04 Jan The Business Card
I wish I were a collector of business cards. I should be able to pursue a hobby with little expense and a maximum of examples to gather – for everyone on Earth seems to have one. They may not have the business, but they’ve got the card.
Of course there is an extensive protocol revolving around these – and quite important in Asian contacts. If you are at all involved in business there you would do well to study the expected behaviour carefully. Here in Australia we hand them out, exchange them, leave them at restaurants hoping for a free feed, and lose them at inappropriate moments. They are part of the stock in trade of the budding professional as well as the blooming amateur.
When I decided to change the name of my studio to Dick Stein’s Little Studio, I tossed out all of my old business cards. They were pretty dated and had an ABN number that no longer applied, as well as a list of specialties on the reverse side that I am now avoiding like the plague. They were professionally printed but I cannot remember ever really getting a job by presenting one to a client. I got plenty of work by falling down on the floor and bursting into tears but then really that was a case ot timing it right.
I tried self-printing from templates that were included with the Mac program “Pages”. Not bad, but none of the papers available to me were of the quality of a commercial card stock. I could do images but text was fuzzy and the overall texture was crude. It was an advertisement – but the wrong message.
Likewise spray painting my logo onto brick walls seemed to attract nothing but problems. Okay, I may have gone a bit far when I covered the inside of the church with a giant ” Hire Me Now” banner and the bikini girl, but some of the other slogans on the side of the police station looked fine.
However, business changes as much as anything else these days. The first batch of new cards is almost all gone and I’ve added a new weblog column to the studio repertoire so there’s another template needed. At least I was wise enough to follow the advice of a graphic designer and make a basic design that could be altered as my interests change – and I avoided the temptation to make the cards an odd shape or size. That may look clever and feature in art books from design agencies, but a lot of the strange cards get binned as too inconvenient to carry or file.
Note: Do not drop your business cards at crime scenes. There are some forms of business you do not want.