Sorry this site requires JavaScript to be enabled in your browser. See the following guide on How to enable JavaScript in Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox and Safari. Alternatively you may be blocking JavaScript with an advert-related or developer plugin. Please check your browser plugins.

This story includes a link to a photoset of some of the most amazingly creative business cards I’ve ever seen.

But ... are they GOOD business cards? Let’s discuss.

Business cards are a VERY IMPORTANT offline marketing tool, but I’ll put this into Water Cooler since it’s not online marketing.
Comments22 Comments  

Comments

Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

To me, the main issue is form vs. function. Some of the business cards in that photoset have incredible style and form, but I don’t think they’ll fit in my wallet. They’re almost functionally useless. Is it better to have a memorable business card or a functional business card?

Avatar
from babasave 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

its best if its both :D see Kevin Mitnick’s Business Card

Avatar
from St0n3y 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Some of these are great and some are just, well, dumb. The best ones are those that use the traditional size formatting but have done something really creative with it. A lot of these are just paper schwag. The only way I’m keeping a business card is if i can file it with the rest of my business cards and that has to be one of a certain size. Anything else would just get tossed. No matter how creative it was.

Avatar
from PatrickSchaber 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Matt - You and Stoney nail it on the head when you mention that they need to be standard size to be stacked or filed with other cards. That plus the correct, easy to identify information is all the functionality I need. Beyond that, something memorable always sticks out. So the functional elements come first for me and then the creativity.

Avatar
from planetc1 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Creative business cards are great but they do have to fit in a wallet to be usable, as mentioned by St0n3y. In my business, thousands of cards get handed out each year so we’re often working to get more creative.If it’s OK to link here’s one that was popular last year...http://www.planetc1.com/images/ADIO_Chiropractic_Gold_300.jpg The back of the card had a magstrip (fake of course) and said "to activate your health, call..."

Avatar
from Silver 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I think that for designers it’s okay to have a less-functional card, shapewise. For creative artists and designers, many of the standard business rules on formatting resumes, cards, and other collateral materials just don’t apply, because they’re judged a lot more on creativity and following the old standards would just work against them.For everyone else, being able to carry the card easily along with many others one gets is vital.

Avatar Moderator
from toddmintz 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I would make the argument that a business card is almost irrelevant and that a person’s website is their business card.  For most anyone, I would associate them with a URL and go to their website in attempt to make contact.  Alternatively, I could reach them via Facebook or other Social Networking vehicle.

Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 2529 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Todd, when you’re at a conference and meeting maybe 20-30 new people a day, how are you going to remember their web site URLs and/or their email address without a business card? Or, say you’re a small business owner and you follow everyone’s advice to start networking locally at Chamber events and such -- how are you going to get people to remember you without giving them a business card? With all due respect, I believe business cards are more important now than ever, especially as the number of small businesses grows and more people leave the corporate workforce in favor of entrepreneurship. 

Avatar
from MiriamEllis 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Neat Article, Matt! Well, those are some pretty fancy business cards. I have to be honest and say I might laugh at receiving some of them, simply because they look like the business is trying really, really hard to convince you of how ’upscale’ they are. That strikes me as a little bit pretentious.  Being a woman, and not having a wallet, I think I’d rather have a pretty magnet for my refrigerator. If it’s pretty enough, I’ll use it. If it’s just a business card, I’ll give it to my husband and forget about it. So...there’s a tip for all you fellows out there. If your main demographic is female, consider using pretty magnets that we subconsciously see every time we open our refrigerator. And, even if it isn’t pretty, if it’s for something like a plumber, I’ll put it up because it’s handy. I don’t really know what to do with a business card once I’m given it. Nice one, Matt!Miriam 

Avatar
from SimonHeseltine 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

One of the business cards I’ve liked the best was at a sports related company where their business cards were all designed to look like tickets to different events.I do have to say that the Moo cards that i carried with me to the last conference had a few people talking, as they are out of the normal size range of business cards.  I can’t say that they’ve won any fishbowl contests for me though ;)  (my regular sized card did manage to snag me a Bowflex at the last SES) :)

Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Simon - your "regular" sized card is bigger than any other card I picked up at SES. Just slightly, but noticeable. I’m sure that’s why you won the Bowflex. You had the biggest card in the bowl. :-)BTW, to babasave - thanks for the Mitnick photo. That’s a brilliant card!

Avatar Moderator
from toddmintz 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Well Matt, let me rephrase what I said...sure, you need business cards as a way to communicate basic contact information.  However, as a vehicle for marketing, I find them to be WAY overrated.  You might have a cool business card but if your website you reference is crap and you left a poor personal impression, so what?If you used toilet paper for business cards, I would still hire you because you’re a cool guy and the ideas that you present through blogging and article writing are of such excellent quality. 

Avatar
from MrRex 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I gotta’ disagree with Todd too. I have a helluva’ hard even getting my address right so remember someone’s email address or website name of facebook profile is a PITA. A business card let’s me know what their name is and has options for reaching them. And like Matt said, at a conference it’s nearly impossible to remember everyone’s name and website.  edit - dang it todd! you commented right before I commented! and i agree i wouldn’t base my hiring on business card . . . unless there were a couple of bills wrapped around it. ;)

Avatar
from planetc1 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Todd, I’ve got years of research on business cards and based on my discoveries I’d say they are mostly underated. You are jumping over basic principles when suggesting cards reference websites. In many cases, that’s a big no no. For marketing websites, cards may be overated, but for local service brick and morter businesses, the juice in cards is among the #1 tool used for success.We should be clear if talking about marketing for websites or business in general.

Avatar
from seobrien 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Add me to the list of Todd’s arch-enemies!  I love our business cards which have a strong logo on the back, excellent use of the brand’s colors, and cool web 2.0 rounded edges.  The only feedback I need to validate this? "Cool cards" which I get from probably 75% of those folks who get it from me.  That point of references adds a degree of certainty that they will remember who I am, with which business I work, and to follow up. Big mistake? those smaller, half sized business cards.  Got a few myself at SES and I don’t even know when they disappeared.

Avatar
from DianeV 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’m a huge fan of print, which is generally based on its long history. I’ve got some friends and clients in print and, on occasion, they’ve handed me a piece that I’d just have to say is the most beautiful piece of paper I’ve ever seen. Not just beautiful, but an outstanding declaration of creativity, aesthetics and execution. The professional photography didn’t hurt, either.

Avatar Moderator
from toddmintz 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’m no fan of most any printed material (other than the traditional novel)...but I know I’m in the minority, so I’ll shut up now.  No getting defensive, no insulting everyone in the thread...no more controversial statements whatsoever:.)

Avatar
from ryanol 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

So I don’t think anyone has mentioned the Pièce de résistance when discussing business cards in this particular discussion yet? ....the scene in american psycho:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoIvd3zzu4Y I am firmly in the standard size, basic information only category when it comes to business cards.   White with either black raised or letter pressed type on good card stock.My personality (well that and my kick ass mustache) is what will make or break my relationship with my audience....if I need a crafty business card I am in trouble.

Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

ryanol - LOL! Too funny.Todd - we didn’t mean to completely quiet you. At least I don’t think we did....

Avatar Moderator
from toddmintz 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 1

This is an example of a "West Coast" thread where people can be civil to each other when they disagree, nobody takes anything too personally, the "piling" on isn’t too severe, the mods don’t get involved & everyone remains friends.Contrast that with a "East Coast" thread:  http://www.sugarrae.com/google-doesnt-know-the-face-of-evil/Ryanol, is that Viagra in your avatar?

Avatar
from ryanol 2528 Days ago #
Votes: 0

maybe?  or maybe it’s ryanol?

Avatar
from johnandrews 2082 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@toddmintz I take offense of your "east vs west" analogy. That wasn’t an "east Coast" thread.. that was a Doug Heil thread, on Sugarrae’s blog. Damn if that isn’t the formula for TNT. By the way it is also a classic thread. Mr. Heil admits his personal motivations for rancor: " I do really and truly like it when you call me names so please keep that up."

Upcoming Conferences

Search Marketing ExpoSearch Engine Land produces SMX, the Search Marketing Expo conference series. SMX events deliver the most comprehensive educational and networking experiences - whether you're just starting in search marketing or you're a seasoned expert.



Join us at an upcoming SMX event: