Is Your Business Card Making the Right Impression?

If you haven’t read Sabine Lenz’s Printing Impression guest post, “These Business Cards Are Crap,” read it now because she’s created quite a stir. Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com and doesn’t mince words about the cheap, flimsy stock, off center cards she collects every time she networks.

She rightfully asks where is the quality, the beauty and the usability of cards that are UV coated on both sides, so she can’t jot notes after meeting someone. Perhaps because it’s her business to sell paper, she says she’d like to see the use of extra thick paper stock, foil stamping, unusually-sized designs, and cards with an additional fold – perhaps that touts in 10-words what the company does best.

Digital Haze or Just Plain Lazy?

Has social media made us go soft by not having a nice card to present our best foot forward? Are we overly concerned about our Linked In page and choosing the right Facebook cover photo?

I have certainly left meetings too many times to count where professionals didn’t have cards at all – a cardinal sin just five years ago. Sure we can bump our smart phones together and share contact info or email VCards, but the tactile experience of receiving a card, looking at the name, making a visual connection between your mind, the giver’s company and the person himself is lost. We learn and remember through touch and spending a moment experiencing the interaction.

Bad Business Cards

So let’s not overlook the business card interaction.  This is your chance to dazzle them or bore them to death.  For example, consider six cards I quickly pulled off my desk. Three of the six underscore Lenz’s crap rant.

There is too much information on the first card. It’s not a brochure, it’s a business card. The second “bad” card has unreadable mice type on it – stick to 8 picas or large not under 6, please. The third “bad” business card is lackluster. My guess is it was designed by the doctors and not by a professional graphic designer.

Good Business Cards

Now take a look at the cards on the right, which show great thought, design, a QR Code®, unusual sizing, thick paper stock, color washes on the back with no UV coating so you can write notes and an overall look and feel, so you leave with an impression about the business and the individual.  These three good business cards even show off some creativity with their titles:  Director of Awesomeness, ROI Generator, and Creator.

So put it on your calendar to review your business card this month. Does it need a re-design? Do you need to add your Facebook page, Twitter handle, a QR Code or blog address?  Don’t be caught in a digital haze by ignoring what could be your best ally – your finely dressed business card.

QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.

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