I stole my idea for my business card from my friend Bryce who has a stamp with his info that he stamps on used matchbooks. I thought it would be cool to repurpose all those shitty business cards that are left around all the time by various businesses, laundromats, taxi services, movers, etc. Like the ones that they just stick way more than anyone wants or needs in the corners of your mailbox or buzzer:
So my idea was to make a stamp that used negative space to imprint my information on top of someone else’s design. This way I can clean up other people’s bad design, turn it into a cool texture for my card design and save paper.
My design needed to be as simple as possible because you can’t make stamps have to fine of details or they get blurry, and I knew this would be especially problematic with my plan. I don’t really have too much information anyway. I decided that the simplest way for people to get in touch with me is via twitter, by simply printing @owenribbit on the card. For a while I wanted it just to be that, but I decided to add my phone number in case whoever got the card didn’t use twitter, they could just call me. I actually don’t use twitter all that much, but I like the idea that someone can just get on their twitter app on their iPhone and write “@owenribbit” and it will get to me. This is probably the shortest amount of characters that can achieve electronic communication. I guess I would have preferred owenribbit.com, but I didn’t want to buy that domain. I created the owenribbit twitter account and added a few tweets just referencing my resume, my website, and a couple blogs, and my email. I probably wouldn’t put my email up there if I was actually planning on using it.
I actually tried to avoid using Helvetica, because I use Helvetica for almost everything I do online, my blogs, website, etc. In the end I couldn’t find a font that appealed to me more for this particular design, because the simplicity of the font would ultimately make it clearer and easier to read given the many variables that were going into my process, like the ink, stamp and other business cards. I didn’t want to use a busy or more ornate font and risk losing the clarity of the negative space.
After doing a couple tests on acrylic, I decided to space out the phone number, to give more room for bleeding and distortion.
I had to reverse the design and print it onto a rubber stamp with the laser printer.
Then I collected business cards, both from old cards that I had lying around, and from the street and came up with a very innovative print making process.
There’s a couple of drawbacks with this card. I found out while I was making it that not everyone just gets that @owenribbit means twitter like I had assumed. I don’t even like the @ sign. In my design, the @ sign is actually a font called “Kenyan Coffee.” I chose it because the Helvetica @ didn’t look anything like the rest of the font family and most other @s were really terrible. Kenyan Coffee was the only @ I could deal with. So I would probably change that to a .com or something if I was going to really make this my business card. The other is that its not always totally legible. I think this is cool because I’m not really trying to make it that easy for people to get in touch with me, but it’s probably not the best approach in this situation.
On the plus side, all the cards have a very personal feel and they have very different designs depending on what is beneath the stamp and what is on the back side.
I also realized that Owen Ribbit is actually a good name to have if someone wants to find me on the internet, which is ironic because I originally created it to make it harder for potential employers/clients to find me on the facebook. I guess I should just change my profile on the facebook back to my real name and change my name to Owen Ribbit in real life. Notice the difference in search results.
Owen Roberts is all people that aren’t me, even though I’m signed into to my own Google account.
For Owen Ribbit, each of the top links is to something I’ve made.