Self Promo: Business Card Design

Earlier on in my self-promotional plan for last year, I wanted to have my name card printed a unique paper material, something different from the normal name cards. I experimented with a translucent paper material, particularly Tracing paper. While the idea behind was great, as supported by a graphic design lecturer during the interdisciplinary course, however, none here in Norwich suit my needs.

a3While returning back to Singapore for family matters for two weeks, I figured it would be much cheaper to have my business cards printed back home and for obvious reasons; I was more familiar with the printing companies back in Singapore compared here, as I have some experience printing with them for ten years since I was a tertiary student. In other words, my mission was to get it printed before coming back.


The first challenge, of course, was to find the right paper material for my name cards. Searching around in the print industry who could cater to my needs, I managed to find the thickest tracing paper available for a test print, via Fancy Paper Supplier: 160 gsm Tracing Paper, 180 gsm Tracing Whitewizard.

The second challenge was, to get my design confirmed for print. I engaged my friend for advice, an ex-colleague, a designer currently working in a local print company. As I worked tirelessly in refining my name card design and considering the information to be included on the card. I decided not to include contact numbers because I wanted to give industry professionals my name cards not only in the UK, but also in Singapore where I will be based eventually. Facebook page links would be too long and not aesthetically pleasing if included. Being concise is my key element.


After several test prints, I still had to tweak the card dimensions again so it would fit into a wallet. Towards the end of my time in Singapore, after several attempts of refining in photoshop, I had a breakthrough.


I thought about the images on my business cards, that presenting these landscape images and my university works in my business cards are not enough. I ought to include more images to diversify my services to potential clients, particularly Singapore images, which should reflect who I am and where I come from. Vice-versa, by including images outside Singapore, I could be equally versatile internationally. Thus, I have carefully picked twenty-one designs for the first batch of my name card designs. By changing the image orientation to a horizontal strip, I would be able to include much more images on my card without revealing too much of my works.


However, as I was finally ready for print, a third challenge appeared, as I quickly realised: Not many print companies could print tracing paper that thick, due to technical difficulties on their printers. The paper shop staff was kind enough to direct me to Ling Image Pte Ltd, where all other locations I have approached could not. I wouldn’t say that is the only one in Singapore that does it, but I managed to have them printed in the nick of time before checking into the airport.

Why choose Tracing Paper as my business card?

  1. The objective of my business card is that I hope to get people interested enough to search for my portfolio, contact me, or write down info, more than admire my images, and hopefully, that tracing paper material is interesting enough to invoke that reaction.
  2. It is quite difficult to get hold of this kind of thick tracing paper and printing it was another technical challenge.
  3. I would have thought of choosing translucent plastic cards or stickers, but they would not be able to write information on.
  4. When holding my business card to see those images under the light, this action is similar to holding a piece of negatives of the old films.
  5. Due to the difference in currency value, printing in Singapore would have been much more economical compared to in the UK.
  6. However, the delicateness of the tracing paper is that it crumples when there is water.

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