who's John Cabrera?

oh that's right… it's me.

Taking Care of Business


Man, I’m bubbling!

Great day. Finished working on the show Numbers tonight… a really fun little scene with Aya and Ali. I’m eager to see how it turns out.


I’m still in the middle of my shoot week on Without a Trace, and I have to say, I was so pleased by the energy on both sets. Things moving along at a snappy pace but still a freshness to the work. Friendly crew and actors.

Typically shows with long runs develop this nice family bond. It was one of the best things about working on Gilmore Girls, and I can definitely feel it on both of these shows.

But a good portion of the day I had my mind on something else. This is gonna sound ridiculous unless you know me well… (okay, maybe you’ve read enough of my blog to have what you need)… but I’ve been thinking about killer business cards.

Specifically business cards for myself.

I’ve been saying I need cards for almost a decade. But I never commit. I find myself in situations all the time (pitch meeting, development meeting, sets, etc) where people give me their card, and I have to do the whole pat-down-my-chest-and-pant-pockets… “Actually, I don’t, sorry.”

But after reading this article, I realized I’ve been holding out for something special. Something different. Something that I know is out there, but that I can’t quite put my finger on.

So… I’m gonna try a new approach here; one I’m definitely not used to when it comes to side projects. I’m gonna send an SOS to the world. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace (yes even you), Interwebs:

…. . .-.. .–. / — . .-.-.-

Anyone have an idea for a card concept? Just a concept. I don’t need a design yet, just great ideas. And I’d love your help in finding one.

Here’s the criteria:

  1. It’ll need to fit my name, my email, my twitter address, and my blog. So the concept should keep that in mind. Meaning a fortune cookie probably won’t work.
  2. The materials shouldn’t be too difficult for a guy like me to get his hands on, construct, or have constructed on a reasonable budget.
  3. It should be original and stand out. Something that people won’t want to throw away. And you can certainly use the term “card” loosely the way the Lego guys did. But keep in mind I have to carry them around with me.
  4. It has to fit to who I am. My personality, style, interests, what I do for a living, etc. I hope by now my blog reflects that a bit. If not, you can certainly ask me any questions.

You can contact me any way you’d like, publicly or privately:
email – john@johncabrera.com
Twitter (if you @reply include the hashtag #cabreracard and we may be able to turn it into a discussion)
If you comment here on this post we may be able to turn it into a discussion as well.

I’ll be working on my own ideas as well.

If I use yours, I’ll include a small spot on the card that says “concept (or design) by” and any URL or name you’d like.

What do you think?

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  1. sounds like you’re having a fantastic time, which is lovely to hear (or, um, read)! let us know when you find out the dates your episodes will air… i don’t watch a lot of tv these days (i’m just never around when shows i like are on, or Cody’s not in bed yet! haha) but i would love to try to make a point of seeing them!

    if i get a burst of inspiration re: cool creative classy CabreraCards (sorry, got a little carried away with the alliteration, there.), i’ll let you know (but i kind of doubt it!)… fortunately, i’m guessing some of your other readers will come up with some amazing things! looking forward to seeing their (and your) ideas! lots of parentheses in this comment… my internal filter/editor goes on vacation when i’m sleep-deprived. that’s my excuse, in any case!

  2. *sigh* WHY must you give me something as a creative challenge!!! i already have too much stuff in my head!! HAHAHH!

    the great thing is that I have seen the link you sent before, and LOVE LOVE LOVE some of those ideas. The reality of it all is that to make something so outrageous in design can be very expensive.. (believe me, ive looked into prices for some of my crazy ideas).

    BUT… there is a little website that i totally adore and I definitely need to use it more often!

    it’s called moo.. (www.moo.com) and they have a lot of fun ideas that can me made via their site. You can create mini cards, which are awesomelly adorable and come in a set of 100 which can have a different image on each one… and now they are offering business card sizes too!

    what I love best about their system is that you can actually create a huge variety of choices in each set.. so you can even give people the option to choose their favorite one to keep! :)

    SO here are some ideas based on things that can be printed via moo (the first 10 ideas that come to mind):

    1) since you are a man of lots of words, how about making a word cloud??
    Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. (http://www.wordle.net/)

    2) for your twitter obsession, how about making cards out of your fav tweets of you or your friends? check out this guy’s moo cards:

    3) since you like to offer “quotes” how about creating a design that has talk bubbles with quotes inside them as your cards?

    4) going withe the idea of badges.. how about creating some “flair” type of buttons with something witty on them that can go along with your cards.


    6) for your love of recipes.. how about offering a simple recipe on one side of your card? if the person likes to cook they will DEFINITELLY keep it!

    7) for the movie buffs… have some movie trivia.. and not have the answer on it.. that way it causes people to ask others and show your card around to try to get the answer.

    8) for your lost obsession.. you should create cards that give a clue to something.. which will eventually lead them to your site or blog

    ok so the last 2 have to be made differently.. BUT…

    9) everyone likes gum.. how about handing out gum that has your info as the wrapper

    10) guess the cheese! take macro images of cheese, make them into a card, and ask the person who receives the card to identify the cheese on the card. 😛

    there ya go.. a few ideas to get you goin!


  3. Whoa!!! Viv!!! NICE!!!!

    I do know about moo cards. In fact someone else already suggested it to me on Twitter. But these ideas for their use are… awesome, I have to say.


  4. If you are going with ‘basic cards’ then moo cards (eps mini) are the way to go. I have mine as minis and have gotten only positive feedback from people.

  5. The card should involve your glasses. You could create a card with your glasses on them, cellophane for the lenses, you could print your info on the cellophane…. or not…. that might be too much. :-)

  6. I’m putting the finishing touches on my own cards now. They’re standard cards, but the goal is that the design will be innovative and eye-catching enough to be memorable. But I’ll be watching your process to see what you come up with.

  7. Viv’s ideas are much more creative than anything I can come up with! If it wasn’t more money than I need to spend on cards, I’d have one that looks like a conference badge (as that’s where I’m usually giving mine out). Or an old-fashioned TV.

    Anyway. This isn’t all that creative but would go along with the idea of using moo.com to create a series of cards that are all different but have the same overall design. What if you mirrored what you do here with your header? But use pieces of pictures from past projects. In theory this would make the person ask what the picture is from which could lead into talk of your past projects, etc.

    And, though I like the idea of the person just seeing a small portion of the picture, if you wanted to take it a step further, you could figure out a cool way to include the rest of the picture on the card. Maybe by folding the card a certain way to see it all? Or doing a popup book effect where you pull the tab to reveal the rest. Or maybe a card that folds open.

  8. John — what about a USB memory stick? I know that corporations give them out now too, but a Cabrera-branded memory stick (maybe even a cute one) could then be loaded up with stuff of yours — videos, a resume PDF, etc…

  9. Oooh the gum wrapper idea is brilliant!

    I may steal that one. :)

  10. I think moo cards are cute but I find that I always end up losing them directly after being handed them, they are just a little too small.

    Business cards with cut-outs or in slightly unusual shapes are interesting but not too different. Or those mini-cd rom cards http://www.multishapecdrom.com/cd_price.html

    And these cards are really fun–I love the popup one. http://www.allgraphicdesign.com/graphicsblog/2008/08/12/the-coolest-business-cards-beautiful-unique-business-card-designs-part-4/

  11. Damn, guys! These are great! So are all the ones I’m getting via email and DM. I can’t reply to everyone, but I’m logging a master list of idea.

    Manos, I hope you don’t mind that I share a bit of what you mentioned in your email to me. Manos did some research on my last name, and it turns out it means “Place of Goats”. Makes sense. I always knew it meant something about goats, since the Spanish word for goat is cabra… and well, my last name is Spanish. He suggested a card with a bunch of goats and one with glasses. He also suggested one of those Lego goats with glasses. LOL. Very creative. Thank you, dude!

    Anyway, keep’em coming, guys! Keep’em coming!

  12. ok… thats pretty funny that you had to censor my idea cause its something you are already working on! LOL!!!

    I was trying to come up with ideas for you that are easy to carry on your person.. but there are lots of fun things that you can be a bit extreme about.

    I thought about USB drives, and keychains, and things like that too.. but I figured that they are kind of too large to hold inside a wallet or pocket.

    oh, and btw.. moo offers holders for your mini moo cards and businesscards.. so you dont have to worry about loosing them :)

    how about making “movie ticket” looking cards, or cards that look like a “lotto ticket”.

    would be kinda funny to make random numbers for your lotto cards, and once a month have a winner on your site! 😛

  13. A little mini, wallet sized clapperboard with your info would be fun, especially if it was operational. :)

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