Business cards

Discussion in 'Unity Gossip' started by CharlieSamways, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Hello Unity users,

    Recently ive had a lot of local business asking about my work, and some might be wanting take out menus ect designing.

    I'm wanting to produce myself a business card and get 50 of them or so produced for starters, some questions I have are:

    =Any recommended size templates?
    =How do you go about getting a business card produced? any referee websites?
    =How would you go about designating cut out parts on it
    =pricing
    =and material choices

    I'm hoping someone with experience could aid me.

    Thank you

    -Charlie
  2. sybixsus2

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    I used VistaPrint for mine.

    Judging by my PSD template the size was 1062x615 (full bleed) but they're probably not standardized. I think it's probably best to find the printer you're going to use first, and then use their size guide or download their template. The template will show the safe area within the full bleed size, which is handy.

    When I was comparing places, the going rate was around £15 for 250. I expect you can get smaller batches, but they'll be more expensive - relatively speaking.
  3. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Thanks, im currently looking around for inspiration and these have caught my eye for material usage and style

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    My main focus at the moment is material and sizing, Im thinking of about the size of a credit card.
  4. justinlloyd

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    This is the biggest tip I can give you: Don't go cheap!

    Which boils down to, avoid the "Do it yourself" cards you can buy from an office supply store and print on your own inkjet or laser printer. And avoid the "free" cards you can get that come with ads on them. And avoid the "cheap" cards you can get from a machine.

    Spend your money on quality.

    Until you have a good design portfolio, and a strong sense of design, go simple first.

    You're an artist or designer or professional business person, and you hand me something that is S*** that represents you, I will take one look and dismiss you out of hand. As a professional and a business man, I want to know that you will bring the same quality, professionalism and eye for detail to my work as much as I will. You give me a flexible bit of low-grade card stock with micro-perforations around the edge that was run off on your laser printer, I won't give you the time of day.

    Don't hoard your cards, give them away to anyone that wants one. Carry a few in your wallet, the moment they get bent or discoloured, throw them away and replace them. When you meet a contact or prospective client, don't ask if someone would like a card, give them one.

    When you get your cards printed, open each box and inspect a few of them, check for correct colours, correct alignment, correct fonts, and especially important, correct cut. I had business cards printed that were off by less than a millimeter across the long edge , I sent them back and had the printer redo them at their expense. I won't hand a potential client anything that represents me if it is not grade A and quality checked. Follow that advice, you will never embarrass yourself.

    Also, I have two sets of "business cards." You don't need to do that, but as you grow professionally you might want to consider it. I have my company cards, for when I am seeking business for my company. I have "me" cards for when I just meet someone and we might want to talk further, which contains my LinkIn profile, personal website, Twitter, etc.

    I have a design friend who carries his company cards, and his personal cards. His company cards for his own company are reasonably simple, nicely designed, do the job. His personal cards, that proclaim him to be a designer extraordinaire, provoke a reaction and get attention.

    Two different cards, two different purposes.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
    hippocoder likes this.
  5. satire

    satire

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    Hi Charlie,

    It depends what you'e looking for really, square-cut, rounded edges, die-cut (like in a specific shape) or materials. In my experience, unless it's for a specific promotional event, the standard square-cut ones are the best, they fit in peoples wallets, folders easier are usually cheaper.

    I use a local printing company to get the ones I need done, and I've yet to find a better deal on price and quality. 350gsm silk card is a good thickness and quality, adding a matt laminate can give a great finish too, especially if you want them to really feel top quality. The size of their cards are 85mm x 55mm.

    If you want to, I can always send you out a pack of products with flyers, business cards and postcards so you can see the quality of them.
  6. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Thanks Justin, exactly what i'm thinking, the above images are the quality I have in mind. I want something that the client will look at and think, 'I'm going to keep this' unlike those awful taxi-cab square cards you get. For something like this I don't mind my budget on production being 'unlimited' I have the cash right now to dish out on these so that wont be an issue, I just don't want to jump into doing a design that will have to be changed due to specifications. I'm asking my friends at Koleo about how they did theirs, They look very slick
  7. justinlloyd

    justinlloyd

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    I edited my post, you might want to re-read to get the remaining info. :)
  8. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    I would much appreciate that thanks, Ill PM you in a second, I'm designing a business card logo for a client at the moment so i'm also going to ask him to send me his once its produced, I think I have a fetish for business cards, They just feel great and look great.
  9. justinlloyd

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    I know this sort of veers the topic off in a different direction but it ties in to a whole spiel I give to graduating students:
    1. Make yourself easy to find. LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, blogs, magazines, get your name out there.
    2. Do you have a portfolio? If not, why not? You need a portfolio and you need it now.
    3. Is your portfolio online? If not, why not? You need your portfolio online and you need it now.
    4. Do you have a professional Facebook page for your creative outlet? If not, why not?
    5. Do you have a professional Twitter page for your creative outlet? If not, why not?
    6. Do you have a LinkedIn profile that is regularly updated? If not, why not? You need a LinkedIn profile and you need it now.
    7. Link your college, professional colleagues, clients, teachers, class mates on LinkedIn. Do not link your friends or your family.
    8. Link your college, professional colleagues, clients and teachers on your professional Facebook page. Do not link your friends, your family, or your class mates.
    9. Post on professional Twitter and professional Facebook accounts once a week about a new portfolio piece you just created with a link to it.
    10. Post on professional Twitter and professional Facebook accounts every time you complete a job for a client.
    11. Post on professional Twitter and professional Facebook accounts once a week about some interesting design piece you found online.
    12. Post on your professional Twitter and professional Facebook accounts every time you make a professional blog post. Do not post on professional Twitter and professional Facebook accounts about your personal livejournal-esque emo posts.
    13. Get good quality, professional business cards printed. Treat them like confetti. Give them away to everyone you can, including friends and family. Update your business cards with a fresh look every year or two.
    14. Put a signature on your email
    15. Get a real email address. If you use a free service such as Google, Yahoo! or Hotmail, create a professional account and lose the hotbabe92@yahoo.com or xXultimateslayerzXx@gmail.com in all of your professional communications.
    16. Decide whether you want to promote you, or whether you want to promote your company. It's very important because it will determine who your clients are in the future. It will also determine whether people will try to hire you which makes it very easy to get work in a short amount of time for low sums of money or whether people try to hire your company which means it is harder to get work in a longer amount of time for very large sums of money.
    17. Decide how the lower limit and the upper limit on the job size you are willing to do for clients, then do them. That will enable you to figure out if someone with $500 is worth getting out of bed for or whether someone with a $100,000 budget is too big for you.
    17. Never tell a client "No." Find some other way to dissuade them from trying to hire you, or that something should not be done, and your way is better, but avoid "no" at all costs.
    18. Don't ever turn down work with "No." Use "I'm busy" or "I just don't have the bandwidth" or "that's not quite in my area of specialty" then direct the client to someone in your LinkedIn contacts that may (doesn't have to be absolutely will or can) help the person. Make the introduction between them yourself. Your contact will remember you, so will the client.
    19. Don't ever accept work without thinking about it first. There is rarely, if ever, a job so urgent you need to accept and sign there and then.
    20. Look for the little red flags that potential jobs and clients will raise, e.g. lack of professionalism, poor communication skills, unrealistic budgets.
    21. Get out from behind the keyboard and go places. Meetings, chamber of commerce, guilds, lodges, clubs, lunches, talks, conferences, trade shows, Toastmasters. Go where the money is, not where your friends are.
    22. And if you want lots of work, create visible things in high profile places, clients will seek you out and beg you to work for them.
  10. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Thanks for that Justin! Lots of good information there, I have a all of the above created except a profession Facebook and the business cards, I need to get back on LinkedIn but so far its not treated me well.

    Saved to a document, Thank you very much, You've always been there for advice and I really appreciate it.
  11. Broken Toy

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    Word of advice: Don't get caught in the silly pissing contest of the most alien card ever. I see too many tacky alien designs become unreadable or impractical, which is a design fail in and of itself. It's very hard to pull off correctly.

    A business card's main purpose is to give brand information and contact info on a support that can survive inside a wallet or pocket long enough for the person to transfer it in their contact list and communicate with you. A bold, eye-catching design will therefore trump the material most of the time.

    What a good card design entails:
    • The text is clear: Readable font and size, strong contrast against the background, key words.
    • Your unique, original brand is clearly represented: Logo, what you do, name, whatever.
    • Contact information: If I am to do business with you, I have to contact you somehow!
    Did I mention the information must be readable? I'll mention it again, just in case. If your card is a work of art yet I can't understand what the hell is written on it despite being in plain English, or find complete information, I'll keep it more for the art than to contact you.

    Making the cards:
    • Your awesome design. Use vector graphics for printing quality.
    • Professional printing on professional paper. *cough* Staples' printing service *cough*
    • Proper cutting. Either you do it with your eyes and steady hand, or ask the printer (extra charge).
    I got away with a stack of 200ish cards for around 15$ of printing and a grand total of five hours of work by designing and cutting them myself, and they get in the quality range of most cards I've seen and held from respectable companies (Who likely just go to Staples themselves).

    Most important of all, make those cards and have your name out there. It's much more essential than having the best-looking cards.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  12. justinlloyd

    justinlloyd

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    +1

    Also, I made the mistake of just before a conference, letting one our artists update the company cards. Looked great on screen, came back from the printer, font so small it couldn't be read. Had to trash the cards and use the old ones. Artists are not always designers. Sometimes, they're just artists, and what looks like a nice user interface in a video game, could well make for a lousy business card design.**

    Also, for our company portfolio, we created a "magazine" that shows off projects, talks about solutions, lots of art, etc. Worked out really well, but was somewhat costly to produce.


    ** Not implying that Charlie is an strictly an artist but never a designer or that he will do a lousy job of course. Just saying... ;)
  13. moonjump

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    I've seen some good business cards that came from http://uk.moo.com/

    A photographer had taken advantage of the option to have a different image on the back of each individual card. He went through the cards which had his portfolio spread across them, then gave the potential client the card they liked best.

    Search their site and you will find the free samples they offer, something like 10 business cards to your design.

    If you don't want to go the online route, phone your local printers. They tend to be friendly (or occasionally have no idea of customer service) and will often give good prices and good quality. It is a very competitive market, so they have to be good to stay in business.
  14. TylerPerry

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    i think just a plain busines cards the size of a credit card are best, i prefer fancy ones but then people take them when they have no intresest in what you offer and it will just end up costing you more. but if you hand them out and dont let people take there own, then go for the best looking ones you can find.

    one idear i had is make a realy low poly model then turn it into a papercraft and put it on the back of the bussness card make it so it tars out then you have the sickest card ever as it actualy turns into a demonstration of you ability.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  15. justinlloyd

    justinlloyd

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    Charlie, another sage piece of advice is: make sure you have someone check the grammar and spelling on your business card for you. :)
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  16. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Thanks :)

    Ive started to do the design on a 3.5x2inch template I found online, Will probably start to post images soon, Im going to use 'Taste Of Ink' for my publishing, they are pricy but quality is amazing
  17. Acumen

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    Hope you finally change your website around before you hand out these cards :)
    Cause I'm sure with the spectacular stuff you posted recently the cards turn out awesome and the website doesn't reflect your current level of skill, properly.
  18. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Yeah thanks for that, ive been meaning to update my website but just been to busy. Ill get around to it soon hopefully.

    -Charlie
  19. justinlloyd

    justinlloyd

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    Wordpress and a really clean theme stops your website turning in to a complete mess. :) Mine was static HTML for years and it grew lots of dark corners as my style changed. Had someone create some graphics, I turned it in to a theme, stuck it on Wordpress, done. :) Now when I update a bit of the style it is implemented across the entire website. :)
  20. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Just ordered 50 business cards using Moo.com, not bad for 22pound, I will upload a screen when they arrive on the 30th, Hopefully they look nice.
  21. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Paypal are bastards, just saying.

    Limited my account, dont know what I'm going to do. I sure hope my info passes'
  22. TylerPerry

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    ive been trying to make a 3d buisness card using paralax barier technology but havent got any 3d efects yet,hopefully if i can get it to work i will be rich. you could try to make this work, just make the barrier(lines) on seethrough film and the other picture on normal paper:

    $paralaxsmall2.png $card done.png

    what you do is:
    1. create your image(must be 500 by 300 to work with this barier) and have atlest 1pixle that isent being used around the outside.
    2.save it two times.
    3.open one of the saved ones then copie the barier and place it ontop of it, it should leave black lines making only half the pixels visible. this is picture A
    4. next open up the other one that was saved and move everything you wanto be 3d one pixel side ways(eather way should work i think)this is picture B
    5.lay picture A over picture B but make the black lines transparent save and this is image C.
    6. you are done, just print off the barrier onto transparent film. and print your image(C) off(make shour both are the same size). then place the barrier ontop of the image.

    note that this is a WIP so im still working on making it work i think the main problem is the distance so maby putting a nother piece of film between the barrier and image to make it work. anyway just posted this as it would make a sick buissnes card(glassesless 3d what could be better?):) enjoy
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  23. justinlloyd

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    It sounds like you are talking about a lenticular effect, which has been around since at least the 1940's when the technique became popular.**

    Also, holographic 3D business cards, Google it.

    Also, holographic, bendable, video business cards, don't Google it because you won't find any references to them (probably) but expect them to leave the lab and become mainstream in about 10 years.

    ** But the technique has been known since at least the 17th century.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  24. TylerPerry

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    i am not claiming to have invented the paralax barrier, i just dont think anyone has used it in this kind of thing.

    the main problem with holigrams is that they are expensive to produce and hard to print on(they require special equipment), also they are easily damaged and have a strange texture(due to the triangles). maby if the price of ink for oled screen drops and if there are verry thin batterys and other stuff that is in screens, ive seen a led array made into a buissnes card but that was only a one off and is to expensive to be used for actual use.

    but using a paralax barrier it should be possible to make 3d still images in a way that is cheap(hardly more then normal printing) and can use normal printing machines to be created.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  25. varedis

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    Charlie, Paypal did that to me recently too, if you have filled in all the information they have asked for but it still says awaiting your response, then you need to give them a call on the customer services number otherwise it will never be resolved, I waited almost 2 weeks for a response and got nothing, but a 5 minute phone call and it was sorted.
  26. bigkahuna

    bigkahuna

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    I've been designing (and often creating) my own business cards for decades. I've done everything from building custom one off creations (using multiple media like corrugated cardboard, aluminum foil and brass rivets), to wood carved hand printed originals, to (most recently) two sided generic cards printed at VistaPrint. I think your business card says a lot about your work and how much value you put into it. Don't go cheap and don't be afraid to be creative. I used to subscribe to HOW magazine and got a lot of great ideas there.
  27. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    They denied me, because im not 18. Caught me out I guess.

    Anywho,

    whats better,
    MOO Classic Paper
    A heavy card with a silky finish; this card was chosen for its great print quality and luxurious, thick feel.

    or

    MOO Green Paper
    An unflecked, matte finished paper, this is one of the highest quality 100% recycled papers we've seen.

    Green paper costs more but classic paper sounds better
  28. justinlloyd

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    If the website takes credit cards you can go get an American Express or Visa or Mastercard pre-paid "credit card." Works just like a credit card, but you top it up like a phone card. Not sure if you have to be 18+ to buy them, I don't think you do because people give them as birthday gifts in the USA.

    When life puts up a roadblock and tells you "you can't do that" the true character of a person wanting to succeed will be found.
  29. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    I'm heading into Santander tommorow to set up a bank with them and to say tata to Halifax, as I cant delete my paypal account it means I cant use my halifax card on a new account, So the plan is to set up a paypal in my mums name and attach the new Santander account to it.

    Until then I think ill have to take payments from people through bank to bank, only issue there is the charges for over-sea.
  30. justinlloyd

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    Let me know how that works out for you as I will need to pay you for work. I guess I could always just send you Western Union or an AMEX cheque. :)
  31. CharlieSamways

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    Worst case scenario if you don't want to pay the over-sea fee you can send to my new paypal, it will just mean I can't use it till everything else has set up :) I aim to get it all up and running within a fortnight, banks are lazy!
  32. Silence

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    Let's see the design for the cards!
  33. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    At college, ill post the front once I get home :)

    -Charlie
  34. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    I want to redo the side with text on with a fancy swirly rain drop design, the back of it I like though.
    [​IMG]
  35. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    don't go under 0 on santander, they let you do that, then charge you £10 a day or so forever until you go in person and ask why the F*** why. I got caught out as I didn't bother checking that account.

    They will continue charging even if you have thousands in the account until you tell them not to. Look at the small print.
  36. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Thanks for the info, would you recommend any other firms? I have Santander, HSBC and Yorkshire bank nearby. And a Halifax but im leaving them.

    Also do you have Skype Hippo? I'm probably going to be bugging you a lot soon ;)

    -Charlie
  37. andorov

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    A bit of critique on your design (that is, if you are soliciting it)..

    It seems awkward that you label your website, phone number and email but do not label the twitter account. No one is going to look at an email address or website address and go 'well what the F*** is that?' but look at '@something' and go 'well I know what that is!'

    I would drop the labels all together, to be honest. They look a bit awkward.
  38. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Okay thanks for the input :) Ill have a play around
  39. Zoe

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    I like that you're using a color as your signature feature, if someone is looking through their wallet to find your card they know to look for the green one. However, the front looks a bit too busy and why use raindrops on the back?

    I think you should stick with either stripes or raindrops and keep it tone on tone. That way the overall look will be more cohesive and flow nicely. Try picking one symbol/pattern and using just that because the raindrops and stripes and shield shape don't really match.
  40. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Thanks Zoe :) changing the text side definatly
  41. moonjump

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    I was with Abbey for many years, but they have gone downhill since Santander took over. I have a business account with HSBC and have found them much more professional.

    EDIT: And some minor suggestions for your latest design:

    Change "3d/2d" under your name to "3D/2D" for consistency.
    Consider changing "Artist" to "Art" on the logo so it is about what CJS is producing for the client. Your title under the name already says what your role is.
    Have all you email address in lower case.
    Put a space in your phone number so that it is more readable.
    Consider reordering the 4 pieces of information in length so that the longest is at the top. They will follow the diagonal design, and is a reasonable order to show them.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  42. AnomalusUndrdog

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    How about put a twitter-like logo beside your twitter username (if that's what it is), because its not obvious right now
  43. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Thanks for all the input :) Definatly changing what you said

    I think ill design my own little green twitter icon, I dont want the a normal twitter one to clash with the green

    Thanks everyone
  44. Acumen

    Acumen

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    uuuuh.
    Is that ordered already ?
  45. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Nope, when I said I ordered I meant to say I was ordering, but my paypal went on me.
  46. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Hate the text side, re done and I prefer it in blue to be fair.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  47. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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  48. Duskling

    Duskling

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    I like it!
  49. Acumen

    Acumen

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    To be honest, I'm kinda irritated.
    There is not that eloquent font usage you showed in all your previous work. Just a bland font. And the striped pattern is too much for me, kinda. You linked to some really nice and delicate designers business cards and I think you have the ability to push yours much more. The stripes all over the place, they are so thick and uuh....
    I don't know. It's so bold and in your face, instead of subtle and designerish, kinda :/
    Maybe revisit once more ?
  50. Broken Toy

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    My utterly personal opinion? If you left those cards in a pile and I caught a glance at them, I'd actually bother to read and take one if I think I need the services of a freelance artist.

    Now call it a day and go on with making your art. :p
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2011