Match Frame

Thoughts from an American editor and filmmaker in New Zealand about film and video production and post-production. Plus whatever else I feel like talking about.

Location: Balmoral, Auckland, New Zealand

A work in progress.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

less talk, more pictures

I decided I should finally design a business card.

Armed with my purchase at Borders (Design Elements: A Graphic Style Manual, by Timothy Samara) and possibly more enthusiasm than taste, I have come up with five designs:

Any preferences? Thoughts? Cautionary tales about what business card printing is apt to do?


Anonymous Sara said...

Am I boring if I say I really like the first one?

Unfortunately, the grass in the last option reminded me of pubic hair. Which might say more about me than about the design.

15/9/07 3:46 AM  
Anonymous tODD said...

One difficulty I would have in truly assessing the best card for you would be that I don't know what you want it to say. Professional? Quirky? Hip? It's not merely a matter of the one that looks most pleasing, of course. From the examples presented here, I can't say that there's an obvious theme in what you want to say.

I feel the first is too busy, and I couldn't tell if the background was hair, grass, or brushed metal. Either way, the important contact details are too hard to read.

The second is better in dealing with this background, although any meaning in the image is lost, and it becomes merely texture. However, I feel it would work better on a white background. And I'm not crazy about the font at the bottom. Something ... less round.

The main problem I have with the third and the fourth is that the "i" in "editor" doesn't work for me. It takes too long to work out what's really going on. Especially in the third one.

Compositionally, I think the fifth one is nice, although you run the risk of people thinking your first name is Dillaman. That said, it contains the least amount of information about what you actually do. Is "Editor" enough in your sphere to convey all that? I mean, really -- I don't know.

It's a bit odd to me that you have varying amounts of information in these cards. I'd think that would be a constant, with only the design changing. Again, this goes back to the issue of what the purpose of your business card should be.

Signed, Todd the Solely-critical, yet Desirously-helpful

15/9/07 4:34 AM  
Blogger dd said...

So this is why I'm not a professional graphic designer. ;)

Sara, you're never boring! Actually the "brush" in Photoshop in the last card is the same as in the first, just with a different color and spread out more. To emphasize the, um, pubic hair-ness of it all, or something. It made sense last night.

Todd, thanks for the lengthy critique - your words about the branding of Ertia back in the day were going through my head as I started on this project (which truthfully was mostly me spending half a Friday evening in front of the computer after getting fired up by a graphic design book). Whether I've absorbed those lessons, of course, is obviously open to debate ...

As you might have guessed, I'm still working out what I do want to say with my card. On one hand, having a sharp focus on editor makes it clear that that's what I do professionally (whereas listing a bunch of junk that I like to do but don't get paid for makes it look like I'm casting my net out desperately for anything); on the other hand, the more I try to enter into the other worlds of filmmaking, the more limiting it would be to have a card that just said "editor". I did the cards in the reverse order from what's posted here (i.e. the top one last), and as I went, I started experimenting with additional information for reasons of both how one deals with the space and for informational reasons. (I eventually realized that in more general situations, "editor" doesn't obviously imply moving images.)

As far as the "image", which ideally would be branded across the website as well once I'm done: technically competent but creatively savvy. Enough flair to look like an artist, enough coherence to be trusted. The idea was to combine hard lines with soft details to create something that had elements of precision and elements of organic structure.

I had a hard time coming up with relevant graphic details. For a long time I thought about using a razor blade (referencing how editing used to be done), but I a) never found a satisfactory image and b) wonder if it gives a retro/confusing message. Actually, the third and fourth ones bear the most visual reference - the horizontal stripe evokes the editing timeline for me.

In terms of content, having slept on it, I'd say the second card hits the right balance of the "editor" type cards, neither too much (like three and four) or too little (like five). (I played around with the proportion of the font on the bottom, which might be why you think it looks too round.) Obviously the first card is a completely different slant

Here's a couple other "terms" of what I want to convey, so if they evoke any brilliant ideas, let me know: storytelling. narrative structure. managing complex tasks. working to realize a vision. pleasant to work with. trust. security.

What I don't want is to oversell the computer-y side of it. Although one idea I had involved the "J/K/L" keys (common editing interface) and making it work with the double l's in my name, but I never quite worked it out.

For some reason the image of a mountain is coming to mind. But I just woke up, so that may be a silly idea.

15/9/07 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like #4. Has more information that 1, 2 or 5 and I like the alignment of the first and last name.

My 2 cents.


20/9/07 3:00 PM  
Blogger J. said...

I want this to be helpful, but it probably won't be. I apologize in advance: I'm sorry.

The first would work really well as a stamp. Like if you were to thump that onto a tan-tan people'd really know who you are and what you do. (Can you have a stamp made? 'Cause that would be a pretty bitchin' business card - albeit one that might end your career.)

The second one looks like a standard business card. Perhaps 'editor' should be shrunk a bit more? I like this one, but I'm not big on the hairiness/scratchiness of the bigger letters. It muddies the simplicity.

#3 & 4: As these are largely the same, I refuse to choose between them except to say I prefer 3 generally, but 4's non-blackness.

5: Thanks to sara, I only see pubes now. Lots and lots of pubes. But only on the left snd I DON'T KNOW WHY. Also, it looks as if your names are transposed.

20/9/07 9:30 PM  

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