The idea for the business cards was prompted by a thought from the client, MarketReach, initially. Their positioning thought is We believe In The Power Of Real Things and had thought about producing cards with images of their consutants' favourite objects on the back. Some of these objects were quite obscure (like a lipstick) and extended the connection with Real Things almost beyond a connection with print and thus mail.
We wanted to make a clearer connection with print, mail and more importantly, maximise the medium of business cards in thier crucial function as an introduction.
What we wanted to capture was the twinkle in the eye that comes when people talk about their personal passions. Essentially, people succeed in sales positions because of the force of their personality–people buy people. It was also an opportunity to convey the indivuality of the people within the structure of the organisation.
The project was kicked off by interviewing the consutants to get to what made them happy and provided their own personal fulfillment. It was easy to tell when we'd discovered it–you could see it their eyes–and that's what we wanted to capture for them in front of their customers.
With that, it was a question of identifying the signifying object and an appropriate material that would work as a business card. More interesting was that it wasn't necessary for the connection between passion, object and material to be obvious. Ultimately, these are conversation-starters and it's up to the consultants to explain the connection (we briefed them on the techniques used to make them).
Then it was a question of making them. This involved sourcing materials and finding suitable print and manufacturing techniques. The diversity of materials meant a lot of phone calls, mostly to people I don't know and often involving asking them to do something outside of their normal activities.
Ultimately, this project was an exercise in trial-and-error. We took risks on trying things that hadn't been done and, crucially, because we had authority over both the concept and the production execution, we were able to make big changes to how they were produced without having to revert to the client or an external designer–had we have done, the project would have taken months, not weeks to deliver.