written by Alma Loveland, Caravan Shoppe co-founder
Last week, I had the privilege of attending Altitude Design Summit in Salt Lake City. I have been attending Alt SLC from the very beginning, and one of the things that I love most about the conference is the exchange of business cards. As a designer, I’ve seen again and again how a business card can immediately legitimize me because it’s the first sample of my work that people see. Where at the beginning of the conversation, the person I’m talking to might not be all that interested in what I do (let’s be honest, it happens a lot), as soon as I hand over a business card, I have seen expressions change again and again, and suddenly a real conversation starts because there’s a visual example of my work and my style.
Many Alt attendees put a LOT of time into their business cards. It’s such a fun way to present yourself, present your brand, and make a connection with people. With the importance of this first impression in mind, I wanted Caravan to have a truly stellar (pun!) business card this year. I’m happy to report that we hit the mark with our business cards. With all our products, we primarily want to make people happy. I was thrilled to see this business card make people smile over and over.
Today I wanted to address two of the most common questions we got about our business card.
Who printed this for you?
Our cards were letterpressed by Rowley Press. We have worked with Leland Rowley for about 4 years now on various projects and cannot recommend him highly enough. Not only is he excellent at printing, but he brings unique ideas to the table and has always helped us execute our ideas. In addition, he is a really nice guy. No, seriously. You might end up being best friends if you work with him once. Are you new to letterpress? It’s okay! Leland will walk you through all the steps and help you to know what to do and how to do it! Read more about our experience working with him below.
After the printing, Rowley Press shipped the uncut cards to Tru Cut in Salt Lake City. We provided them with the die file, and they did all our cutting. Then we were responsible for assembling the cards (inserting eyelets, gluing the sides together). You can read more about THAT party below!
Because we know that everyone at a design conference asks about printing when we hand out letterpress cards, we asked if we could have something to hand out to people curious about letterpress. Leland made us these bookmarks, featuring illustrations by Mike, that include a 25% discount. He’s willing to extend that to you blog readers, too, so if you mention this post, he’ll honor the 25% discount through June 2014.
How did you come up with this concept?
Developing this business card was a lot of fun. Here’s a timeline:
Early December: Leland sends Alma a text asking if she is planning on cards for Alt in January, since he’s getting a few orders in from others preparing. (Nudge, nudge, Alma is usually last minute with her projects. SPOILER ALERT: This time will be no different.) Alma asks Leland to make up a deadline, sometime after Christmas. Leland asks her to be ready with a design January 5th and suggests jokingly that it should include a rocket and a llama.
Late December, after Christmas: Alma and Melanie start talking about business cards. Shoot. We need business cards for Alt. Shoot. They need to be good. Um… what ideas do you have? We throw around general ideas of maybe having a custom die (a cut shape instead of a rectangle). Maybe it is folding, so while it folds down to business card size, you can open it and… maybe something pops out? Maybe our business card is a penguin? Shoot. We have to come up with something.
January 1 (T minus 5 days!): Alma and Mike go out to dinner (happy new year! let’s get to work!) with the intent of refining an idea—any idea!—for a business card. There is a 20 minute wait so they stop in at Soel Boutique, a favorite local shop, and buy several samples of great designs, including this holiday card from Egg Press. Alma says it would be really cool to have something that folds with windows.
Alma and Mike sit down to sushi and go over a dozen different ideas. Wouldn’t it be cool if the card had a moving part?
On the way out of the restaurant, Mike says he’s always liked spinning disks, like View Masters. What if it’s a house with windows and a spinning disk that allows you to see little things in each window?
At home, Alma and Mike get the kids to bed, then bust out the computer to see if it is possible to have a business-card-sized house with windows that allow you to see things happening on a spinning disk. FAIL.
But guess what DOES work? If there is a guy floating inside a rocket… it makes sense and is funny that he’s going around in circles…
January 2: Alma and Mike mock up the idea at the office. They put together a working prototype. Mike chooses not a llama for the inside of the rocket, but a monkey. We are still baffled that we came full circle right back to pretty much the first idea that Leland suggested as a joke.
January 3: Alma and Mike go out to dinner with Leland and his lovely wife Mackenna, show them the working prototype, and get to work talking through any of the design that won’t work for letterpress, making any adjustments, talking logistics, timeline, and assembly.
January 6: Files are prepped! Send them off for plating!
January 14: Business cards arrive at Tru Cut for die cutting.
January 15: Business card pieces are ready for pickup!
January 17: Business card assembly party! It takes 5 of us working over 6 hours to assemble 300 cards.
And, for the record, technically these cards were ready 4 days before I had to go to my first event (Explore Cricut, January 20th) which may be an all-time record for me.