Monthly Archives: December 2013

How To> Iterate and Choose

Since it’s been a short while since I’ve made any new developments on my business card design, I thought I’d pick up the project again with the approach of the new year being a great deadline.

After posting some sketches of ideas I had for a logo, (check here,) I got a lot of great feedback from friends and family; but also it was very varied input on which was the best approach. Feeling stumped, I decided to follow my own advice and move forward in another part of the challenge: the over all design of the card. I was doubly motivated when I found this free Skillshare class.

Almost like magic, my brain made some decisions about the logos I had produced and I jumped back into the boat to finish streamlining logos. I have it down to two winning ideas shown below. Ignore the layout (my name is simply a place holder,) and focus on the logos.

2 logos to choose from

Deciding between 1 and 2.

Stay tuned for drafts of the full card layout to see which one I’ve chosen!

How To> Be: A Millennial

With the economy and world the way it is, there’s been a lot of chatter about what it means to be a Millennial. But it rarely seems to come from anyone in this said generation. Let’s start with some delineation: what does it mean to be a “Millennial”?

The ever truthful and occasionally reliable Wikiepedia claims that, “Milliennials, or the Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Y, are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates when the generation starts and ends. Commentators use beginning birth years from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.” This is a self-admittedly broad definition connecting mostly to a fuzzy time frame; also, not what all the buzz is about.

Many of the articles discuss our* generation being labeled as “lazy” or “entitled,” while others acknowledge the complexity of the time. The debate seems to stem from everywhere, and unsurprisingly friends and family from many different generations bring it up often. Disregarding labels, every generation feels the need to prove itself worthy to the generation prior one way or another. Why? Because we tend to expect only what has already been seen, and thus new roles are always the most challenging to foresee.

My favorite example that comes to mind from a previous era is the now renowned F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.  The nouveau riche and opportunities for reinvention were looked down upon by old money, aka, the previous generation. Gatsby was a metaphor for anyone who took the system by the reins and exploited it’s weaknesses, aka, the prohibition etc. Again, those with ties to inherited or traditionally earned wealth peered down their long noses, almost egging motivated characters to show off their wealth via opulence. This is just one of many themes that identify the conflict between the “new” and the “old,” and though completely different from today, bear a striking resemblance to some of the patterns to what I experience and witness.

So as I delve deeper into generational themes for my up coming novel, I thought I would write my own reply to the looming accusations that we are lazy or entitled**:

Many of our parents came from nothing, which motivated them to work hard to climb upwards and become something. And since many (again, this is a generalization, I think immigrating families all have some version of this experience in any time period,) of our parents have raised us without that need. Instead they have instilled a drive within us to find a career that “makes us happy.” This is a much broader goal than “earn money,” and in a way could be considered entitled thinking as we [thought we would] have the luxury of time and support to help us find this path. In the end, we are not lazy though. We graduated college expecting a degree in something, -anything-, and believed that would be enough to get us a decent job. For many of my friends (and myself) at least, when our first choice career did not come easily, we were ready to settle for anything that would allow us to be independent WHILE following our dreams.

Though I can’t speak for everyone, I know of so many examples of friends who are working 2-3 jobs to pay for rent just to move out of their parents’ homes and aim for independence. In most cases, at least one of the jobs taken is an unpaid internship or other low-wrung stepping stone to our dream careers. But even surviving on this combination can be a challenge. Please understand, no one lives at home because it is their first choice. No one, (except possibly in extremely rare cases,) loves living at home with their families; if you are living with your parents, I bet you are doing whatever you can to move out, no matter how much you love them.

If any one of us started off feeling entitled, the majority of us found out quickly this would not be true after receiving our degrees. Instead, we are anything but lazy as the numbers for highly educated people take lower and lower paying jobs. Lines for separating these generations aside, I am deeply curious about what great expectations the next generation will face, how they will be mislabeled, and how they will fight back. Good luck Generation Z!

*I consider myself a Millennial and loosely am speaking from that perspective, thus I am choosing to use the royal “we” in this context.

**I lump these two together because they often land on the same line when one searches (as I have) for “Millennial” on Google.

Extra Reading: F Scott’s own interpretation of his generation, very interesting:

How To> Design a Logo, via Iteration

Branding is key, and having a strong logo makes sure your audience knows which door to open to find yours. With this value in mind, I am starting with designing a logo for my business card. By beginning with this, I can spend the week refining the image while I continue to develop the other aspects of the project- since most of them are much more cut-and-dry.

pencil sketches of first draft logos


Here are nine very casually sketched logos, using my initials (AMW and AW). From personal and external feedback, so far I am leaning towards a second generation of 2 main concepts evolving.  Specifically, combining D and E, as well as creating H on with typed text and possibly having more than one line of text per stroke.

Here is where you come in: what are your thoughts on the above 9 logos? Leave  your feedback in the comments and stay tuned for tomorrow’s turns.

How To> Design, Make, and Print a Business Card

As a creative with a perfectionist complex, I both know and fear the importance of a well designed business card. After all, it is a small memento you leave like breadcrumbs in the world around you, hoping they will lead the right connections directly to you.  Though I have the ideas, skills, and need to create an updated business card for my blossoming brand, I have been mortified that whatever I create will not be good enough. [This leaves me using a template-made card I created over 5 years ago.]

Therefore, I am using this blog to teach myself and others how to make a business card. That is where you come in: you, the internet community, are endlessly wise and filled with particular skill-sets and particular opinions. For each day of the next week to come, I will write about and work on one more step of the creation of my personal business card, and ask for your help, through feedback in the comments below, along the way.

So let’s get started! Since today is Sunday, it’s a good day to design my game plan for the week ahead. The following are a few ideas of elements I want to focus on divided up into 5 categories.

  1. The logo
  2. The terminology of my branding (contact info, title, etc.)
  3. The color scheme
  4. Placement and composition
  5. Final editing, proofing/polishing.

What do you think? Is there any part of the business card creation process I’ve missed? Do you have any websites or ideas of where one might start along this process? Tomorrow to start, I am plan to sketch out 6 potential logos and ask you the reader to vote on a favorite.

Stay tuned and feel free to bug me about how far along I am in this process. Let’s all learn together!