Commission for Rachel Kibler

After I published my buggy business cards I was approached by Rachel Kibler to design some similar cards. Rachel is a software tester like myself, and she wanted some striking business cards to make an impression at her next conference.

I always begin my commissions with a face to face meeting if possible. For something as personal as business cards, it’s essential for me to know the personal identity of my client so that I can build that into my design. Rachel lives on the opposite side of the world from me but a Zoom meeting worked really well.

Rachel is a really lovely person. She struck me as both creative and intellectual, with a passion for music and mathematics. Rachel had an idea for cards involving butterflies which are a symbol of hope and growth. Butterflies are also bugs which is a nod to her software testing career. I sent Rachel some rough sketches of butterfly-themed card designs and we eventually landed on a theme that captures three key parts of her identity – technology, music and mathematics.

The clean vector design presented an opportunity to do something very striking – offers a gold foil effect on cards which I thought would look perfect with this design. Rachel was keen so I designed the cards with the foil in mind.

I made the information side of the card in Canva and I regret it. Next time I think I’ll just use Sketch because it was a real pain to resize and modify it later.

The technology and mathematics designs were created almost entirely in Sketch using handcrafted vectors so it did take a few hours to complete. I used a few butterfly shapes from The Noun Project as masks. I also imported some free golden ratio vector templates for part of the mathematics butterfly.

The music butterfly was the most difficult one because instead of creating my own vector art I used a piece of sheet music that Rachel loved. This meant extracting the elements from the sheet music in Photoshop, smoothing it all out, and integrating it into a vector image in Sketch. To make matters harder, the foil application on didn’t handle fine lines well (thank goodness for the preview function!) so I had to expand the area filled by the musical notes otherwise they would lose their stems.

The above images were just an example of the final design. Preparing them for print with the gold foil meant I had to produce two images per design – the base image with the colour, and the black and white image determining where the foil is applied.

The result was great! In Rachel’s own words:

People LOVED my business cards!!! They were very popular. 🙂

Do you love these cards too? Contact me to chat about designs for you.