It’s been a while since I made some business cards, but I really wanted something to leave with folks I meet at conferences and meetups that would be both memorable and personal.
A tall order for some business cards, but I think I did alright. Here’s how it came together.
I wanted every card to have a personal touch, and a unique touchpoint for every person that received one. I know cards are a bit dated so my primary focus was to get them to _want to_ find me online.
So I thought, what about a unique QR code for each card? That’d be great start for a unique experience online, but different QR codes are not visually distinctive.
Okay, what about in addition to those QR codes there’s a unique plaid swatch on each card too? Now we’re talking! Plaid is kind of my thing, and making a custom plaid color palette for each person would be really memorable.
To pull that off, I knew I could take advantage of what Moo refers to as Printfinity, basically they let you upload a unique back to every single card you order.
I already have a plaid swatch generator (read more about how I made the plaid swatch generator here) so I jumped right into creating 50 unique color palettes. This was likely the most time consuming part, but the end result was so worth it!
I used the SVG Export Chrome extension to grab a copy of all the unique SVGs for later use.
I just googled “QR Code Generator” and found this one called QRExplore that was able to generate them all in one go. I was dreading having to make these individually manually so this was a welcome shortcut!
Personalized Contact Pages#anchor
I then got to work building out the pages that the QR codes point towards. Each QR code has a unique code at the end that lets me know which particular card – and thus which plaid swatch – the person received.
So the page itself features that same plaid fairly prominently, just after a big vCard download button (because that’s the #1 reason they’re here in the first place). I’m hoping the vCard is a helpful touch, so folks could add me to their contacts as easily as possible.
Since I went through all the trouble of making these unique plaid swatches, I saved them all as exportable SVGs so the recipient can download and use them too. I’m surrounded by exceptionally creative people all the time, hoping something fun comes out of this!
Because I plan on keeping card #1, I’ll share the URL to it here so you can see the final result for yourself, Card 1 of 50 Contact Page.
While I’m not a designer by trade, I do occasionally enjoy exploring creative layouts and personal projects like this are the perfect time for that. I used Affinity Designer to pull my assets in and get to work.
After a whole lot of fiddling (which I didn’t screenshot unfortunately) I settled on a fairly unconventional portrait orientation for both the front and back of the cards.
I made the sections that don’t change into symbols first, just in case I spotted a typo or wanted to change something, at least I wouldn’t need to do it 50 times later on.
Then, I copied the back artboard 9 times horizontally, selected all 10 and copied them again vertically 5 times to end up with 50. The next time sink was then replacing the plaid backgrounds on every card back, and adding the unique QR codes to each of them.
Because I’m a web developer with a deeply engrained sense of “measure twice and cut once” I also then manually tested each and every QR code before sending this off to print.
The Printed Cards#anchor
I went with Moo mainly because of the Printfinity, without which this whole idea wouldn’t have been possible. But, I also knew they had a 100% recyclable print option and that was one of my only requirements for printing. I’m trying to be mindful of my environmental impact and wanted to make sure these cards matched that intent.
It wasn’t until around this point that I realized I took some chances on several of the color combinations I used and wasn’t quite sure if they’d translate on card stock. I live and breathe RGB, I’ve seen that mindset lead to some muddy results when translating to CMYK, and yet I still didn’t think about it til the end. Oh well, I thought, let’s just go for it and see.
The Grand Reveal#anchor
The day my cards arrived felt like my birthday, I could not wait to see how they turned out in print.
After testing a handful of the QR codes (again) and satisfied I actually pulled this off. I let it sink in that it’s a real thing now.
I’m happy with how they all turned out, some are more muted and others a whole lot more vibrant in print but that just adds to the variety I think.
With my order, I also purchased a neat ShowCase to hold a bunch of them (pictured above). It’s the perfect way to let folks pick the swatch they like the most.
So, now if we meet in person be sure to ask for your very own one of a kind business card!
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