ITP Blog

My journey in making things

Visual Language – Business Cards

For this week’s assignment we had to come up with a visual language for ourselves and produce a business card design. This blog post is meant to describe the process of conceptualizing through execution, and lessons I learned along the way.

  • Conceptualising:

I started by examining design patterns I liked before, and stuff I created for myself before coming to ITP, but this time looking at everything critically with some tools acquired in this course. The following example, is a logo I designed for myself about a year ago:

penrose

This logo was inspired by penrose triangle,  a part of the impossible geometry group of shapes, conceived first by swedish designer Oscar Reutersvärd.

  • References and influences:

Before I actually started designing I took sometime, looking for inspiration, designs and studios that create designs I can relate to, so I can analyse the elements of design I would like to incorporate in my visual language

A list of influences:

http://www.stockholmdesignlab.se/

http://bunchdesign.com/

http://the-studio.se/

Here are some elements I discovered about myself while analysing reference designs:

  1. I like BOLD typography
  2. I prefer Sans Serif fonts, if the readability allows so
  3. In terms of colors I lean more to slightly under-starturated colors (very generally, case specific)
  4. I love minimalism, brutalism and a couple of other ism’s.
  5. I really like nordic designers in general
  • Designing:

After some time I started designing, I realised I want to tackle what I felt most uncomfortable with, before this course, TYPOGRAPHY.

carddesign
final card with grid

I actually started by font choice, in which I decided to use ‘Mr Eaves XL Mod OT’ . I tested some combinations of Serifs with Sans-Serifs but ended up going with the Sans Serif option altogether

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-20-06-44
attempt at combining Serif and Sans Serif fonts
screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-19-50-25
the font I eventually chose

I then started to mix color combinations for the front & back, as I knew I want some sort of the contrast between them, but preferred a light contact information, and so ended up with a palette that looks like

color
‘why so serious’ color palette

I have a love-hate relation with ‘place holders’, but in this design process I used the well known (and arguably infamous) ‘Lorem Ipsum’ , text to decide about fonts. At some point after many try outs I actually had a ‘eureka’ moment and I figured a business card is somewhat of a place holder for me, it is ‘What I think I am’, ‘What I want to be’ and when the design is bad, ‘What I am totally not’. Following this point I decided to use the ‘Lorem Ipsum’ text in the backside of the card in a dark color combination with the background to create some sort of subtlety with the very ‘bold’ font choice and the amount of text.

backside
I would love to have had these characters extruded in print

For the front side, I chose to minimise the data to the very bare minimum and using slight color and size variations to create hierarchy

frontside

  • Printing (A.K.A why I hate Staples):

After completing the design, I was referred to Staples as a print house. I did they’re online graphic submission which was way to easy for such a delicate process, but given my very limited knowledge, looked pretty reasonable.

I ended up picking the cards only to find out the colors were misinterpreted in the print process, and I actually got an invisible back side, and print artifacts (smudges and stains to name a few).

20161016_202736

  • Lessons I learned:
    • Good designs take time, carful conception all the way to execution
    • Design never ends in design, you always have to prefect the medium too, if it’s cards, make sure they’re perfectly printed, USE THE MEDIUM.
    • I acctualy learned Illustrator (if that counts as a lesson)
    • Never force an idea, you might dislike your rushed execution while the idea might be very good
    • Always print a sample to see everything is good and sharp
    • Never go to Staples unless your shopping for Sharpies

 

Hi I am Or, I am a director, developer and artist. My current interest in research is sound interaction, computer vision & immersive media development.

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