DIY Business Cards – Darius Walker’s Stardream Onyx Design

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Darius Walker of A'dunte & AssociatesWhen Darius Walker wanted his company’s business cards to stand out, he called LCI Paper Company and spoke to Barry Levine who suggested Stardream paper. Darius ordered a sample of the Stardream and was thrilled when he saw it in person. Later, he mailed one of his printed business cards as a submission for our Share Your Creativity program and spoke to me on the phone about the whole process. I think you’ll enjoy hearing his enthusiasm for the Onyx card stock.

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Here is a transcript of the interview:

I really want to get into why you chose the Stardream Onyx. It’s a black metallic card stock and printing on the stock would present a number of challenges for a lot of people. First, it’s a heavy, thick card stock. Second, it has that metallic finish. And third, it has a dark finish. How did you decide on the stock and how did you overcome the printing challenges?

We not only wanted a unique card, but a high quality unique card. And what actually happened first was that I bought the paper in the business card shaped cutouts. I saw it was very cheap for me to buy it where I could just get forty little business card sized sheets of it. So I bought that as a tester, if you will, to see just exactly what kind of quality this card is, how flexible is it, is it thick enough…all these things first. After I got that was when I decided that this was going to be the right paper to use.

Darius Walker's Stardream Onyx business card

Now, when we thought of doing business cards, again, we said we wanted something unique, but I think we knew that we wanted to use black paper. The interesting part is when most people get black printed business cards done, they print them on white paper. They spray it out with a whole bunch of black ink onto white paper. Well, what this does over the long run is the corners of your business cards start to fold and it doesn’t look as good. So instead of doing the brush ink over the white paper, we knew we wanted to use black paper. And we took it a step further to actually use the Onyx because the Onyx kind of has that metallic look as well.

And what about the printing? Did you farm it out to a professional printer?

Yes, yes, we actually did. We had to shop around for that because not very many places can print on the black paper let alone do some of the designs and stuff that we wanted on our cards. So we actually ended up finding a place that said that they could do it. We thought about two different things. We thought about using blue ink on the card first but then soon we realized that the blue ink was not going to work because it wouldn’t show up as well. That’s when we decided to use the gold and silver which is what you see on our card now. What we again thought about, we were going to use raised lettering first. We decided not to go with the raised lettering because it didn’t really do too much extra for the card. The card itself and the paper itself was so unique and different that we really didn’t have to do anything extra to it besides put our information on there. The beautiful thing about using the Onyx paper was it was already so cool and so interesting and so different from what everybody else had, all we had to do was just make sure that we could get our information on there and it could be read.

Stardream Onyx business card closeup

You’re good Darius. Are you a marketing guy too?

I am, yes. Our company… (laughter) Our company is an engagement marketing firm. It’s A’Dunte & Associates. A’Dunte is my middle name and what we specialize in is engagement marketing. If you really look at advertising now, you will see that one way communication advertising is dead. And what I mean by one way communication advertising, I mean simply creating a mailing list and sending out some cool, creative brochures to your target audience is just not going to work anymore. When people evaluate people’s brochures and potential customers look at your different web sites, they form their own opinion about it, right? There’s nothing you can do. They will form an opinion about it regardless. And so what we have created is an engagement process which really is one that collectively gives your company or your brand, should we say, mechanisms to actually interact with people talking about your brand discussion. You actually have a vital role in your brand discussion. So you’re telling people about your brand. You’re giving them the insight of why it actually has high quality and then getting a response from them. We do a listen and response type process where we listen to what you’re saying about our brand, we respond to it, then we tell you something and you respond back to us. So it’s an engagement process. It’s a two way street. And that’s really the only way that advertising can work now a days because there’s so many options out there. People are using the internet. They can find out about a company in two seconds by typing it in on Google. We really focus on trying to interact with your audience so that you have an active role in your brand discussion.

Is this a fairly new business? It’s definitely a business for the modern age.

Right, yes, yes. Well we’ve been in business a little over a year now. We’re definitely way ahead of the curve in our thinking and our logic. And I think we know that too and we really try to use that to our advantage because we are ahead of the curve and we definitely are a company that is future focused.

And folks can visit you at, is that right?


Any anecdotes about your interaction with Barry? He approached me that you’d be a good candidate for this, so do you have any impressions of him?

Yes, I have a wonderful impression of Barry. He really did a great job. When I actually called and talked to Barry, I was one of those customers who was calling confused. I had no idea what I wanted. I had no idea what type, thickness, or quality of paper, none of that, and Barry really broke it down in layman’s terms for me. So it really helped me to discover what we were actually looking for and what we actually needed. He said, “Hey, check out a sample of something and see if you like it. I really think this paper might be good for you.” I did so and was thrilled and I have just been ecstatic about these cards ever since.

We especially appreciate you guys thinking of our company for a podcast or anything like this. It really, truly is an honor to be considered for this.

Thank you Darius. And thanks to everyone that listens and subscribes to the LCI Paper Podcast. We hope you’re inspired by people like Darius Walker who use our blank stock in interesting ways. If you have comments about Darius’ experience or you’d like to share your own business card story, post a comment! We’d love to read your feedback and interact with you.

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Stardream Onyx Business Cards

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Joshua Birch

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