Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Return! Business Cards

I've been gone for way too long. I have plenty of ideas to write about, since I was thinking things up the entire time I wasn't writing. But for my first post back after such a break, I thought I would talk about business cards.

Business cards have become another very important tool in marketing and promotion. In many cases, gone are the days of plain white cardstock with black printing and a logo in the top left corner. Business cards are no longer an afterthought only used as a simple way to leave your contact information with a client or friend. For many freelancers, artists, and other types of designers, a business card is more like a small advertisement. There are dozens of blogs and individual articles on the web about innovative and interesting business cards, everything from die cut cards in hundreds of different shapes, to cards on clear plastic, wood, even beef jerky.

Even non design based industries can benefit from a unique business card - a dentist's office with cards shaped like a tooth, or with dental floss embedded in the card, for instance. I've seen divorce lawyers with cards that are perforated in the middle and have the information on both halves of the card. Just about anyone can be creative with their business cards these days.

Of course, being creative just to be creative will shine through - overly gaudy or complicated cards will be ignored or discarded without a second thought. A neon green business card with purple lettering for anyone other than a graphic designer would probably be a bad idea. A business card that looks like a child designed and wrote it would be a bad idea for anyone other than a daycare provider.

With all of the blogs out there about business cards, good cards, bad cards, interesting cards, and everything else, its easy to get caught up in the storm of having unnecessarily customized cards. A font color change, or something as simple as a new graphic or text rewrite may be all that you needed. Especially if you're starting to follow the trend of using your email signature as a business card, or doing it any other electronic way.

Simple can be just as eye catching as complicated, provided either one is done right.

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