Picture, if you will, a raucous saloon somewhere in the Old West. Men of every desperate situation growl and sneer at each other while somewhere a piano plays. Suddenly the din stops, and every eye turns to the lone figure standing in the entrance. “Draw,” snarls somebody, and before you can say “Peckinpah” every hand is filled with a business card. And one by one these bad hombres hit the floor until the only one left standing is the stranger in the doorway, a glint of gold in his hand. This, in essence, is what it’s like to glimpse the Chad Michael Studio business card for the first time. It’s enough to make you toss your own business cards in the trash and ride somberly off into the sunset.
“The goal was to showcase a studio brand and card design that displayed the three keywords I consider myself being: ‘Passionate, Meticulous, and Conceptual,’ ” Chad Michael explains on his website. “I wanted to make obvious my scrutiny for detail and give a small nod to the studio’s niche: liquor & alcohol design.”
It is a fierce design in nearly every sense of the word: aggressive, powerful, competitive, forceful – it is all these things and one thing more: beautiful.
This is not Chad’s first pairing of extensive gold foiling and Neenah Classic Crest Epic Black – take, for example, this breathtaking Lightfoot & Wolfville Rosé label – but it is arguably his most effective. Perhaps what is most startling about this piece is that there is nothing to suggest it is even a business card at all – the imagination of design and perfection of execution (everything Studio On Fire touches turns to metaphorical or literal gold) makes it far more comparable to today’s uber-oppulent playing cards.
“In the end,’ says the designer, “I wanted the business cards in particular to be something that you couldn’t simply tuck away in a wallet and one that you couldn’t bring yourself to throw away.” Rest assured they will have to pry it from our cold dead hands, hombre.