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Nini Nguyen, embodiment of all things gorgeous, stylish, elegant and chic, including herself, wanted nothing but black-on-black and deep texture for her Fashion Stylist business cards. Her husband Loc designed these industrial-strength cards using a Stencil typeface, and we applied black gloss foil onto super-thick black Museum Mount with very deep impression. It amounts to understatement that packs a mysterious wallop.


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Troy Woods, owner of Clark Bailey Photography, a consummate professional photographer who works out of Washington D.C., called me up not too long ago looking for some new business cards. It didn’t take long for me to figure out this was a man with strong ideas and a bold approach to his business. Working with Troy was a pleasure and the cards that came out of our conversations are so beautiful they hurt your eyes.

We foil stamped the cards on super-thick, black, 4-ply Museum Mount in gold, with a just a gloss black foil for the word “PHOTOGRAPHY” (a subtle but powerful black-on-black effect) on the fronts; the backs are all in gold foil. There is not a single thing shy about these cards, but they are totally understated and distinguished.

Here are Troy’s own words about our process to get to the result he sought:

Instead of being typical and waiting until the new year, over the last couple of months or so I have been slowly rolling out the re-brand of Clark Bailey. I put a lot of thought into what I wanted to do for the re-brand, answering the questions: What does Clark Bailey stand for? What does Clark Bailey Photography at it’s core represent? I discovered three core principles to which I always strive to take my photography.

  1. Boldness
  2. Strength
  3. Luxury

I didn’t want to complicate things with crazy designs or a lot of bells and whistles. I started changing my online presence to include my blog and website first. And then I moved to my business card. There are SO MANY options available for business cards today and they range from cheap to expensive. Most people order business cards because “It’s the right thing to do in business”. The most dangerous thing I believe you can do is not to put any thought into the card or design. A client or prospective client typically receives your business card one of two ways, after a conversation with you or from someone else as a referral. That is why, for me, it is vitally important to make sure my card represents myself and my company to the best of its ability.

Over the years, I have had my share of business card designs. I received many compliments and comments on my last set of business cards but my brand has changed and I needed something else with more impact. Well what was I going to do this time to top what I did the last time? I finally decided to take a second look at letterpress. At this stage in my business, letterpress really embodies and represents several things that I feel are important to communicate to my clients or potential clients.

My clients typically have had some experience or at least knowledge of letterpress and understand that it cost more than a standard or traditional business card but however it is a great investment. That’s the exact message that I want to carry over to my photography. With that in mind, I made the decision to contact Zida over at Studio-Z Mendocino in California to help me bring my vision together for my new business card. We talked back and forth via email and phone, sent mockups back and forth and finally settled on something that I felt was perfect. Below are a few photos of what she put together for me and like I said, I couldn’t be happier. I recently handed someone my new card and he said “With a card like this, I know your photography is incredible”. Mission Accomplished!

Zida, thanks for making this happen! I really appreciate how easy you were to work with and how you created exactly what I wanted! I can’t wait until phase 2:-)

Me, too, Troy. I think these business cards speak volumes about your way of being a photographer. I love what you say on your web site about photography not being something you do but an extension of who you are. This artistry shows up in every shot you take. You can see Troy’s work on his site and blog.

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