business cards

Strong Social = Killer Branding.

Strong Social = Killer Branding.

Let's keep it simple: when it comes to attracting new clients, you don't want to be pushing anything. People can tell when they're being sold something. The best brands in the world have people coming to THEM because of reputation and exceptional products. Maybe you have both of those things; I'm not saying you don't. But the best (and easiest) way to attract new followers to your brand is through awesome social media content! The first step is to set yourself up on these two platforms: Twitter and Instagram. Hopefully your brand already has a Facebook page, but if you don't, go ask your Aunt Shirley to set you up with that (she's on it, trust me) and then get back to this post. TWITTER Twitter is one of the best ways to communicate quickly and efficiently (read: FREE) with your consumers. It's like answering questions and receiving feedback but without the hassle of real mail or a long response. […]

A Piece of Paper That Folds Itself into a Robot

A Piece of Paper That Folds Itself into a Robot

Imagine a group of flat sheets being sent into space, and then organizing themselves into a satellite. It really seems like some low-budget 1950's science fiction movie. Except for the fact that it'll actually be available. Eventually. As last week saw the world's first robot to fold itself and start working without human interaction. A team at Harvard and MIT created the self-folding robot, inspired by the complex 3-D shapes constructable with origami which were recently published in the journal Science. Sam Felton, a graduate student at Harvard University, says that the robot is made from composite paper, a bendable circuit board and uses the toy, Shrinky Dinks. When heated, the sheet shrinks into small, hard forms. These materials allow for the quick construction of cheap robots, but eventually, Felton said, better materials will help people build objects in places that are more difficult to reach. The self-folding robot that they created is kind of modest, but the future applications […]

Types of Designers to Avoid

Types of Designers to Avoid

There are innumerable reasons for not hiring a particular designer, but these we can reduce to warning bells which can typically warn an employer (or contract employer) that a particular designer will be more trouble than he, or she is worth. LUCKILY, Hotcards doesn't have any of these types of designers, which means you're pretty much assured an awesome experience if you hire us to handle your next design project! (Shameless plug 😉 The Deity – designers of this type simply can't do any wrong. Everything that they do is like manna from heaven, regardless of what your impression of it is. Arrogant doesn't quite cut it, as that's a personality flaw that can be overcome if there's adequate talent on display.This is more akin to a kind of deluded arrogance that is inexplicable. Certainly not someone who you'd like to collaborate with given a choice. The Safe-player – These are designers who don't stand out much. They have basic […]

Will Phermone Infused Business Cards Get Me Dates?

Will Phermone Infused Business Cards Get Me Dates?

AXE, the men's care line that has dutifully portrayed its users in commercials as being relentlessly pursued by scads of hot women, has taken a subtle and interesting turn by passing out pheromone business cards to its employees. It certainly seems like a lunatic concept, but AXE is betting on their employees being somewhat irresistible. One can only hope, I suppose. For real business cards that rely on one's charm to be irresistible to the lady folk, there's a nice batch of them ready and waiting for you here at Hotcards. These work for women, too. No guarantees that members of the opposite sex will be tearing off your clothing comes with the order, though. You'll have to rely on your own charms for that 🙂    

Buffoonish Design Mistakes.

Buffoonish Design Mistakes.

I've gotta be honest, nowhere that I've ever worked would be capable of putting out something this immensely ridiculous. The people are too smart. Too many people eyeball everything before it makes it out the door. And again, people are too smart. But Luckily, the world is populated by people who care so little about their work – that their work makes great fodder for my blog posts! So there's plenty of work out there to laugh at. Pepsi doesn't seem like a company floating in incompetence, but someone had to be sniffing glue when they ok'd this layout. Can't say that people being taken aback by the gratuitous word "rape" necessarily surprises me, even if it is technically an "a". What's actually missing in this ad? Well, the art directors IQ for one thing.   The family that hangs together, dies together. Reassuring imagery at a place that's devoted to healing people. Pepsi again. This time revealing a hatred […]

3D printing: A Beast Upsetting the Apple Cart?

3D printing: A Beast Upsetting the Apple Cart?

Every time I think I have a handle on 3D printing and its potential to change the world, something comes along to suggest that I have no clue. In general, the big movers in the 3D printing space have employed a razor and blade business model whereby they offer the razor at a significant discount while offering the blades – in this case, printing materials – at a significant price hike. But one company, 3COR, a 3D printing company in Ireland, is turning things on their head by printing with the kind of paper that's readily available in any office and most homes. So there's no effort to lock users into buying proprietary materials at a considerable markup through the printer's life. It's kind of like giving away razor blades to go along with your razor. But, of course, it seems more reasonable to discuss a company which prints with paper on a traditional printing blog. So there's that. Anyway, […]

Corporate Logo Changes For 2014, Part 2

Corporate Logo Changes For 2014, Part 2

We really left the most exciting changes for last. Just kidding. University of Illinois. The fighting Illini. A program which shows its face in the Rose Bowl every 50 years or so, has eliminated its own state from its logo and gone for a classic block "I". Not exactly original in the world of college athletics, but it does look classier. And who knows? Perhaps a winning season is in the offing.   The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have themselves a sporty new logo. Well, not new exactly so much as a new illustration. But it's pretty dang good. Greg Schiano may have gotten the old heave-ho, but the 'eers are heading into the future with a snazzy and simplified logo.   Reebok had kind of a dumb-looking logo to begin with, so the fact they've modernized and simplified things a bit would normally be an improvement. But the fact that a shoe and sportswear manufacturer's logo now looks like that […]

Corporate Logo Changes For 2014, Part 1

Corporate Logo Changes For 2014, Part 1

As always, there are a gaggle of companies who felt the urgent need to make their logos fit into what they perceive to be the current landscape, if you will. Some are stunning improvements, while others fall under the category of no one cares but the company itself.  But nothing scares the bejesus out of businesses like change does, so I suppose that they all should be applauded for putting on their big boy pants and doing a little bit of it. Olive Garden made a drastic change to their logo. Can't say that it's a bad thing as their old one seemed like the kind of craptastic fake sign that you'd pick up for $4.99 in the bargain bin at a Marshalls. Their new one isn't exactly a textbook display of design prowess, but is simple and basic. If only Olive Garden could similarly tweak their menu and add a heaping helping of culinary competence.   Bacardi's former logo […]

Social Media Advertising… Useful?

Social Media Advertising… Useful?

It's hard to deny that an approach to advertising that's so simple and, as a general matter, is infinitely more cost effective than whirling out all manner of printed matter and then paying to place it is a virtue. But aside from a feeble stab at name recognition, it really isn't altogether obvious that social media advertising is accomplishing much of anything. In a sense, it's quite obvious that advertisers would go this route, as fragmentation of the market is increasingly a problem, and the likes of Facebook and twitter have to be monetized in some way, but it's hard not to get a sense that marketers are going about it wrong. All wrong. It's a compelling argument that something such as certainty, which social media advertising provides in the sense that you can track all visitors who lay eyes on your message, but what, really, is the point? I'm certainly not the only person who has aimlessly visited a […]

Is The Art of The Newspaper and Magazine Ad Dying?

Is The Art of The Newspaper and Magazine Ad Dying?

There was a time when print ads were a precious commodity, slaved over at the highest levels of the advertising business. But more and more, it seems as though they're being left in the dust as people frantically, mindlessly even, reorient themselves to prioritizing the web. And really, is this an improvement when rather than competing for eyeballs and attempting to stand for something, we've been taken over by people who engage in search engine optimization and the notion of persuading people has given way to measurements of who can screw with the searching process with such significance that they basically fool people into eyeing their half-assed pitches? It's undoubtedly true that much of print advertising was never any good, as there is an ocean of hacks in the advertising business who are not very good at what they do, and there are countless clients who essentially operate off of checklists but have no intuitive sense about how to persuade. […]

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