Photographer business card for critique

cfig's picture

This is a card design in progress for a photographer friend of mine, he's a wedding photographer with a bit of an edge whose style is a rather outside the traditional wedding box.

We decided to use his somewhat offbeat personality to really brand him as part of his business, the mark was developed a while back and we printed a simple two-sided card. He's now moving into a higher end market segment and wants to do a richer looking letterpress card along with some other collateral.

This is my first shot at the business card, the typeface in the mark and for his name is Gotham, the info is set in Eplica. I'm thinking we'd print this with a silver metallic and a gold on dark gray stock. I like the way the mark and his name feel but I think they could be set a bit higher, I don't know if I like how the contact info falls at this point.

jsml's picture

i like it! love the logo part...i might like to see the rectangle/frame/focus point thing in a thinner line and a teeny bit further from the letters just to see what it looks like, but i think this is great.

if this were mine (which it is not), i might also play more with the typography of the info below. to me, it seems a little out-of-place. maybe a more modern sans serif or serif in all caps or all lower caps. (i know you are probably trying to avoid that b/c his URL is clinttakesphotos.) perhaps you can differentiate between those words by reviving the yellow and making 'clint' and 'photos' yellow, but 'takes' in white.

cfig's picture

Thanks, and some good thoughts. I'm kind of hanging onto the serif as I like the way "photgrapher" plays off the solidness of the name, and I think it worked well on the original card which actually did use small caps for the info (below). Some good ideas on how to break that up though, let me do some more playing with it. Appreciate the input.

sandrosandro's picture

I think that you should move up all the information on vertical version of business card. Name is beneath and close to optical middle and it looks like it would fall. Also mail and number information are placed too close to the end and looks like it would fall of the card.
_

Sandro

cfig's picture

Thanks, I agree the placement of the type needs a bit of work.

jsml's picture

i like the back that you're showing in your reply post: i like how you carry the frame reference through. maybe to make it look less like text brackets, i would make their vertical "bends" a little longer, closer to what you might see in the camera frame??? just a suggestion. also, i have a bad reaction to small caps...i like your other use of capitals better ClintTakesPhotos as opposed to small caps shown in your update.

just suggestions!!!

bemerx25's picture

Be careful not to get too much "National Geographic" association into it! (maybe use a different color than yellow for the "frame" element).

cfig's picture

Good thoughts, thanks. I think I'm going to lose the frame idea for the letterpress card (though I do like the idea) as we're going to a one-sided format and I'm not sure there's really enough room for it. I wouldn't be opposed to integrating into the one-sided version if I can figure out a solution, however.

One other person has mentioned the National Geographic thing :) I'm not too worried about it as it's more a loose association than anything else, he's also been using the yellow as a brand color for a while now so it's a bit late to change it.

evanbrog's picture

this reminds me a lot of another one i've seen.

i can't find it right now, will post if i do.

but same basic concept, just that the frame is on the L and R rather than top and bottom. the frame mark became kind of a decorative element on the piece as well.

hard to explain! i'm just saying very similar. but i'm sure there's no copyright on using FRAMES for PHOTOGRAPHY.

if you use that first picture, move up the bottom lines of copy away from the edge. i also wouldn't mind the CLINT part moved up a bit to look like it fits within a true square

sandrosandro's picture

Problem with identities with frames, finder, viewer and so on are always present in photography. Maybe to change that focus of photography and to focus more on what these photographies(Clint's) represent.

Nice, clean and stylish wordmarks are often the best solution.
_

Sandro

cfig's picture

Thanks for the thoughts but at this point we're not looking to redesign the mark, it's already been in use for a while with some good success. I actually did a lot of research before doing the mark and didn't run across any photographer using the viewfinder idea like we've attempted to. Most wedding photographers actually have terrible identities as I've learned, and they seem to like scripty type :)

evanbrog, good ideas, thanks. we had actually talked about doing a square card with the mark at one point so I do like the idea of creating that visual square there.

Matthew Dixon's picture

I really like the fact that you are escaping the traditional, scripty wedding photographer identity but (and maybe this is just me) I can't see the word 'Clint' in all upper-case sans without thinking 'please increase the tracking, because it looks incredibly rude'.

MattBurns's picture

I like the original business card much better.

cfig's picture

Matthew, I've heard one other comment on that but I think (luckily) you're in the minority :)

gthompson's picture

I'm assuming the card is standard size 12P x 21P. I suggest moving all the text up 20pt then. This is approximately the average between the distance from the left edge of the card to the yellow box/distance from the left edge to "C" in Clint. Hard to measure it accurately on a jpg, but that should be close. The visual focus stays on the mark and pulls all the text into a single unified form. This puts it below the vertical center, but the smaller space at the bottom works with the lighter type and brings your eye back to the mark. I think centering it vertically would give you an odd looking space at the top and it won't relate as well to the side spaces.

If you want a two-sided card I suggest just putting the mark alone, same placement as the reverse and switch the color scheme like you did in the second example: Yellow background, box in white, Clint in grey.

I wouldn't do anything else. You could work with the line spacing between the type blocks, but it will work fine without having to do that and I think that length of time vs. diminishing returns makes it kind of nitpicky.

In my opinion.

George
I felt bad because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no Bodoni

cfig's picture

Good thoughts, thanks George. As we're leaning towards a letterpress card I think one-sided may be the way to go, I like the sound of your alignment ideas so I'll try them and see how it works. Any thought on the information typeface itself?

manofscience's picture

Does CLINT in this geometric sans treatment look a bit like the 'c-word' to anyone?
Don't shoot the messenger!

--
Henry Hadlow - Graphic Design / Art Direction

gthompson's picture

I think your type choices work fine. I agree with having photographer in italic, makes a nice contrast against the sans. You've clearly delineated the information. As I said, I wouldn't change anything beyond placement. The card works well, and no it doesn't look like the "c-word," The spaces within the mark are pretty consistent so there's no confusion.

You could fiddle with different faces for the text, but the way it is now there is a four step hierarchy and that's not going to get a lot better with different typefaces. Of course it's hard to tell from the jpg.

And if you're going letterpress, price out a blind emboss for the mark which would make it even more striking. Just a thought.

George
I felt bad because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no Bodoni

hrant's picture

Tell him to change his last name to Shuttersworth.

Seriously: use a narrower "C".

hhp

cfig's picture

Thanks for the input guys. Here's the card reworked with a sans and a serif, a bit bigger so it's a little more readable. I went all caps with the sans as I felt the titlecase didn't quite work there.

hrant's picture

The "C" is too much heavier than the
"T", causing an unpleasant imbalance.

Smaller issue: I would raise all the periods to midpoints.
Also, the "@" in the righthand version is too low.

hhp

cfig's picture

I thought that's what you were referring to in the earlier post but to be honest I'm just not seeing it. Both characters are the same typeface/weight/etc., I don't know how to really change anything there without it looking very off.

Good call on the @ though, that does need to be a bit higher. I'll play with the dots a bit as well.

kingdom_graphics's picture

when i first saw it, i got distracted into thinking there was a play on the LIN somewhere in the name or the card, how about working in an abstract image of an aperture or a tripod into the identity, or is it his logo that can't/won't be changed? it doesn't /say/ photography in the nonverbal aspect of the design.

In the spirit of unbridled creativity,

Troy Vera
Kingdom Graphics
http://www.kingdomgraphics.biz
Yahoo IM: kingdom_graphics
Skype: kingdom_graphics

cfig's picture

If anyone is curious, how they turned out:

cfig's picture

and a better image... (helps to have a photographer as the client)

brianskywalker's picture

Wow. I wasn't too sure about the design when looking at your earlier examples, but printed it's amazing. Love it.

Oh, for the record, I'm not a Gotham fan.

Briän

evanbrog's picture

where did you get tthat card stock with the yellow innards? that is sweet!

cfig's picture

Thanks guys, I agree the flat design isn't that impressive but I had an idea of how they'd look and they luckily came out even better than I expected.

The cards are actually edge tipped (painted) after they're trimmed and they were printed on a thick charcoal stock to allow for a nice meaty colored edge. Printing by Studio On Fire who did a fantastic job.

kamolahy's picture

all I can think of is National Geographic.

apankrat's picture

Would you look at that ? :-)

http://cardobserver.com/gallery/photographer-business-card

PS. And I see that stoneandwoodconcepts.com issue seems to be resolved. Good news.

cfig's picture

Cool stuff, I hadn't see that yet, thanks! It's actually been picked up on a few sites so far, the printed piece is really beautiful.

and yes, that issue...worked out. You'll understand if I refrain from extensive comment :-)

MrMoto's picture

I'm afraid I had the same initial reaction as zrenneh! Now that I know what it actually says, though, the final product looks very nice.

penn's picture

I saw that on card observer, very nice.

What's the paper they're printed on?

penn

hrant's picture

BTW, is CardObserver like the place to be for this? Do people who shop for
business card design check it out, or is it mostly for impressing peers?

hhp

cfig's picture

I dunno, I'll let you know if I get any work from it :)

penn, they're printed on French Durotone Steel Grey 100C that was custom duplexed to 200C.

apankrat's picture

@hrant - not sure about getting the jobs from the cardobserver placement, but it does generate a steady stream of referrers. Though the quality of their content has gone down somewhat, just compare recent entries with what they had in the beginning.

Special-K's picture

Beautiful, but I saw what zrenneh & MrMoto see too, before even reading the thread here. I saw the LI in CLINT as a U.

hrant's picture

Academic now, but: the "L" could have a short upward serif.

hhp

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