Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My First Business Cards and their Great Designer

RICHMOND, Va.-- One more relic of the past – and a chance to remember a friend behind them. I just noticed my box of business cards from THE HILLTOP, the college weekly (now daily) newspaper at Howard University.

When I was editor-in-chief my senior year (1991-92), we introduced the VERTICAL business card for our editors. It was part of our “new look” as we moved to new newsroom in Howard Plaza Towers and began producing our newspaper electronically.

No more late-night trips to the printer to get the paper out. Our staff was the first to send THE HILLTOP over a modem without pasting up the layouts in Quark X Press. Only thumbnails told us how our pages would look when they were printed. I like to take credit for implementing this new technology for our publication.

But, the vertical business card was a first for me, LITERALLY. Being editor-in-chief was my first opportunity to get a business card – as a senior in college.

The designer of the cards, B. Gareth Neely or “Bill” as we called him was a genius. He died suddenly several years ago. Besides the design work on the newspaper itself, these business cards are perhaps the biggest tangible memory of his expertise and talent that aided the HILLTOP and Howard University in advancing.

On the Web, I found an article about Bill’s speech in 2000 about his start-up venture, SingleShop.com. Years after graduating from Howard, he continued to follow his passion for starting ventures.

My old business cards remind me of how much he is missed.

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