At GDC, I ran out of business cards and started using Geoff’s. This lead to some confusing emails and a lot of forwards, which is far from ideal. After some struggling, we finally learned from this lesson, so we decided to make only one business card for Lost Decade Games when ordering new ones.
This put us on a path of simplicity. When there’s only one card, there are no names. When there are no names, there are no addresses or titles (or Twitter handles, and so forth). After removing so much, we decided to take everything away and start from scratch.
At this point all we were left with was Lost Decade Games. This was the least we could have; for the cards to function, nothing else could be taken away. This seemed very clean to us, but it didn’t direct people to our website. In a way, it was saying, “Just Google it,” and that’s not cool. That led us to introduce the full URL of our website, which seemed like enough.
Our thinking is that people will hit our homepage, where we have prominent navigation and a welcome module:
For more information or to get in touch, please see our contact page.
On our contact page, we have pictures of us, as well as Twitter handles and email addresses. We could definitely have an easier-to-use website (who couldn’t?), but we feel that any smart people out there who know our website and want to get in touch with us should have no problem doing so.
The business card industry is a strange one in that it’s extremely popular with the tech world, where change happens rapidly, and yet it itself very rarely changes at all.
To me, it had this sort of feeling that you wanted your business card to match the standard measurements and all that because you knew it would be living in a stack, and people may get annoyed with the straggler that ruins the perfect edges! (Or maybe I’m just obsessive…)
But recently my wonderful girlfriend bought some adorable tiny business cards, and I noticed that I was impressed with them. They were different and apparently I was eagerly awaiting something like that for our business cards.
The company we were printing with allowed for an assortment of designs with no extra charge, so I started designing the cards, and (of course!) I quickly began putting in owlbears and dragons and beholders and all kinds of designs based on creatures or objects from our games. I was about an hour in and I kind of had a random mess of designs that didn’t look like they belonged together.
Then I remembered that Geoff and I used to name our projects based on medieval fantasy weapons. Our old (sadly) abandoned game Burn Tactics had a project name of flamberge, for example. We stopped using that theme a while ago because it’s just not scalable. Plus, we feel that project names sometimes should be a bit more contextual than random. For instance, we were working on a proposal for a game with a modern warfare theme, which we called gasmask. It really helped to visualize the project when we talked about it!
Anyway, “medieval fantasy weapons” is a perfect theme for a box of business cards! So I began cutting all the designs that didn’t match the new criteria, and the rest came out quickly and easily. And I really feel like the cohesion helps the business cards feel special.