Sunday, May 10, 2009

when a picture ≠ a thousand words

such it is that once in a while a client demands that you fit a lot of text in a very small space. that, my friends, is when your typographic skills need to shine. it is never impossible to make copy fit, although i have often told clients “don’t worry, i can make your copy fit even if it needs to be 4pts small,” jokingly of course. the task of making type legible and communication effective without compromising the design is always a challenge.

one of those challenges occur when a small independent consultant has neither a logo nor a company name to perfectly describe the nature of their business. then they will often request to list all the things they do on their business card, which of course is not quite the best venue to do that. however it is important for those who will glance at the card to know what exact type of services the consultant is providing, as so many words used on cards are often too generic!

one simple solution i have used on occasion, is texture: creating somewhat of a wallpaper with typography, and using the pattern to integrate the services provided. alternatively, creating a graphic element with typography can also be quite elegant. that, in combination with the title of the consultant and their company name, usually gives a pretty full picture of what it is that they do! below are some examples from GR:D

here we used the back of the card to list all the types of events that shelley produces. otherwise, her company name as well as her title were too vague to narrow down her specialty.

in kerri’s case, she was in the process of re-orienting her career, but she felt it was important to let people know she was still providing some of her old services in the transition.

for janice, who is resuming her career as a writer and who is also well known in the advertising industry, we simply wanted to inform people of the different types of writing she provides.