Design Image / Slogan ...
/forum/topic/1179117/2

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RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13215
Country: United States

Camperjim wrote:
I am not sure I understand Kent's plans,


Just for some clarity ...

generate traffic
generate sales
setting up a internet forum
blog-type webpage with room for comments
Selling images
Not really part of this year's goals.

great images and a distinctive and innovative style
To thine own self be true

self promotion
pro needs a webpage
Indicative of seriousness / credibility ... introductory reference information.



Camperjim
Registered: Oct 17, 2011
Total Posts: 1950
Country: United States

Kent, just do it. You can always refine your presentation or completely redo it later on. Both are likely to happen more than once.



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13215
Country: United States

Already been working on it ... thanks guys. Will share when I get it public.



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13215
Country: United States

2:3.5 format for business card ... thoughts



Mister Bean
Registered: Jan 30, 2007
Total Posts: 593
Country: United States

I like this much better without the catch phrase.

I would drop the white borders. There's a good chance it won't be printed or cut perfectly, and it will be obvious because they won't be even. Also consider a sans serif font, they tend to work better for things like this, while serif fonts work better for bigger blocks of text.



Skarkowtsky
Registered: Feb 22, 2009
Total Posts: 1420
Country: United States

Hi Kent,

A few things come to mind when I look at your latest round of design.

IMAGE:
Are you completely married to having a photo on your business card?

The thing with having an image on a business card is this: it's one photo, looked at on a card that has to represent who you are and what you do in a matter of seconds. Sending out a photo of car, does that represent Kent Southers the photographer?

Devil's Advocate:
Are you exclusively an automobile photographer, or further, a vintage auto photographer? Is black and white your preferred medium? Your card might send these signals to some cardholders. You want to avoid confusion. Catch my drift?

Whether or not it was your intent, the elements on your business card are there to be persuasive and suggestive of who you are, and potential clients might assume the same things I've hypothesized and shy away because it's not the photography they're looking for. They won't assume that you photograph a variety of subjects by just seeing one photo of a vintage car.

If you exclusively shot cars, then maybe I'd add a car to the card. Maybe.

People don't think objectively, they want to be told in the here and now. So, when you give them an image, you're setting a precedence, whether it be true or false.

This is why I always suggest that a business card have a strong typographic design, and not rely on imagery.

TYPOGRAPHY:
Type is more than just relaying a message. It has hierarchy and contrast, just like a photo. Use these elements to clearly express yourself. Make every word on a business card, which, for the most part, is a very small canvas with a lot of responsibility, tell a clear story.

First, your name, or, your business. This should be the strongest type. And by strongest, it doesn't have to be grossly oversized to get attention.

I like that you stuck to one type family. That shows uniformity, and is less chaotic. Utilize the entire family. Set your name in a heavier weight, then your title in a contrasting, lighter weight. Or, use the same weight for both, and explore scale.

Then, you can scale down the secondary information like contact info, and use a lighter weight.

Visually, this will create contrast on the card, and act as a visual path for the viewer to scan and read the card.

CONTACT INFO:
What's the decision to omit contact info? Yes, it's 2013, but not everyone will constantly have access to the web at all times. Some people might be in a remote location, or busy performing other tasks. Some people are, simply put, just familiar with traditional contact info.

Make it as EASY for clients to track you down as possible. Restore your phone number and email address to the card. Trust me.

You're off to a good start, you're keeping it clean, and reducing clutter. However, some details aren't considered clutter, you just have to wield them properly, as they belong on a business card.

Images of work do not. I know lots of photographers believe they need to shove an image in your face off the bat, it's not the case.

I've attached my card. After considering my studio work, which relies on shadow play, and is graphic by nature, I arrived at this card with a blind deboss that relies on light to be activated in the cardholders hand. It's an abstract, of course, but alluding to something sometimes has more effect than literally saying it.

I wanted it to be intriguing as its own tangible self, and I wanted the work on the website to speak for itself. Two separate things.

NOTE: This was an error run where the printer messed up the plate and removed my website address, also I have since changed my email address. The printer also took the liberty of moving my logo placement up, but that's another story. It's the only pic I have as I'm typing this. I've since found a new printer, and the correct info has since been restored to my current card. Headaches!









JHut
Registered: Dec 17, 2002
Total Posts: 1377
Country: United States

+1 with John's reply. I have made a few business websites and cards (non photography related) and simple goes a long way. A phone number is really essential for a business card and no borders. The card makers rarely make even edge cuts. Most card makers have a list of things that you can buy with your brand name or logo (hats, magnetic car stickers, vest, etc...). Perhaps this will help with your shooting situations.



sbeme
Registered: Dec 23, 2003
Total Posts: 17685
Country: United States

John's response seems right on and very helpful to me as well.
Thanks.
Scott



Camperjim
Registered: Oct 17, 2011
Total Posts: 1950
Country: United States

Kent, as I understand it you are not really planning on a professional photgraphy business so I can see why you would not want to include a phone number.

I guess you asked for input so you can expect ongoing suggestions and criticism. I would talk with the printer about the border. I would think that should work and I do think it would be much better than a borderless alternative. You have already had quite a bit of input and you still like your original design. Just do it. You are not talking about a lot of money or something that cannot change later.



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13215
Country: United States

Thanks guys.

Originally, I had no border. The white border was simply an extension of the canvas to make it easier to see on the screen. I kinda liked the "frame" it provides, but as you mentioned ... it could be an issue for actual printing.

However, I might still consider it for some other possible uses where the borders can be well controlled.

Hey John,

Thanks much for taking the time to stop by. Plenty for me to take in. I guess I should have given you a bit more back story on the purpose of this card design.

I'm not wanting to use it to attract clients ... very odd sounding I know. My main purpose is to use it to defend myself when being interrupted and challenged by suspicious people and authority personnel that are interloping into my workflow based on my peculiar locations, methods & mannerism in the field.

I'm right on with you about the message, and this one is being targeted toward non-photographer, non-artist, non-graphic personnel ... who feel compelled that it is their right to demand to know "what I'm up to" ... and to purport or infer that I'm up to no good.

The reason that there isn't any phone number contact info on it (front) ... I really don't want to be trying to send a message of "please call me". Instead, the message is intended to be ... "I am a serious photographer and I produce works that are not typical Average Joe images." ... (and I'd like to get back to work before I lose too much of my mojo from this interruption) in a "classy" way. Here's evidence of one of my works and here's my name (so you can tell the cops who I am when you call and report me for suspicious activity again.) IF BY CHANCE, you are actually interested by my work, you can learn more about it via the website. Otherwise, have a nice day and please let me have one too.

Again, I realize that this seems like such an incredibly odd thing, yet it is very real for me. The obvious question is "Can't you just tell them what you're doing?" After years of trying to do so, it still never seems to be a message that I've been able to successfully deliver in words (go figure, me having trouble with words ) ... thus the picture to hopefully alleviate a thousand of them.

I'm not concerned at the image "trapping" me into automotive, or B&W per se. My message (for this card) isn't I want you to consider hiring me as a photographer for you. My message for this card is that I want you to realize that I am a serious photographer and now that you've seen an example of my work ... can you please relax your "suspicions" and "right" to suggest I'm up to no-good or that I'm just some weirdo GWAC, so that we can actually have an amicable/intelligent discussion at what I am doing. That or you can simply go about your business while I go about mine.

This message is entirely intended to be about "serious" and "credible" ... while suggesting that peculiar/different/unique can still be "good" (in spirit & quality). It is not intended to be "please hire me", ... but rather I kinda know what I'm doing here, please give credence to me now that you've seen an example.

I know it is hard for us to put ourselves in the shoes & mindset of someone suspicious of us, but does this message convey "serious" and "credible" ... even if "different" In my world, it seems that unless you are an "established people photographer" (which I'm not) such as weddings, ports, seniors, sports, etc. ... people can't make the "connection" to why I'd be taking pictures of odd things in odd places. Therefore their minds go "does not compute" and their imagination runs off into "he must be up to something no good" territory. The message is intended to show them: "You're right. I am up to something ... but it is a good something."

It's just part of the world I live and work in ... odd, but true.

That being said, thanks again for all the input. More of course is always welcome from my fellow FM'ers. The only time they think I'm "up to no good" ... it usually has to do with with overcooked images.








Skarkowtsky
Registered: Feb 22, 2009
Total Posts: 1420
Country: United States

Sorry, your PM subject and comment requesting my advice referred to this thread as a business card design.

As for a quick sample to fend off a pain in the neck, why not up the dimensions to 4x6 with a photo or two that's large enough to see. Then, you can just put your logo on it and use it to support your aural argument at that time.

However, if you do print business cards in the future, I hope my
advice was helpful.



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13215
Country: United States

John ... no worries, you are spot on (I just failed to give you to backstory first ... my bad).

I'll wind up with both "my defense card" and a "real" business card. Thus, all discussion is very pertinent. I've thought about a larger card also for the "defense card" ... still kicking it around, but always having one on me might be a bit easier in the business card format. Your point is valid @ business card. I guess it really isn't a "business card" after all ... it is a "defense card" in a 2 x 3.5 format.



Camperjim
Registered: Oct 17, 2011
Total Posts: 1950
Country: United States

I am curious .. what sorts of issues have you had that you need this defense card? I guess I have just not encountered any issues. I shoot mainly in national parks. No issue there. I have also shot in cities and that seems well accepted. I only had one issue that I can remember. I was once stopped at the Baltimore airport becuase I was shooting the interior of the terminal. Presumably that was not allowed due to homeland security. Of course it made no sense but then very little of the fascade of homeland security makes any sense to me.



ben egbert
Registered: Jan 31, 2005
Total Posts: 6769
Country: United States

Yep people just wont leave other people alone. I never approach a stranger without a very compelling reason, but they are always approaching me, even in national parks. The tourist hands me a strange looking camera and asks me to take a picture of him and his wife with the Tetons in the background. I don't have a clue how to use the camera, but they think I am a pro because of the gear. In the meantime the light is changing while I do a snapshot.

I avoid cities and airports like the plague, but when I had to do business travel I saw what it might be like with a camera. Last time I carried a camera on an airplane was a month after 911 on a trip to Hawaii. But it was a Nikon 990 and no tripod.

Not a very helpful reply, but I do understand what Kent might be finding if he does photography around people.





RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13215
Country: United States

My local shooting is definitely in "non-tourist" areas, obscure areas that many people don't see why I could be possibly be interested in photographing anything.

Lines, shapes, textures, tones, symmetry, contrast, etc. ... they exist in places where the "subject" may not be considered "photogenic" to many. This adds to their confusion at "what I'm up to". I'd gladly spend the time, effort and energy to conduct a street corner classroom on art & my vision / photographic endeavors, but it takes so darn long to get them over the "up to no good" suspicion, that the mood / opportunity has been overly burdened that I've shifted out of "art" Kent into "defend my rights" Kent.

My hope is that with the augmentation of this piece (or similar) that I can use it to speak for me (lighten my load) in helping them to validate the concepts of lines, shapes, tones, contrast, etc. Thus, when asked, and I start to explain why I'm interested in taking a picture of "subject XZYZ" ... that they were confused by and caused them to be thrust into "suspicion" mode ... I also have reference material readily at hand.

If it turns into a street corner art class ... I'm good with that. If it turns into, an "ooh, ahh" I love it, that's fine to (not the goal). If it turns into a ... "Dude, your kinda weird ... but whatever. I guess you're harmless enough." and they leave me to it, that's really my baseline objective.

Definition of insanity: Do the same thing and expect a different result.

I've tried to explain my presence and mannerisms ad nauseum, to no avail at generating a different response. I've spoken with law enforcement on numerous occasions about the public's suspicious nature, relative to my liberties. We have discussed calling the Sheriff, etc. to notify them of my whereabouts on a given outing in advance, but somehow I just never seem to do it.

That ... and even so, it wouldn't change the dynamic of my interaction with the suspicious public ... which is where I seem to need the most help. Who knows whether or not it will aid me when I encounter future suspicions, but me speaking with them sure isn't doing anything for either of us. Hopefully, the "thousand words" picture approach will assist to foster a better delivery of the message.

Any thoughts on text layout changes/choices. I'm leaning toward the staggered text, as it creates an implied line from TLC to "Photography".



JHut
Registered: Dec 17, 2002
Total Posts: 1377
Country: United States

It seems bizarre that you have been deemed suspicious while taking photographs out in public places. A "defense card" seems a bit silly to me. As long as you are not on private property or taking pictures inside temples etc.... then you have nothing to worry about. Gun stores and other places also often post that no pictures are allowed. I also don't like to take pictures of people without their permission. Paparazzi exploit people and are the only ones that need a "defense card".



Skarkowtsky
Registered: Feb 22, 2009
Total Posts: 1420
Country: United States

I get that you're trying to develop a sort of credentials package. I just don't think a promo piece is valid.

I don't know, I just don't see this working in your favor. Even major Hollywood productions with studio logos on massive tractor trailers have to obtain permits for locations. And those are familiar, beloved brands that most Americans grew-up on and world never suspect of foul play. Still they need their permits and insurance certificates to legally be on the grounds. They simply can't say, "C'mon, you know we make movies, look at the logo on our equipment!".

If there are security guards at most of the locations that interest you, they're there for one reason or another, whether it just be private property, or property that some higher powered deemed vulnerable to attack and in need of security measures. Whether we agree with them or not, it's their land to do what they like with.

I just don't see a promo piece acting like some sort of credentials as a way to ease anyone suspicions, or more importantly, a deterrent from people, security personnel, just trying to do their jobs. If you're not welcome there, they're going to ensure you leave.

If it's the general public you're concerned about, all you have to do is tell them it's subject matter you enjoy, and stick your eye back in the viewfinder. You need not explain yourself further to your fellow citizen.

I wouldn't invest money into this, but into a proper brand for the rest of your portfolio.



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13215
Country: United States

JHut wrote:
It seems bizarre that you have been deemed suspicious while taking photographs out in public places. A "defense card" seems a bit silly to me. As long as you are not on private property or taking pictures inside temples etc.... then you have nothing to worry about. Gun stores and other places also often post that no pictures are allowed. I also don't like to take pictures of people without their permission. Paparazzi exploit people and are the only ones that need a "defense card".


I appreciate the very reasonable perspective that it seems "silly" ... but with more than a dozen encounters with law enforcement because of people calling them and untold number of direct encounters, this is very real for me in my travels. I'm quite aware that I've got nothing to worry about, since I've done nothing wrong ... but it still exists, cramps my style and ruins my mood.

When local law enforcement has informed you that you are being placed on the terrorist watch list and you spend multiple hours on the phone with the FBI, etc. to ensure that your name is clear, this is not something to dismiss as "nothing to worry about". I am all too aware of what I'm allowed to do vs. not allowed to do ... but that doesn't change the paranoia of suspicion that exists from others as a response to my activity that they don't understand. I don't expect that many of you would understand (thankfully for you) my plight of such "suspiciousness" by the public ... but I do appreciate your input to the effectiveness of a visual presentation.



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 13215
Country: United States

+1 @ public vs. private property, security, etc. I'm talking about places that are public access, i.e. road, sidewalk, park, etc.

Heck, I've even had the cops called and stop to question me in front of my own house ... based on a report of a "suspicious person" as I was walking home with a "long lens" on my camera (back from nearby woods with permission from the landowner).


Skarkowtsky wrote:
If it's the general public you're concerned about, all you have to do is tell them it's subject matter you enjoy, and stick your eye back in the viewfinder. You need not explain yourself further to your fellow citizen.


Except that then they call the cops (who come to inquire regarding the report of "suspicious" person) ... and here we go all over again.



Skarkowtsky
Registered: Feb 22, 2009
Total Posts: 1420
Country: United States

I hear you, Rusty. Way back when I shot outdoors, I, too was attracted to locations I both didn't belong in, and other locations that other people were paranoid about, even if I was standing in a public spot on the ground.

I think it's the nature of the beast, so to speak.

Look at it this way:
If someone calls the cops to report you because that person is paranoid, AND the cops actually show up, then it was an important issue to the cops as well. They wouldn't respond to a call about a photographer photographing a particular location if they, as law enforcement, felt it was harmless.

So, if the cops share the same mindset as the fool who called, how is a promo piece going to reassure the officer? The only thing a cop will entertain is a permit that says, questionable subject matter or not, I have a sanctioned right to be here, and here it is in writing.

Your promo photo doesn't carry the same weight.

I just don't want you to see you invest so much energy into this thing that will not make your excursions more enjoyable or productive. I'd rather see you unveil a killer brand for yourself after a month's worth of effort.



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