09 October 2008

The Trad Logo Hunt

Help! I'm ordering business cards for the Trad and I need a logo. I'm lazy and cheap but willing to make an effort and spend some cash. Simple, white and engraved. I've been to Tiffany's ($450), Smythson ($350) and Staples ($22). I must say the lady at Tiffany's was not very nice. She certainly was no John McGiver (above). But I did come up with an idea. An engine turned buckle with, THE TRAD in the monogram box. Whad'ya think?

The salesman at Smythson was nice and very helpful. And also expressed an interest in this blog. That's a guy who knows how to sell. I don't think the lady at Tiffany's could sell a golf ball in a pro shop but that's just me. Anyway, to replicate the engine turned buckle in a silver foil is gonna run me just over a $1,000 for 250 cards at Smythson. Yeah, I did the same thing you just did. I did the math. $4 a card. Staples told me they could do a silver foil for $40. That's better but I have a strange feeling they're not gonna look quite right.



How about the above? Simple. Cheap. I drew it. Hell, it would look neat on a ball cap. Maybe not. But I think it screams Trad. The bow tie. The tassels on the shoes. Staples could do this for $30 in about 4 days. It's not everyday you can save $970 on business cards. I could get a pair of alligator tassels for that kinda coin.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

TinTin, Darlin' the economy will never be bad enough to require one to skimp on one's business cards. Contact Logoworks.com.
ME

AJD said...

I love the idea of buckle-as-logo. How perfectly suited!

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that the proles at Staples knew what a calling card was.

My most recent experience was that they had no idea whatsoever what a fountain pen was.

Giuseppe said...

I'm a fan of simplicity in matters such as these. Black engraving on textured white paper...no logo.

Such a thing actually stands out these days amongst so many heavy handed, over wrought business cards.

Ben said...

I am reminded of that scene in Bret Easton Ellis's novel, American Psycho, where the stock brokers compare cards, and the American Psycho himself is struck with pure unabated envy.

M.Lane said...

I tend to agree with Guiseppe, above. I would go with a very good white card with black engraving of THE TRAD in the same typeface as your blog, then the GREAT motto, then the web address, the latter two in slightly smaller type.

I did some cards. I used the drawing I put in my profile, then just the blog name next to it, then the address and "a blog for living well".

I might take off the motto because I don't want people to think I'm some sort of an herbalist or something...

I love the drawing you did but a cap with THE TRAD and the motto would be great and would not need interpretation for people.

Plus, there are only two or three trad logos anyhow, right? Lacoste, the Munsingwear Penguin [my dad had both in abundance]. Maybe Polo? Thats it.

Great post.
M.Lane
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

M.Lane said...

I tend to agree with Guiseppe, above. I would go with a very good white card with black engraving of THE TRAD in the same typeface as your blog, then the GREAT motto, then the web address, the latter two in slightly smaller type.

I did some cards. I used the drawing I put in my profile, then just the blog name next to it, then the address and "a blog for living well".

I might take off the motto because I don't want people to think I'm some sort of an herbalist or something...

I love the drawing you did but a cap with THE TRAD and the motto would be great and would not need interpretation for people.

Plus, there are only two or three trad logos anyhow, right? Lacoste, the Munsingwear Penguin [my dad had both in abundance]. Maybe Polo? Thats it.

Great post.
M.Lane
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

W.Essex said...

Outstanding post! Sadly, my cards have dancing Snoopies at a cost of $0.02 each - billed to the shareholders.

I don't really understand what a silver foil is? Is the lettering going to be shiny silver? At that price I hope you are getting real engraving (not thermal). What does a belt buckle have to do with printing cards?

tintin said...

ME- I may not be able to nail two boards together but this I gotta do myself.

ajd-I agree with you and just hope I can do it in a cost effective way.

anon- Every Staples I've ever been in are pretty bad. They're another example of giving people today what they want: poor quality for little cost. If I was doing this for a lawn service I wouldn't use them.

giuseppe- Those prices in the post are for plain white engraved. I still may go that way but am working on an image that I think captures the idea of classic american style. Nothing over reaching like a Polo player but more down to earth and everyday.

m.lane-Some great ideas. Thank you. It's great fun to work on this while keeping it cheap but making it unique. Hence, my desire for logo created by myself.

Lotza Trad logos: Lacoste, Rugby, Hackett, Bastian's wing, Burberry's griffin, Brooks Golden Fleece, Vineyard Vines whale, Duckhead's Duck, Ben Silver's Palmetto Tree, Thom Browne's Donkey and Dollar sign...Man, there's a ton of logos out there.

w.essex- This would include engraving. The Engine turned silver buckle with monogram is a Tiffany staple and I think an icon of Trad dress. The card would look just like the buckle, same shape but larger or, I can engrave a small silver foiled buckle on the card over the THE TRAD in a monogram type face.

joe world the blog said...

If you go with art work, hire a graphic designer, you won't regret it in the long run. You are branding yourself after all.

Maybe you can adapt a photo from your archives as a line drawing.

TinTins phred/dad said...

phred/dad has BA in graphic arts and math + 1/2 an MBA (Just enough to be dangerous).
Here are the basics:
KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).
LOGO Rules:
Most important rule. LOGO MUST be simple and easily reproduced. (Look at AT&T, Ford, Rolex.)
BUSINESS CARD Rules:
QUALITY card stock only.
MUST be engraved, NOT el-cheapo.
BLACK on WHITE is class. Metal foil and similar are tacky. TRAD should NOT be tacky. (You're NOT a guy in a cheap suit peddling plumbing supplies.)
Silly cartoons are just that, and usually not taken seriously (unless VERY unique -- EG Smiley Face).
Excess colors are not needed.
What's the message? A life style, or an ostentatious display of $?

Anonymous said...

FWIW, as a designer I recommend the little guy on a card. It speaks to the brio in you that just isn't in a monogram. I liked it right away. It is YOUR logo. A little of "The Saint", a little enigmatic, a refined touch of humor. NO ONE has one. Everyone will remember. A very dark blue-green bleed on the backside. Nice.

Whereas the monogram card is old-school, it kind of reminds me of Roger Thornhill's (Cary Grant) card he showed in "North by Northwest." And that's cool, too. His card read "ROT." He described not having a middle initial "O" but that all three letters together was just how he felt sometimes!

You could maybe "gang" print both styles. Then you could hand out the one most appropriate to the person. I do. We can look at variations on the Mac. Good thughts. -DB

initials CG said...

Tintin, sorry dude, but the silver thing will look like shit...you'll regret it after a while even if you get lucky and get back something pretty. The initials in that design might look okay, but with dark medium gray lettering (not silver) rather than black.
Gotta agree with phred/dad. Think simplicity, forceful elegance, and spend the money not on the design but the card stock and printing.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Tintin,
The buckle, engraved on the heaviest card stock you can find will look wonderful. Instead of initials, perhaps "TRAD" in Roman Block? Stay away from the foil, you'll be happier in the long run with your image if you do. If you'd like to do something other than black ink, opt for a charcoal grey on ivory stock.

That being said, the little drawing you did is very reminiscent of The Saint's logo... . not a bad thing. But stick to the very heavy card stock. It makes an impression and you will hand out fewer than you think.

Regards,
Easy

P.S. Am forwarding a link to Brat, Army (1) Each to USAA in response to an article they just ran.
C

Becs said...

Hello Trad, I like your initials on the belt buckle. This is a tricky problem. I am noisy any particular reason why you are having them made? I love your blog and could see it listed on Kate Spade's favorite things, (like Bunny's blog) Best, Becs

Tim said...

To echo what many others have said, simple and elegant is best. I’d also use your blog title as the letterhead logo, same font, all caps. But I’d skip the tag line. The name itself carries resonance and creates curiosity. Keep the balance of the card as simple and uncluttered as possible, providing only essential information.

Don’t skimp on quality. Use very high quality card stock, and I’d go with pale cream rather than white. Use black lettering with the logo embossed. I suspect that your options in Manhattan should be almost limitless, though your time to locate them is not. If your business is anything like mine was, you receive tons of business cards. Select some you like, and find out where they were done.

heavy tweed jacket said...

It's just me but simple would be the best.
* * *
The Trad (offset to the left. your fav. serif type)
Not as Good as It was. Better than It Will Be. (smaller point size. same serif type).

Your name (if you choose)
blog URL
* * *
Heavy stock & Larger cards, as in France? Tintin would probably do so. Cheers.

tintin said...

Great suggestions and I appreciate them so much. From friends, strangers and my father...

Joe- While I like the idea of D.I.Y. you have a good point. I am looking into the pro approach but am also sucking my family and friends who are designers for all I can get from them gratis. Not only 'cause it's cheap but because they know me and this blog.

Phred/Dad- Speaking of designers in the family...as always your advice is dead on although I'm not sure I understand the smiley face thing. Sister #1 and I were working on some ideas last night. Very much in line with your suggestions.

DB- You and I are the only ones who like the stick man, man. I'll take your advice to shorten his torso and turn a little but I may have something better and still home made.

CG-I'm over the silver thing. Just too much dough and probably overdesigned. Still, I'd probably try it if I wasn't limited by a budget.

Easy & Elegant- Looking at 140 pound stock. I think the only way to do the belt buckle is with a top end engraver and that's so expensive. Also, thank you for your kind words on Brat, Army (1) Each. It's a struggle over there.

Becs-You're not being nosey...Was at a party in NYC and met some fashion and design folks. Someone asked me for a card and all I had were my real business cards which are pretty horrid. Anyway, I would also like to take photos of men and women on the street who have that certain classic look. I think having a card to offer with a request for a photo will help me with my shyness while lending me some credibility...how much is uncertain.

Tim- My business is awash with really bad cards--not sure why--but I was blown away by the collection they had at Smythson. Beautiful stuff and since they were in a box I was able to get a better feel for them as opposed to the Tiffany's "book" with the cards mounted on pages.

HTJ-Yes, going with the larger card. Not as large as the French but more the Brit size. Although, the French size is interesting. I'll have to give that serious thought.

thepreppyprincess said...

Hello again Mr. Trad....

There is little we can add to the wisdom and creativity already offered by others, other than to echo the "go for quality" sentiment.

We were disturbed to read about the substandard attitude displayed by the Tiffany salesperson.

Hope all turns out as hoped and you share a scan or a photo with us when they are complete!

Grins & Giggles,
tp

porter hovey said...

I just adore the monogram belt idea for your business cards. A+

tintin's phred/dad said...

Reference comment posted by Easy and Elegant Life on Investment Plan for 2009:

The plan is to drink heavily & recycle is called the 401-Keg.

Also, a recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year.

Another study found that Americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year.

That means that, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon.

Alice Olive said...

The bow tie is extremely cute. (And I really should watch Breakfast at Tiffany's again.)

Ray Frensham said...

The buckle is a nice idea, But what about those of us who never wear belts, only braces (sorry, I'm from the UK - suspenders)? The bow tie is a great touch, tho'

mrbillcoach said...

Tintin, old chap, Sorry for coming to the conversation so late, but...
I applaud your choice of a typeface for the blog; I believe it is Big Caslon, created in 1734. So it must be traditional. Actually, I use it for my logo for much the same reason you are.
I also suggest that while the blog is "The Trad" the logo might be more effective if it's just "TRAD". And if I were going to use a slogan or tag line, I'd be inclined to make it simpler like "Always good" or "still good" something more assertive and less argumentative. It also makes it shorter.
If you use 100pt. stock, rather than the 80 which is customary (or the almost see through stock on computer printed cards), you will create a sense of substance. Engraving is going to cost you an arm and a leg. And no one knows how to judge it or appreciate it. For my money (and I've bought and sold a lot of printing over the years) perfectly executed offset printing is the best representation for today. And it's not traditional. So what? The thing that makes the old stuff great today is that we don't keep everything from the past. Only the stuff that's "Still good".

Easy and Elegant Life said...

But, if you engrave it, you get to keep the copper plate. Which looks pretty good framed, too. 100 pt., at least.

Anonymous said...

Dear Trad,
I'm only now discovering your blog, and so am entering this discussion very, very late. But perhaps for your next order of cards, permit me to recommend Mrs. John L. Strong Stationers at 699 Madison, New York. In addition to being able to custom-engrave absolutely anything you can imagine, they have an inspired library of engraved images they've accumulated since Mrs. Strong established her business in the 1930's.

Their pedigree is flawless. Mrs. Strong established her business after her husband lost his job on Wall Street in 1929. (Who better to advise on matters of taste at this particular moment?) Her first important client was the Duchess of Windsor. Their commitment to restrained taste and workmanship is unbroken, unlike Tiffany, which has had its ups and downs. The finished product is expensive, but I've never had "buyer's remorse" from an order at Strong's.

There's even a sales associate there who I can recommend, Ms. Jenine Ferrari. She's seen to my orders several times, and I can vouch for her manners! The phone's (212) Templeton 8 3775. I have a soft place in my heart for businesses that keep their old prefixes.

In closing, thanks so much for the Hayashida Take Ivy uploads. I look forward to Chapter 1.

tintin said...

Anon-
You've peaked my interest. I'll call tomorrow. Thank you for visiting and your help.

MrBillCoach-
Even if no one can tell -- I'll know they're engraved. But cost is turning into more of a consideration so you may be right.

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