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How to make a business card in 3 days (Part 1)

businesscardcomposer.jpgA couple of weeks back, I attended the Gnomedex conference to hobnob with the digital l33t and make some techie contacts in the Seattle area. I registered late for the conference and was not completely prepared to go.

I had no business cards.

The cardinal rule of attending a conference (and making people remember you) is to bring lots of business cards. As I’ve been playing stay-at-home dad for the last few months, my company (ok, my 2 year old daughter) hadn’t yet supplied me with business cards.

I’ve never designed or had business cards made, the companies I’ve worked for have always done it for me. Being a fairly DIY kind of geek, I set out to make them myself. I had several criteria:

  1. They had to look professional.
  2. They had to grab attention.
  3. I had to have them in less than 4 days.

Today I’ll talk about the design part of the process and tomorrow I’ll finish with how and where I got them printed.

More after the link.

After a quick Google search, I found a business card designer for OS X called Business Card Composer that had a number of templates and seemed relatively easy to use.


My wife and I flipped through all the built-in designs and settled on one to modify for my own.


BusinessCard Composer integrates nicely with the OS X Address Book and I found my data in the Address Book panel and BusinessCard Composer filled in the blanks. Theoretically, if you were making business cards for several people in your company, it would be a breeze to pull their data into this app.


The next step was to pick the printing medium. There are many to choose from, but I knew my printer was going to be online, so I hoped the first selection was the best one.


And voilà:


Now, I didn’t really like the color and the letter ‘p’ disappeared into the background of the card. I liked the basic idea of the card so I settled on contrasting colors for the logo and background. (I may have been influenced slightly by my last company’s colors, but I digress).


This whole process took about 1 hour, but I much of the process was just playing with designs, colors and presentation. I didn’t really scratch the surface of what BusinessCard Composer can do, but time was of the essence.

Tomorrow, I’ll post about finding a print shop that could turn a small batch of cards around quickly for a decent price.