Business cards are wonderful for immediate contact and are a direct link to you.
"Whether you want it or not, image matters. If you want to keep up with the competition, you have to show that you’re a professional in every possible way....having stylish, beautiful business cards is a great way to express your uniqueness and maybe even get an edge over the competition." www.noupe.com
A business card is a printed source of information that you can hand to anyone you meet on a personal or business level. It is an easy way for potential clients to contact you if they want to consider you for a job. It should always contain the key ways in which they can contact you and should tell them what line of business you are in.
Key details to include are:
Name, profession, telephone number(s), email address, website address and location address if appropriate. It can also contact links to your social media platforms - although this can make it appear text heavy so the simple use of the platform symbols may be sufficient to encourage people to search for your company name.
As a freelance photographer, I would carry business cards with me at all times as you never know when or how you might meet a potential client. Likewise you can give them to friends and family to pass on on your behalf. Opportunities can present themselves in the most unexpected of places and being able to hand over a business card is an easy way of directing someone to your professional world without relying on them trying to remember your details.
Although business cards have traditionally followed a landscape 85mm x 55mm format, as print and design techniques have changed and improved, there are now a multitude of options available. From embossing, to foiling, die-cut shapes to spot UV, coloured edges, different card stock and printing on pretty much anything not just card, there are limitless options available. However, these will always come at an additional cost which may not be feasible when first starting out in business.
I've used the above as examples as there are details on them that I like. The slide is a good way of showing a variety of images as a photographer - although a more cost effective way to do this would perhaps be to use www.moo.com who allow you to print a different image on each card but keep the contact details the same. The next image again shows a product from www.moo.com who print on recycled cloth.
The third image shows a poster that a graphic designer put up with pull off post it notes showcasing her details - once removed a design of hers was revealed underneath. Images 4 & 5 I chose for the simplicity of the design as this allowed the images to become the main focus of the card - which as a photographer is ideal.
Image 6 is printed on a type of acrylic. I liked this as it the see through option and the words - Change the way you look - made me think of how a photographer looks through a lens and sees the world. It could be a format that may work for a new business card design if costs were acceptable.
Image 7 appealed as I like how the image seems to mirror the design on the other side. Image 8 shows cards with a variety of different images but has the added detail of string in a binding strip - it may be that these are actually small portfolios containing a number of images or just one card. Either way the added detail is a good way of standing out from competition. If someone kept the card they would find it easily due to the added texture.
Image 9 shows how embossing can add detail effectively and the final image is shown as I like the direct call to action with the contact details - call me, email me etc. Whilst pretty bold in its approach, it does make you feel he would be approachable.
MY BUSINESS CARD
I produced these business cards last year for the first year end of year exhibition. They featured an image I showed at the exhibition so that anyone who took a card could remember where they had seen me. It was also an image I really liked at the time. On the back I chose to put a quote to try and explain why I am passionate about photography, but in hindsight the font was too small and fussy. It wasn't as clear as I hoped. I've also since changed my logo slightly so I need to produce a new business card.