At least once a month someone asks me, “Do you have a card?” I sheepishly say “no no no”, then I bow my head and lie down like a gentle lamb before the slaughter of missed opportunities. Printing up that stack of cards is something I’ve been meaning to do, but a new urgency always comes up. Like designing one for someone else, often a legit client-type person.
Now a good card has two things going for it – clear catchy content and a fine use of the 3.5 inch form. Not that long ago your options were limited to type and a little logo, the best you could do to stand out was to get the thick ink and the fancy stock. Now the options are limitless, which makes getting the basics right all that much more important. If you really want a timeless card that won’t be tossed anytime soon, take a lesson from Sun Ra.
Sun Ra was a jazzman who knew there was more to success than playing the notes right. You had to put on a show. You had to get your schtick together if you really wanted to make your music stick. The blog “Dangerous Minds” recently uncovered a cache of Sun Ra’s cards from his early days when he was hustling Chicago with various projects including his soon-to-be-famous “Arkestra.” Although Mr. Ra was just starting his evolution to full-blown eccentric jazz genius you can see the roots of his madness in these early artifacts. Not bad for the staid 1950’s.
So the next time you’re thinking about committing to print, don’t be afraid to do it like Sun Ra. Because really, “Why buy old sounds?”