I recently completed the design of the logo and branding for Ottawa’s Exotic Wood. While I haven’t gotten around to adding the project to my portfolio, and the website is still under development, I wanted to share the wooden business cards we had printed.
A bit of background on Exotic Wood: they design, manufacture, and install custom furniture, kitchens, doors, etc., as well as carry a line of retail pieces. They don’t do Colonial style furniture design, and the branding was to reflect their minimal and modern design aesthetic. The logo uses an abstract E to form a block of wood out of the hexagon. The logo and type were designed to sit multiple ways to reflect the three-dimensional quality of furniture and mimic it being viewed from various perspectives. When turned, the logo can be read as a W and even a table can be seen when it is turned sideways.
The wooden card is one of two business cards we are having made. The second is an engraved and punched metal card. I will post more about these later.
Ideally, we would have gone with all metal cards but the cost was prohibitive, and there was some fear it would look too pricey for some clients. I very much like the use of a metal card for Exotic Wood. It provides contrast with the name, and because they also work in glass and metal, it will spark discussion over the choice of materials—providing an opportunity to overcome what could be seen as a limitation of the company name.
We wanted another set of cards that could be handed out en masse, with a tactile quality, and high impact. The initial design called for dark walnut cards with a white foil, but budget dictated we scale things down for this first run.
After researching potential suppliers, we sourced a printer in the US who runs wood through a modified inkjet printer. The design of the business cards uses only black ink for both sides, staying within the very simple brand colour palette of black and grey.
The results are quite good. For the next print run, we would likely increase the weight of the wood from .17″ to .25″ and use the original design of walnut and white. The cards are being met with a superb reaction and were a cost-effective alternative to traditional printing.
Update: you can see the rest of this project here.