The Design Firm: happy clients, Batman and Bing

20th January 2010 by Fiona

One of the things we like at MOO is the wide range of customers we serve – from individuals making cards for fun, to freelancers and small businesses. Crafters, photographers, bakers, travel agents, estate agents (realtors for our US cousins), web start ups, teachers, illustrators and innovators, we’ve made cards for them all.

A large percentage of the time, the cards will be used by the person that placed the order. Sometimes orders will be used as a gift, but occasionally designers use MOO to create cards for their clients. We caught up with one such designer, Luke, to find out how he works, where he works, and how he’s used MOO to offer his clients a bit more variety in their lives.


A small design company with big ideas and a bulging list of clients, The Design Firm‘s graphic designer, owner and all-round nice guy, Luke Despatie moved his family and his firm away from the big city when his wife gave birth to a baby girl. The slower pace and familiar feel of small-town living seem to suit his lifestyle and work, both of which are flourishing in this new, more intimate environment:

“I’ve never really actively marketed myself – most of my work comes from positive word-of-mouth. I maintain a website and blog, and Twitter occasionally, but I believe that doing good work and keeping your clients happy is the best way to build a graphic design business. This has proven a bit easier in my small town, as we’re very active in the local community and everybody’s up in everybody’s business out here – which I love.”

From swing tags for baby clothes (shown above) to funambulist-filled business cards (below), The Design Firm makes full use of our services to suit its wide-ranging clientele.

MOO’s short print runs cater to niche clients who’d otherwise be brimming over with unused business cards, while the option to apply different images to one set of cards without breaking the bank allows them to fully showcase the work of different artists:

“I often work with smaller boutique clients who would be lining their birdcages with business cards if they had a standard litho run printed. MOO cards are perfect for them… People are usually really receptive to the ability to use multiple images. If they don’t have that many images, I use multiple patterns or other graphics that are appropriate to their business.”

Luke offers MOO printing as an option for his clients and points out that the ability to upload vector artwork through the site is perfect for him – the instant preview also means everyone knows exactly what they’re getting. When it comes to ordering, he’s pretty happy with the set-up and places the order on behalf of his clients.

A sucker for the personal touch, Luke will hand-deliver the cards to clients and is always happy with the reaction he gets – the 200 Business Card multi-pack, in particular, seems a real crowd-pleaser:

“The packaging and presentation of the 200 Business Card multi-pack is a real knock-out.”

Working alongside a restaurant on a recent brief, Luke got the chance to get up close and personal with The Great Farini (aka William Leonard Hunt) – a nineteenth-century funambulist, entertainment promoter and inventor. Using MOO, Luke produced an impressive range of vintage, circus-themed business cards featuring Farini himself (the inspiration behind the restaurant’s unusual name). A unique project and the chance to work with with the images so that they captured a mix of the old and the new clearly got Luke’s creative juices flowing:

“The Great Farini was a really fun gig to work on… There was a wealth of fantastic archival imagery to work with, which made my job easy. I gave the information side of the card a vintage circus poster treatment and added bright-coloured tints to the vintage images to keep the look modern and playful. I usually work with the full image upload for both sides of the card, it helps to create something really unique.”

While he usually uses MOO Business Cards for his design business, more formal projects, and for the majority of his clients, there are a number of firms who prefer the quirky feel of MiniCards:

“In a lot of cases, clients will ask for the standard size Business Card – most of the time for reasons as simple as fitting into people’s wallets and those plastic sleeves that business-types have. For more hip clients, I’ll suggest the MiniCard… I love the format of the MiniCard – it can be a bit difficult to work with at times, but when you find an image that suits, it’s quite striking.”

Luke also chose our MiniCards when it came to promoting his year-round Christmas blog – the intriguingly-named Batman Smells – which he launched last September.

“I love Christmas kitsch and culture and was looking for a way to generate buzz and hopefully draw traffic back to my design site. I would ultimately like to steal the mantle of Mr. Christmas from Bing Crosby – especially now that he’s been dead for 30 years.”

MOO spent a good few hours browsing Batman Smells and can heartily recommend it as a one-stop shop for everything that’s cool about Yule. We mostly loved the desaturated Santa – probably the best Father Christmas costume ever.

Which leave us with only one question… does he? *Sniff*


Thanks for telling us all about The Design Firm, Luke, happy year-round Christmas!

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