Any creative will tell you that finding work can be as difficult as making it. To make sure clients keep knocking on your door, you need to make them aware of who you are and what you do.

There is a knack to creating a stunning piece of self-promotion. It has to stand out from everything else that comes tumbling through clients’ letterboxes as well as show off what exactly you can do. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of six pieces of self-promotion that we think are particularly effective.

Menosunoceruouno's end of the world survival kit

What's inside Menosunoceruouno's end of the world survival kit

1. Just In Case

According to the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, the world was supposed to end on 21 December 2012. This rather grim prediction inspired Mexican branding boutique Menosunoceruouno to create a colourful survival kit that was distributed among their friends and clients in the months leading up to the suspected apocalypse. Fortunately for us all, the Mayan forecast was wrong. We’re still here and Menosunoceruouno continue to make great work to this day.


NB Studio This Year... inside cover

NB Studio This Year... prints

2. This Year…

The team at NB Studio have opt out of sending Christmas cards to their clients, preferring to post them something in the new year instead. This Year… is an annual mail-out which sees the London-based branding and communication studio commission four illustrators to create a limited edition print inspired by a certain theme. This year, they invited Jan Buchczik, Margaret Calvert, George McCallum and Ryan Todd to make a visual prediction of what life in 2064 might look like.


Magpie Studio's 2013: Unlucky for some

The back of Magpie Studio's 2013: Unlucky for some

3. 2013: Unlucky for some

Magpie Studio were also inspired by potential misfortune to create this rather marvellous mail-out. Rather than approach 2013 with caution, the London-based design practice decided to celebrate the new year with a positive piece of self-promotion. The studio even screenprinted the design onto a plank of wood to provide peace of mind to their more superstitious clients.


Crispin Finn's book of matches

Inside Crispin Finn's book of matches

Crispin Finn's match business card

4. Matches

London-based designers Crispin Finn were struck with the idea to send out a book of matches to prospective clients. But not just any old book of matches. These matches were actually small strips of card featuring the URL of the pair’s online portfolio on one side. Each match can be torn out, and given away as an alternative business card. The contact details of Crispin Finn’s agent have also been included, designed to look like a personal, handwritten note on the inside cover of the matchbook.


Buddy Rat's Piss bottles

Buddy Rat's Piss label

5. Rat’s Piss

Last year, Exeter-based creative agency Buddy had a go at brewing their own beer. The result was less than spectacular, leading them to dub the blighted brew ‘Rat’s Piss’. Undeterred by the unpleasant taste, the team proceeded to brand the beer anyway, creating a tremendous typographically-led label design in the process. They then sent the finished bottles off to local breweries and craft beer producers by way of an introduction to what they do.


Touch Branding blood bag

Touch Branding give blood

6. Blood bags

Prague-based practice Touch Branding wanted to find a way to illustrate their passion for what they do. So they came up with the tagline “we’ll give our blood for good branding”, and hammered the point home by sending out real blood bags (filled with fake blood – type Rh Creative) as a way of introducing themselves to clients. The team even dressed up in surgical scrubs to personally deliver the packages all over their hometown.


At ICON Printing, we like to inspire those working within the world of design by sharing some of our favourite finds here on our blog. Be sure to check back for more.

Photos of Crispin Finn’s book of matches come courtesy of Creative Review.