As part of our agency rebranding, we’ve all been tasked with finding a suitable image for the reverse side of our business cards. Apparently it should represent our image and personality, be quirky, but important to us.

Avoiding copyright infringement means I can’t use any bad-ass images of Superman, we can’t have any people we ‘know’ – assuming this includes famous people scratches out using Kirk, Kara Thrace or Tim Berners-Lee etc – even his Semantic Web stack is too square to use as well. (Put this on a t-shirt for me and I’ll be your friend forever).

Anyway, after trawling Flickr for anything half decent under a Creative Commons license I’ve narrowed it down to five images – bit geeky, quite unimaginative, cliché retro.

TAC-2 controller

TAC-2 controller

"Yeah" by Sameli

The background is as good as the joystick itself, TMNT ftw.

Atari 2600 games

Atari 2600 games

"Day 323/366" by Great Beyond

Brilliant. We could use patterns instead of photos if we like – this is almost both.

Commodore CBM

Commodore CBM

"Cutting Edge Technology, 1981" by Superbomba

Could I pass this off as me?

Girl coder!

Girl coder!

Original by Dave & Bry

Older still, maybe a bit obvious.

Then I started looking for trash – I love photography of pretty much anything abandoned or broken. Flickr has a great pool of Abandoned Swimming pools.

Mac and Toaster

Mac and Toaster

"Macintosh Plus + Toaster" by Eric__I_E

They belong together!

Abandoned Monitors

Abandoned Monitors

"Four Toxic Computer Monitors" by Tonx

Possibly the strongest contender. Looks like they’re their holding cables ready to cross the road. Not too overly techy either?

What do you think?

Suggestions/recommendations/votes welcome – need to decide before Friday!


  1. As the background is amazing, I’ll go for TAC-2 controller. Two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo and Michelangelo, plus a Kraftwerk Man Machine album sticker. What more do you want?

  2. definitely the commodore one!

    • fadi
    • Posted January 21, 2009 at 1:19 pm
    • Permalink

    I vote for “Atari 2600 games”

  3. 100% Commodore. It’s got that retrocrappy 70′s/80′s nostalgic photoquality that we all know and love.

  4. I have a strong suspicion that Marc slipped a family photo in and back dated it to 1981.

  5. Have to agree with Katie and Gareth on this one, Commodore ftw.

    • Tom Nagle
    • Posted January 22, 2009 at 3:47 pm
    • Permalink

    I think I’m with Herring on this one, the iconic imagery of the TAC-2 picture is a winner for yours truly.

  6. dunno about the other photos, but my image (the four monitors) is under a CC _non-commercial_ attribution license, which would mean you could not use it for business cards or any brand materials.

    My images are available for students, non commercial journalistic works, or reproduction for personal use (always with attribution).

    CC licenses come in many flavors and do not necessarily indicate that a work exists as a totally free stock image.

  7. Hi there Tony,

    Quite right, you should always check permissions if you’re unsure – even personal cards are arguable branding material.

Chrome wheeled, fuel injected.