Oh, So You Don’t Have Business Cards

Jessica Innis
Nov 21, 2018 · 4 min read

I’m a sucker for stationery. There’s just something about flyers, postcards, infocards, brochures, catalogs, and especially business cards that seem so heavenly. The bounce when you flick the thick cardstock, the texture as you run past the printed letters with your fingers, and the personality exuded through various designs and colors make stationery an intoxicating experience. Yes, printing is not an eco-friendly business, but many have included recyclable and biodegradable options for conscious consumers. In this article, I want to focus on business cards because EVERYONE should have them. I don’t care if you’re a full-time student, a person with no job, or an office manager, you should have cards. Why? Because when you meet someone for the first time, what’s more official than handing them a printed business card.

“I can just add them on LinkedIn.” How many people read through your entire LinkedIn profile? Finding someone’s current position and contact information quickly is not what LinkedIn’s platform was designed for. Essentially, your LinkedIn profile is a resume replacer or addition as a social networking platform. Some people may add you as a connection and never look back at your profile unless completely necessary. This is a result of the more connections you have, the higher your profile status. By giving someone a business card, you are giving them something to remember you by. That’s why when companies participate in trade shows, they have lots of free handouts. They want YOU to remember them in comparison to everyone else.

Where Do I Buy Business Cards?

Business cards can be online or at printing stores. My number one choice for business cards are Moo (www.moo.com). They have standard, MOO, square, and mini for their card sizes. Also, the texture of their cards are fabulous, and they even have cards made with recycled cotton. However, they are a little more expensive compared to Vistaprint (www.vistaprint.com), another option I would suggest with fewer options. They are some great card makers on Etsy as well. Many local printing shops print business cards, but Staples is the most well-known nationwide printing location.

What Should I Include On My Business Cards?

As I said, business cards about making a personal statement. This is how people will remember you. People may contact you immediately or years later when they mysteriously discover your card again. First, I suggest a logo that defines your personal brand. Think about how this logo represents who you are, your interests, and your beliefs. If you’re not a graphic designer, you can easily find one on Fiverr (www.fiverr.com). Sketch and discuss with them what you want it to look like. You can even get a cartoon depiction of yourself. Instead of a logo, if you’re a photographer, a filmmaker, an activist, a designer, or an influencer, I would suggest including a still of you or something you produced in action. Show off one of your absolute best to display your abilities and talent.

As for information to include, my recommendations are:

  • ex. Communications Professor at X University, Administrative Assistant at Y Inc., Undergrad Biology Student Researcher, Film Production Assistant, Beauty Blogger, Arts & Culture Activist, or etc.”— Even if you’re just starting something or working towards it as a goal, make your future happen by stating it in your present
  • Phone Number
  • Portfolio or Personal Website (I will discuss this in the next article)
  • Social Platforms — Instagram, Twitter, Medium, LinkedIn, etc. (Up to 3)

How Many Business Cards Should I Get?

This all depends on you. How often do you go out and sell yourself or network? If you do so quite often, I’d suggest around 100 business cards to start. If you are getting business cards to just dip your toes in the water, I would start out with 50 and see where you go from there. If six months pass and you still have around 50 cards, it may be time to make some adjustments, in regards to connecting and meeting up with others.

How Do I Determine The Aesthetics?

First, if you ever want design advice on how something looks, email iamjessinnis@gmail.com, and I am willing to provide honest, constructive criticism and feedback at any time. I’m not trying to have you out here looking like Booboo, The Fool. I am on YOUR team.

  • Avoid using too many colors, unless they fit a preset theme. Suggest pairing a color with a neutral (black, gray, or white).
  • Less is more — do not try to fill up the empty space, clean is better
  • Align everything accordingly — left, middle, or right.
  • Always use hi-res images and graphics to avoid pixelation. Check the suggested image file sizes. Use transparent .png files for all graphics.
  • Use templates if you do not have a clue on how to design
Sample Business Cards via MOO.com Checkout

Thank you for reading and keeping up with this publication. Happy Holidays as I know Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Give thanks and be gracious. As promised, the next article will focus on personal and portfolio websites. I will do a run-through of my own, although I built it more recently (I manage so many other sites), so all my stuff is not there yet, but feel free to check out www.jessicainnis.com ❤ Please clap, share, and follow “Building Your Brand: The POC Guide.”

Building Your Brand: The POC Guide

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