Who says research can’t be fun?
Well it can be. After something like 100 cups of tea and a lot of trial and error, I have made what I hope are some improvements to my business card idea. See for yourself!
Part of what draws me to the idea of using a tea bag for my business card is the integration of product design and advertisement. A product’s design naturally defines the product as a useful physical object, but at the same time, part of what defines a product is the experience you get when you use it. Good Advertising identifies those types of product details and exploits them. That is easily enough to understand if you are talking about something like a coffee maker where ergonomics is the main issue for the designer, but really good designs are multi-dimensional. Yes I am aware most people think a coffee maker is just a coffee maker, but good designs do not “just work”, rather they “work better” than competitive designs. Just imagine two coffee makers that make identical cups of coffee, but otherwise differ in programing, physical design, and what have you. I do not know about most people, but I like things that just “work better.”
That is where it gets complicated making a business card. The function of a business card is not really defined by its physical usefulness outside the issue of making a card that is convenient, aesthetically pleasing, and memorable as a physical object. I loved the idea about making a carbon fiber card, but theory and practicality do not always mix. No biggie, just a fact of life.
So what defines a really good business card? I am sure everyone has their own unique answer, but I think I can answer my first question with its own question: Is it uniquely memorable? After all, a business card ultimately acts as a networking device. It is the original Facebook/Myspace/LinkedIn. It simply connects people and provides a means to remember a face and organize connections. After that, does anyone really care? So what makes a business card “uniquely memorable?” In my case, it is the fact people connect me with my never ending cup of tea/coffee. That is who I am and as a result, my card will hopefully cause some neurons to connect and lead to an association. It is the “This is different… oh! I remember this person” feeling. From there, I hope my design and other work speak for itself
Well, I will continue to work on my idea and expand on what was working in the next draft. Along with idea of a tea bag, I think I will build a box for my “brand” of tea! And why not some more varied print media too? In my highly caffeinated research sessions I kept noticing the shape of tea bags. In particular, the PG tips bag. It is triangular and unlike any other bag. Like me, it “brings a new angle” to tea bags. Well, I have some ideas about how to play with that.