Monday, April 7, 2008

Twice Inna Lifetime

A Card Carrying Member... the history of my business cards.

I found my first business card the other day. I had designed it when I went into the freelance graphic arts business. So this all started as Wizard Graphics way back in 1987. Since I have a copy of all my biz cards, I thought I would review them...

My 1st Biz card: Nobody beats the Wiz!
The name Wizard Graphics seems really dumb 20 years later. I was not a Dungeons & Dragons dude and I never particularly like medieval stuff. A lot of people in high school called me 'wiz' as a nickname, though I am almost convinced it had nothing to do with Michael Jackson or Diane Ross. Sporting the tag-line "designs that work magic" and an illustration of a mean looking wizard.... I was ready to take on the world. This card was produced by hand kids, using a typewriter, press type (rub on lettering) and hand-drawn art. The outline border was line/rule tape applied by hand and a ruler... really, nice corners, eh?

My 2nd Biz card: Purple Rain...
My second card dropped the wizard character, but kept the non de plume. This card was done in the early '90s as I was working in the pre-press business. It was a step up design-wise and featured a 2 color design on good, paper company paper with a smooth-ass gradient-- which I had paid to get made by a printer.... no, I didn't just fade from one color to another in Illustrator, this custom screen was made using film. The cards cost me a lot and features bad kerning, which for the life of me, I can't figure out why.

My 3rd Biz card: Smooth Gradient Operator...
My third card was produced all digital and I matched up my own screen gradients in Freehand. It carries my early love of purple from the last card but has a format changed to a risky new layout- vertical! Again including some bizarre kerning decisions, this card was glossy. Ick, there was a time when glossy equaled 'spend some money on these babies!'

My 4th Biz card: Minimalism for You and Me...
The fourth card was for the official start-up business with the name change to OtherWisz. A play off my last name, Wisz, the card was run for free with a batch of something like 8-9 other cards, mostly photographers I had convinced to all get new cards at the same time! This card was apparently when I finally learned to kern type. The OW card had a simple design and matched a website with the same layout having a thin purple line running across the page. This card circa. 1990 signaled a new era in Wisz-fueled design.

Our 5th Biz card: We have a Winner....
Now, with the fifth card, we really were on to something. J. had officially joined the team and we worked hard to build the OtherWisz brand, which consisted of the new logo (our cattle brand) embossed on some great yellow card stock. The card came in a sweet package including (printed for the 1st time of this story) letterhead and matching envelopes! You know we were now official and the collateral won an Addy that year. Flip the card and J. is on the deboss side, well she is 'de boss' ya know.... ha!

Our 6th Biz card: Leaving an Impression!
Which brings us to our 6th and current card. The fancy new OtherWisz card carries the same logo die on extra heavier, really white paper showing the beauty of the logo as it was meant to be: no color -on- no color. The subtle emboss didn't come out in these scans very well, but if you send me your address, I will mail you a card.

This card was also close enough to our last card that we could use the letterhead left over from the first run. The flip side is extra fancy with J. sporting the knockout from a bright yellow full bleed. This card highlights a new tagline "little firm, big solutions" and gets a lot of "ooohhs, embossed" from people... what will be next?

You can click on the cards for larger views >>

Video Bonus: Mike Jackson and Diane Ross in the movie,
The Wiz
, singing Ease on Down the road. Classic- click here.

No comments: