The times may be changing, but despite how many times I get someone’s contact by humping our smartphones together, or how often I chant a company’s name over and over until I can get out of the car to search for it online, I appreciate business cards. When someone hands me their card, I get an instant look at them as a person. Their aesthetic and their ideals are on display, just as surely as their phone number and the fact that that they are still using the Hotmail address they made in 1997. Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a watermark. Unfortunately, what I’m getting handed more and more these days is hipster crap. Amazingly, in their quest to be as quirky, new-fashionedly-old-fangled, and uniquely underground as possible THEY’VE ALL COME UP WITH THE SAME GOD DAMN LOGO DESIGN AND IT’S STAMPED ON BROWN PAPER OR BURLAP AND IT LOOKS JUST LIKE GOD DAMN PBR.
Business Cards Are Still Important: Don’t Hate Yours Because You Made a Bad (Hipster) Choice
I do a lot of graphic design on the side for fun, so I’ve seen my fair share of god-awful business cards. People bring their MS Word disasters to me and ask me to fix them. They give me a list of all the things they want included and ask me to make it work. They want drop shadow Comic Sans over a washed out picture of their cat in the garden with a gold foil speech bubble over its head. Now, this is not what I mean when I ask if your business cards suck. As men working on getting finished, you have taste (or I hope you do.) There’s no point in me running down a list of the “here’s what not to do” faux-pas for you because when you see a bad business card, you’ll know you won’t like it. No friends, I’m talking about the infuriating sameness and the stupid trendiness that seems to be everywhere I look these days when it comes to guys giving their business cards an overhaul. Allow me to use an infographic to demonstrate:
Listen, avoid this trend like the plague, even if you are a purveyor of artisan, hand crafted, authentic dry goods, supplies and provisions. There are plenty of printing sites that will help you from start to finish if paper choices or printing jargon makes you nervous. In the search for a unique and manly identity, save yourself the pain and embarrassment of falling into the hipster trap.
By the time you customize a pre-made design from a reputable printer and get a quality product, you’ll feel like a million bucks, and you won’t regret your cards when you go to hand them out. Nothing says “brand identity” like being remembered for a subset of the population best known for terrible facial hair and ridiculously tight pants.
If you do want to overhaul your business cards from scratch with your own art, take some time to look around and see what’s out there first. Mashable has a post on some crazy designs if you’re looking for wow factor; a quick search will turn up some seriously wacky stuff. Or consider crowdsourced crowdsourced business card design. With this route, you spend less, get to choose from tons of designs and get something completely unique.
But for a man who needs a good solid card that will stand the test of taste and time and drive the Patrick Batemans of the world crazy with envy, think clean, think balanced, and for the love of god, don’t think hipster. I’ll leave you with four of my current favorite business card styles for inspiration, and if you’re willing to take the time to make a girl laugh, send me a picture of your terrible cards. I’ll send you a beer in return.