Quickie Business Card Design 8: Return of Dot Story

Quickie Business Card Design 8: Return of Dot Story

Yes, South by Southwest Interactive 2008 is about to spring again in Austin, Texas, and I am again way behind on my preparation. However, I did finally decide to get business cards printed up beforehand, using Hotcards.com on the suggestion of the Twitterverse. I really liked the Hotcards website experience and the copywriting, so I am taking a chance on them, though it is pricier than some of the other business card services I’ve seen at $60/1000 plus shipping. Still, I have a penchant of putting my dollars where the user experience catches my eye.

Since this is the first time I’ve ever had the opportunity to print double-sided cards, I tried to put something together quickly. After a couple of hours of trying to put some Printable CEO-style graphics on the back, I remembered the old dot story concept on my really early cards. I never liked the way that design had worked, as it felt “all over the place” to me. With the extra room to play with, though, the dot story became viable.

Dot Story Unfortunately, I thought of the “Structure / Story” tag pair after I had submitted the job to press; the cards I get will say “Structure / Design”. This sort of works still, but it isn’t as relevant to the story-based approach I take to design work. And, the alliteration sounds way better to my ear.

The front of the card is still the same general design I had from the previous round, though I have changed the text to reflect my incremental movement out of interactive and toward general design:

david seah – providing insight + ideation via information graphics and investigative design services

The text is broken with short lines, coor, and selected bold on keywords. It reads clunkily off the tongue, but it convey something. Not the greatest piece of marketing copy in terms of fluidity, but they may work better as conversational keyword starters. I’m not entirely happy with it:

Front of Card Making these kinds of decisions can drive me nuts, as I’m prone to have long “should have / could have” internal conversations with myself. At some point, you just got to see how people react. Perhaps for my first double-sided card I should have used a cheaper service. Oh well!


  1. Britt 16 years ago

    The cards look great, Dave. Can’t wait to see one in person at SXSW. :-)

  2. Joan 16 years ago

    I like it!

  3. Kenton A Hoover 16 years ago

    “Giving Insight”…

    Hmm, insight is an internal process. You can give an opportunity to gain insight, or explain your own, but you can’t provide it to others.

  4. Dave Seah 16 years ago

    Kenton: Oh, that’s an interesting wrinkle! Let me think about that…insight here could be the process of internal reflection and integration of data (which I think is what you’re talking about). I think the way I meant it was providing the results of my own internal reflection process. What would that be called?

  5. beth 16 years ago

    I can’t help but think these would be extra awesome with the addition of embossing in some of the dots!

  6. John Ballantrae 16 years ago

    From insight   …
    to out of sight!

  7. Hal Eisen 16 years ago

    Have you heard about Moo Cards (http://www.moo.com)?  Much smaller and eco-friendly.  Plus the novel form factor invites conversation making you and your cards more memorable.

  8. Dave Seah 16 years ago

    Beth: oooo…interesting idea!

    John: heh, that’ll confuse ‘em!

    Hal: I got some of those made a year ago, very nice. Used a bunch of photos; next time I can take pictures of just the work I’ve done (a portfolio pack!) and see how that is.

  9. Clairo 16 years ago

    I like the cards, I think that they are very refreshing and beautiful since they aren’t viewed the the traditional business card form.

    However, I don’t really like the orange color, I think it’s bit garish, and does not look good with the white lettering or the yellow dots.

    However, the effect is still quite wonderful!

  10. Nathan Bowers 16 years ago

    Love the design. How is the “hand” of the cards you ordered? Can you feel the ink? Does the paper feel weighty and high quality? I ask because I’m working on some new cards for myself.

    As a web designer with no print training I obsess on the quality of print but I don’t necessarily know how to get there.

    Love the SXSW coverage BTW!

  11. Dave Seah 16 years ago

    Clairo: It’s a little powerful and unsubtle, but the physical printing tends to get more washed out. The actual printed card isn’t quite as orange. I know what you mean about the white text on orange, though… I was somewhat torn about it.

    Nathan: The cards I got from overnightprints are pretty nice. Substantial, though I have felt thicker. The stain matte finish is good, though it does pick up wear. I saw another card printed by the same place that had the gloss coating on one side and uncoated on the other, and that was a nice-feeling card.

    I do not like the cards I got from hotcards. The printing is a little more crude, and there noticeable inconsistencies in tonal quality, smoothness of the coating finish (there are noticeable streaks), and even a few weird lines across some of the cards. They also do not feel as substantial to me, though the difference is slight.

  12. What point cards did you go with?  I think the design looks good but one thing I’ve noticed over the years that gets me lots of comments is going with a really nice thick card.

    For example the ones we created for NuArtisan are 16 point!