As I mentioned in my blog post last week, I have been a busy bee lately, both personally and professionally; and today I am going to focus on the latter. First, I attended the FITC event: Web Unleashed, which was in mid-September, and then I also began the Entrepreneurship 101 course (which was started by the Mars Discovery District). Both of these “events” led me to step out of my introverted comfort zone and actually meet and talk to people.
After the first night of Entrepreneurship 101, many of the students/attendees/future-entrepreneurs headed out to Startup Drinks Sudbury, where we could meet our peers and even some entrepreneurs that already had startup companies. All of this meeting and greeting has definitely forced me to try and perfect this talking thing they call networking. But am I doing it right? know that I’m a great person once people get to know me… but until then I always just feel awkward, and I really don’t like talking about myself. I usually quickly introduce myself with the following info:
I’m a Multimedia Designer, which means that I do things like graphic design and web design, videos, etc. Basically anything that has to do with a computer.
I then try and spend the rest of the time listening to other people (which I actually like doing, I love hearing about other peoples’ passions and ideas). But from there, people (and especially people who are about to start a business) begin to realize that… “hey maybe I can use some of these services!” (Which is a good thing for me I guess).
So then comes to the end of the evening, or even the end of the conversation, and dun… dun … dun… (cue dramatic music) the exchange of business cards!
Whether it’s a social convention or not, or the fact that someone may ultimately be interested in what you do, a business card is a great tool to have to remind people of your connection. And of course you want to leave a good impression! So, to paraphrase/copy a message from one of the speakers at FITC Toronto:
If your business card sucks, you suck.
And as a designer, it’s almost a given that your card needs to stand out. For most people, a business card may be something that is given to you when you join a company, so it may not be something you can change. Or, you could just be starting up and have no time/money to get someone to design them for you, and you resort to doing them yourself. This is similar to my first set of cards, in that I didn’t have time to get anything designed or printed, so I got a kit from Staples and printed them at my house.
These were super basic, had my name, website address and I even signed each one by hand with a gel pen in a matching ink (which didn’t take too long since I only printed a couple of sheets).
When I got around to designing something, I decided to get them printed at Moo. There were a lot of people in my program who were using them at that time, and they offered smaller batch printing at a pretty good cost. The quality of the cards was great as well, and the corners were automatically rounded, which is a nice effect. This design also tied in nicely with my website, with the same purple as the background being used on the front. My thought process here by going sideways and placing my name way at the top, was that if people filed the cards in the slots of their wallets, my name would easily be visible.
Something that Moo does best, and honestly I haven’t found another printing company that offers this – is multiple design printing options! So basically, you can have one side that stays constant (such as your contact information) and then you can upload multiple designs for the other side, so it’s like giving a different card to each person. Not only can small businesses or startups take advantage of this by doing the opposite (having a constant brand message on one side, and then switching up the contact information for each employee on the other), but it’s a great option for people who are targeting multiple demographics, you can have different pictures or designs for different potential clients. For me, all I did was just have my contact info displayed in each their own unique way.
Now, as I mentioned last week… I have designed my new business cards! I don’t hand too many cards out, so the 50 pack from Moo lasted a couple of years. I am now down to less than ten (well, just count the ones in that picture, and that’s all I have left!).
So as you can see from the blog title photo, I’ve given a little sneak peek at the new design, yay! In case you missed it, here it is again:
So basically, you can make out some purple and some… rainbows! Yep that’s right, I’ve been inspired once again from my website and personal branding design (as you should be) and emulated that style into my new cards. I also have this image on my canvas for me to take inspiration from:
I’ve just loved the design of my old portfolio site (version 2.0 and 2.1 which can still be seen online, … if you have Flash installed). Note, the information is outdated but I’ve kept it linked on my site as both an example of my work, as well as a point of reference for designs, etc. Anyways, when I updated my website to version 3.0 – I simplified the navigation and tried to make it more consistent with other website designs, and unfortunately, also removed the Flash content 🙁
So in my new business cards, I have:
- Removed my phone number (I live in a different area code now, and people always question why it’s “outdated”)
- Kept the purple
- Incorporated the rainbow colour scheme (and of course, matched the colours perfectly as before!)
- Added my email address
- And yes, I’ve kept my “Nicole” signature, which has been prevalent since my first business card design
Next week, I shall discuss printing and stock options… oh my!
Until then 🙂