Raintank was the name of the monitoring startup that would eventually become Grafana Labs. I was brought on through an acquihire along with my business partner from our agency Capacity Collective.
One of the first pieces of collateral I created after designing the logo and establishing a color palette was business cards. In the tech and startup world, business cardsmay seem like a relic of a bygone era. Yet, especially for the executive team, it can be an important networking tool.
I love designing business cards because even with all the design freedom in the world, you still have to fit the important information in a very small space so that it’s readable, elegant and eye-catching.
For the raintank cards, I knew I wanted something that felt substantial and different from your typical mass-produced card – I also wanted to experiment with a print that felt more unique. Lastly, I wanted to make each card personal for the owner.
To do this, I interviewed everyone on the team (at the time the company was 6-7 people) to learn what they were interested in – not only to get to know them better, but to use it as a visualization on the card itself. Since raintank, at its heart was a data visualization company, having a stylized graph printed on the card that is something personal is both clever, and a conversation starter. For instance – the graph on my card is the graph from my Hueman data, which tracked my relative happiness every day compared to the day before (yea, had some ups and downs that year, but as you can see, I got way happier at the end of the year – spoiler alert, my wife gave birth to twins). Raintank co-founder and CEO is a pilot, so his graph is aviation safety since the 1960’s, and another team member from Australia tracked alcohol consumption in Australia by beer, wine, and spirits.
Having the desire to do a print on a black card, I looked into foil printing to give the design texture and depth. I had these printed at Publicide, who specialize in this type of work and was thrilled by the results.
While more expensive than your typical quick-print business cards, I was able to keep the per-card price down to ~$0.75 each.