Recently I have been working on my own personal branding and most importantly business cards. Over the past three years of doing my degree I have had numerous versions saved on my computer but never taken them to print as I just couldn’t settle on a design I liked or even my own logo. As a Graphic Designer or any artist I believe you can sometimes find yourself being over critical of your own work and this proves extremely difficult when it comes to creating your own branding especially when you are indecisive like I am. You only really have yourself to critique your ideas and give you improvements, so I found it pretty difficult to finalise a design.
I did however eventually take the plunge and order some cards which I felt would look really good. I was however very disappointed when they arrived and felt that they didn’t communicate my abilities and personality as designer. They were also quite bad quality and I wasn’t happy with them in that respect as well, although I chased this up with the company they deemed them useable and I wasn’t given a refund. They didn’t feel ‘special’ enough and I wasn’t going to feel proud or optimistic about giving them out as a first impression.
I decided to redesign them and think more about the message I wanted to communicate to potential future clients.
The key points I wanted them to promote were:
Simplicity – I like to design with simplicity in mind, communicating to viewers and readers the key information effectively in a succinct manner.
Sophistication – I like to design with sophisticaticated ideas and solutions, challenging previous designs.
For the second lot of business cards I got printed I decided that I was going to use a different printing company (www.moo.com) and think more about the material I was printing them on, they had great reviews on their websites and I knew that a couple of last years graphics students had used them as well. The first lot felt cheap and this time around I was willing to pay more so they felt special and a better quality. I ordered a print sample pack from the company which allowed me to see exactly what papers they had and the feel of them all. I also redesigned them so they reflected a more simpler aesthetic which is more in keeping with the work that I produce! The first lot felt too fussy and I think I was trying too hard to make them ‘design-ery.’ I added a raised spot gloss over my logo as well which I feel reflects the fact that I am confident in creating things with special elements as well.
I am a lot happier with this new design and finish. I have however on this occasion only got 50 printed, as I always feel that there if room for improvement and that these can be adapted in the future if needed.
Key points I have learnt:
Always get sample packs from companies if ordering offline. Doing this allowed me to see the paper stock of the company and feel confident that I would get a great quality print. I have started the process of requesting further sample pacts from online companies as I feel that they will come in handy when printing for final major projects as well as for future freelance jobs I may do. They will be useful in showing clients the type of material and feel they could get from a design when printing with specific methods and paper stock.
Never get too many of one thing printed first without seeing a proof. On my first attempt I got 250 cards printed which I feel are no good and I will not be handing out. On my second attempt I only got 50, this has meant that there will be no waste and if the design needs editing or changing slightly this will not be too much of a problem.