Interview with Designer Emerson Taymor


A recent UCLA graduate, Emerson Taymor has been making waves in the online ocean with his clever takes on everyday items. Part designer, part magician, the Cali-native effortlessly merges creative design with business acumen. CH caught up with the all-around creative talent for a better look at where he gets his vision.

How did you come up with the idea of the business card?
The concept came somewhat out of the blue. I really wanted to sell myself as a personality as much as a designer. I always felt that the people skills of a designer were undervalued and underrated, especially by designers. I wanted to be able to distinguish myself from all the other amazingly talented designers and artists who are far superior to me. Throughout university I photographed myself a lot and included my face in a lot of my projects and websites. It became a sort of trademark for my work. The whole idea was that by being so over-the-top vain, it killed most of the self-indulgence. My personality type also plays with this image. If you didn't know me, some of this work could appear incredibly egotistical. From this "nugget" of wanting to sell "me" as a "person" as opposed to a "designer" my card was born.

Also, there are a couple other notes. The huge ET glasses in my card are one of my known "trademarks." These glasses—and the offshoot UCLA ones for sporting events at my college—are far more famous than me. The actual concept was just serendipitously thought of while brainstorming for my card. [See his Flickr page for more images of the card.]


Have you actually used these business cards and how did that go down?
I have given out close to a 1,000 cards now. Luckily, 99% of the people I give it to love them! I am shocked by the amount of press my card received on blogs online. I never anticipated nearly the response online or in person that these cards generate. Most of the time when I hand out the card the people examine it really closely, poke me out and just play with the card for a few moments. It's really funny and awkward at the same time. In a sense these people are fondling a mini-me!

Finally, what do you think makes someone stand out?
I feel like there is no cookie-cutter solution for making someone stand out (in the good sense of the word). There is a lot of luck that goes into it (especially in my case), there is a lot of hard work and usually something unique. For design, this is definitely the easiest way to stand out. Do something that has never been done and do it well. In all other facets of life there are different ways to stand out. Working harder than everyone else and producing results is one way. The easiest way to be able to stand out though is to have ambition, set hard goals and reach them. If you take action, you are doing more than 95% of the population. Do what you love, shoot for the moon, aim higher and keep pushing. Eventually persistence will take you to unexpected places!