Business Card for: Celeste Watson

This project questions what identity design is really about whilst also commenting on the value of the communication designer’s practice. What constitutes as art and what constitutes as design? When a prospective client contacts a designer with a branding/ identity design brief, what they are really asking for is a visual impression. Most commonly they want something unique and that accurately represents them and/ or their business. Well, what is more unique than the impression of your own thumbprint? I approach my work as a designer with the intention of creating an outcome as unique as the patterns etched into our skin.


I’m interested in the relationship between the human and the machine. By physically letterpressing each one of these cards manually through a traditional letterpress, I was able to capture old world technology from a contemporary standpoint. I used a MacBook Pro and Adobe Illustrator to compose my designs, but I printed them on a press that far outdates the invention of the Macintosh. The tactility of the cards themselves captures that moment, the apex, where old and new meet.


I used my signature web inspired aesthetic to reiterate my design ethos. I believe that my work is exactly this; grounded in tradition and theory yet aesthetically contemporary, new, progressive and self-referential.


I enjoy exploring the interplay between communication design and contemporary art. I feel as though my work often borders between these two disciplines. Unlike in art, the products of graphic design often hold very little monetary value once in the hands of the end user. By numbering each card out of the limited run of 200 cards, I was able take something commonly mass produced and make it a collector’s item. Thus in turn shifting its inherent value in the eyes of the end user.


Luckily this job was paid for with a class amenities fee. These cards were designed during a Letterpress elective I took whilst on exchange at Parsons The New School for Design in New York. The school had an arrangement with the wonderfully passionate and inspirational Earl Kallemeyn of Kallemeyn Press. It was an honour to learn from Earl and Steven Kennedy from Parsons. I felt a lot of pressure to make the most of the opportunity to use a letterpress. Hopefully I did the press proud and prolonged its relevance as an incredible tool for the contemporary designer.


Printed by: Kallemeyn Press, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NYC.


340gsm card

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