The Soft Business Card Series is a collection of 10 business card designs that showcases artists all around the world that choose to lend their skills to the project, as well as promoting Aura Fluere as a character and as an individual. Series 2016 is identified by the front design, which includes a large full-body piece by SwizzleStix, as well as a minimalist three-tone color scheme that coalesces in ten unique designs for the rear. While the graphic design elements of each card were created by Aura, each artist was consulted for a basic mood or shape to keep in mind for the design of the card rears. Each design reflects the personality of the artist in a meaningful way, as interpreted by Aura. Each design is accented by raised spot-gloss along lines segmenting the rear, as well as on key areas of the front graphic and atop the illustrations on the rear.
Information on the front of the cards consists of Personal Contact Information for Aura, including a Twitter handle, Telegram handle, FurAffinity handle, and the web address for Cantus Fluere Studios. The rear of the cards contains a QR code that links to a site chosen by the corresponding artist; in most cases a gallery of their work or personal website. SwizzleStix declined to have a QR code listed on his card. In addition, adjectives describing Aura as a person are listed on the rear of each card, the first two terms changing with each design, the constant latter term “Lovely Lucario” a unifying feature.
Along with being distributed casually over time, the cards were featured in two collect-a-thon style contests at Anthrocon 2016 and Midwest Fur Fest 2016 that resulted in a total distribution of 1200 cards. During these contests, contestants were encouraged to work together to find all 10 varities of the Soft 2016 Cards, and bring them to Aura for a reward.
The AC2016 Contest produced three winners, each of which were rewarded by a commission with Aura, done by the artist of the card of their choice, paid in full by Aura. Two have received their prize, the final winner waiting on the respective artist to produce the artwork. After the MFF2016 Contest, every participating artist will receive a complete set of 10 cards, sent by mail.
Plans to create a new series of Soft Business Cards in 2017 have begun, with 10 new participating artists and a new graphical style.
Being an active member of the fandom since 2009 and a lovely Red’Cario since 2007, it was about time for Aura to begin a journey into relative popularity. At the end of 2015, art of Aura had begun to surface, and as commissions became more precise with their subject matter, self-promotion and the representation of Aura in every facet of his interests became the goal that each art piece was geared towards.
The concept for a series of business cards emerged as a way to stimulate exposure in a precise and personal way, and came from inspiration when looking at other Furry business cards, especially those of Roo-Ness:
The Collect-A-Thon would play a key role in stimulating interest; providing an engaging, tangible way for people to get their hands on art that places contact information and access to related art forefront in their minds. With prior experience creating business cards for Cantus Fluere, it was just a matter of using programs like Photoshop to tackle a different style of graphic design. Whereas the Cantus Fluere business cards were printed by Vistaprint, the Soft business cards’ raised spot-gloss finish was an intricacy that seemed appropriate to tackle with MOO, who will be creating future iterations of the Soft series.