Category Archives: my design

My process of designing a business card for a performer/singer-songwriter

My GypsyGoods

When Shimona asked me to help her design her business card, I was ecstatic!

Despite of the hugeeeeeee pile of workload I have in the office, I’m always psyched up to work on something fun and creative. Trust me, nothing feels more awesome than to do something you’re passionate about. Also an A+ for helping a friend! 🙂


Shimona is having a gig at the #BKKtweetup’s gathering this coming Saturday night at Coco Beach, Ratchathewi BTS station Exit 4, so I needed to finish the card designs by the middle of this week (which I did, yesterday night!).

What Do You Want In The Card
Before designing, what I usually ask is the information they want in the card, any particular images, size, color, etc. Besides her contact details and minute info, Shis gave me the liberty to wing the design (a dream, a dream!). But I had to make sure that the design is: simple, sweet and stylish and the color is reddish-orangeish.

I also added another element: minimalist.


Every designer has different ways of brainstorming. For me, I start working on the card itself in Photoshop by first choosing the font. After scouting and trying, I finally settled on Segoe Print (free for download!) as the brand font. Friends following this blog knows my personal obsession with typography – so I believe Segoe Print embodies what Shimona wants to bring out – simplicity, stylo and a touch of carefree-ness! 🙂 The other font I chose is Tw Cen MT, a sans-serif minimalist font used for short information.

Then I googled on business cards just to see what other people have designed for performers. After dozens of pages, I saw one that I really like: a B&W portrait of a singer, smiling carefree off-camera with her hands crossing over each other, and the contact details at the bottom of the card. I knew right then I wanted the similar sentiment for Shis’ card.

Version 1: Orange.

Version 2: Orange – Twitter info at the back.

By the way, I got the Twitter logo from here.

Shis really liked the Twitter-at-the-back design. With a better high-resolution profile picture and a change of color, the final and chosen design became this:


Shis is also going to print another version which I made: City Skyline


Shis also wanted another business card that has her profession as a counselor/teacher stated. So below are the initial designs:

Version 3: Color-Combo

Yup, you can see I experimented the colors by picking color from Google images. You can say that what appears nice on other things doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll work on your BC. A very good lesson to learn, haha!

So Shis suggested baby blue with lush purple. And this is what I came up:

Version 4: Blue&Purple-Combo

I was getting somewhere with the 3rd design (on your lowest right). The top looked a little bare, so I experimented more:


I didn’t design the treble clef, by the way – Shis found it!

So the final chosen design was:



Can’t wait to see these designs printed on hard copy!


Salvaging whatever that can be done

(this entry is written with the impression that the blog readers (esp. friends) know that our Alma mater has upgraded its status from college to a university!)

After I was shocked horrified by the new design of the Student ID (let’s just say, the logo was not proportionate at all!), I decided to check with the RO on the cover of the academic bulletin. I wasn’t designing it (Daron was the last person to design it and the fact that he’s not here…). So I was curious (and yes, perhaps a little concern).

zerpThe 3 different cover designs.

Horrified x 10.

One of the things that I cannot tolerate (besides inappropriately-stretched images) is the obvious and awkward space between the first line of text and the second. I felt like clicking the invisible end and enter buttons to push the text up. Also, because my department works closely with the ‘informal’ branding of the institution, the colors used were not the right ones or even the right shades.

Unlike case scenario 1, the cover has not been printed yet. I was RELIEVED that we could still salvage the bulletin.

So I volunteered to do the cover designs and worked on it the whole afternoon of yesterday. I came up with three:



3The bground color on the left is slightly different because it was exported in Adobe Indesign instead of Photoshop.

These are not final designs though. Apparently, after I showed them to the administrator in charge, she mentioned that there were particular pictures already selected to be on the cover. I didn’t know this before designing.

So I guess it’s back to Square 1. The selected pictures (campus environment from a bird’s eye view, and the 3-fold monument with flags behind) does not 100% suit the templates above so I’ll have to brainstorm again.

But that’s okay. Three years of experience in this line have taught me that your first artwork/draft is not always the final one. In fact, your best works come after many, many revisions.

esl12006/7 version

esl22008 version

And these revisions usually come as a result from people’s feedback.

We need feedback – whether it’s good or bad, whether it’s told in a direct or subtle (the acknowledging-what-is-good-first then give-suggestions/tell what-can-be-improved. This always cracks me up inside because I’ll be thinking, Dude! I know what you’re trying to do. Stop psyching me and just tell me what you want to change! Haha). We need feedback because we work way too closely with our artwork that we only see it in our lens.

And our lens is not necessarily the right lens.

Because  we got to go back to the purpose of the artwork and the target audience and answering some of these questions will help us mold the work to closely represents what it is supposed to represent.

I am digressing here.


*Takes a deep breath.

Anyway, let’s see how it goes.  By the way, I’ve already designed 1 version of the Student ID card (not so sure if they’ll accept, but just in case!). I’ll share once I have another 2 designs set up.


Hi, I’m back.

…with a new template, woohoo! 🙂 Yes, nothing splashy or flashy – just a minimalist design, which I love :). I couldn’t think of what picture to put for the header, so for now, Primo Posto will do.

My recent artwork was designing the MC Christmas Card. Take a look:


The inside of the card.

The inside of the card.

A Bible text.

A Bible text.

And below are the “official” shots of the card:

The outer layer of the card.

The outer layer of the card.

The inner layer of the card.

The inner layer of the card.

I had random conversations with people today. I’m glad I stopped by and listened to them.

Management & Career Workshops Poster

In spite the fact that I hate how someone just feel it’s right to give “jobs” at the very last-minute without any good reason, seeing the end product makes it all worthwhile.

Graphic cliparts are taken from Microsoft Clipart.
Poster is non-commercial (solely used to announce on-campus only).

Hey, another artwork to add to my creative portfolio. 🙂

Not quite there yet


The MC Thai brochure and ESL leaflet (finally) came in today from the printing press.

Although not 100% satisfied with the results (we tried a new company, brrr), nonetheless am feeling a sense of accomplishment/achievement…somehow, somewhere.

My one-second of accomplishment flushed down by endless of things that I need to do…want to do…

I’m trying hard not to complain, and instead, be more grateful. Trying. It’s hard not to be tied down to your negative side. 😦

Creativity – Festival of Faith poster

I’m not supposed to be online, but I couldn’t resist not to upload this:

Festival of Faith poster (equivalent to Week of Prayer)

Festival of Faith poster (equivalent to Week of Prayer)

I am grateful for the breath of creativity.

Creative block unblocked

How was your (working) day today?

Mine was mostly spent on one project: Designing a new college ad for a magazine publication.

MC advertisement

MC advertisement

After designing one after another ads and brochures for the college for the past two years, I’ve discovered that your first work is not the end/final product. In other words, your first attempt is not your best work. I usually get better results when I experiment with all sorts of textures, layouts, colors, types, etc. Sometimes it’s frustrating because you have to be real patient to come up with ideas. I think one of the worst things that could happen to any graphic designers is creative block.

Yes people, there IS such thing as creative block.

Google listed 625,000 sites on the subject 'creative block'

Google listed 625,000 sites on the subject 'creative block'

Some websites list ways on how designers can deal with creative block. Some suggested taking a nature walk, sketching and even cleaning their house.

Marion Boddy-Evans wrote about Tips from Painters to Overcoming Creative Block. Source:

As for me, aside from the normal brainstorming, sketching and skimming through magazines, journals and websites, I have another way of dealing with creative block.

And that, my friends, is eating. Chips.

Pringles on my office table

Pringles on my office table

So much for dealing with my creative block.