On Design Series: Proximity

In Marketing, Self-Promotion by David0 Comments

This is the seventh installment in the On Design series looking at basic design principles and thoughts intended to help photographers produce better self-promotional pieces.

The final P in the “Make your stuff look like CRAP” is Proximity.

This principle implies that related elements belong together. Don’t make your prospects look everywhere for information, create an appropriate place for contact information, for example, and put all the contact information together. Here’s a quick and dirty before and after on a card with a design I’ve seen way too many times, the contact info everywhere.

Just the simple gathering and alignment of related information makes the mediocre card stronger. It’s still mediocre but it’s a B+ mediocre instead of a D-

This principle is not just for contact information, but for all related information or elements. The underlying reason for all this is to make it as easy as possible for prospects to find what they’re looking for effortlessly. Anything less and it will (a) be harder for clients to find what they need, (b) look amateurish and cause your prospective client’s confidence in you to diminish.

It could be way stronger, and much more creative. So that’s where your next assignment comes in.

I want to see your business card designs, current or new, based on the CRAP principle – but they have to be real. None of this fake-o stuff like the junk I’m pawning off on you in this series. Real business cards, using the CRAP principles – and they have to be yours.

I am giving away a Lexar 4GB 300x CF card to the best of them – if I get more than 10 entries. Less than that and I keep the card. Send your files – no wider than 350 pixels so I can post them here easily – to me here: info AT pixelatedimage dot com. Deadline is April 30 and I will be posting as I get the designs.

Now for the fun of it, let’s push this card a little harder, give it the full CRAP treatment. Here’s what it might look like if you pushed the contrasts a little harder, played with the repetition of elements, strengthened the alignments and proximity, and threw in die-cut corners. Could it be done differently? Sure, a hundred ways, some of them much stronger.


If I were taking more time I’d space my text differently and be much more specific with the leading. Probably choose a different font entirely. But design is about decisions, and assuming this design reflects the personality of the photographer it represents, and speaks to the market in which he works, it’s solid

OK folks, send in those business cards.

Leave a Comment