Over the past few years I’ve found myself meeting a lot more people at random out in the world than I was used to for much of my life. Some have given me their numbers, or friended me on Facebook, and some have given me their cards, both business and personal. It became clear that leaving the onus on the other person to reach out and provide contact info was needlessly limiting, so I decided to put together some kind of personal identity item I could hand out. I found myself potentially a little in-between business and personal, wanting to be open to and potentially showcase my skills and experience, or at least interests, but also to keep it casual and open-ended, as functional for a new potential work contact as for a possible date. And I didn’t want to carry two cards. So…
I started by reaching out to a couple of friends for inspiration, advice, and collaboration. My friend Andrea was particularly helpful in one memorable and fun evening of cocktails, sketches, and discussion. Here’s something that she drew of a cocktail I made, taking inspiration from one of my more prominent hobbies (which we shared a good amount of that evening!).
After that, I tried numerous experiments and had several other ideas. I thought about lettering formed out of unusual animals (another passion, if not hobby, of mine), e.g. an ‘O’ made of a curled pangolin. It turned out a friend knew an artist who had made something very similar, and he had a very nice style. I tried various pre-made designs, and worked to incorporate some unique element of my own.
Ultimately I decided that, rather than spend as long as it took to find the “perfect” style and approach, it would be better to get something out there that I could use (I met several people in the time I was experimenting that I wished I’d had a card for!). So while I work toward a more fully-formed design and style, I put together something simple. I think it says a good deal about me but also keeps it from getting too specific, and is also hopefully memorable. The front is of course contact info and a few of the things I like and do, while the back is a series of selected photos from my past 15+ years of a photo hobby. I ordered from Moo, which many people seem to like, and they let you provide multiple unique back images for free, so I have a selection of 9 different images (though all with the same slogan). This lets people pick their favorite when I give them out, if they want, which is a fun added element. It will definitely do until I have something more refined put together, and so far they’ve been well-received!