Business cards provide handheld access to everything you need to know about someone professionally. However, they are often impersonal and fail to sell the human qualities of a brand. Instead, we are going to create a ‘person card,’ which you will design to sell yourself as a person.

But why make a business/person card at all? Because a typical business card is a small composition that has to get across information about a person representing a kind of business.  In the case of this exercise, that person is you. 

For this exercise, as with any creative composition, you will need to make a few decisions:

  • Format: Generally, the format of a piece refers to the real, physical dimensions of a piece or, in the case of a piece whose dimensions are variable depending on presentation (as in film, TV, app design, etc.), the proportions of the side. In this case, business card dimensions are usually set by the printer. Some common product dimensions are as follows: 2”x3.5”, 1.0”x2.75”, 2.165”x3.346”, 2.5”x2.5”. Keep in mind that these formats can also be at different orientations, i.e. landscape or portrait. Let’s create these formats and orientations in Illustrator to help you decide which one you like.
  • Details: this is where you give us an essential summary of who you are. For example, professionally speaking, this is me in one sentence: David Schwittek, Asst. Professor of Graphic Design and Digital Media, artist, designer, filmmaker, educator. 718.960.8344., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Hierarchy: we need to decide which of the above info is most important, what is secondary, and what is tertiary. It’s a person card, so it could be that 1.) my name is of prime importance; 2.) then, my professional title. 3.) then what I do in that position, and finally 4.) how to get in touch with me.
  • Sketch: Using the Graphic Design Elements and principles we discussed in class, we need to think of ways to visually create this hierarchy of personal details. Warning: there are a crapload of ways, no one of them right or wrong, better or worse. It’s entirely up to you, which perhaps makes it frightening, perhaps a little exciting. 
    • Take thirty minutes to just sketch out ideas. It will pay off later. 
  • Implement: Working with your favorite sketch or sketches, let’s spend thirty minutes or so implementing them in Illustrator. Don’t worry if you’ve never used Illustrator before: follow along w me as I create my own business card. 
    • For reference, here is a quick pic of my business card:schwittek business card scan
    • You can [click here] for the logo graphic
  • Critique: Print your design(s) so that it fills a letter-size page and let’s have a brief critique. This will help you decide how well your choices work with an audience.
  • Reiterate: here’s an unspoken rule of design: You’re never really done designing. You must endlessly refine as you receive more and more feedback. Use the remainder of class to improve your design and impart any critique you just received.  
  • Re-critique: next class we will have a brief critique to review your progress.          
  • Homework
    1. re-iterate person card, except this time, try to use some form of imagery. 
    2. Read Chapter 1 & 5 in Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud