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Topic: Business card critique??
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 7, 2007 03:51PM)
Hey all!

So...I'm having a business card designed for me. I was wondering what you all thought of it? It's not finished yet, so any and all comments/feedback is greatly appreciated!

http://www.freewebs.com/simmonsmagic/businesscard.htm

Thanks!
Steve

EDIT: On the back of the card, I'm thinking of having my caricature on there, and having it say:

Availible for:
corporate events
private parties
weddings
...and much more!

Your thoughts? :)
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 7, 2007 04:34PM)
Thanks Chad for the suggestion on the back of the card! :)
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 7, 2007 05:04PM)
Hi Steve -

Don't say what you are available for. Let the customer ask you about venues.

What do you think about having some sort of testimonial or benefit statement on your card? Those are a couple of possibilities.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: joshlondon17 (Aug 7, 2007 06:18PM)
The logo with your name seems to be a bit squished. It looks a bit odd with the white background of the card.

Josh
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 7, 2007 06:39PM)
Josh,

Thanks for the input man. My opinion, I don't think it looks squished at all. As for the background, I don't want to change it up to much. Any other color, and it might blend in more than I want. It stands out with the white, IMO atleast. :)

Thanks again!
Steve
Message: Posted by: chris mcbrien (Aug 7, 2007 09:22PM)
The logo looks too muddied to me.
honestly, the colors, textures, shapes and personality of your avatar here are far, far more what I like to see in an interesting magic business card, and I collect them...some go back to the 20's and 30's.
Take your avatar, put some simple, bold white letters with your contact information. Don't put "magician", put "entertainer of mysteries" or something....if I were your client I'd go for it!
Let me know whatever one you use, would love a copy for my collection!
Just one persons opinion only, but I really do like the avatar better and it's unique!
Best,
Chris
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Aug 7, 2007 09:34PM)
Personally the one in the corner with the cards and says magician looks better than the one you posted. It certainly says your name, but doesn't say what you are or ur service is except for the Simmonsmagic.com and that may not register. You want people to glance at ur card and know what you do.
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 7, 2007 09:42PM)
Would it be better if I asked him to make it say SIMMONS MAGIC rather then my name?
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 7, 2007 09:52PM)
Should I just ask him to take my caricature and put my contact details on that and make that into my business card??
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Aug 7, 2007 10:40PM)
Well I'd put something other than simmons magic.com on it that would say you are a magician or do magic
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 7, 2007 10:51PM)
Yea...my caricature the main pic. Then above that say Steven Simmons, Magician. And on the bottom my cell and website??

Something like that. I'm gongi to talk with him tomarrow about it. Thanks! :)
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 7, 2007 11:18PM)
Does anyone here have a vertical business acrd? how common are they? I would need to do that for my caricature to be on the card. Your thoughts?

Once again...thanks so much to everyone for all the help! :)
Steve
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 7, 2007 11:50PM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-07 23:40, photius wrote:
Well I'd put something other than simmons magic.com on it that would say you are a magician or do magic
[/quote]

My current business card doesn't say the word "magic", "magician", "illusion", or "illusionist" on it. Sometimes it's ok to break the rules.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Aug 8, 2007 02:13AM)
HMMM.... not too impressed......
It needs to pop-out..... Make a statement...... describe you just by the image of the card....
Message: Posted by: leapinglizards (Aug 8, 2007 07:11AM)
I prefer the corner logo on your web site to the design of the new card.
Message: Posted by: joshlondon17 (Aug 8, 2007 07:29AM)
I agree with Curtis. What makes you different? If someone had 10 business cards from other magicians, why would they pick yours out of all of them?

Since you seem to want to do private parties and work your way to corporate list the BENEFITS (notice BENEFITS, not FEATURES) of booking you.

Another thought is why have a caricature? I personally feel it screams, "I do magic for all occasions, especially kid shows." I feel that about anyone who has a caricature or clip art associated with them. The exception is Lance Burton.

Josh London
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 8, 2007 10:32AM)
Hey all. Thanks for all the advice.

As for the caricature, it fits my style. That's all. Anyone that's seen me perform knows I don't do kids shows, but they still love the caricature. :)

On another note, here's PK's second attempt on my business card. He's redesigning the logo completely, so no worries there. :)

http://www.freewebs.com/simmonsmagic/businesscard.htm

ALL opinions and feedback are greatly appreciated!

EDIT: I'm also going to have him make the site and number a bit bigger font.
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Aug 8, 2007 11:44AM)
I think (attempt 2) is the best one....

I would suggest you place the word magician after your name
Steve Simmons - magician (make the font of magician smaller then your name and plain bold black....)
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 8, 2007 04:18PM)
I would like to chime in here and offer some help and feedback if I can. As many of you know I am a graphic designer and illustrator by trade as well as a magician. Let me give you some feedback on all 3 versions comign from both a designer's perspective as well as from a magicians. It is my pleasure to do so and I hope my information may be of help to you. My pleasure.

Option1:
- The first problem I see with the card is that each element of the logo and of the text are taking the same weight. This means they are fighting for the attention of the client at the same time and there is no power of focus happening. In good design, you want them to be able to see your logo mark frst and have a higherarchy of design. I would increase the size of the logo and make it more prominant on the card.

- The logo mark (text style logo) is not bad but when reduced to the size of the business card, it gets "muddy". this basically is a term meaning that the logo is lost because there is too much going on in the background. There is not enough contrast between the name and the background art and that causes eadability issues. I also am having a hard time making out what the images are in the background and that may confuse your prospects. A fix for this would be 1) to ghost back the background more to cuase more contrast or get rid of some of the background imagry so there is more focus and contrast.

Option2:
- The overall problem with the card layout is there is too much going on. There is simply too much happening and all screaming for the prospect's attention at the same time. You really have a pretty nice mark with the caricature. However, the caricature is one that is very detailed. The logo text mark is detailed as well. These are competiting against each other. If you have a very detailed caricature you want to downplay the other elements within the layout.

- The gradation is out of place in the design. If you are going to add in any design elements, they should complement the design and are usually based upon the logo mark itself.

Option3:
- The type style and the logo mark of your name is just very cliche. It also does not complement the other design elements and appears to be thrown on the card. the caricature is clean and relaxed but the logo type is much to energetic and does not complement the caricature.

Now these tips are not meant to be hurtful or a personal atack at all. They are an honest review and critique aimed at hopefully helping you out by giving you insite as to what works and does not work form a graphic designer's perspective.

here is what I think you could do to create a very cool and memorable card with what you have. Now this is only an option as I would need to play around with it on my computer in my studio to really get it down.

- I would first flip the card vertical. there is nothing out there that says a magician can't have a vertical card. Vertical cards do get noticed and makes you stand out. The vertical nature of the caricature itself really screams to want to be on a vertical card format.

- I would enlarge the caricature. make him the central and main focal point of the card. if you increase it, there imagery and detail will show up much better when reproduced.

- I would keep the card clean and simple. Use the caricature in the middle of a vertical card and towards the top. I would have the caricature take up at least half the card and maybe a bit more. give it some nice white space arund it. The shadow is nice cause it looks like he is grounded on the business card. It gives it a very nice starting focal point.

- I would then have your name on two lines and centered under the caricature. I would probably make it red to pick up the color from the shirt. This heps to tie in the text to the logo.

- then I would have your contact information in black and smaller under your name and also centered on the card. Give some space ebwteen your name text and the contact information.

Doing this will create a very clean and professional card that will really shine and be more readible to the people looking at it.

Hope this helps. just my 2 cents worth.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 8, 2007 04:44PM)
KYLE! I was waiting for you to chime in! Thank you soooooo much!!! :)

I completely agree. I was thinking about a vertical card too....but didn't know of anyone else that had them. Thanks so much. That was almost exactly what I was thinking. Wow!

Thnaks so much Kyle. I'm going to get this info over to the guy designing my card right away. Thanks!

Steve
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 8, 2007 05:16PM)
Steve:

My pleasure. I have designed many vertical style cards before for other clients of mine so don't be afriad to do something different. The vertical card will work a lot better with your caricature as the caricature itself is a vertical format. It will also allow you to go larger on the caricature image and give it more prominance. The text under it centered will just create a nice clean look and feel that is also professional as well.

Let me know if I can be of any further help to you. It would be my pleasure. I am always open to crtiquing and reviewing promotional pieces and offering suggestions to anyone. that is how we all learn and how we can make sure we are putting out a top quality marketing material in the markets we work.

Keep me posted on how things are going for you and let me know if I can be of further assistance. My pleasure.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Flec (Aug 8, 2007 05:18PM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-08 00:50, Donald Dunphy wrote:

My current business card doesn't say the word "magic", "magician", "illusion", or "illusionist" on it. Sometimes it's ok to break the rules.

- Donald
[/quote]

Donald, same here. Mine says "entertainer." I try to offer the whole package, and sometimes when you say magic it immediatley gives people a thought of top hat, tails, rabbits, etc.

Steve, try to eliminate all stereotypical things regarding magic. I wouldn't use a magic wand on my card, unless the wand was part of the act. When I was younger I had a logo of a top hat, and a magic wand....neither of these items have ever featured in my act, so I realised it wasn't for me.

By saying you do "corporate parties, birthday parties, and weddings" almost narrows you down to those three fields. What about golf days, trade shows, school/college shows, etc etc. People wil only associate you with whats on your cardm and sometimes nothing else. But by the same token....you don't want to appear as though you are a jack of all trades. The old saying...jack of all trades, master of none!

I read on the Café years ago, all of a magicians promotional material should make it look like he is the specialist in that field. So your wedding brochures might say "the wedding entertainer" or your corporate golf ones might say "the only man to have at your golf day!" etc etc.

A business card is obviously for anyone, so don't narrow yourself down to certain fields. Like Donald said, let them ask you about where you perform, and then you can plant the seeds in their mind.

The caricature is great....make the most of the good work! And if you're going to do anything on the back, put your contact details AGAIN. you can never put your contact details on there enough. mobile, home, email, website....anyway they can get hold of you.

I don't hand out my business card witout letting the people know exactly what I can do. So it doesn't need to say "magician" on it. I don't leave my cards in shop windows or places like that...in my experience who is going to book someone without seeing how good they are? its happened once or twice, but it doens't bring in the millions.

just my two cents.
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 8, 2007 06:04PM)
Kyle and Flec! Thank you so much! :)


A few questions though...what do you think of puting the caricature on a side by itself (w/ my name), then my contact details on the back? I thought of this, but I'm not sure.

Also, what's your opinion on puting something on the bottom, like "present this card, get 10% off your next show!" kinda thing? I don't want it to look tacky, but that would make it more likely for a potential client to hang onto it, would it not?

Just a few thoughts. ;)

Thanks everyone!
Steve
Message: Posted by: joshlondon17 (Aug 8, 2007 06:06PM)
Speaking of vertical cards, Chris Kenner has one in his book, "Totally Out Of Control." It looks really good and is worth taking a look at.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 8, 2007 06:34PM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-08 19:04, Magic_Steve wrote:
Also, what's your opinion on puting something on the bottom, like "present this card, get 10% off your next show!" kinda thing? I don't want it to look tacky, but that would make it more likely for a potential client to hang onto it, would it not?
[/quote]

Hi Steve,

While I'm not an expert in the Corporate Market, I feel that some of the markets you want to do shows in, are not looking for a 10% discount.

Offering such a thing gives the impression of tackiness, not professionalism. It will chase away customers, not draw them to you.

Look at things from your customer's point of view. Budget is not always their # 1 concern, or # 1 objection to buying. They typically do not book the least expensive entertainer.

For certain markets, a discount coupon could work (ie. moms booking children's birthday parties), although I don't use that technique myself.

If you want to include some sort of offer on your card, seek out the recent thread on "lead generation magnets" for alternative offers to discount pricing. I still think that a testimonial quote or a benefit statement might be a great way to go, for the back of the card.

- Donald

P.S. For the front, I like the idea of a vertical card, with your characature, then name, then title about what you do (maybe), then phone, then website. If necessary, your address. And that's all you need on that side.
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 8, 2007 07:13PM)
Thanks Donald!

That's what I was thinking, that it would look tacky. Some people would actually feel better about paying MORE for entertainment than saving a few bucks. THOSE are the people I want to work for. :)

On another note, what do you think of my caricature on one side, with SIMMONS MAGIC on top. Then on the other side, my name, number, website, etc. What's your opinion on this?

Thanks again!
Steve
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 8, 2007 07:40PM)
It's a good idea to have your first and last name by your caricature, above or below. Name association to the graphic of you.

When I had a photo on my card, my name was nearby.

It's ok to put (different) relevant information on both sides of a card, to make the most use. Treat it like a two-sided mini-flyer. That's why it's ok to have your name, phone, photo, etc. on one side, and a testimonial, benefit statement, etc. on the other side.

Some people waste some of maximum space usage of their cards, by having a logo only on one side of the card, and their name, phone, website, on the other. I've even made that mistake at one time.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 8, 2007 07:57PM)
Donald,

Care to elaborate on what a benefit statement is?

Thanks!
Steve
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Aug 8, 2007 08:46PM)
Have two business cards...
One that you present in promo packets and casual everyday meetings,,,, And the other to give to the kids to color in YOUR character.... with the 10 % dicount on it....

Just a thought
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 9, 2007 09:03AM)
Hi Steve -

As a starting place, I'll assume you know and understand the difference between a feature and a benefit, when it comes to selling.

A benefit statement is a short statement you make about how your services will impact the customer or their event.

Sometimes it conveys emotions to the prospect (customers buy based on emotion, and justify their decision based on reason).

It's a little different than USP - Unique Selling Position. Many performers think they have created a USP, when rather what they have created is a Benefit Statement.

Words like fun, exciting, unforgettable, hassle-free, guaranteed, etc, are often used in a benefit statement.

Talk in terms of what outcomes your customer wants. They don't want a magician. They want what a magician does for them or their event (which in turn, effects them).

Rather than just handing you one, I'll let you search through some other posts to figure one out for yourself. Then, I can help you fine-tune your own privately behind the scenes.

- Donald

P.S. The current Benefit Statement I am using as a headline on my card, was written for me by a copywriter, as part of a professional critique I had done on my last business card.
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 9, 2007 10:38AM)
Thanks Donald! Already sent you a PM!

On another note, check out what PK just sent me! I sent him Kyle's reply, and here's what he got. :)

http://www.freewebs.com/simmonsmagic/businesscard.htm

Thanks everyone! (And Kyle for the idea!)
Steve
Message: Posted by: joshlondon17 (Aug 9, 2007 10:48AM)
That looks good. But, it might be a better idea, instead of centering the caricature, place it closer to the left side of the card. Only because it seems like you (the caricature) are leaning against a wall. It would look unnatural to have it in the center.

On the opposit side have some benefits of booking you, a quick testimonial, etc.

Josh London
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 9, 2007 10:55AM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-09 11:48, joshlondon17 wrote:
That looks good. But, it might be a better idea, instead of centering the caricature, place it closer to the left side of the card. Only because it seems like you (the caricature) are leaning against a wall. It would look unnatural to have it in the center.

On the opposit side have some benefits of booking you, a quick testimonial, etc.

Josh London
[/quote]

Thanks for your input Josh!

If you look a bit closer, he's leaning up against a Sharpie. We're probably going to keep him where he is for the card. :)

As for the opposit side (I hope you're talking about the back), Donald and I are working to come up with a benefit statement for the back of my card. :)

Thanks again!
Steve

EDIT: WHen I said center everythiny up, I mean't the font. It looks a tad bit off. LOL! (might just be me though..).
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 9, 2007 11:29AM)
The front is closer to what I imagined, after Kyle's excellent input.

It might also be a good idea to put the city and state you are in, in a smallish point size, under your telephone number, in case your card wanders out of your area. You don't necessarily need your whole address, but at least the city and state.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Aug 9, 2007 01:11PM)
I like the last one.... Very nice....
Great, can I buy some insurance? OHHH you are not an insurance agent? What are you again?

Get my point....??????
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 9, 2007 01:32PM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-09 14:11, magicofCurtis wrote:
I like the last one.... Very nice....
Great, can I buy some insurance? OHHH you are not an insurance agent? What are you again?

Get my point....??????
[/quote]

Curtis,

Thanks for the input man. Me and Donald are taking care of the back of the card, and it deals with that exactly. ;)

Thanks man!
Steve
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 9, 2007 02:52PM)
You are very welcome Steve. This is a much better, stronger and cleaner design. If he makes the tweaks you mentioned on the site, that would be great. That is enlarging the caricature more and centering it on the card. This will give it more "pop" and catches the reader's eye better. It makes the card much cleaner and professional in apearance. Good stuff. I do think Curtis has a point. I would make one little tweak to the front by adding what I call a tagline right under the red text of your name. Make it small and in black and maybe just put magician or Magical Entertainer. This way people know immediately what you do and what you are about and do not have to hunt for it. Hope this helps.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 11, 2007 01:01AM)
Hey all.

The final copy of my business card is one my site. Feedback and criticism is very much appreciated. =)

http://www.freewebs.com/simmonsmagic/businesscard.htm

Thanks to EVERYONE for all their help and advice, especially Kyle and Donald with the copy on the back. :)

Best.
Steve
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 11, 2007 09:12AM)
You are most welcome steve. I hope my thoughts, comments and graphical ideas were of help to you. It is always a pleasure to help any magician who wants to help themselves. As a graphic designer, I love to try and teahc others about good design and when I can, it means a lot to me. I think your card has come leaps and bounds from where it started and I wish you much success.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 11, 2007 09:36AM)
Hi Steve -

I don't see the back. Did you post it there?

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 11, 2007 10:41AM)
Donald,

For some reason, it wouldn't let me post it. I tried resaving it and everything. I'll email you the final copy. ;)

Thanks everyone!
Steve
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 11, 2007 11:25AM)
Got your e-mail, and send you some feedback by PM.

It's been my pleasure to help you, Steve. I hope that you can use your cards (just another tool in your toolbox) to book lots of shows.

- Donald

P.S. One reason it might not let you post it, is the odd file type of the image.
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Aug 13, 2007 09:46PM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-08 17:18, magic4u02 wrote:
- I would first flip the card vertical. there is nothing out there that says a magician can't have a vertical card. Vertical cards do get noticed and makes you stand out. The vertical nature of the caricature itself really screams to want to be on a vertical card format.

[/quote]

I agree with Kyle. I've got a vertical card. Have had some very positive feedback on it.
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 13, 2007 11:29PM)
Thanks Laurie. It's already out to press, so I'll see how it turns out! Here's to wishing it's all good! :)
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Aug 14, 2007 08:27AM)
Very welcome, Steve.
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 24, 2007 08:29PM)
Hey all...

Business cards came a couple of days ago. They look absolutely killer! WOW! This is by far the best business card I've had. Thanks for Donald, Kyle, Curtis, Josh, and a whole lot more people for helping me design this thing. I really appreciate it! :)

Thanks!
Steve
Message: Posted by: joshlondon17 (Aug 24, 2007 08:47PM)
Steve,

Glad you like the business card. Make sure to only hand them out to people who are qualified to pay for your magic services. This is something that took me a long time to figure out when I was doing restaurants. I just wouldn't hand my cards out to anyone. They had to prove to me they were worthy of my services.

Josh London
Message: Posted by: tparrett62 (Aug 24, 2007 09:10PM)
Here's an opposite train of thought- give 2 to everyone. Tell them to keep one for themselevs, and to give one to someone else who they think can use your services. With all due respect, giving them only to people who look "worthy" of your services will eliminate a lot of good prospects. I have gotten MANY good gigs from unlikely sources. Give out as many as you can, then separate the wheat from chaff when they call.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 24, 2007 09:15PM)
Great to read of your success, Steve. Now use those tools (business cards) to get more business. :)

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Magic_Steve (Aug 24, 2007 09:54PM)
Thanks all. anyone that that says yes is worthy of my card...on cell so cant type much...thanks!!!