I’m staring at this towering stack of 3.5 x 2 inch cards on my desk, wondering what I should do with them. My first notion is to throw them all away. I mean, I haven’t looked at many of them in a year. How often have I really contacted people from their business cards? Especially with most businesses having websites and all. They’re really just keepsakes that you hold on to indefinitely. I wonder how often I’ve been contacted from a business card, because I pass mine out like Starbrite peppermints from Grandma’s hard candy bowl.
But the thought of me desperately needing to reach someone whose contact information is not in my email address book, Google contact list, or blackberry terrifies me to no end. According to Murphy’s First Law, the law by which many of our lives are ruled from time to time, as soon as I tossed them in our “paper only” trash can an important matter would ironically pop out of no where and I wouldn’t have the contact information that was so neatly compiled on that convenient little card.
So as I’m thinking of my options (hmm… old school Rolodex, or new school Sugar CRM software?) I’m looking at each card thinking how cool these pieces of card stock (and metal) are. They are way more than just rectangles bearing someones name, contact information, and organizational affiliation. Many of them are irregularly shaped with rounded corners or a slightly taller height. Some have really unique graphic elements, cool font types, and rich, bold colors. I can’t throw away these miniature works of art to become a post consumer waste product.
Not only are the cards cool themselves, but so is the whole social interaction that takes place in the exchange. These exchanges commonly occur in business meetings or professional networking functions. You meet person you may want to work with in the future or just figure out exactly what they do at a later time, and then it happens. “Here’s my card.” Though I’ve been in situations where I couldn’t fully participate in the exchange, and its a little embarrassing. When I didn’t have a card to give because I was “getting more cards made,” I would feel somewhat less of a business person. It’s almost as if they serve as our doing-business-id-cards. Like, “I’m really doing something with my life. I have a job. And it’s an official one too, because see… I have these business cards as validation.”
As “business people” id’s, these cards speak volumes about you and/or your company. Well… they should, that is. The design, verbiage, cut, and color scheme of the stack of cards on my desk clues me into whether the person’s company is a large corporation, or a small sole proprietorship, traditional, non-traditional, green minded, creative, etc. As a design house, we express that with our clients,
The business cards we updated for the Savannah Economic Development Authority.
as well as when it comes to us making our own business cards. In fact, we just did a redesign of our business cards, and we love them (for now). We were able to accomplish letting our personalities shine through and relay important information within the traditional confines of a 3.5 X 2 inch space. My favorite features: the card is cut in the shape of our logo (we call it the Master P), the tactile sensation created with the aqueous coating, the metallic ink on the back, and of course the nonsensical job titles. All this and they still provide pertinent contact information, company name, logo, url and tag line. We’ve heard everything from our cards looking like surf boards and guitar picks, to looking like the Eucharist, aka, Holy Communion.
The Paragon business card
That being said, I’m going to hold onto all of these business cards instead of throwing them away. The uniqueness of each is something I don’t want to toss in the trash. People actually collect business cards as a hobby through organizations like the International Business Card Collectors.
Descriptive, AND funny!
The gift bow is definitely a nice touch.
Not only a biz card with contact info, but a tangible explanation of what this company is all about.
Another funny one. But be careful of potential legal ramifications.
Word association was well played here.
How do you, your business, or organization adequately describe yourself in a 3.5 x 2 inch space? Email your business cards to us at email@example.com, and we’ll post them as comments on the blog.