Business Cards 2.0

I can't recall the last time I gave someone my business card. It's been awhile. Nowadays, people usually ask for an email address, if you're findable on Facebook or Twitter handle. Yet business cards remain a necessity, regardless of how often they're distributed. If we didn't have business cards, what would Patrick Bateman do?

Here's a look at business cards that stand out and stay memorable, without getting too gimmicky, in this digital age.

AGRIE Paint Services: This Company's business card received prime treatment from Extreme Group, Toronto. Each card is painted over and contact information is revealed when painter's tape is pulled back. Clever idea, now try Googling the company. Hopefully you'll have better luck than I had. There are plenty of mentions of the company, except they all concern the business card initiative. I was unable to find an actual Web site to match the card. SEO fail.

Cards of Change: I wrote about this site in May. Its concept is simple. Laid-off workers edit their own business cards by updating their contact information, adding something positive to a negative situation. People appreciating the smaller things in life and traveling are two topics found on numerous cards. According to the site, Cards of Change is becoming a book. Is it the PostSecret for the unemployed?

Lush Lawn and Property Enhancement: This Michigan-based company was green back in 2007. Business cards, crafted by Struck, doubled as seed packets. Email addresses, however, failed to appear on the cards, which cost 75 cents each to produce. Make sure this card doesn't make its way to the washing machine by mistake... introduced me to an additional pair of business cards that I couldn't stop thinking about. The first one came from massage therapist Derek Royer. The card is made from cloth and tied in a knot. If you want to know the therapist's name, you need to unknot the cloth. My first reaction was, this is brilliant. What a great idea. Then I let the idea marinate and realized I'd be really screwed if I was in desperate need of a massage therapist and pain relief hinged on my untying a cloth knot. Leo Burnett Canada created the "knotty" card.

Then there are the cards from BC Adventure Survival Training, which live up to the company's purpose by being made from beef jerky. That's right, edible business cards, good for a year and handy in emergency situations. So what if you eat the company's name? Sticky situation averted! Store this card in a clean place. Your wallet? Not so clean. Rethink Canada created the card.

Moral of this column: Canadians dig funky business cards.

4 comments about "Business Cards 2.0".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Jan Zlotnick from the zlotnick group, August 24, 2009 at 4:28 p.m.

    Ha! some fun examples, and you've pointed out some possible drawbacks of going over the line from creative to annoyance and questionable professionalism. In our work for brands, we've found the business card to be a relevant brand message in a particular moment in the relationship-sales chain of events. It is, in effect, a first sample of one's work. It confirms or belies one's initial impression and vibe they were feeling in the personal meeting -- a recollection that fades fast and can be revived, or lost forever, through the "experience" of finding the card in one's purse, wallet, or pocket...even if they are about to throw it out. We have found that the card can actually be a sensory, even sensual, experience that can stay with a person -- and be re-ignited much later -- if done right. For this reason, design and feel, literally, can create a first and lasting experience that can lead to the critical followup meeting. We don't shrug off this "communication" tool as secondary to our branding tools for a client. And our own card makes this point. Wish I could sample it for your here, but you'd have to actually feel it to know what I mean. - Jan Zlotnick, The Zlotnick Group,

  2. Lou Vaccarelli from Shape Media, LLC, August 24, 2009 at 4:39 p.m.

    And then you can use our patented digital Biz card, which doubles as a printed card and contains CD-ROM content, games, Power Point, Flash or whatever. Go to Guaranteed to sit on your clients desk and played over and over.

  3. Joe Jacobs, August 24, 2009 at 5:04 p.m.

    It's good to remember that 'clever' only gets you so far. The cool idea has to actually work at its designated function or it's almost worthless.

    These were good examples of thinking outside of the normal business card box.

  4. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing, August 30, 2009 at 1:29 p.m.

    I actually think Business Cards are invaluable and personal. Zapping contact info is fine. But it leaves nothing to say about the personality of your business if you have something unique.

Next story loading loading..