Even in today’s hustle and bustle high tech world, the business card is still the most basic building block of connecting with people and potential customers. Think of it as a three-and-a-half by two-inch billboard featuring – you!
In fact, business cards in Asia are considered to be an extension of an individual and are treated with dignity, honor and respect. The first cards are thought to have made their appearance in Europe during the 17th century. Visiting cards, as they were called were used by royalty to announce their impending arrival at a destination.
A good business card is a lot more than a piece of rectangular paper and some ink. A business card says a lot about a person. Just as the first handshake provides a first impression of a person – positive or negative – a business card can offer similar insight into an individual and their personality.
Business cards are a must for anyone who has any business dealings with people on a face-to-face basis. Those who are entering the workforce for the first time or who are changing jobs should make getting business cards their first priority.
When the person you’re meeting with hands you their business card you have to be prepared to return the gesture with one of your own. By handing you their business card, an individual is not only sharing their contact information with you, they’re also saying: “I value our relationship and I want to stay in touch – here’s a little piece of me.” By not having a card to reciprocate, you’re telling a person: “I really don’t care about you. I couldn’t even find the time to put some business cards in my pocket.”
Creative and unique business cards can reflect your personality. The use of graphics or unique typography can also make your company business card unique. The stock – the blank, unprinted “card” itself – is also important. Card stock comes in different weights. You don’t want a stock that feels flimsy or thin.
The first impression your card makes is a reflection of you. Like that handshake we talked about earlier, it is the one tangible item that your contact will take away and keep after the meeting is over. Select a stock that is sturdy and feels substantial between your fingers. Stocks also come in different textures and colors.
People in creative fields may find that a textured and colored stock better suits their line of work than a more traditional white card with black lettering.
Corporations usually have strict guidelines for their “collateral” material – including business cards. Large organizations spend a lot of money investing in their brand and developing their logo. They issue corporate style guides that precisely outline the layout and content of the card. Any deviation from that required design could prove to be a costly career decision to anyone who might want a more unique business card.