Awareness is Everything

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Got Old Biz Cards?

A small problem that all working people have to face at one point or another - what am I supposed to do with all these old biz cards?

When we moved to our new digs, we didn't order new biz cards right away because we still had a TON of the old. After a little bit of using the old ones and having to explain several times that the address on them wasn't correct anymore, we decided it was time for a newly designed biz card. That's when the question arose. My first reaction was to just throw all the old biz cards in the recycling bin, but then after a quick search, I found many other ways to recycle your old biz cards:
  • You could use them for making a grocery list, jotting down a note for a loved one or taking down messages when on the phone. Plus, since biz cards are made of thicker stock paper than your normal sheet of paper or post-it note, if you wish to take your notes or list with you, you can put it in your pocket and it won't get crumpled as easily.
  • You could use them for entering drawings for door prizes or free catering as long as you make sure you have updated contact info on the card before you enter.
  • You could use them as luggage tags because they hold up better than a thinner piece of paper, but again, make sure you update your information by hand on the card before you use it.
  • You could use them as labels for organizing & identifying CD cases, files or hanging folders.
  • You could use a folded corner of a biz card to make a nice toothpick or fingernail cleaner if you are in a pinch.
  • You could fold up a biz card and use it as a wedge for a wobbly table or chair.
  • You could use the back (if it's blank) as a gift label.
After reading a few articles on what you could do with old biz cards, I thought that most of the suggestions for uses were kind of boring and expected. I ended up searching for more creative and unexpected uses for old biz cards and found the following:
  • You could use old biz cards as noisemakers for the wheels of your child's bike (or even your own for that matter :-) All you have to do is tape or clothespin a card to the supporting bars of the fenders on your bike so that the spokes on the wheel create a motorized sound when they strike the card.
  • You could make your own deck of playing cards and make up a game with them. This is a great one to keep kids busy for awhile with some creative fun.
  • You could cover a wall with the backside of the cards (if they are a solid color or have a cool pattern) for an interesting wallpaper effect. This one would be good for creative agencies or some kind of place that likes to get creative with their work environment.
  • You could use them in being crafty or making art. They make great paint scrapers for scraping paint on a canvas, great for creating collages with to add depth, or blend shreds of them together with other paper to make handmade paper.
  • You could make biz card cubes and put them all together to construct a house of cubes, cube furniture, or even make ornaments for your Christmas tree! This biz card project may take a while and you might actually find that you don't have enough old biz cards! I found this idea to be the coolest, by far, so I ended up making a few cubes myself. I also found someone who had actually spent the time to make a house of cubes.... it took 66,000 biz cards to make the house of cubes-- also known as Menger's Sponge. Now that, is dedication!
Pretty neat stuff, huh? Well, I hope that this gives you inspiration to do something with your old cards that have been sitting in your desk collecting dust. If you decide you really aren't the type to do anything with your old cards, please recycle them or send them to this guy named Steve Patterson -- he collects biz cards. If you are the type of person to do something with your old cards, I say "happy biz-carding" to you!

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spring has Sprung (Creatively Speaking)

What inspires a creativity enthusiast? For me, Sentient’s Art Director, it’s the spring. Could it be all the new blooming buds everywhere? The gorgeous weather? The thought of soon being able to go tubing down the Guadalupe River with beer in hand? Yes, yes and yes, but there’s also an energy and freshness that comes with the changing season. Spring brings in the new and I’m always looking for new places to get inspiration from. A lot of new sites/work being put out there is giving off an amazing amount of energy and a fresh outlook/perspective. Let me give you a few examples of awesome resources for inspiration and good energy for your creative soul.

American Poster Institute
The American Poster Institute is a non-profit corporation dedicated to furthering public awareness and appreciation of the poster art form. I had never heard of it before this year’s SXSW music festival. The API has a traveling poster convention called ‘Flatstock’ where they gather posters from all around the world—different styles and different eras. Someone like me could go CRAZY at a convention like this. You can walk around and look at all the posters and if you find one that you like, you can buy a copy of it. Talk about inspiration EVERYWHERE you look!

Logo Pond
I just recently stumbled across this site, and was really pleased by the work being put up on the site. So many unused, beautiful logos! I thought it was fun to go through all of the logos my fellow designers have done for their clients. It’s also great to hear how they were all received - which ones worked, which was the designer’s favorite and was it actually chosen? Logo Pond is a great place to spark new ideas for an identity system.

Arcade Fire Video
This website was sent to me, and not only am I a big Arcade Fire fan- I am a big fan of this video and this site.. The song was so well done that you can turn off and on different parts of the music and it still sounds beautiful. All the while, the video is playing and still goes along with the different elements of the song. The song and the site are a superb marriage of video and audio. It is really an inspiring piece of work.

Blurb
This is a book making website. This website made me inspired to get my own book started—they appear to be really well done and very personalized in both layout and size. Might be a perfect way to uniquely show off your fabulous work! They have very fair prices and provide FREE software that you need to make your book. You also have the option to sell your book on Blurb’s bookstore and receive 100% of the markup– so be creative AND make some money!

MoMA- Color Chart
Very cool flash website for the MoMA museum- this is for people obsessed with color like myself. You can read an introduction or jump right in to viewing work by time line, by artist, or medium. Okay, and this is the coolest part— when you click through to the work depending on which you choose (artist, medium, or time line), it will use color to categorize each topic. I LOVE IT! Talk about inspiring color use!

I hope you have enjoyed these websites that I have stumbled across – I have definitely been inspired in some way by each one. Now that I have shown some websites that have inspired me, what websites inspire you? What websites have you found this year that you believe to be exceptionally creative or that are doing something cool/new?

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