I know I’m not the only one who has a stack of business cards floating around their office draws that will eventually make it to the bin without a second glance. What once was a prestigious exchange between individuals is now an expected exchange in meetings that doesn’t differ from one meeting to the next. Business cards never used to be so bland and there is no reason why they should! Let’s take a quick look at the history for the business card before I give you tips on how to turn your business card from bland to brand.
It all started in 15th century China, where people started using a “visiting card” to mark the desire for a meeting between two individuals. Eventually, the business card made its way to Europe in the 17th century where the business card was viewed as a luxury item, engraved with gold and adorned with intricate textures, it became a must have in the industrial world. Britain, France and Germany relied on the business card, or “calling card” as it was called back then, as an easy way to arrange meetings. This could sometimes involve a complex set of protocols regarding its use, for example; a man would fold down a corner of the business card if he wished to meet with a woman alone who still lived with her parents.
In the 20th century, the business card made its way to America, which became the perfect addition to executives, CEO’s or even people simply looking for work as they would advertise their expertise or company on the card. This completes the evolution of the business card as how we know it today, but that doesn’t mean we need to keep it traditional!
It’s time for a new business card transformation. It’s time we cared about the appearance of our business card and gave it away with pride; that tiny thing is representing your business, and much like you treating your logo is the face of the brand, the business card is secondary to what will be remembered about you and your company.
There so much technology at your fingertips that can easily transform your card from bland to brand. Below are a few ideas to get you thinking about what easy change you could make to keep your business card on top of someone’s desk and not lost in the draw below.
No one enjoys a flimsy handshake just like no one enjoys a flimsy business card. Investing in a quality stock evaluates your business by representing the quality of service you offer. Always choose a thick paper stock. Personally, I’d avoid anything under 250 GSM (thickness of the paper). Anything under can be easily torn or bent, which doesn’t necessarily reflect the service you offer!
There are also so many different types of stocks from gloss, matte and satin to recycled paper/plastics or even recycled cotton t-shirt offcuts. This can be overwhelming, but that’s why we have printers! Talk to them as they will often have a ton of examples on hand and a paper stock book to help you decide.
Lasers are, and always will be fun. Laser cut business cards can create all sorts of amazing and bespoke patterns, shapes and engravings that can look extremely high end. The level of details is also amazing.
Stocks for laser cutting are more diverse than printing with materials such as acrylics, leather and wood on the list. Not all printers offer this service so it’s good to do your research and find someone you can trust.
There is more to printing than just ink on paper. Printers are equipped will all sorts of tools and machines to take your business card to the next level. These techniques can include Spot UV, embossing/ debossing and foil.
Each technique has the ability to take your card from bland to one worth remembering. A touch of foil or embossing here and there can help accentuate the parts you want people to remember and create a business card worth keeping.
If the above isn’t quite hitting the mark for your brand, then it’s time to put your thinking cap on and get creative! There are so many amazing examples online of companies who have ditched the modern understanding of a business card and created something tailored to their business.
Some of these include seed envelopes, vellum envelopes with confetti inside, cards made from pasta and ticket rolls. All it takes is a quick search on Pinterest to find some great ideas that could be adapted to suit you.
Whatever you decide, make sure it aligns with your brand and brand values and isn’t just something you like the feel or look of. The business is speaking on behalf of your business, so make sure it makes sense and is a card worth keeping. If you need help getting started, get in touch.