Interview with Graham Keegan - Part One: Dreaming Up a 3-D Business Card

March 23, 2010

I recently got to speak with Graham Keegan, a Los Angeles-based printmaker and creative entrepeneur, about his color business cards design and printing project.

Graham truly understands the importance of business cards in marketing yourself and making an impression. That's why he put so much creative energy, thought and elbowgrease into producing his own tetrahedron-shaped 3-D business cards! Read part one of our interview below to find out his inspiration for the design.

Part two of our conversation is posted here.

PsPrint: Why the new business cards? Are you job hunting or just networking?

Graham Keegan: I recently re-located from Vermont to Los Angeles. I am job hunting, client hunting and friend seeking.

PS: What kind of business are you in?

GK: I am a creative entrepreneur. I dream up art projects and products then write and implement business plans to make the projects happen.

PS: How are these cards different from your previous business cards?

GK: I had a set of older business cards that the information was out of date on, and were just process color offset printed with spot gloss. They did not reflect the sensibility, consideration and integrity that I bring to my creative projects.

PS: Where did you get the idea for the folded, 3-D card?

GK: Last year, I watched the television series "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage" repeatedly. There is a segment in it where Johannes Kepler attempts to explain the orbits of the planets, by housing them inside a series of platonic solids. I became interested in the ideas of these shapes, and how their structures provide the framework for atomic interactions. The tetrahedron, the shape of my card, is the simplest of these solids: each side is the same size, each angle at each point is the same as every other.

I was selling a line of T-shirts and needed to create a gift box to wrap the tees within. I played around with a few different box shapes, but was disappointed with having to use adhesive or a staple to keep the thing together. I thought of doing an origami, paper box because I could print on it flat, then fold it into its final shape. The tetrahedron floated back into my mind, so I looked up different methods for folding them out of a single sheet. I designed and printed the boxes to house the tees, and began giving them away because they had all the information for my business on them. The boxes were about the size of a softball: inconvenient to carry, but really interesting to look at. I got a great response from people regarding them. So, when I was dreaming of this current round of my business cards, that design came to mind, this time in a palm-sized model.

PS: What is the thinking behind the old-timey design and wording on the card?

GK: The design itself is inspired by Beedies and Indian incense packaging. Beedies are a kind of single-leaf tobacco rolled cigarette. Much of the copy on these packages is in both Indian - I don't know the name of the language specifically - as well as English. The packages look old, like classic letterpress on paper, really tired old lead type where the counters are filled in. There is something fundamentally appealing to me about that stuff. I love the idea that someone set a bunch of type 50 years ago and they just cranked out a million labels. I picture stacks and stacks of these printed paper packages just sitting in some dusty warehouse in Bangalore, waiting to be wrapped around old stale tobacco leaves and shipped around the world. One of my favorite packages had the name and address of the main distributor of the product, with a telephone number and address of the hotel he was living at, his phrase was "pleased to correspond." I just loved that and tried to carry that sentiment onto my own cards.

Project Information

Business Name: Tick Tick

Location: Los Angeles, CA


Description: Printmaking with a focus on serigraphy and on-garment prints and some letterpress printing

Project: Business cards

Print Run: 600

Print Specs: 4-up; four plates: yellow, pink, blue and a blind impression for the folds

Paper Specs: French Speckletone True White 100-pound Cover Weight

VIDEO: Check out this video of Graham printing business cards.

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

[...] printmaker and creative entrepeneur, about his business card design and printing project. Part one of our conversation appears in this previous blog post. Here’s part two of the interview, [...]

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

[...] love 3-D business card designs. This one is perfect for advertising a cargo company. You can also watch a quick video of how the [...]

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