Bizantium

Okay, no more messing around. New business cards. I mean it this time!!!

Seriously. I haven’t had “real” business cards made in…in…I actually don’t think I’ve had any made at any time in this millennium. Good Lord. I ran out of the last of my “good” ones a while back and in a panic, had a box made overnight at OfficeMax on the weekend before a big conference. And they were so lame that I had a red ink rubber stamp made at the same time, so I could hand-print an apology for their overall shabbiness on the back of each one.

They predate my current phone number and email address. I can’t hand it over until after standing there like a mook crossing things out and scribbling in new information.

I started using Moo Cards as a stopgap. And frankly, I’d be happy to keep on using them indefinitely. They’re simple, they’re cheap, and they’re quite pretty. The only trouble with Moo cards is also their most charming attribute: their oddball, stick-of-gum size. At a Biz Card-Intense Function — such as a trade show, or one of those deals where the company rents a hotel suite for the day and sees about a dozen different pundits — those little Moos can get lost in your recipient’s pocket or card organizer…and Moos don’t fit in the little automatic business card scanners that power-carders tend to use.

So my solution is to make myself some jumbo Moos. A color photo on one side, and a few simple lines of digital and analog URLs on the back.

Biz card

Here’s what I’ve come up with for the front. What do you think? After fooling around with a few different ideas, I decided to throw a phonetic spelling of my name on there as a graphical element. Natcherly, it’ll be spelled out in black-and-white the normal way on the back, so if your complaint is “But will people know how to spell your name, from this card?” then don’t sweat it.

But any other notes or observations are welcome.

38 thoughts on “Bizantium”

  1. Terrific! Funny, colorful, but a clean, simple design. Would like to see the layout you’re using on back (fonts, etc.).

  2. Hi Andy,

    Looks nice, but I would put you and the lady more in harmony. The colors of the lady in the back can be more vibrant to contrast. Moreover your picture would be more in balance if it be a microtad lower (nose fully visible though). That is what I believe.

  3. Brilliant! Artistic but functional. The face recognition & pronunciation elements are subtle but self evident. A useful tool masquerading as art. Phineas J Whoopie, you’ve done it again!
    How about placing one of those cellphone readable barcode url squares on the backside?

  4. I quite like it. It will stand out in a stack of cards after a trade show, which is the point. It will also depend on the card stock. Shinny may work, but those suckers tend to slide all over the place and are annoying.

  5. The cropping of your mouth coupled with the raised eyebrows peaks my curiosity. I must immediately turn the card over for answers.

    If that’s the effect you’re after…nailed it.

  6. There is a lot I like about the design – the pic of you, the phonetic spelling of your name. Very cool. My only issue is that (like a photo) I think a business card should have one real subject, and I’m sensing a bit of pull between the image of you and the lady. I’m not saying to get rid of her as she’s very quirky and interesting. Just wonder if perhaps it might be more effective if she were a bit less prominent.
    About time you had some great cards! These will be that I’m sure.

  7. Looks great, and the eyebrow rise is a perfect enhancement to the image.
    Just MAKE SURE you consider place “Free business cards, from VistaPrint.com” on the back, if you want Silicon Valley credibility ;-)

  8. I like, but there’s a problem…

    Where does the person you’re handing the card to write notes if you’ve covered the back in purty pictures?

  9. Love the new card.

    For low-quantity print jobs at cheap prices, I use gotprint.com. They do a good job and are so damn inexpensive that you can have multiple card designs without feeling it in the wallet. I mostly use them for postcards, but will probably try their business card printing soon.

  10. Great image, but the crop is a bit clumsy at the bottom right. I’d show either a bit less or a lot more of your face. Depends on whether you’re going for mildly whimsical or full-on silly.

    It could also use a bit more contrast with the phonetic type, if you’re not averse to tinkering with the background’s brightness.

    I might even run the type over the full width of the card, assuming a drop-shadow or some other contrast trick to get it to work across your lower face.

  11. Everything about this card says Andy Ihnatko. No way this one will get lost in anybody’s pocket.

  12. Dump the background – it’s too busy.

    The pronunciation guide is a waste of ink – why don’t you just say “hey, dummy, my name is pronounced INN-AHT-KO. Dummy.”

    Cause that’s what it’s saying already.

  13. I suppose I am about to live up to my domain name in saying this – but I don’t like it. What’s more you’ll find your choice in background will translate poorly once printed on paper. You need a simpler background with more contrast. Photos are NEVER a good choice, which is why you rarely see them used on business cards. Have you thought about using a plain color background with your silhouette or illustrated caricature imposed?

  14. Very kewl! But as I tell my HS students, “Mind the GAP.” What’s your Genre/Audience/Purpose? These are awesome for people who already know you and want purty keepsake with some useful urls etc., but no so much for breaking into the stodgier territory of people who do not yet but SHOULD know you. Ditto on having a non-glossy area in which such recipients can write notes and maybe less quirk and more biz cred in the graphic. JMHO, MOO rocks!

  15. In the International Phonetic Alphabet, the spelling should be [?n??t.ko?]. Not that that is any more understandable to the uneducated than the dictionary-style phonetics you’ve used. But I thought you might like to see it as the IPA continues to make ground with the biggest and most influential dictionaries (e.g. the OED), and as the de facto standard of linguists.

  16. I wasn’t going to say anything, but I read the other comments.

    Ignore most of them.

    My first reaction was the same as a few here, I would just crop a little more from the bottom of your face, just to tighten it up a bit, make it look a slight bit more “kilroy”, a little bit more whimsical.

  17. The very first thing I noticed was the four eyes – not you
    Then the name – again, not you
    First question that came to mind was “Is this the correct spelling, or a pronunciation spelling?”
    Then, your eyes are hidden, but the totem’s is not.
    All in all, ah, uniquely you

  18. “What do you think, sirs?” ????? What about babes? We have opinions too. Make the card scratch and sniff with chocolate or coffee flavours. If they know you, all it will need is a glance to know that this is your card, if they don’t, they should and it will stand out.

  19. Pull the photo image back a little, perhaps down to sunglasses & hat, and blend it in to the graphics of the background a bit. Then you’ve got something.

  20. Kewl. I think it’s quite impressive so long as the back matches the front in the design department (use of fonts, etc.) The picture kind of reminds me of Scott McNulty in a hat but never mind. ;-)

  21. Off-topic, sorry but couldn’t find a way to reach ANDY otherwise… I made some iPhone homepage PNGs for you to pop on your server so those on iPhones can have a special icon for their homescreens rather than some lame, iPhone-generated thing.

    http://www.gowan.us/andy

    I know you — obviously — are more than capable, but these are, like, for in the meantime, while you’re so busy and all.

  22. Personally, I prefer the “Living Person. American Journalist. American Blogger. American Podcaster.” as referenced on a TWiT podcast in plain helvetica. Maybe the batlight on a siloutte of you near the Citgo sign with your trademark hat.

    And under that, “I report. I decide.” in a faux Fox News logo.

    ;-)

  23. Less is more. Cute isn’t taken seriously. Do you want to be cute or do you want to be taken seriously? That’s not to say anything else about the Ihnatko brand should change. Your writing is clever and irreverent and distinctly Ihnatko. But when you hand out your business card, you mean business. If it’s goofy, you may be remembered, but not in a way that says, “lets pay that person to speak to our group” or “Lets give him a large advance on a technology book.”

  24. ctohper,

    Well, I’d say more whimsical than goofy, but I get your point. However, that off-beat touch is an accurate representation of the Ihnatko brand.

    A staid simple card that speaks only to a serious business mindset would be more of a misrepresentation.

    The use of actual phonetic symbols as opposed to say, “In-AHT-koe,” hints at the intelligence behind the whimsy. And of course there’s the whole back of the card to take care of business.

  25. I like the original one the best. It actually made me look at it for a while. The phonetics over the letters are also a nice touch,once again forcing you to stare at it a little longer while you sound out the syllables. The other cards make you look sad. Go with the first one ;)

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