Should a business card be all business?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Cursor, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. Cursor macrumors 6502

    Cursor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #1
    As I stated in another thread, I'm currently revising my company identity.

    As I got to the business card, I came to a crossroads; should a business card always be straight forward and a basic 3.5 x 2 inch piece of cover stock or is it always better to have a funky card design that makes the user jump through a hoop to get to the information they want to see? Maybe there is a gray area in between?

    I like the idea of fun business cards, especially since I'm a designer. But I find myself wondering if it would turn off most marketing executives that just see the utility in them (that they are a vessel that carries necessary information) and nothing else.

    Anybody have any thoughts? Maybe I have too much time on my hands, hence the need to finish my identity work and get some new business!
     
  2. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    Mar 22, 2010
    #2
    All business... with a twist.

    But I'd never make it difficult to get the information.
     
  3. designguy79 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 24, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #3
  4. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    #4
    I had a guy give me his business card once which i still remember clearly....

    it was one of those small CDs with cut off sides (It wasn't completely round). All the "necessary" information was printed right on the CD and when i loaded the CD into the computer, it had his resume on it. It wasn't just a DOC, it was a proper presentation which went on when i started the CD.


    It was extremely well done.

    Maybe you can have some of your previous designs on it etc so people can see you work too.
    But, with that being said, i'm sure the cards were expensive.
     
  5. Cursor thread starter macrumors 6502

    Cursor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #5
    They are cool and very functional.

    The idea ran across my mind, but the cost would be more than I can take on right now. Also, I'm not sure you can use these mini discs with slot-loading drives, like on most Macs.

    I'll have to look into these later on as my business grows.
     
  6. SwiftLives macrumors 65816

    SwiftLives

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    Dec 7, 2001
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #6
    A business card should be all business on the front and a party on the back. Sort of like mullet.
     
  7. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #7

    Don't do a mini disc card. It was a fashion that went away when people found out that they jam in computers. Not cool. Especially when you are trying to impress someone. Use a flash key drive instead and then attach your business card to it. It's more expensive but it might be worth buying cheaper flash drives in bulk and then only handing out to special clients. Just have your regular business card as a backup.

    Another option is to design a leave behind. Inside, you would make room for a dvd or cd of your portfolio, your business card, maybe a printed resume, and a few samples of work. When I did mine, I made a small booklet of 5 select projects that was inserted into a pocket of the leave behind.

    As for the business card... it's one of the hardest things to design because you have so many limitations - and it's often the focal point of contact. The number one rule is that it has to be readable and functional - you can't stray too far from the standard formats or you risk having it tossed away. Secondly, it should be affordable to your budget. Third, it needs to integrate with the message you want to say about what you do and who you are. And finally, if you can design it so that it makes your message memorable, then you've hit the jackpot. For example, I saw a business design card design that was done for a dentist. It had a diploma kind of frame around it and it looked quite formal. When you flip it over, it had dental floss that was attached like a hanger-wire. And even though it looked real... the floss was actually a photo of the floss. And the floss was tied to connectors that I believe were foil stamped to the card. Hard to explain, but it looked really cool and it said a lot about the business.

    It's always worth it to come up with a really clever way to present yourself, but you have to make sure it can be done and that it's affordable. I had a buddy of mine redo his identity. He was really excited about his concept - it had an unusual die cut and intricate score for folding. The mockup he showed me was really nice. Then he went to get them printed... if I remember correctly, it was going to cost him $600 for 500 cards. Needless to say, he pulled back on the design.
     
  8. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #9
    I like the concept of simple/all-business.

    One area that might be interesting for prospective clients, is the "Augmented Reality" microsite.

    Basically, the back of the card would have a simple black and white geometric symbol printed on it, and a URL to the microsite.
    Go to the site, and hold up the symbol in front of a webcam; an application on the site will map 3d objects or video onto the card.
    It's fairly astonishing for the uninitiated, and if well done, might even be useful as a promotional tool.
    (those impressed by your "AR bizcard" are likely to show it to others)

    Here's a video tutorial for creating basic AR content.
    http://www.gotoandlearn.com/play.php?id=114
     
  9. brisbaneguy29 macrumors 6502

    brisbaneguy29

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    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    Brisbane
    #10
    Surely the answer to that is in your Brand. What sort of company are you? Are you all business, or are you funky, are you a family business, what is your Brand. A brand is more than your logo. It is everything about your business, from the way you answer the phone, to your business card, to the clients you chase and service.

    Ask yourself "What sort of company am I", and then make the business card to suit, and then it will strengthen your brand.
     
  10. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #11
    Just going through the same process, rebranding the company I work for... My design brief is *awesome*, "make it cool!"

    So I have no idea what to do... :eek:
     
  11. Cursor thread starter macrumors 6502

    Cursor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #12
    Ha! Isn't that typical? I'm sure it's due tomorrow, too. Or "It's due next week, but sooner is always better".

    The toughest thing I've ever had to do, is rebrand myself. I'm just unsure and second-guessing everything I'm doing.
     
  12. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #13
    LOL, but at least it's not as bad as getting this from a client

     
  13. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    Mar 22, 2010
    #14
    Oh no they didn't! :eek:
     
  14. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 17, 2010
    #15
    Are there any programs, preferably FREE programs, on the Mac that allow one to design a personal business card??
     
  15. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #16
    Oh they sure did... I ended not getting paid but let them out of the contract, it wasn't worth the hassle. But the whole time they were under the assumption that freelance was free, and ironically did burn through a few designers in the process.

    Suffice to say you get what you pay for ;)


    I would either use Inkscape (free) or Pages, IMHO for ease of use they'd be the best option.
     
  16. advres Guest

    advres

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    #17
    Kevin Mitnick had the best business card ever. It's a lock pick set from a security consulting firm if you don't get it.

    [​IMG]

    My business card has my logo top left, name/position/email/cell top right and company name, address, office number on bottom right. Logo on back bigger than card so part of it is cut off by the sides
     
  17. advres Guest

    advres

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    #18
    Story of my life.

    me: "So what do you want the lower thirds to look like?"
    client: "Just make them POP and look COOL."
    me (a day later): "How's this?"
    client: "Nice but not really what we are looking for."
    me: "So what are you looking for?"
    client: "I don't know, something cool."
    me: smashing my keyboard over my monitor hoping the client dies in a horrific bus vs bicycle accident later in the evening.

    sigh....
     
  18. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #19
    I have seen many small studios "trade" this kind of work... if you have two studios who respect each other, have each do the other studio's brand... that way it is not "precious" and you can really be creative and have fun with it.

    A few years back I "rebranded" a very well known advertising/interactive agency. Its not that they didn't have designers on staff to do it, they wanted someone on the outside to try and capture their corporate culture. It was a really fun project that allowed me to deliver something that made them laugh at themselves.
     
  19. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    #20
    I checked out Inkscape. Seems a bit complicated. I'm no graphic designer or artist. Just a regular dude wanting some business cards for personal use. Before stumbling upon these posts I was trying to make them in MS Word :S
     
  20. spacedesign911 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #21
    Interesting discussion, always good to show that your capable of some good thinking. You could have a few card types, and use your ability to read people before deciding which card to give. Say a clean functional card for some, maybe for the people who you find the door into early you can have a bit of fun with a strap line on the back saying "....will work for food", or say you run late for a meeting, have a card with "sorry I'm late" on one side. I have done this and I really enjoy breaking the ice across a table, by slipping the "sorry, i'm late" card.....
     
  21. Pillar macrumors 6502

    Pillar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    CA.
    #22
    ahaha, i like that one



    OP, best with that!
     
  22. shawnathan macrumors member

    shawnathan

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    Mar 31, 2008

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