Universal Citizenship Card Series: The Elevator Dilemma

After spending too much time researching how to build my graphic design skill set, I decided to do what every piece of research recommended: just start doing it.

Many of the articles I read suggested re-creating designs and images that already exist. I’ve never been short of ideas, and I was hesitant to go this route at first, but ultimately, I decided it was better than what I was working on, which was not a gosh darn thing.

Luckily, when I looked over at my ever growing “interesting things” pile, Eeboo’s Good Citizenship Flash Cards were sitting right on top. I picked three of my favorites and pinned them up on the bulletin board above my desk.

I think this is the debut of my Nessie bulletin board pins! I picked these up during a recent trip to the National Building Museum. They have a sweet gift shop that I highly recommend!

I picked the elevator card to be one of my first because it’s good advice that I’ve never really followed – I’m more of a “close, close, clOSE, CLOSE” button pusher.

This reminds me of one of my favorite episodes of Radiolab. They provide some very interesting information about the Close Button around 4 minutes in.


I’m going to try to do these using extraterrestrials instead of animals. The elevator card was easy enough to turn into an abduction scene, so naturally, that’s the route I went.

I detail the process of designing my X-files themed business cards in this post

Here’s my take:


With the exception of the starry background on the front of the card, these images are from Adobe Stock. I believe the starry background is from Pixabay, but I downloaded it a long time ago and I’m not 100%.

This post provides several options for finding free images

Design Programs

Adobe Photoshop

I used photoshop to remove the backgrounds from the three individuals (2 aliens (which are different species/races if you ask me) + 1 white dude). I’m getting pretty comfortable with the magic eraser and background eraser tool.


As much as I’d like to switch it up and learn new programs, I’m still learning how to use Canva and it provides me with all the functionality I need at this point.

Once I uploaded each of the images, it was just a matter of adjusting them on the page.

Lessons Learned

When removing the background of an image, choose one with a solid background

It’s a lot easier to remove an all-white background from an image. Let’s just say I wish I would have watched this 3 minute Adobe Photoshop tutorial about 16 hours before I did.

Save Image As PNG to retain transparent background

Once the background is removed, save image as PNG (TIFF / GIF work too) to retain transparent background. Saving as a JPEG will just save the same image you were working with – colored background and all.

I need to keep building my Photoshop skills

This was a really good start, but I want to be able to do more. For example, I’d really like the running white dude to be dirty, like he’d been there for awhile. It would be great to make it look like he had a bloody nose, which is creepy, I know.

Pay attention to the details

As I put together the images for this post, I noticed that the back of the original card has a border on it. I need to be done with this project, so I let it go for now. Next time I want to be sure I incorporate details like that into my design.

The same goes with the shape of the card.  They have rounded corners and I totally missed that detail.

I need to keep building my Canva skills

I don’t know how to create these with rounded corners, so I need to see if Canva has the functionality to create images with rounded corners.

Crystal Ball Time

Stay tuned for my next interpretation, which will either be the Recycling Card or what I call the “squealer” card. I can’t even wait –  I have mixed feelings about the quality of this advice:

Want to know when the next one is done? Be sure to subscribe to my blog (on the right hand side of the page) to stay in the loop!

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