, take a look at our “Have a Rockin’ Marriage” card…


Now take a look at the cover of “Appetite for Destruction”, the classic album from Klosterman’s heroes Guns N’ Roses…..


Now picture a similar aesthetic on an invitation like this one….


It would be perfect! How can Spilled Ink Press not do Chuck Klosterman’s wedding invitations? This has to happen. Chuck, if you are reading this, send me an email. Let’s talk invites, man to man.