Our Work: Corporate Air Parts Business Cards

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It began with a phone call received at noon on a Wednesday afternoon. Corporate Air Parts, our client who specializes in corporate aviation equipment and safety training, was in a bind and needed our help. That upcoming Saturday, two members of the Corporate Air Parts team were scheduled to travel from California to Florida to attend one of the largest annual aviation conferences held in the US, the National Business Aviation Association’s 2016 Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference. This conference was a staple event for Corporate Air Parts, who has been a sponsor and booth presenter for the last several years. Of the two people who were slated to be Corporate Air Parts representatives at the show, one was a recent hire who had not yet received business cards, and the other, their Director of Operations & Development, needed to update his contact information on his current cards.

For weeks Corporate Air Parts had been in communication with the graphic designer who had originally produced their business cards. Despite multiple assurances that the cards were “in the works”, it was now the Wednesday before they were scheduled to leave and they had yet to even see a proof of the updates they had requested. With only two days to go before their flight out of state, Corporate Air Parts knew it was time to call in the professionals!

We had already worked with Corporate Air Parts on other collateral for this specific trade show. We created an email campaign that they used to notify their followers of their attendance at the show, produced an email signature graphic highlighting a three-piece luggage giveaway that would be happening at their booth, designed and facilitated the production of branded luggage tags to be given out to attendees, and designed name tags to help clearly identify who was a Corporate Air Parts representative.

From this most recent round of work, plus our assistance with producing collateral for Corporate Air Parts in previous years of attending this show, we knew what a significant event this was for their business. There was no way we were going to let them attend that show short on business cards!

We faced two specific hurdles for this work. The first was that the business card artwork files were not available from the original graphic designer. Using a PDF proof of the front of the business card that the client had received during the original design process, and a scan of the back of one of their few remaining cards, we got to work. The digital version of the Corporate Air Parts logo, which we already had on file, utilized some unorthodox approaches to shading and gradations that would not have worked well for the purposes of the business card design. The original business card designer had thus made slight modifications to the logo to improve the quality of the eventual print job. Instead of replicating these modifications as a way to force the logo to work for this situation, we opted to improve the quality of the digital file itself by standardizing the shading and gradations approach, ensuring that we would not run into this issue again. Our next step was to identify the fonts being used on the card – no small feat when you consider the shear number of fonts available out in the wild! Thankfully, our in-house graphic designers were able to pool their collective knowledge and narrow the field down to a handful of possibilities. They were then, through trial and error, able to determine exactly what font was used. Lastly, for the back, we completely recreated the design from scratch using branding assets that we pulled from our previous work with Corporate Air Parts. These perfectly matched the scan they provided us.

The second obstacle was the turn around time. As soon as we knew the details about the situation we reached out to one of our most trusted local print partners and explained the situation. Together, we strategized a design and print schedule that would give us the time needed for creating the files, while giving them the time needed to print and cut the cards. To further save on time, we jointly arranged to have the finished product packaged and shipped directly from the printer to doubly ensure sure we would meet the overnight delivery cutoff.

Between our level of graphic design experience, which let us recreate the Corporate Air Parts business cards rapidly, our relationship with a local printer that allowed us to arrange a rush print job, and our client’s diligence in getting us the feedback and approvals we needed in a timely fashion, Corporate Air Parts had their business cards in hand on Friday afternoon. It was a win for everyone!

Thanks, guys. You are really incredible. I really appreciate it, especially since you mentioned your busy schedule. I won’t be using anyone but you for all marketing material and printing.
- Earl Marchesi, Director of Operations & Development