In this world of online contact there is still something that is both memorable and reassuring about a good business card. It’s likely to be the first (possibly only) tangible thing that you’ll hand to a potential client and investor, so here are ten ideas for leaving an excellent impression.
10) CD Rom and USB Business Cards.
These still have their uses, though with fewer and fewer people choosing to encumber their machines with optical drives (thank you, Mac Book Air!) the concept is dying a bit of a drath. Still, Damn Small Linux probably made the best use of this format with their business card that came loaded with a fully functioning Linux distro in one wallet-sized package!
These days, a flat PCB card with a USB connector is much more on trend!
9) Online Card Creators MOO’s “Printfinity” Service.
MOO have a unique service that lets you put a different image on each and every card in your pack. This works great for designers, photographers and real-estate agents for example, and allows you to let your client pick a card that interests them. It certainly makes for a memorable impression. The cards a beautifully produced, too, and come in their standard or mini format. MOO offers a range of templates and a photo enhancement service so that “your cards (and therefore your photos) can be handed out with confidence and pride.”
8 ) Translucent Business Cards
Untearable, unbendable, undoubtedly unusual, the translucent business card makes a great first impression. While it’ll never fit in a Rolodex, with a quirky enough design you could find yourself on a pinboard or two, and that sort of exposure is what you really need.
Why not use the translucent properties inventively? Create a “mask” that will let your valued customers decode a voucher number on your website, or that will work with another source – say an invoice slip – as a QR code. That way you get repeated exposure when your card is used, and increased loyalty when the customer uses their discount!
7) Wooden Business Cards
There’s something that discreetly murmurs class about a nicely laser-etched wooden business card. Perhaps it’s the tactile nature of the material, perhaps is the marriage of tradition and technology. Either way, for the kind of card that will be remembered, wood works.
6) Agency Card Sets
If you want to engender trust, there’s nothing like demonstrating the size of your team. If you want to make a good impression for your agency as a whole, why not offer a card portfolio like this one?
5) Cards With Products and Samples.
Some of the best examples of these are the business cards where the sample is relevant to the business. For example, there is a lawn care company whose business card is a letter-pressed packet that contains grass seed, and a hair designer whose business card holds 10 hairgrips.
As a designer you might need to think a little outside the box to come up with a product that works for you, but a play on your business name might suggest anything from a book of matches to a set of teabags in a specially designed enclosure!
4) Business Cards That Are Products or Samples
Remind people why they need your services as a proof reader by printing your contact details on an eraser. Show clients that you care about their stress levels by having custom-made stressballs to give as gifts. This very creative photographer’s business card can be used as the front for a pinhole camera!
3) Business Cards That Become Something Else
Nothing is more fun than having something to play with. Let your business card show your quirky and creative side, and give your clients some fun, by encouraging them to make something else out of it. This charming business card comes from a model aeroplane parts seller.
2) Travel Wallet Business Cards
Not as exciting as a model aeroplane and not as sexy as a wooden, laser cut card, but what you might miss in sophistication, you gain in exposure. Travel card wallets are used daily and, unlike most business cards, that means that you’ll be in your client’s line of sight up to ten times a week! That’s the kind of brand exposure that even targeted advertising can’t deliver. Consider the travel wallet as a business card and promotional tool. You can add inserts too – consider slipping a couple of copies of your traditional business card inside for your clients to hand around.
1) In a Class of its Own: Kevin Mitnick’s Business Card.
Security guru Kevin Mitnick is a genius at personal branding. His outsider image and anti-authoritarian streak aren’t a pose: one of the first crackers to come to public notice, he served five years in prison on a controversial conviction and had to fight to even be allowed to use the internet after his release (one of the terms of his release was that he only be allowed to use a landline telephone! A condition he successfully had overturned in 2003).
From such beginnings he’s built a solid reputation as a security consultant without ever compromising his individuality. His business card is made of quality material (brushed metal, die cut), is etched with his contact details, and has a memorable twist.
Yes – that’s a functional set of lockpicks! Shawn Nunley demonstrates its use on YouTube!. Kevin has really thought about his personal brand, and has invested in a high quality statement of that brand. Not only are his business cards in the hands of his potential clients and investors, the design is eye-catching and inspirational enough to have gone viral. That’s the kind of exposure you can’t get with a card from Kinko’s!
Business cards are still at the heart of your personal branding strategy. Choose the right design and materials to make a lasting impression and it will let potential clients and investors know the quality of service that they can expect from you.