I've been having a debate with myself recently over whether Business cards are irrelevant these days, everyone knows that as soon as you get back to the office everyone's numbers get saved on your phone and the business card gets pushed to the back of a draw. I've slowly been converted to the digital age in most of my day to day activities - I've even converted to a digital diary this year, which is a big step for someone as stationary obsessed as I am. However, I've still found myself in many situations when I've been asked for a business card and kicked myself for not having one on me. These occasions are becoming fewer and further between, but I don't think we can all ditch the business cards just yet. Side note, I was asked for my Instagram handle the other day - Big respect for that cooler than cool millennial - They were even too cool to ask for my Facebook page.
Quality vs Quantity
I’ve had the same box of business cards for 5 years, and I’ve still barely made a dent in it - I don’t like handing them out because they are very corporate and dated and don’t represent my current style of design or the type of clients that I pitch too. However, that’s now changed because those went in the bin when we got our new business cards delivered last week!
I’ve booked up loads of networking events over the Summer and thought now was the time to ditch the old business cards. I always find it difficult to throw out marketing material which I know cost me money and it feels like a massive waste, but if they are just sitting in the cupboard because you aren’t proud to hand them out, it’s a waste too. It was time to start again.
If you’re thinking of getting business cards you need to think about how you are going to use them. Personally, for me, less is more. I don’t hand out business cards very often but when I do I want them to be impressive because they represent my business, and if a designer doesn't have well designed or printed business cards, are you going to employ them to design yours? No.
So this time, I went all out. I spent money on getting a small quantity of the best quality. However, that’s not the best for everyone. If you have a business where you hand out business cards often or staple them to invoices or put them in boxes with your products, it’s definitely not the way to go. You need to way up the unit price and whether it’s better to ditch the spot varnish, or the rounded corners and get more. The last thing you want is to feel precious every time you hand a business card out to the extent that it makes you pick who you want to give one too.
My new business cards worked out at 50p per card, which is a really high unit price for business cards. If I had ordered more (I got 50) then the unit price would have come down but to be honest, I think it will take me a while to get through these 50. The only times I’m going to be handing business cards out is at events and network meetings, so a 50p cost for each potential client is worth it for me. If you’re struggling to work out what's the best way to get your moneys worth, get in touch with us. We can suggest different ways to find a unit price which works for your usage and budget. The easiest way to bring down the unit price of a business card is to buy more, but that’s not always feasible as the total cost gets higher. So it could be that you need to compromise on the finish or the weight of the card to bring the unit price down.
A real heavyweight
The business cards we went with are a Luxe range with a striking coloured layer compressed between 2 layers of white. This gives the cards an incredible illusion of having a striped edge. We went for red - of course - but they come in 8 different colours. These weighty 600gsm uncoated Luxe cards pack some serious professional punch - Regular business cards are usually 400gsm, with some cheaper options even thinner.
It’s not who you know. It’s who knows you.
Once you’ve decided on the print quality and quantity, it’s time to decide what to put on them. For the design of my cards I wanted a photo of myself on them, because mine are for personally handing out to people when I first meet them, I want people to remember me from the masses of people they might have just met at an event. I used some photos from a recent photoshoot with Sian Conway Photography that I had taken for my website. Having a headshot of yourself on a business card can look dated, it’s something that’s become quite out of fashion over recent years, however it is still popular in the corporate world. The style of the photos which Sian took have a really laid back style to them, which keeps the design current and the candid set up is a subtle way of having a reminder of who you are without a passport style mugshot.
Be proud to show them what you’ve got
The thing I love the most about my new business cards is how satisfying they look stacked up - something no one else is ever going to see unless I hand them more than one card. But it pleases my designer spidey senses and makes me proud of them, which at the end of the day is the most important part of any marketing material. If you aren’t proud of what you are handing to someone, then you aren’t going to do it with confidence.