Blacker then Black business cards

I got my (dead cheap) cards from VistaPrint and, it seems, my background was removed. I have no idea why…odd really, not that it’s terrible, I’ll stick with all-black, blacker then black, the depths of blackduh duh duhhhhh! (click to see them and my original design…)

This is what they look like:


And this was my original design:


It’s an A* search in the background (from an app that came up on

Oh well! If anything, it’s a lesson to me to brighten up backgrounds/make them so they can’t monochrome it or whatever they did (I notably did use the correct base template and YMC colours). Also; comments are welcome – since I’m not any kind of artist, I’m happy to say that aspect can be criticised as much as you like 😉

For information on business cards, I found some helpful stuff on Darius’s site, and the IGDA forums. Recently, Brenda Brathwaite posted currently 3 parts on business cards (after I ordered mine) called “Newbie Advice: Get your business cards for GDC now” (good advice), “Business Card Titles: The Dark Truth About Student Business Cards” and “Glossy Fronts, White Backs”, and another to come I think.

7 thoughts on “Blacker then Black business cards”

  1. I read your idea for the camera post in Kazemi’s Tiny Subversions and decided to check your website. Pretty cool!

    Anyway, I thought you might want some input on your card before GDC. It is simple (as cards should be, mind you) but you may want to add a bit of personality to them if you can, something that tells the holder about you.

    Also, is the back of the card, white? You mentioned Brenda Brathwaite’s post where she explains the importance of writing on the back of cards…if not you may want to walk around with a white pen 🙂

    Overall it is pretty good, too bad they ruined the print though.

  2. Yeah, the back is white – I’ve got enough business cards randomly already to note that 🙂

    And while its a bit impersonal, I am not inspired enough to know what to personalise it with – since my last attempt failed at the printers, so to speak! So I’ll check out what is at GDC so I get a good idea of the designs people use.

    Thanks for the comment 🙂

  3. I gave up on Vista Print after I got sick of their annoying spammer tactics and badly fluctuating prices. Frankly, I’m not all that surprised that their “full color process” mangled your background, and it only adds more weight to my bad feeling that I got from them when I was looking at using their services.

    After a weird mix-up with Staples (they kindly gave me a refund) I ended up at the friendly neighborhood Kinko’s for my current stack of cards. I plan to get nicer ones from Kinko’s when I run out of this current stack.

  4. I’ll take a gander at offline shops – but currently I’m stuck in small-town Loughborough, where I don’t even know if there is a business card printer available! I’ll take a good look around in a few weeks and might see what prices are like.

    It’s not like this are unusable though – and they were cheap at least, which is why I don’t mind so much 🙂

    But not recommended, no, on the contrary.

  5. Cool design! I am a graphic designer by trade who is switching over to environment artiste. That’s a drag this didn’t work out. I think the trouble here is with the printing method. This design would be best handled through a “spot color” process rather than “full color” or CMYK process color. Not to get too nerdy about it, but the spot color process would print each exact color above (black/greys, green, and orange) separately on different plates, with inks mixed to those exact colors. The CMYK or “full color” process prints a clever dot pattern of black, magenta, yellow, and cyan to fool the eye and approximate each color. Usually, this works out great, but with this particular design, the colors are very dark and similar to each other. And tiny. The full color process is pretty bad about blowing out clever subtleties like these. Spot color would be the way to go, although more expensive. If you were to try this design again with a full color printer, you might try increasing the brightness or saturation of the colors, and maybe even increasing the size of the grid the pattern is based on. /verbose nerd response Very interesting design there!

  6. Fair enough, my design was destined to fail 🙂

    I’ll be trying an offline company next time, but also making it less dark. Still, at least I learnt something, thanks for the advice too (I can take that info to the printers).

  7. Oh yeah! I forgot to mention also go for glossy fronts if you can swing it. With non-glossy papers, the ink will spread a bit as it is absorbed into the paper. This would further the potential for the CMYK dot system to muddy up. With glossy paper, held fast and it much sharper. In addition to being glossy! 🙂

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