Back in the old’n days, people met each other in person at cocktail parties and something called ‘mixers’. These face-to-face encounters were the moments where business relationships began, involving a delightful exchange of verbal pleasantries, warm smiles, and the occasional inflation of one’s talents. Back then, there were no such things as “social media” or “online networks.”
Twitter was something birds did in trees, and LinkedIn was something felons found themselves.
Today, we have many, many (many) options for connecting with fellow professionals and potential friends. At times, it seems that there is really no need to leave the house as one is perfectly able to grow a business and personal network through the pixelated world at our fingertips. But, in spite of this, there is still something to be said for the first impressions of a firm handshake and a look in the eye when meeting someone new. Perhaps this is the reason that business cards continue to be the loci for creative design and strong brand communication.
The graphics of your card can convey a sense of sophistication or whimsy; cutting-edge technology or old-world permanence. And with a thoughtful choice of paper stock weight and texture, the feel of the card in-hand can elicit a sense of well-considered design as it works in tandem with the overall aesthetic. This 2 x 3.5 in. billboard serves as a tactile reminder of your brand. Whether you are starting your own company or simply looking to create a good ol’ fashioned calling card, take the time to consider your brand and the impression you want to make.
- PURPOSE – Are you a designer who wants to show your creative skills…or an accountant who wants to convey a sense of staid order…?
- MESSAGE – Write down some thoughts about what you want your card to say about you and/or your business.
- RESEARCH – Collect some cards that you like. What is it that appeals to you?
- COLOR – Are there certain colors that you feel convey the impressions you are trying to make?
- TEXTURE – Is your brand slick and glossy, or weighty and rough? Modern or old school? Take a trip to your local print shop to see and touch the variety of stock available.
- PRINTING – Once you are ready for printing, your print shop will provide a proof for your review. Ask them beforehand if they will let you try out a couple of different paper options. Different papers will often result in color variations. You want to know what you’ll be getting.
- HELP! – If the idea of getting a business card together still completely freaks you out, ask for help. Most designers are more than willling to let you know what they think, so seek their advice or hire one on. It will be well worth it for you and your brand!