I’ve been meaning to buy myself some business cards for absolutely ages. Conveniently, I no longer have to, because I’ve been doing a little bit of work for a local printing company and they did these for me in return. I think that turned out pretty well for all involved: they don’t have to fork out any money, and I get many more, much nicer cards than I would have online. And sooner or later (though probably later), I would have bought some online.
Marketing-wise, this may seem like a pretty strange move to make–“Oh, business cards? How quaint! I use this thing called THE INTERNET.”–but at the same time, I bump into a lot of people in the real world. Old friends, new friends, weirdos on public transport, you get the idea. We’ll get talking, and there’s a good chance I’ll mention books at some point. The problem is that typically when I mention that you can find my books on the internet, well…unless you fancy whipping your phone out right then and there, the internet’s not around. So yes, hypothetical snarky person: business cards. They make sense even with the internet.
On the left here you’ll see the front of the card. You may recognise the text in the background. I picked that passage purely because it had an extremely high density of interesting phrases. I figure that something like “…just some punk with a gene lab?” is the kind of thing that’s likely to make people want to find out more. And if they do, they can turn over to the back of the card, shown here on the right. That offers a tiny bit about who I am (I’m a guy who writes stuff. Lots of it is speculative fiction.) and a few ways to find out more. There’s my Twitter, the web address of this very site, and a QR code in case you actually do fancy whipping your phone out right then and there. The for-real version of this card has my email as well, but I’ve edited it out of the photo just to avoid having it floating around online.
I feel like this design works pretty well. It doesn’t make for the flashiest business card in the world, but I think it’s sort of elegant, it offers all the information it needs to and it’s basic enough that it’ll be relevant (hopefully) forever, which is handy because I’ve got 500 of these things. Also, it was the only way I could think of providing a sample of my writing in such a small space. Also, it’s worth pointing out that not all the cards are the same: some are printed on thick white card, some on thinner ivory card. And there’s more! As you’ll be able to see in the following photo, some of them are laminated.
I didn’t think about any of this when designing the front of the card, but I really like how the different versions look: the white ones are kind of crisp and clean, the ivory ones a little more interesting and sophisticated. Also, for practical purpsoses laminated cards will stand up to being carried around a lot better, while the unlaminated ones will be handy for scribbling down any extra information. Even if a multi-variety stack of cards like this is an option with big online printers, it’s just not something I would have done on my own initiative. In that respect, being able to talk to someone who really knew what they were doing was absolutely invaluable. And if you’re anywhere nearby, I’d definitely recommend checking out Printline specifically.