Colorful and Creative Business Cards with MOO

This post is sponsored by MOO. I’ve partnered with them to share some colorful and creative business card ideas. All content and opinions are my own. MOO 100% recycled Cotton Business Cards are completely tree free and print vivid, saturated color – all on archival quality paper. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

I absolutely LOVE business cards. I think of them as mini works of art, and I keep a bowl full of all the beautiful, inspiring business cards that I’ve received over the years. I was VERY intrigued when I heard about MOO’s new 100% recycled Cotton Business Cards – I wanted to see how the new paper could handle bright colors and delicate illustrations! I teamed up with a few illustrators, stationers, and graphic designers to showcase some of their business card designs printed on MOO’s cotton paper, and share some tips for colorful and creative business cards. And if you’re a new MOO customer and you’d like to check out the cotton business cards yourself, MOO is offering Oh So Beautiful Paper readers 15% off Cotton Business Cards with the promo code OHSOMOO!

Colorful and Creative Business Cards with MOO Recycled Cotton Business Cards

First, a bit more about the paper! MOO teamed up with one of the best paper mills in the country, Mohawk Fine Papers, to create a modern twist on a traditional cotton rag paper. Made from t-shirt offcuts, the paper is completely tree-free and reuses waste material from the fashion industry to create an archival quality paper at an affordable price point. The 100% recycled cotton paper is bright white, with a subtle texture that looks and feels great in person. And it prints vivid, saturated colors like a dream!

Colorful and Creative Business Cards with MOO Recycled Cotton Paper

Business card design: Juliet Meeks

Nothing bums me out quite like a cheap, low quality business card, so I love that MOO makes quality paper available at an affordable price! And if you work in a design-related field, it’s especially important to have great business cards. Here are some tips for creating colorful and creative business cards.

1. Stay true to your personal style.

Business cards make a lasting impression and can tell the person on the other end a ton about you. Is your style bright and colorful? Minimalist? Romantic? What colors do you love? Are you playful or serious? Bright white recycled cotton paper allows for really bright, saturated color, which is perfect for colorful styles! Your business cards should reflect your style and personality. I love the way illustrator Juliet Meeks showcased her floral illustration work around her logo!

Colorful and Creative Business Cards with MOO Recycled Cotton Business Cards

2. Show your work

If your work is visual, show it on your business cards! This is a thousand times true for illustrators, calligraphers, photographers, and other artists, but I think it’s equally true for everyone from woodworkers to contractors to make up artists.

Colorful and Creative Business Cards with MOO Recycled Cotton Business Cards

Business card design: Fiber & Dye

With double-sided printing, business cards are the perfect opportunity to show examples of your work! Lisa of Fiber & Dye used MOO’s Printfinity feature to print different examples of her illustration and hand lettering work on the back of each business card. You can also print professional photos instead of illustrations – just make sure the photos are properly edited and formatted to showcase your work in the best possible way.

3. Think outside the box

I’ve seen business cards of all shapes and sizes: rectangles, large squares, small squares, rounded corners, even circles and unique die cut shapes! The shape of your business card speaks to your personal style, and there’s no need to stick to a traditional rectangular format! Choose the shape that best shows your style and your work.

Colorful and Creative Business Cards with MOO Recycled Cotton Business Cards

4. Consider Both Sides

No one-sided business cards here! I’m personally a fan of putting contact info on one side and logo/artwork on the other side, but there are so many options for making that happen. Bright and colorful on one side, white minimalist on the other side? Artwork on both sides? Should the front and back designs mirror each other? MOO’s design guidelines allow for a full bleed on both sides of the card, so your design can go across the whole card without worrying about white edges. I’m loving these full bleed business card designs from Meeschmosh and Heidi Gruner Design.

Colorful and Creative Business Cards with MOO Recycled Cotton Business Cards

Business card design: Meeschmosh

Colorful and Creative Business Cards with MOO Recycled Cotton Business Cards

Business card design: Heidi Gruner Design

Colorful and Creative Business Cards with MOO Recycled Cotton Business Cards

Colorful and Creative Business Cards with MOO Recycled Cotton Business Cards

Colorful and Creative Business Cards with MOO Recycled Cotton Business Cards

Colorful and Creative Business Cards with MOO Recycled Cotton Business Cards

I’d love to hear your tips for creative and colorful business cards! Feel free to share a link to your business cards in the comments. And for new MOO customers out there – don’t forget that you can get 15% off Cotton Business Cards with the promo code OHSOMOO!

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

This post is sponsored by MOO. All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

From the PNW, Kara and Tess are here to share their story Behind the Stationery at Egg Press! As partners in leading a growing company in Portland, collaborating on all fronts is a key part to their success. Beyond greeting cards, Egg Press partners with local companies, started the Write_On campaign to promote written correspondence, and actively gives back in their new GOODS FOR GOOD collection. Take a look inside their day to day! Megan Soh

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

From Kara and Tess of Egg Press: In 1999, Tess left her job as a graphic and surface designer for Nike so that she could be in her letterpress studio more. Her intent was to print custom work for the local design community, but when she took a handful of card designs to a trade show in SF on a whim, Egg Press was born.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

Our studio is located in beautiful NW Portland, Oregon on the third floor of the Schoolhouse Electric building, a 1910 brick factory and warehouse. We love coming to this inspiring space every day and of being part of a long tradition of American manufacturing. It’s gratifying to use these old machines (the basic design of some of our presses goes back to the 1800’s) to make wholly new things. We have 12 presses including Heidelberg windmills and Chandler and Price clamshells. They all have different personalities which have garnered nicknames. One of our Heidelbergs may be one of the oldest of its kind still in use. We also have sewing machines, a screen printing set up, as well as old-school gadgets for corner rounding, paper jogging, and notebook padding.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

Kara and Tess work in the back office near the train tracks. Conversations are occasionally brought to a stop as loudly whistling train pass by. It’s all part of the charm. Tess and Kara work side by side every day – Tess on the left, Kara on the right collaborating on most everything that leaves the studio.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

On a typical day Tess and Kara can be found working on design deadlines, collecting inspiration, creating illustrations for a local grocery chain, taking meetings and thinking about what’s next. The print room comes in early and creates their to-do list, juggling custom printing needs, inventory needs, and R&D for new products or formats. The folks in the office make sure all is running smoothly with accounts, customer service, and orders, while the shippers hustle to get boxes picked, packed and ready for the postman by 3:00pm.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

Photo by Micah Fischer

We are still a small enough company to be nimble. While each person has a set of responsibilities and things to do each day, we all wear many hats and are able to come together to accomplish a lot as a team. This means we can respond to exciting opportunities as well as bumps in the road in a timely fashion.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

First and foremost, we are inspired by the letterpress process and the technical constraints of designing for it. We love Japanese and Scandinavian design and are also inspired by vintage ephemera, Bauhaus typography, interesting color combinations and word play.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

We start by collecting inspiration and with our marketing and sales team, considering needs in the marketplace. Once we have solid ideas that get us juiced up and a design direction established we begin to sketch, draw, paint and compose on the computer. When we have enough contenders we review the designs to narrow down the offerings.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

At this point plates are ordered, colors are specified and the cards move to the printing process. This is where the real magic happens. There is nothing better to see the cards come to life fresh off the press.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

Usually new formats start with what inspires us. For example, we love textiles, so within our SPK line (Social Preparedness Kit) we offer small batch soft goods, designed, printed, and constructed from start to finish in our studio. SPK also includes stationery products for the desk and other goods that help make letter writing easy.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

Another big initiative we design and produce for is Write_On, our annual letter writing campaign. This was born from founder Tess Darrow’s desire to get in the habit of writing more letters. It’s fun to brainstorm products that will inspire folks to write. We’ve created letter writing advent style calendars, totes to carry your materials, and enamel pins to show your support for the cause.

We don’t typically produce a lot of postcards but are excited to heed recent requests for political postcards while raising money for some of our favorite causes. Along with totes and screen printed t-shirts, they’re part of our recently launched GOODS FOR GOOD line in which all proceeds are donated to organizations that are working to better the lives of all people.

Behind the Stationery: Egg Press

All photos by Christa Fowles except where noted.

Interested in being featured in this column? Reach out to Megan at megan [at] ohsobeautifulpaper.com for details.

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! It’s raining cats and dogs outside right now (and will for most of the weekend), so I guess we’re in for a cozy weekend at home! For any aspiring calligraphers out there, this is the perfect time to sign up for the Calligraphy Portfolio Challenge with the Modern Calligraphy Summit! It’s a four week email challenge that helps you build your portfolio and attract your first clients! Topics include sourcing supplies, time to write, photographing your work, and sharing your work. And if you haven’t yet signed up for the Summit, you can also do that here! It would be like Calligraphy Summer Camp!

Don't Let Hate Steal Your Pride by Manayunk Calligraphy

Image by Manayunk Calligraphy, because anyone who wants to serve their country, who is willing to risk their life in defense of their fellow citizens, should be allowed to serve regardless of their sexual orientation, gender at birth, race, etc. Full stop.

A few links for your weekend!

The unfolding nightmare in Somalia. I spent eight years working on Somalia when I was at the State Department, so this is an area of the world is near and dear to my heart. The humanitarian situation is absolutely heartbreaking.

Turns out I’m part of a micro generation between Gen X and Millennials. I’ve never really identified as either generation, so this makes SO much sense!

Loving this sputnik-inspired chandelier (it also comes in a gold finish!)

This is interesting: Pantone Diplomacy

How to watch the upcoming solar eclipse safely

I’m on the hunt for a couple cute new pairs of shoes. So far I’m loving these hologram ballet flats, these ruffled sandals and these cute wraparound gingham flats (which are on sale, and an extra 25% off with code FRIDAY!)

Oooh, these chunky sandals are also really cute (and 30% off right now!)

 

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

I’ve been having so much fun taking classes on Skillshare – and you can get two free months of premium membership!

The most beautiful booth designs and all the lady power vibes at this year’s National Stationery Show

Behind the Stationery with Ramona & Ruth

So many ideas for incorporating acrylic details into your wedding!

You’re going to want to make this Rosé and Blood Orange Sgroppino

 

Behind the Stationery: Ramona & Ruth

Taking us to Nebraska, our next feature on Behind the Stationery is Ramona & Ruth!  Kim, the brand’s founder and designer, shares about her self-taught journey with letterpress and why this classic print method is a key element of Ramona & Ruth. As an illustrator, Kim gives us an inside look to how she sets up her ideal sketching environment, what inspires her designs, and what she’s been sketching lately. –Megan Soh

Ramona & Ruth

From Kim: It was around 9 years ago that my first little antique tabletop press was delivered to my doorstep in Omaha, Nebraska. It was better than Christmas morning. I had begun my nationwide search for a letterpress after a few years of working as a graphic designer in a corporate job and not feeling very fulfilled. I initially set out to use this letterpress to print wedding invitations for clients, but the more I learned, the more I wanted to explore, so I began printing my own hand-drawn illustrations. I spent countless hours researching the craft and fumbling around on the press trying to figure out how it worked. I still remember the very first illustration I printed of a little coffee cup and the joy it brought me to see my design come to life in print. It was then that I knew this was meant to be.

Ramona & Ruth

Over the years, my Omaha-based studio has grown to include two antique printing presses as well as a paper cutter from the late 1800’s. It was a few years ago that I knew time was right to purchase a Heidelberg Windmill letterpress to help me with printing larger wholesale orders. With this press upgrade also came a studio upgrade. Weighing in at 3,000 pounds, the Windmill was a much larger machine than my current press and therefore needed the space to accommodate it. Instead of finding a separate off-site studio space, my husband and I decided to have a letterpress studio built onto the back of our home. With no overhead and no commute I could better balance staying at home with my two little boys with my work in the studio.

Ramona & Ruth

After a few months, the studio was finished and the presses were moved in safe and sound. It was so important to me to have a generous amount of windows so the studio would be filled with an abundance of natural light. My studio is my outlet. I just love the light and airy feeling of my space and how it provides me with an inspirational and uplifting place to design and print. It is in this studio that I strive each day to build a brand of letterpress goods that create delicate, thoughtful designs that leave lasting impressions.

Ramona & Ruth

Ramona & Ruth is named for my grandmothers who inspired me to find beauty in simplicity. Ramona, an entrepreneur who handcrafted beautiful floral designs in her very own floral shop; and Ruth, who spent her days tending to dairy cows and wrangling chickens out on the farm. These hardworking, dedicated women helped instill my passion for developing my own business.

Ramona & Ruth - Ink

Ramona & Ruth

At Ramona & Ruth we print contemporary designs with timeless sentiment the old-fashioned way. While offering a variety of paper goods, the core of our product line is letterpress greeting cards. Each design starts from a sketch in my notepad and from there, is transferred to a digital image in Illustrator and prepared for platemaking. Letterpress is an art form and the details are what make it remarkable. The initial sketch, hand-mixing the colors, the intricacies of typography and spacing, hand-feeding the vintage presses — from conception to fruition, each and every product is a beautiful journey.

Ramona & Ruth

Each day at the studio is a little different, which is part of what I love about running this business. I typically start the work day at around 9 am once my boys are at their grandparent’s. After I pour a fresh cup of coffee and check through my emails, I go through my list of the day’s tasks which often include a mix of designing new products, printing, packaging wholesale orders, and marketing tasks including social media posts and newsletter design. I recently hired my first employee who will be working as our wholesale coordinator. I am hopeful that this will free up some time for me to focus on more of the things I enjoy, such as the design work and marketing outreach.

Ramona & Ruth

Ramona & Ruth

Designing fresh new products is the absolute favorite part of my job. I can sometimes be quick to tire of my more seasoned products, so I gain a lot of enjoyment out of dreaming up new ideas and nurturing them to life. When it’s time to start thinking about designs for new product releases, I like to start the design process by setting up a calm, quiet atmosphere where there are minimal distractions. This could be at my studio desk alongside my favorite citrus candle with a little music playing in the background. Other times I need a change of scenery so will head over to my favorite little coffee shop that is both quiet and spacious and design there for a few hours. Setting aside specific blocks of time to design along with creating a calm, relaxing atmosphere helps to clear my mind and allow the ideas to flow.

Ramona & Ruth

I have one designated notebook where I jot down my ideas and draw little sketches so that all of my ideas can be found in one place. Recently, I have been really drawn to patterns, so have been experimenting with different shapes and lines and how those can interact with each other in different ways. I also find it helpful to curate boards of things that inspire me such as fashion, textiles, interiors and ceramics. From there, it is interesting to see what overarching theme is apparent across the board and draw inspiration from there. Some of the most fulfilling products to develop are the letterpress greeting cards since many times I am involved in the production from start to finish. It is such an amazing feeling to see a design that started as a little idea in my head pressed into the sheet of cotton paper for the very first time.

Ramona & Ruth

Ramona & Ruth

All photos courtesy of Ramona & Ruth.

Interested in being featured on the Behind the Stationery column? Reach out to Megan for more information at megan[at]ohsobeautifulpaper.com.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin

Based in the colorful land of Los Angeles, California, Katie from The Good Twin is here to share with us the founding moments of her stationery company and take us through a day in her life. I love seeing her pins and stationery in local Brooklyn shops here in New York! So glad to have you here today, Katie. Take it away –Megan

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Hi there! I’m Katie, owner and operator of The Good Twin, based here in toasty Los Angeles. And yes, I am a twin, although my brother might argue with you about the “good” part, ha. I’m so excited to be chatting with you guys today – Oh So Beautiful Paper has been a source of inspiration for me for many years, and stationery is one of my favorite things to talk about, go figure.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

I’ve been working in stationery since my college days in Minneapolis, after a childhood in Portland spent creating greeting cards for family and friends for pretty much any occasion. While I was in art school, I interned for a corporate greeting card company, and then a small letterpress shop, both of which really helped me learn the ins and outs of the industry. I realized I was really excited about the big picture of a business — growing a full line and having creative control, rather than being a hired gun for an art director, and I set my sights on producing my own designs.

When I graduated, I worked a few jobs (barista, library assistant, and freelance illustrator) while my friend John and I started Dude and Chick, a tiny line of letterpress cards. After a few years of long hours and late nights, I moved to L.A., where I eventually decided to leave Dude and Chick and start my own line. The Good Twin was finally off and running in May of 2014.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

My studio is in Lincoln Heights, way on the east side of Los Angeles just northeast of downtown. It’s small, but it’s mine! I only recently moved into a space outside of my house, which has been a big change, but also very welcomed – my apartment feels like a real place again, rather than a storage locker filled to the brim with paper! All of my inventory lives in the studio, and I also carved out a designated area that feels a bit more officelike, with a big desk for drawing.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

I usually bring my pug Peggy to work with me, and we’re joined a few times a week by my friend Bryan, who helps out with inventory management and order fulfillment. Having an employee has been my saving grace —before that, my nights and weekends (and sometimes afternoons) would be spent sleeving cards and pulling orders. I still do a lot of that, but now I have a lot more time to focus on illustrating and the business as a whole.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

As The Good Twin has grown and expanded, I’ve learned to delegate a bit, but I still find myself packing my days with a million different things. I work best when I’m multitasking. My best trick for any problem is to step away for a few minutes and work on something else, then return with a fresh eye. I’ve always relied pretty heavily on a routine and regular work hours, since my brain responds really well to structure. There’s always something to do when you run the show, so I try to put in a full day even if I’m feeling uncreative or having one of those blocks where I feel like I’ll never be able to draw again.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Days usually begin around 9am, after a morning run and breakfast at home with my boyfriend. Mornings are reserved for processing orders and managing my books (nothing like a little Quickbooks with a cup of coffee to wake me up!). I spend a lot of time writing and answering emails from buyers, sales reps, and printers, as well as entering expenses and planning budgets for reprints and new products in the works.

By the afternoon I’m ready for a little creativity. I do my best to draw a bit every day, even if it’s just a few minutes of calligraphy practice. I keep a folder on my phone with all my dumb (and occasionally awesome) ideas for new cards and products. About half the time, I start from a really concrete idea, but often I’ll just be browsing through my endless Pinterest boards for inspiration and just make a drawing or pattern I really like.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Every week I comb through my sketchbooks and pull anything I feel is worthwhile, and from there I ink those drawings (sometimes with a Micron pen, sometimes with a brush), scan them in, and start playing around with layout and color in Illustrator. Although I do hand draw everything, including type, I usually piece things together either in the computer or with a light box. For me, it’s easier to focus on each piece of a composition separately, and then assemble everything in post.Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

My biggest challenge has always been color, and sometimes I’ll go through ten different palettes before I find something I like. Each season’s release gets one huge file where I keep everything so I can be sure it all looks nice together. Once I have the general look down, each design gets a separate file for cleanup, color separations, and other finishing touches before they go off to print. While I’m working, I like to listen to music and podcasts and occasionally audio books.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

I head home for the day between 5-8pm depending on how busy things are and how much I’m getting done. I really love my job, and hands down my favorite aspect of running a small business is the variety. As much as I love designing, it’s important to me to understand things like profit margins, trend research, and sales patterns. I think it helps me better direct my own work and style. I’m constantly giving myself pep talks and figuring out things that I never dreamed I’d be wrestling with, but that’s how I like it.

Behind the Stationery: The Good Twin / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Stationery is really exciting industry, and I love seeing change in my own style as well as the different lines I admire. Hope you enjoyed the peek into my corner of the paper world! Thanks for having me, Megan and Nole!

Photos by Kate Miss

Want to be featured in Behind the Stationery? Email [email protected] for details.