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Brand Yourself into More Job Opportunities


One of our favorite creative friends Rick Byrne, recently posted this clever self-branding piece over at his Design Career blog.

Rick’s always been passionate about helping others in the design world (aside from his tireless work with the SF AIGA, he’s let us repost his articles How to Get the Design Career You Want and Designing Full Page Takeovers).

We’re happy to share his affordable business card design adventure with anyone looking to add a bit of branding to their freelance image.

I already had a series of business cards which used the ‘Aviator’ image plus details on one side and 10 different movie quotes on the reverse thanks to It was always fun handing them out as the recipients guessed the movies that the quotes were from. After a while I wanted to take the project further.

cards 1

One day, while in the local library in San Rafael, I looked across the street at The Belrose Performing Arts Center. While looking at the converted church I had a eureka moment: I could use multiple outfits from the costume shop underneath the theater to create 10 different personas. Seizing the moment I went across and explained my idea to Tori Arnold behind the counter. She was very helpful and I started quickly thinking through 4 different personas and poses on the fly.




props 2

props 3

Surrounded by over 3,000 costumes and a multitude of props I dived into the project by taking selfies. Having art directed photo shoots many times before I got all 10 personas done in two 3 hour sessions.

selfie 1

Each character took about 100 shots to get right with constant checking for light and angle as well as finding the right pose for each persona. Once back on the laptop I culled them down to two or three.

original 1

Next I would take my final selection into Photoshop to convert to black/white and alter the brightness/contrast. For the priest I added some shade to the background in order to bring out the bible (actually a diary).

original 2

original 3

I was much more prepared for the second session and finished the Gentlemen Adventurers with 10 characters: the Explorer, the Pirate, the Soviet, the Mummy, the Knight, the Viking, the Priest, the Bandit, the Sailor and the Aviator.






laid out

laid out

For two weeks I uploaded a new persona onto Facebook with a suitable cover photo.



Next I designed the cards and sent off the 10 different characters to be printed at (100 cards, with 10 different designs for a total of $54 plus shipping). This was the only cost for the entire project!


Capturing images: 6 hours

Photoshopping images: 5 hours

Design layout for cards: 7 hours


The Belrose Costume Shop

Pacific Sun article on Margie Belrose

Moo Printing (up to 50 different backs per print run)

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