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Quantity Produced


Production Cost

$1.69 +6.5% Mass. sales tax

Production Time

40 minutes

Dimensions (Width × Height × Depth)

3.5 in × 2 in

Page Count

Paper Stock

Staples white poster board

Number of Colors

1 color created by scorching the paper




Luxury Gold and Neutra Text Demi


There is only one way to explain the cost associated with this project, and that is going directly to the source. The full story, as told by Thomas Dudley:

The full cost was for a package of poster board at Staples — which is what, for me, felt remarkable about the run, it was dirt cheap, and took no time at all. But how did this come to be? I worked for a few years at Simon’s Stamps, a custom rubber stamp shop in Massachusetts where they have a gorgeous 150-watt laser engraver, and 95% of the time they’re making interoffice memo stamps on it. While employed by them, I started sticking around after work so as to figure out what else I could burn with it — no one else really knew what to do with the machine outside of running rubber and sign plastic through, using the automated program, with the material presets that came with it. The boss was hoping to expand his product base, and I sort of shifted my job from sales and typesetting to ordering material samples, making stuff and showing everyone else how to do what I was doing. After I moved on to a traditional design job at a newspaper, I remained with the stamp company as a part time consultant, with the provision that I be allowed to come in whenever and use the machine.

And so happened that with an upcoming move to New York — which has now taken place — Thomas realized he had a little bit of time to create much needed new business cards before he and the machine parted ways for a long period of time. Dashing to the local Staples for paper, the one and only option, on a Sunday, he quickly developed a design and got the engraver going.

And what if more than 216 cards are needed, given that Thomas is actively job hunting? a second run might be in order, with some slight revisions:

The next run will probably see better paper, a lighter touch with the laser—the scorching would be more appropriate with a fiery motif, multiple fast passes with the laser turned down will make a cleaner line with less smoke — and some sort of color, thought the plain bone look is rather nice.

Thomas Dudley Business Card --- Thomas Dudley Business Card


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Thomas Dudley Business Card


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Thomas Dudley



Thomas Dudley

This post was published in the original layout of FPO so all images are smaller. Project descriptions as well as production lessons are quoted in the main content area.

Post Author


Author Picture

Bryony Gomez-Palacio

Editor of FPO and co-founder of UnderConsideration LLC.

More: Online / On Twitter


Date Published

September 15, 2009


Filed Under

Business Cards


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About UnderConsideration

UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Bloomington, IN. More…

blogs we publish

Brand New / Displaying opinions and focusing solely on corporate and brand identity work.

Art of the Menu / Cataloguing the underrated creativity of menus from around the world.

Quipsologies / Chronicling the most curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events of the graphic design industry on a daily basis.

products we sell

Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling and memorable portfolios of creative work.

Brand New Conference videos / Individual, downloadable videos of every presentation since 2010.

Prints / A variety of posters, the majority from our AIforGA series.

Other / Various one-off products.

events we organize

Brand New Conference / A two-day event on corporate and brand identity with some of today's most active and influential practitioners from around the world.

Brand Nieuwe Conference / Ditto but in Amsterdam.

Austin Initiative for Graphic Awesomeness / A speaker series in Austin, TX, featuring some of the graphic design industry's most awesome people.


Favorite Things we've Made / In our capacity as graphic designers.

Projects we've Concluded / Long- and short-lived efforts.

UCllc News / Updates on what's going at the corporate level of UnderConsideration.

The End