The funny thing about being a food blogger is how many jobs it requires in addition to the food writing part, kind of like being in a one-man band. I am the sole writer, editor, recipe tester, food stylist, photographer, web designer/troubleshooter and marketer.
While I love the freedom of it, sometimes I struggle to keep track of each moving part. I scribble ideas for blog entries on post-it notes and along the margins of newspaper pages. Then I stuff them inside cookbooks or into the large canvas bags where I keep swag from trade shows. Sometimes I’ll remember where I hid them, but other times they’ll turn up stuck to the bottom of one of my shoes two months later (yes, that happened). Or sometimes the lens on my digital camera gets stuck open because I drop it in a sticky glob of sauce while trying to get a perfect shot, forcing me to do a little amateur surgery to get it clean. Or there are times when I fall in love with an idea for a blog post and write a complete entry with photos, only to abandon it just before hitting the publish button. (There are at least five entries like this in my drafts that will probably never see the light of day.) These little mishaps and false starts are all things I can live with as a one-woman food blogger.
And then there are some tasks, like designing my own business cards, that are best left up to a professional.
Since food blog camp is just a few short weeks away, Marketing Director Marge decided it would be a good idea to make some business cards. Assuming she could tackle this in less than an hour on Vistaprint.com, Graphic Designer Marge cracked open a beer and set to it.
Two painful hours later, I had typed up my blog URL, name and contact info and clumsily pasted an elongated photo of my pepper mill smack dab in the middle of the little business card template. I tried rotating and shifting the image over to the margin, but it refused to budge out of sheer contempt for my ineptitude, or so I thought.
“I can’t move the photo! I can’t DO ANYTHING!” I shrieked. “Vistaprint said this was easy! I’m not a f@&k!*& graphic designer! (Assorted curse words, aggressive sigh, profanities, mindless babble, more curse words).”
In short, any normal person who hired Graphic Designer Marge in the first place would have fired her right then.
“Why don’t you just ask Emily if she does business cards?” Sean said, dousing my little tantrum with common sense. Emily is the graphic designer who made our wedding invitations last year. She was easy to work with and perfectly captured our style, vision and quirky humor on paper–a far superior choice over Marge the cranky novice.
“Oh, right. I forgot about Emily,” I replied sheepishly.
That’s the thing about being a one-woman band. You get so caught up keeping track of each instrument that you sometimes forget it’s OK to get help from a professional every now and then, especially if you don’t want to be the only one at food blogger camp with shoddy business cards made by a foul-mouthed graphic designer with a bad temper.
Now that I was no longer faced with the dual task of being creative and knowing how to design a page, I could relax and get back to the original vision of how I wanted my business cards to look–fun and clean with a splash of color and a hint of nerdiness. I sketched a pig with the primal parts numbered and divided by dotted lines.
I sent my scanned pencil drawing along with a few short notes off to Emily, who sent the initial design a few hours later:
A few emails later and we’d settled on the final design:
Thankfully, I’d had the good sense to fire Graphic Designer Marge.
If you want to contact Emily about designing business cards, party invitations, new puppy announcements or anything else that’s best left up to the pros, email her at email@example.com.