Tag Archives: Business

Clever Business Cards, Part IV

Based on popular demand, here are some additional clever business card designs.


Guitar Instruction


Concrete Business


Cheese Shop


Brazilian cheese store Bon Vivant hands out this creative miniature grater business card.


Yoga Studio


Musical Comb


Tennis Lessons


Library Check Out Card for an author


Heat Sensitive Cards


Tire tread measurer for a Tire Shop


My business card

If you like these clever business cards and would like to see more, then please check out Parts 1, 2 and 3.

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Han Solo in Carbonite Business Card Case From ThinkGeek


You can now show off your love of Star Wars while also passing out your business information with the spring-loaded Han Solo in Carbonite Business Card Case ($25) from Think Geek.


What appears to be a solid block of carbonite containing a tiny Han Solo is actually a spring-loaded case that holds a dozen business cards. This case is classy enough for the board room and geeky enough to make your convention contacts squee gleefully.

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Chuck E. Cheese’s New Look

CEC Entertainment Inc., the company that operates Chuck E. Cheese, the chain of children’s pizza restaurants is retiring the giant rodent’s outdated image and turning him into a hip, electric guitar playing rock star.

The new Chuck E. Cheese that launches this week will be voiced by Jaret Reddick, the lead singer for the pop-punk bank Bowling for Soup.

The first Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre location opened in 1977 in San Jose, Calif. Executives originally considered calling the restaurant “Rick Rat’s Pizza” but a PR agency figured a rat would be a bad mascot for a pizza chain. The name Chuck E. Cheese was selected because it downplayed the mascot’s species and forced people to smile when they said it, according to the site.

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Building A Better Shopping Cart

Although this video is a few years old, I thought it might be interesting to individuals that care about teamwork, good design and innovation. I have talked about IDEO to many colleagues in the past and thought this video would provide a good snapshot of how this company thinks outside of the box – in this case designing a better shopping cart. This highly respected design and innovation consulting firm’s clients include Apple, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Microsoft, Ford and Steelcase and they have created a variety of iconic objects such as Apple’s first mouse, the Palm V PDA and Steelcase’s Leap chair.

To demonstrate its process for innovation for an episode of ABC’s Nightline, IDEO created a new shopping cart concept. IDEO considered issues such as maneuverability, shopping behavior, child safety, and maintenance cost.

The show concentrated on the design process, recording as a multidisciplinary team brainstormed, research, prototyped, and gathered user feedback on a design that went from idea to a working appearance model in four days.

The nestable steel frame lacks sides and a bottom to deter theft, and holds removable plastic baskets to increase shopper flexibility, help protect goods and provide a method to promote brand awareness. A dual child seat uses a swing-up tray for a play surface, and a hole provides a secure spot for a cup of coffee or a bunch of carnations.

One of the unique—and potentially patentable—features of the cart is the design of its steerable back wheels. Normally fixed straight for stability and familiarity, an easy sideways effort allows the wheels to turn left or right. Pushing the cart forward puts the wheels straight again.

In just five days the IDEO team took something ordinary and made it extraordinary.

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Steve Jobs Resigns As CEO of Apple

Apple’s Board of Directors today announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as Chief Executive Officer, and the Board has named Tim Cook, previously Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, as the company’s new CEO. Jobs has been elected Chairman of the Board and Cook will join the Board, effective immediately.

“Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” said Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple’s Board. “Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple’s immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.”

“The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” added Levinson. “Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does.”

Jobs submitted his resignation to the Board today and strongly recommended that the Board implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO.

As COO, Cook was previously responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. He also headed Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.


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Microsoft To Acquire Skype For $8.5 Billion

Microsoft has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Skype Global to acquire VoIP service provider Skype for $8.5 billion in cash. According to the announcement, the agreement has already been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, and “will increase the accessibility of real-time video and voice communications, bringing benefits to both consumers and enterprise users and generating significant new business and revenue opportunities.” With 170 million users, Skype will be integrated into Microsoft devices like Xbox, Windows Phone, and Windows, while Microsoft will in turn connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities, and will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on other, non-Microsoft platforms. “Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world.”

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The Timbuk2 Custom Manufacturing Factory in San Francisco

Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the Timbuk2 messenger bag custom manufacturing factory in San Francisco.

Timbuk2 has been making custom bags in San Francisco since 1989. Once a customer places their custom order on timbuk2.com, the manufacturing team in San Francisco starts making the customer’s bag immediately. Timbuk2 guarantees all their custom bags will ship 2-3 business days after the order is placed but they often ship them within 24 hours.

Customization is part of what makes Timbuk2 special. Some members of the Timbuk2 manufacturing team have been with the company for more than 10 years. The employees are all cross-trained so they can work on any machine which makes every day different.


Guitar Lessons: A Life’s Journey Turning Passion into Business by Bob Taylor

Guitar Lessons: A Life’s Journey Turning Passion into Business by Bob Taylor ($25) is an inside story of the founding and growth of Taylor Guitars, one of the world’s most successful guitar manufacturers. Bob Taylor mixes the details of his experience as a tradesman and cofounder of Taylor Guitars, a world-famous acoustic and electric guitar manufacturer, with philosophical life lessons that have practical application for building a business. From the a-ha moment in junior high school that inspired his very first guitar, Taylor has been living the American dream, crafting quality products with his own hands and building a successful, sustainable business. You can read an excerpt HERE.

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Logo Rainbow

This is for my nephew Ben who loves logos. Dan Meth was kind enough to organize a selection of popular corporate logos in order of color. Voila – the Logo Rainbow.

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Back in the day (Before e-mail) corporations and celebrities would correspond via traditional mail with a handwritten note. Often times, the note would be on letterhead.

A letterhead is the heading at the top of a sheet of letter paper. It usually consists of a name and an address, and a logo or corporate design, and sometimes a background.

The website Letterheady pays homage to offline correspondence; specifically letters with a focus on the design of the letterhead. Check out their site HERE, some of the examples are fascinating.

Michael Jackson

Muhammad Ali

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10 Surprising Brand Owners

It’s no shocker that a company like Clorox would own brands such as Pine-Sol and Glad. But what about nature-loving Burt’s Bees? There are other unexpected alliances throughout the corporate world that might surprise you. From chocolate makers who own health food brands to low-end beauty labels in league with couture cosmetics, these unusual mergers are responsible for keeping some of the most popular products on store shelves. Check them out HERE.

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Tamiya Model Kit Business Card

If you worked at Tamiya, the Japanese model-kit company, you’d have the chance to hand out the coolest business-card ever made. At first glance the letters on the “card” look like a stencil cut into plastic. Peek a little closer and you see that it is itself a tiny model kit.

Break the letters from their surrounding frame and then snap them together. Depending on which card you have, you’ll end up with a Formula One car, a warship or a fighter-plane.

The Business Card was designed at Creative Juice Bangkok (TBWA) by chief creative officer Thirasak Tanapatanakul, executive creative director Thirasak Tanapatanakul, graphic director Tienchutha Rukhavibul, art directors Manasit Imjai, Tienchuths Rukhavibul and Thirasak Tanapatanakul, designers Manasit Imjai and Tienchutha Rukhavibul.

The card won a Gold Design Lion at the Cannes International Advertising Festival 2010.

Check out some more creative business card ideas HERE.

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The Best Jobs In America

Double click the image to view larger

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Inside Starbucks New Stealth Store: 15th Avenue E Coffee and Tea

A couple of weeks ago, there was a lot of buzz generated by the news that Starbucks was looking to explore new store layouts and designs and even considering dropping the brand name from certain locations. The plan is to create new environments that will try to re-explore the spirit of a traditional coffeehouse including the sale of wine and beer plus playing host to live music and poetry readings.

Last Friday, the Seattle based corporation opened 15th Avenue E Coffee and Tea – the first of these ’stealth stores’.

The look is vastly different from the the brand’s standard. 15th Avenue E Coffee and Tea has a rustic but modern mix of wood and tin plus a celebration of coffee beans and tea leaves. Espressos will be made using a manual machine. If you didn’t know it was Starbucks, you’d think you found a hidden neighborhood gem. And once you know it is Starbucks you have to give the brand a lot of kudos for giving their cafe experience a much needed jolt of caffeine. (Reprinted from psfk.com)






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Amazon Buys Zappos For $920,000,000

Amazon.com has purchased the ecommerce footwear company Zappos  for 10 million Amazon  shares or $880 million. (The Amazon release said it was $807 million, but that was based on a trailing 45-day estimate of its share price. Closing price today bumps the deal up to $880 million.) Zappos employees also will get $40 million in cash and restricted stock. In other words the deal is more like $920 million all told. And Zappos management will remain in place.

This is a great exit for Zappos’ investors, including Sequoia Capital  and Venture Frogs , who put in about $60 million in seven rounds.

This isn’t just one of those times when companies say the management will stay and the company will be run independently. People close to the company say Zappos has long struggled with its desire to build a company for the long term and pressures to deliver a return for investors. This deal appears to be the best of both worlds. The way it’s described to employees, it’s less an acquisition and more a swap in shareholders.     


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Rumor Watch: Apple To Buy Twitter

TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington is reporting that rumors beginning to float around the blogosphere are stating that Apple is interested in purchasing Twitter for US$700 million in cash. Twitter is the magical “social networking” tool that has you answer the question “What am I doing right now?” in 140 characters or less.

Twitter currently has more than 25 million users, and it is rumored that growth has been exploding since Oprah blessed the service with her presence in mid-April. However, despite the size and growth potential of Twitter, there’s simply no compelling reason for Apple to spend part of its huge cash reserves to purchase the company.

Google recently tried to purchase Twitter, but was turned down by Twitter’s CEO Evan Williams. Today’s rumor comes from a “normally reliable source” who told Arrington that “Apple is in late-stage negotiations to buy Twitter and is hoping to announce it at WWDC in June.”


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The Zappos Mission

Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh’s mission is to spread happiness to his customers and employees — and quite possibly change the tone of business as we know it. 

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Make A Lasting Impression With Meat Cards

Meat Cards starts with 100% beef jerky and then sears your contact information into it with a 150 watt CO2 laser.  Stand out and be remembered with this delicious alternative to those boring and tasteless paper business cards.



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Behind The Scenes At Netflix

Click HERE to see behind the scenes photos of Netflix.




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Metal Business Cards With An Articulated Hand

Typographer and designer Aehrich O’Dubhchon created these amazing business cards with articulated hands for the photographer and craftsman Todd Schellinger. Todd wanted some metal business cards for his studio Hand + Eye.

Designing for metal presents many challenges and opportunities. The goal of the project was to design something that would transform from one state of being to another. The end result was a semi-articulated metal hand that could hold onto an envelope or an invoice.




See more unique business cards HERE, HERE and HERE.

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A Chart of Charts

HERE is a helpful chart showing which types of charts to use when something needs charting. Click on the image to make larger.




Letter From Apple CEO Steve Jobs

Dear Apple Community,

For the first time in a decade, I’m getting to spend the holiday season with my family, rather than intensely preparing for a Macworld keynote. Unfortunately, my decision to have Phil deliver the Macworld keynote set off another flurry of rumors about my health, with some even publishing stories of me on my deathbed. I’ve decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show tomorrow. As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority. Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause—a hormone imbalance that has been “robbing” me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis. The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I’ve already begun treatment. But, just like I didn’t lose this much weight and body mass in a week or a month, my doctors expect it will take me until late this Spring to regain it. I will continue as Apple’s CEO during my recovery. I have given more than my all to Apple for the past 11 years now. I will be the first one to step up and tell our Board of Directors if I can no longer continue to fulfill my duties as Apple’s CEO. I hope the Apple community will support me in my recovery and know that I will always put what is best for Apple first. So now I’ve said more than I wanted to say, and all that I am going to say, about this.





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Apple Announces 2009 Will Be Its Last Macworld Expo, Schiller To Deliver Keynote

In a surprise announcement, Apple said that next month’s Macworld Expo will be its last. The company doesn’t plan on exhibiting at the event after 2009.

Also, Steve Jobs will not be giving the keynote address, handing that honor to Phil Schiller, senior VP of worldwide product marketing. It will be Apple’s final keynote address at the event.

In a press release, Apple said it has scaled back its presence at other trade shows, including NAB, Macworld New York, Macworld Tokyo, and Apple Expo in Paris.

This will be the 25th Macworld Expo. Steve Jobs had given the keynote address since 1997, when he returned to the company as interim CEO.


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The New York Times 8th Annual Year In Ideas

Please click HERE for the New York Times Year in Ideas issue. For the eighth year in a row, they have compiled an alphabetical digest of ideas, from A to Z (almost) that features a whole slew of essays about the interesting concepts that people have come up with during 2008.



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New Corporate Logos

The 2008 crash is probably the most serious economic crisis we have faced after the Great Depression. Stock markets from around the world fell as much as 20% in a single week, dozens of banks either failed or were rescued by government and private institutions and companies started laying off employees as a consequence of the reduced demand.

Click HERE to see logos of some renowned companies …. after the crisis.




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