Who says that business cards need to be a standardized, professionally printed thing? Send your message your way.
When creating any new product, regardless of end use, I think about all of the processes that go into every aspect of it. That shirt you just ordered on Amazon - outside of just the shirt itself, have you thought about where it came from? Who packaged and shipped it? With what? Where the materials come from? What are you doing to do with material once you open your package? This is an uncomfortable way to think, but it’s one of the driving factors behind my design ethos. The way you get into this mindset? Go one step deeper in the process with each idea you have.
I’ll be the first to admit that this way of thinking is an evolution and I’m not a master yet, but going one level deeper every time I begin a new project moves me forward. My most recent example - I ran out of business cards. I absolutely love ordering new business cards. Each time this comes up it marks the start of a new era of DECODE in my mind. Ordering fresh designs on quality recycled paper online and getting them in the mail feels great, but I knew next time I could do better than recycled. The last round that I ordered were created by a company in Portland, OR that I could pick up from their office. Doing this was a bit more expensive but worth it to save on the impact of shipping materials/handling/air freight. The quality was just as good and I got to feel a bit better about my local purchase. This past week however, I had a new design uploaded to their website, was ready to hit purchase, and halted. I went back to my concept of going one step deeper. Okay, so I had already gone with recycled paper and eliminated shipping, what else can I do this time?
I came to the conclusion that I should not be adding anything else to the earth than I already am, so I emptied my online shopping cart and headed to my recycling bin. There are a myriad of paper supplies that I use in my day to day which I could reuse to create business cards and make them feel a bit more special. I took that same design I was about to put on 5,000 business cards and had it made into a stamp. Though it is quite a bit more time consuming than having a printer make my cards, I’m extremely happy with the result. My new business cards show my design ethos right off the bat, before even visiting my website or looking at my clothes. I’m saving paper goods from re-entering the recycling game, and hopefully their new lives as brand ambassadors will let them live a bit longer.