When I needed to order business cards for my new company, I wanted color accuracy from my favorite card supplier, MOO cards. So I made the MOOTONE Color Matching System, and now know exactly how my colors will print. If you are color obsessed like me, this could be the tool for you!
As a professional designer/maker/color aficionado... and recent entrepreneur, I turned to my favorite quick-turn business card supplier, MOO cards, to print a batch. Before pressing the dreaded order button (the one that MailChimp has captured the moment of, all too perfectly), I printed out copy after copy on the office color printers to see if I could understand how my colors on screen would translate to the colors in print. Moreover, I had no clue as to how they would come out from the printers at MOO. So I decided to make a MOO card Color Matching System.
A Hyper-Specific Color Matching System
Not to be taken to the bank trying to print my business cards half a dozen times to fine tune the colors, I thought I should print a test swatch of the colors I was using. Then I thought, what if I had a simple tool, much like other color matching swatches I used to use back in the day while I made a buck or two painting prototypes for Lord of The Rings and Harry Potter figurines. Having a swatch booklet, or card set could be a huge time saver and would allow me to match things like my favorite new backpack from Topo Designs. I made the magic* happen and ordered myself a set. *details on said magic below
100 LIMITED EDITION Color Matching Kits
Available now in two tiers: the first will be exactly the same as my set, covering all of the colors of the rainbow in exactly 50 MOO cards. If you want the rest of the palette, that is available too in a limited edition run of 100 units. The full 109 card set will be served-up with a GOLD FOIL Certificate of Authenticity.
How do I ensure that I can even recreate the color on the cards? The magic of a color matching system is that if you submit your designs to MOO cards with the RGB or CMYK color listed on the swatch, the color will print as seen on your swatch in hand. Simply entering the RGB or CMYK values in your favorite design software will ensure a match w/ MOO prints. Colors will look different on your screen than on the card, but then again, that is the point of a color matching system, to give you that knowledge :).
Magic – Or how it all came together
A couple of aspects of making these cards were made possible by my obsession with ridiculous side projects, and any excuse to use programming to solve meaningless problems.
Since the process of making the cards could have been very tedious, and is still remains so, I wrote software to parse a custom JSON file and generate the cards for me. The Processing application I made generated a PDF with all of the swatches needed for MOOTONE. I am happy to share this code open-source, and also happy to help share why Processing is so powerful for this kind of thing and an infinite amount of other fun/powerful applications.
Paper Type & Finish
I'm so glad you asked. This can be important if you are a frequent MOO card printee. The Limited Edition set I am offering comes with the following paper type and finish:
Does MOO support this?
Officially, no. Do they have anything to do with this? Well, they are technically printing the cards, and don't seem to oppose the idea. In fact, if we get enough excitement around it, they might even endorse it :)
Do the MOOTONE colors match other color matching systems colors?
Nope. They share RGB and CMYK values, but they only match the cards you will have in your hand. Another color matching system's swatch will show colors as calibrated to their specification and MOO cards don't follow any official color matching protocol. This is a hack and has proven to be handy.
Does MOO ensure color matching?
Nope. I also have a feeling that they don't really want to be in that business. If color matching is important to you, then the MOOTONE Color Matching System is the closest thing you'll get to print on some smooth, stylish, new MOO cards.
What is the company you are starting?!
So, glad you asked! My new company is called Move38 and we are developing an entirely new form of tabletop games, ones that seemingly come alive on the table. You are encouraged to follow along at Move38.com, as we'll be launching our own Kickstarter soon enough :)
Special Thanks to Nick Bentley, for venturing to start a company with me, and being supportive of these silly side projects. Tomer Weller, for staying on my couch and helping with the very first python script for scraping color values. Che-Wei Wang, Taylor Levy, and Pau (with an active Kickstarter) for photography/video help, moral support, and general daily cheer. Jamie Tsukamaki, for helping me set up the beautiful workstation and home that provides creative inspiration daily, oh and loving me :)
Risks and challenges
NONE. Seriously. I love my set, it exists in final form (well, I might make a couple of small tweaks) and MOO is ready to print them the moment I have all of the orders placed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)