On Business Cards: To Be Glamorous or Practical?

I am expecting my new business cards to arrive by the end of this week.  I have a new title at work, and since I never got around to updating them with my last title change, I figure now is as good a time as any.  So my new title is there, along with my work phone, cell phone, email address, and company contact information, all plastered into the standard company business card template.

But for events, meetings, and introductions that are in no way related to my current company, I think it’s time that I had my own personal business card as well.  I’m talking about those instances where I run into friends from my past, where a potential consulting gig exists, where I want to pass my name and web site address out to people who might possibly be interested.

A recent blog post over at Ever-Real Modern Marketing inspired me with its display of seventy-two brilliant business card designs.  Now, I’m of the mindset that business cards should always be in the standard rectangle shape and in the standard size.  Many of the cards listed play by those rules, and I think the artists have done an amazing job working with colors, graphics, and typographies to make it their own.  I’m absolutely going to attempt the same.

In my experience, business cards that are shaped or sized differently from most tend to present more of a headache than anything.  I received one at an industry trade show I attended last year that, though novel in its approach, failed on all accounts.  One, it was too small, approximately the size of a fifty-cent piece.  Two, it was shaped like an octagon.  Three, it had light text on a very dark background, and four, the text was so small that every line looked cramped.

Oh yes, and I promptly lost it.  That’s what happens with small, oddly-shaped bits of stock paper.

The point is, I’m looking to create a business card for myself that is eye-catching, sensibly-shaped, and exudes a whole lot of me.  Because, let’s be honest, one’s business card is another means of advertising oneself as a product or a brand, and I need to be sure my card is as me as possible.  This is going to include some thought as to color schemes (reflecting, of course, the other self-promotional venues I use such as my web site and my Twitter page), typography (I tend to veer toward cleaner, sans-serif fonts, so not too many problems there), and any graphical elements I might think of.

And, no, despite my face being on pretty much every site of which I’m a member, I’m inclined not to put my photo on the card itself.  That just strikes me as very ‘real estate agent’ or ‘financial adviser,’ neither of which is my chosen vocation.  Personal opinion, of course, and no offense to those of you who aren’t either of those but do in fact have photos on your business cards.

Hmm. I think some Photoshop play is in order here.

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Categories: Career and Office

3 Comments so far:

  1. *Raises Hand*
    I vote for glamorous…or at least something unique. Like maybe a super hero.
    But hey, that’s just me. No bias here.
    Chief Show Officer

  2. Ace Noface says:

    It might cost a few cents extra per card, but you should put the same information and graphics on both the back and front of the card. You might also want to do something like what I did, which was to limit my card to just the logo (and hand holding five cards) and the URL posted on the bottom in bright yellow against a black background. If you do something like this, and have the site contain other contact information. I like minimalism, maybe that would work for you.

  3. I don’t think glamorous and practical are exclusive – you can use a glammed up font color – like a metallic silver or blue on plain cardstock. As long as it’s readable, it’s practical to me! Or, have a practical design on an interesting material – like clear plastic or a slightly transparent plastic. Good luck in coming up with a design – I know it’s hard!