Things I'm Loving: Plastic Cards

What can you possibly do with a plastic card? SO. MANY. THINGS. I recently did a project creating membership cards and they turned out so great I've been looking for ways I could use them for other projects. The vendor we used was and I loved their site because you can check and uncheck options to see how it effects the price. They have a lot of extras, for example: adding a signature panel, lanyard punch, gold foil, spot UV, barcoding and more which increases their versatility. They also offer mini cards which I love. Let's take a look at all the different ways they can be used.

Let's start with the card I designed, a membership card. These cards are awesome because they serve as a constant reminder of a group you're a part of and are a great physical 'thing' to give out if the membership or service isn't something tangible. These featured gold foil and a signature panel for putting in your personal info.


This card was used as a business card but they incorporated a little ruler on the back which I think is smart and a fun idea that could work for a service oriented business.

These little mini cards are so fun, the first one to show off your VIP status and the second one as a little business card. For the second card I would recommend using the back for something useful, a discount code, a road side assistance line, something that would make this card more helpful on a day to day basis.

These cards were used as a ticket. They used variable data in the white box to act as a unique identifier. Such a fun use of a card!

Am I the type of business that can have gift cards? Of course you are! Gift cards are easy to produce. You can have a code printed in variable data on the back, enter it into your e-commerce site once purchased with the amount, buy custom printed sleeves (also available on the same site) and boom gift cards! It also opens you up to a whole new gifting market especially if you have the type of product that feels like a splurge.

A coupon on a plastic card feels more elevated than a paper coupon. Using a paper coupon at a restaurant makes you feels a certain way (ie. super cheap), but using a plastic card changes all that since it feels more like a gift card. It's also more likely the user won't throw it away since it easily slips into a wallet.

Look at these completely legit credentials. Why are they legit? Because they're printed on plastic! You have no other choice but to think they're real. Often times, credentials require a name, date or another element that changes from credential to credential. Print the information and graphics that are common to all and then leave a space to fill in the other info with a sharpie. You can either have a lanyard hole punched or you can slip the plastic card into a card carrier from amazon. 

This is a plastic card with a mini card or cards attached. This is fun for a membership card where the user needs to have quick access to it, maybe the large plastic card is directions and the tear off card is the membership card or maybe you get a large and mini card. These cards also work great as a fundraiser and are a lot more user friendly than the postcard type fundraisers that are often sold.

What's in a shape?

Whenever you're dealing with a new project, one of the first things that needs to be decided on is the size, but before we can decide on the size, we need to think about the shape. What's in a shape, well I'm here to tell you.

The shape of a piece actually sets the tone for the whole design and creates the initial vibe which is then built on by the size, design, materials, color palette, font choice and so on. So let's run through the basic shapes.



This shape is very traditional, it's the most used and it's always appropriate. It can sometimes feel a little stale and boring since it's so common, but it's common for a reason, it works.

Vibe it gives off
Professional, Traditional, Corporate




This shape is less traditional than portrait, it's used for pieces where content needs to be delivered quickly. The short horizontal text makes it a quick read and because it's skinny, it can fit in the palm of a hand, which makes it great a shape for users on the go. 

Vibe it gives off
Playful, Simple, Succinct



This shape is traditional but is the more fun alternative to portrait. It provides more design flexibility and space for second columns and pictures.

Vibe it gives off
Inviting, unconventional, interesting


Horizontal is a nice choice for designs that need to lean modern. This is a tricky shape to design for but if you get it right it looks great! 

Vibe it gives off
Modern, Contemporary, Chic


The Square is one of my all time favorite shapes. It's an easy way to make a design feel exciting and fun. The vibe the square gives off is very strong, so if the situation is not Celebratory it might not be appropriate.

Vibe it gives off
Casual, Fun, Playful, Celebratory

I hope you enjoyed your lesson in picking the perfect shape! Happy Designing!

Where to buy and get free fonts

I LOVE fonts, I have hundreds and am always on the hunt for more. Whether you're looking to purchase or looking for some freebies, these are the spots I go in order to grab some new ones.

If you're looking for freebies:

Da Font

Da Font offers free fonts in a variety of styles that you can search through. They have a little bit of everything: scripts, decorative, handwritten, serifs, san serifs, distressed, etc. With free fonts you have to be careful that you are adhering to their license agreements. If you're using the fonts for personal use (ie. creating a baby shower invitation, designing a wall hanging or chart for your home) you are fine using any of the fonts. However, if your usage is 'commercial', only certain fonts are allowed. To the right of each font, it'll say 'Free for personal use, Free for personal and commercial use, 100% free, or donationware'. To stay on the right side of the law, make sure you adhere to the license agreements.


There are thousands of font foundries (meaning companies who create fonts). You can make a list of different foundries that you like by going to and browsing through different styles. Once you find a bunch of fonts you like, click on the overview and find the foundry who created the font. Go to their website. Many times they offer freebies on their site.


If you're looking to buy fonts:

My Fonts

My Fonts is great for one off purchases; for example, if you just need one weight of a font, you can purchase that inexpensively on They also run specials frequently, so checking 'Special Offers' in the navigation is a good place to start. If you want to purchase the entire family of fonts (meaning all of the weights of that particular font: light, regular, medium, bold, black, etc.), checking the foundry’s site, which will be located in the ‘overview’ section, might get you a better bundle deal. This is where I buy 99% of my fonts, the site tracks your purchases and if you somehow lose your fonts due to a computer issue you can always re-download and install.


Cloud based fonts are a bit new but if you have an Adobe Creative Cloud membership you get a certain number of fonts included via Typekit. The way it works is you go to the website, log in with your Creative Cloud user name and password and you have access to a certain number of fonts based on your membership level. You 'sync' the fonts you want to use and you are automatically given access to them in your computer programs. 


In addition to occasionally having free fonts, a Foundries main business is selling fonts. Some of my favorite Foundries are Frere-Jones Type, Sudtipos, URW++, Latinotype, Cultivated Mind and FontFabric. Their websites offer many styles and collections for purchase.