CHRISTEN JANINE OTTER

Applied Design: My Professional Contact Card

Aarron Walter wrote in Designing for Emotion,
 “To engage your audience emotionally, you must let your brand’s personality show.”

Front:

 

Back:

With a nod to my custom-designed image, artwork and color scheme that you’ve previously seen featured on the Home page of my website, the creation of my new contact card now serves as an extension of my professional  presence.

It’s been a little while since I’ve used Photoshop, but my creative vision provided me with more than enough motivation to dust off my graphic design skill set. At first I wasn’t exactly sure the measurements for business cards these days, as folks seem to be coming up with custom proportions all the time–I just had a friend give me a great looking square-ish business card the other day something like this. I’ve also noticed that other business cards have soft, rounded edges. Very hipster. (By the way, the standard measurement for a business card is, 2″ by 3.5″.) However, when designing my card, I went just under that to avoid any unnecessary bleed of my design.

After I was done with the general layout of the card in terms of content and design, it still wasn’t quite complete. There was just something missing. I’m not quite sure how it came to me, but I wanted to see a quirky kind of coffee stain graphic, to mottle up the white space. It was too clean. It needed to feel a little bit more human. We humans are, (if we will admit it) a tad on the messy side at times–but I prefer ‘wonderfully unkempt,’ if you will. So, I needed a little bit of embellishment toward this end. I created the coffee stain effect by downloading a special brush set onto Photoshop and then once I chose a design, I adjusted the opacity setting to make the stain appear lighter and softer. I wanted more a whisper, not too dramatic.

But, why not just go for something clean-cut and traditionally ‘professional’? Why take the risk? What if it makes the card look silly, or sloppy–or worse, dirty? (eep!) Well, I am a bit a risk taker. Always have been I suppose. To me, ‘coffee’ is also iconic of the culture of conversation, nostalgic reflection and the process of creative ideation. (As a side, my Master’s project involves a great deal of the creation and choosing of what is considered iconic. So, I guess this is also a bit of me getting my feet wet.)

Overall, I wanted an effect that emotes a feeling of down to earth, yet a bit eccentric. Not quite rustic, but organic. Modern and contemporary, but yet whimsical and free-flowing. Bold and risk-taking, yet deliberate. You know, that  kind of feel.

I really like the card, but yet there is always (always!) a part of me that feels it could have been better. It could have been perfected toward a greater end. However, suffice it to say, I would be happy to hand it out if someone asked me if I had a contact card. I think everyone wants to be taken seriously, but I think we are the most successful when we are the fullest version of ourselves, not trying to be anything or anyone other than who we are.

Therefore, I made the decision to purchase 250 cards on Vistaprint.com. (The bill came to over $60, but that was also due to the glossy card stock, and customization on the front and back.) My rationale it, after spending the amount of time and money that I have, earning my education and perfecting my skills and abilities as a writer and communicator, it is well worth it to have a quality product and physical point of contact for those who’d like to get in touch with me, who may be interested in hiring me or networking with me. I figure, although it may be expensive, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for; it’s worth it to invest in your future.

 

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One comment on “Applied Design: My Professional Contact Card

  1. myraschiffmann
    November 21, 2012

    Fantastic!

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