Today’s task was to critique the business cards of a classmate. If you know me, you know how difficult this assignment was for me. I tend to see the best in people and hold back my opinion in order to avoid offending anyone. But, I mustered up all my strength and decided that that Carryl would not be very helpful for Bethany. Without constructive criticism, it is hard for us to improve or take our work to the next level. So, armed with Ms. Goodman’s wisdom and Professor Price’s advice, I critiqued.
Bethany’s cards can be found here on her blog, Mapping the Moment.
In Chapter 5, Goodman describes the importance of using the grid to display the most important information, in an easily accessible and clear format. Here are some pointers she gives and how I saw them either applied or not on Bethany’s cards.
- Consistent Typography: Used the same 2 fonts but could vary them more. They are both similar and rather simple, so you could think about adding a more fun or unique one.
- Consistent color and layout decisions: Love that the color of the rose is the focal point, so black and white is effective. In
the King’s Theatre card, the black, gray, and white works. But, you could consider one pop of color consistently throughout, for example maybe your name in a pop of pink.
Goodman describes a good layout like an orchestra, and I think Bethany’s cards are just that. Each part has a unique function, but they flow together well and work towards a common goal.
Chapter 6 is a discussion of identity using logo and logotypes. The chapter opens with, “Take a minimal amount of material and a minimal amount of effort–nothing wasted–to achieve maximum impact.” Lou Danziger must have had Bethany’s business card in mind when he said this. With the rose as the main focal point, you don’t need any excess clutter. I think this rose could become more of a logo for Bethany, because it is filled with meaning and intentionality. Goodman defines 4 steps in the process of identity design.
- Distill: Bethany probably did this beforehand because she gave specific reasons for choosing the rose when she presented her cards.
- Translate: I think Bethany translated what she wanted to say beautifully, even in the simplicity. The only thing I would change is switching her name and the tagline about beauty, so it doesn’t appear she is calling herself beautiful.
- Formalize Visual Consistency: The layout and typefaces and colors all seem to be in visual agreement with each other.
- Simplify: There is nothing more I would do to simplify Bethany’s design. I think she achieved that optimal level of simplicity already.
Lastly, Chapter 7 discusses this very art: Critique and Analysis. So, I guess I should have read this one first…oops. I did my best. Bethany developed her design eye in her use of this symbol of the rose. She has seen it used in the theatre (Beauty and the Beast meets Phantom of the Opera meets Furman’s Rose Garden). This image stuck out to her and pushed her toward this design.
Overall, this is a great example of graphic design and one that would be very effective in the business world. There really isn’t much I would change, but I tried to do my best to channel my inner critic and provide some constructive criticism for Bethany.