Make the most of your business cards

So, what does your card say about you? We asked creative agencies to explain the thinking behind their business cards.

As the digital age was truly dawning a few years ago many companies in the creative and media sectors experiemented with interactive business cards, cards that were mini CD-Roms or contained memory sticks that not only gave contact details, but could also give recipients a whistle stop presentation of the agency’s credentials. While many people may have throught that these interactive business cards would soon become the norm, they remain few and far between.It seems that one of the main functions of a business card is to make such an big impression that the recipient is so intrigued that they actually put the contact details to use and contact you for a chat.It seems more often than not that when it comes to business cards less is certainly more.While recently at the D&AD Young Blood Prize judging in London The Drum collected 400 business cards from creative thinkers all looking to break into the creative industries. The sheer volume of cards (and the fact that whenever you go into a meeting a card is still thrust into your hand) shows the important role the tiny un-interactive business card still has to play into today’s ultra high tech creative industry.So, with that in mind we asked a number of creative agencies to ‘get their cards out for the lads’ and tell us what they think their card says about them.We have also chosen a selection of cards from the D&AD Young Blood students to give you a taste of the creative thought that still goes into these 55mm x 85mm pieces of card (see gallery on left hand side).Angus Paterson, O-StreetA Dash of Decadence – Triplexed black and white with a slash of pink (or green if you prefer), the O cards are understated yet blatantly obvious, being that its, well, ‘O’ shaped and all… Beautifully letterpressed, die-cut, subtly tactile and more object than business card, they’re a treat to behold. It’s always a surprise when you get more than you bargained for, and that’s what we like. Oh and they fit together nicely so you can build robots and stuff!John Newbold, creative director, 383ProjectOur card was designed to say something about our studio’s attitude towards branding projects - first, design a logo that is clean, clear, and works as a simple one colour (or in this case varnished) version. Second, set some typography that whispers ‘attention to detail’ rather than screaming out through too many fonts. And third, choose one confident choice of solid colour to pull everything together. We hope that all this helps people remember 383 Project, and importantly conveys to clients that we are genuine and conscientious designers, rather than salesmen!Gareth Pickering, finance director, CL3We created a plastic debit card in a nod to the fact that our offices are in the former Liverpool branch of the Bank of England. They’ve sparked phone calls from conscientious members of the public, confusion in ATM machines by staff, exposed postage scams by Royal Mail and elicited constant interest from clients, prospects - and even design magazines. With an eye-watering unit cost, their only drawback is a certain reluctance to give them out, but we hedge our bets that if we can trust clients with our money, they’ll trust us with theirs.Nick Aldrich, managing director, The Allotment AgencyThe reason we are called the allotment is that the founders are all around 40 years old and each one of us has been in the industry for 20 years. We are all prepared to get our hands dirty and we all have a lot of experience of climates, sowing seeds, growth and harvesting results. Our cards and our identity are a literal reflection of this is as such we even put our own wellies on the reverse. The background and even the texture of the environmentally friendly card they are printed on are subtle, yet deliberate, to echo this message.Spencer Buck, Taxi StudioOur business cards (quite literally) speak for themselves.Vaughan Yates, ContagiousIt represents a tree of ideas. Simple but effective. In Japan, handing over a card is an important part of business etiquette and it’s worth noting their customs. Present your card so your name faces the recipient and take time to study the information on their card. Your design is often the first impression people have of you so make sure it represents what your business stands for. Our cards are beautifully crafted, and there is a story to tell around our identity. If we consider our cards to this extent contacts know we will consider their requirements to the same high level.Phillip Lockwood-Holmes, WhitespaceBeyond giving my Sunday name and hard to pin down job title, this card says ‘this guy works at a place that cares about design’ and at Whitespace we really do. The photo doesn’t do it justice - two pieces of card, one white and one black glued together, metallic foil blocked typography, five punched holes which make our logo and rounded corner. It’s got weight and it’s tactile, everyone who gets one comments on it.Paul Gray, Suisse DesignThe Suisse card says a great deal about the business and its approach. I know this because I am constantly being told by those in receipt of the card. I think this comes down to the fact that the Suisse card reflects the core principles of what Suisse stands for. Simple, clear but effective communication. The execution and the material say something about the desire to try and push things a little. It is a hard working yet modest wee thing as it always starts the conversation.Katie Parry, Supercool DesignNo fluff, no faff; we care about creating design that communicates clearly and concisely.Jo Briggs, Head of Print, Corporation PopA 130lb cover card is a glorious achievement in hefty weight, it becomes a card that gets noticed. Corporation Pop has gone beyond any conventions for their business card and have produced an almost half-inch thick business card sculpted from a concoction of crushed CDs and water containers. It is also foil blocked in the brightest orange this side of the sun.

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