Do you use Moo cards?
I have some typical corporate cards, but in truth, I am not sure what I am trying to convey. That I am a relic of the Emily Bronte era? But are Moo cards, half the size of a business card, with pictures on one side and minimal contact info on the reverse, too frivolous?
Whatever’s the right choice, Moo cards require quite a lot of conscious decision making. Which pictures should I use? What do they say about our products and services? And what should I say about myself in exactly 6 lines?
Moo cards also require a modicum of administrative efficiency. I need to load up photos, or find some on Flickr, edit them using an online service like Picnik, and then place them on the Moo interface, pay Moo online and wait – for about 10 days for them to arrive through my letterbox.
Starting from scratch, it took me about 3 days (!) to make a set of 10 cards which will be printed 10 times each. The magic of Moo is that the customization is done at no extra cost. I could do 100 unique cards, if I wished, or 100 of a single card. Anyway, three days is way too much time, so I paid attention to what I was doing and this is the routine that I will use in future.
Routine for designing Moo cards
- I’ve set up a directory called Business Cards, and a subdirectory for each month: November, December, etc. In free moments while I am hanging on to a call centre, for example, I will search Flickr for pictures and download them into the upcoming month’s directory. I also did one more thing: I went into the Tools of my browser and set it to ask me where to download (or it dumps everything on me desktop/screen).
- I explore rather than search Flickr. Under explore I go to Creative Commons and search pictures that are listed as “By and Share-alike”. This means the owner is happy for me both to use them and to change them, provided I indicate who took them and provided I allow anyone else the same right to use the picture I come up with.
- I am continuously thinking of tags that might represent my business. Being a psychologist, so far I have searched for words like “horizon”, “dream”, “steps”. When I find a promising picture, I download it carefully saving it with filename like “Name of the Picture by Photographer via Flickr”. Normally the picture will save as a .jpg file.
- In the future, when I have some free time, I will go into the online editor, Piknic. It’s free and there is nothing to download. Here is where I hope to save a lot of time that I spent last time around.
- Use Edit to resize the picture so the width is 330. The length doesn’t matter so long as it is 900 or so or less. An alternative is to resize the picture to something bigger and crop to the right width.
- Go to Create and add frames. I’ve found the trick is to set the inner and outer frames to full and change the colour to suit the picture. I’ve also found it simplest to make both frames the same colour. At a picture width of 330 and both frames on full, the final picture printed by Moo will have no frame along the long sides and a thick frame at both top and bottom where I can add text.
- Use Text to add a heading at one end or the other. So far I’ve mostly used a variation of the picture’s name, such as “horizons”. Then I vary the font and colour to suit the picture. I also found, after much trial and error that the title must fit within the picture width. As a guide, the circle placeholders must be within the picuture, not overlapping its ends.
- Use Text to add the copyright information “Picture name By author via Flickr” and use Shapes to find the BY and Share-a-like pictures. These shapes look like a man and a broken c (not full c) respectively. Occasionally, I put the copyright information on the picture itself. Whatever looks good.
- Save the picture with a new file name. I extend the original filename with the word “pikniked”.
- When I need to order some more cards, I will go go to Moo and select mini-cards. Using upload, I can pick out the images I have already edited and saved onto my harddrive, position them, and preview them. In the past, I have done this even if I am not going to proceed with an order, just to make sure I have edited the picture correctly. As in this run, if I want say 20 of one card and 10 for 8 others, then I just upload the first image twice! Lastly, I whip out my credit card and pay online. The going price as of the end of November 2008 is 9.99 pounds and 3.68 postage. Print out the confirmation and wait 10 days!
I am looking forward to the cards I have made especially for Christmas. Two geese, looking quite fat and prosperous are waddling through the snow. That’s my metaphor for the recession! A fun, happy and prosperous 2009!
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