So I got into this huge conversation at a friends place about business cards and how they are a true extension of your brand but does yours send the right message? After talking on end about this topic and the person realized I have never seen American Psycho they thought I was nuts for caring so much about business cards. I find that most business cards are almost there but make simple mistakes. I went through every card I ever received and found many that would lack a website address, explain what they did, lack a physical address, or just something real general and silly. Some even lacked e-mail, come on!? These are in no particular rank but they are the five best cards I ever scored.
Andy Williamson – C-16 Magazine
This card is super old from my collection and Andy actually owns the company of another card I have featured in this blog post. This is the few things I feel that make this card perfect. It’s see through and die cut but it’s still average business card size so it fits in my Rolodex sleeves. I do have another clear card but it’s annoying and bigger than a normal card. As cool as you think this is, don’t do it. It gets annoying and your card ends up getting tossed at least out of my book if it won’t fit in my Rolodex. Some failed marketing/branding at that point if it’s in the trash. The second thing that won this card for me aside from it’s uniqueness is that it tells you what C-16 Magazine is in case you didn’t know. “Car Culture Style and Design” is a great piece to throw in, especially something this simple since magazine is in the big title. So this way you can figure out that Andy Williamson works at a magazine about car culture. Then they nailed every topic you could need. Physical address, telephone, cell, fax, e-mail, web address. You need all this stuff!
Scott McNearney – SXSW Sponsorship Manager
This card is very simple but it sends a great message out. SXSW for those who don’t know is a music/film/interactive festival in Austin, Texas every March. The three men doing the topics with a bubble that goes up to SXSW is perfect and simple branding on a business card! One glance and I know what this company is all about in case I had forgot. The few negatives on this card are they don’t list a physical address. This denies FedEx/UPS deliveries I could make to Scott. With people I meet now I try to send a package to them overnight afterwards with some basic gifts and a hand written note, I cannot do this to a PO Box. The other flaw is if people do business with you they will forever be hitting you up for the physical address to send stuff since they will never remember it. At least invest $200/year in a UPS store box and have a pretend physical address. At least you can get packages and the UPS store will sign for stuff in your name, it’s quite marvelous. The only other strike on this card is nothing is on the back. At least print a little SXSW logo on it somewhere.
Dennis Trilles – Babe Blvd.
This card almost didn’t make the cut but I couldn’t find anything much better. Babe Blvd. is an automotive industry model website. The back of the card clearly has some good branding on it and even some space to jot notes about the meeting with this person. I should of done that because I don’t ever remembering meeting this guy. The card on the other side is nice and green but matches the sites overall branding and message. It has a phone number listed but doesn’t tell you if this is a cell/fax/office which is a small oversight. No physical or fake address listed either. A cool tid bit is that he did list his AIM name which is a cool creative reach out for contact on a card.
Haley Kilpatrick – Girl Talk (www.desiretoinspire.org)
Haley is an old buddy of mine from college and I almost passed up her card until the back sold me on hers big time. Girl Talk is a 501 (c)(3) non profit based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Her charity basically creates chapters in middle schools that are pier to pier support groups for girls in this age bracket. If you know any middle school girls then clearly you know this is important and needed. The simplicity and colors won me over on this selection. The light pink back with the website was an excellent touch and it really communicated the good feeling and female esque look without even visiting the website. This means the card is a great branding plug, you already know what your in store for. the front side lists all of her proper information including a website along with a logo that you can find and identity with on the website. Physical address is nailed along with e-mail and proper phone listings.
Phil Luis – Theory Communication and Design
This card is the company that I referenced earlier that Andy Williamson owns. This puppy is a homerun. The wood is unique and cool but the card is proper standard size. I haven’t gotten a splinter from the thing yet either or it would be off the list….injuring people you want to call you is never good or productive. This card has a front/back print that establishes the brand very well. He nailed all of the contact information again like in the C-16 card but I feel it lacks one major key element. I understand they are Communication and Design but I would like a little listing telling me about more of their core perhaps? Like automotive specialist or just a quick line in however they want to niche themselves. 365 days of PR or something kinda neat that if this card sat in a pile with a ton of other cards it could communicate to the potential client we are what you need before they even hit your website.
That is all, hopefully I can take this into consideration when we make our next round of cards for PM Lifestyle. I have been doing quite a bit of brand studying over the past few weeks *hint hint* and it looks like next week is an Atlanta to Los Angeles roadtrip with Bertha so stay tuned for news on that.