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Business Cards

anxietyalways

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I was just brought on by a big accounting firm and was disappointed to find their business cards are pretty ugly. I am a recent college grad, so I don't know exactly how to go about having my own card designed. Are there any good websites you could recommend? Are there actual shops, say, in department stores (Nordstrom or something?) that print business cards?

I suppose I would hand out the company's card while on the clock and my custom card at social events.
 

unjung

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"Business cards" has got to be one of the most expensive Google AdWords not related to porn. I would do a search and see who's offering the lowest price... the technology is pretty straightforward so I wouldn't expect many quality issues.
 

B1FF

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You can't go wrong with off-white, raised lettering and a watermark. (FIRST!)
 

jdcpa

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The two card system might work pretty well. I had a similar thing happen when I joined a medium size law firm. The firm was pretty good but the business cards were aweful. Cheap paper with a plasticy laminated cover; really horrible stuff. It looked, felt, and probably was cheap. I had the bright (or rather risky) idea to have my own made up which looked identical to the liminated kind but as B1FF stated 'off-white' with raised lettering. Looked identical but were clearly much better quality. It was working out fine until one of the partners saw it and didn't really care for the change.
I was on the outs for a while over that move until one of our clients (an insurance firm) mentioned he really liked the card that I gave him. We switched over about a few months after that. Long story short, I got lucky. Making personal cards seem like a good idea (as long as it doesn't seem like moonlighting). I'd recomend not trying to mimic the company cards without prior approval though. Hehehe, I had a rough couple of months because of that stunt.
 

Pylon

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Business cards are best handled by printers. You've got a few options with paper and a few options with printing method.

Paper: I think going for something thick, like a 14pt/110# cover. Matte finish is classier, glossy finish or with an aqueous coating is more sleek and modern. For a personal, non-business business card, I can't imagine anything other than a matte finish or linen paper.

Printing Style: Letterpress will achieve that very classic look; it's just what it's name implies. Generally a die of some sort with the letters or design is pressed into the paper with ink. The design/lettering then has the appearance and feel of being depressed.

Thermograving or thermal inking will give you that "raised" lettering/design feel you're used to seeing in the past few decades. It's not always as expensive.

Offset press is probably out for such a small run; not worth burning plates for runs with less than three zeros on the end of the quantity. Digital presses will work though (like a Nexpress) and give you that flat color printing effect; pretty much your only professional option for anything full color (4-color process). The ink itself may end up having a gloss appearance to it. For great pricing on these types of cards, I recommend PrintPlace.com (no affiliation or connection, I just have used them a few times for odd work projects and have been pleased by both quality and price).

Ink-jet printing them yourself on do-it-yourself Avery cards is not recommended by me at least. It smacks of underachievement, boiler-room operations, etc.
 

jgold47

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I used to do this everytime I moved. I would have a set of cards with my new info on it (I would get them from vista print) and I would hand them out. But they just had my personal info on it, or whatever hair brained compnay I was going to start on the side.

on another note, I forgot my cards when I was goign out to a thing, and I only had one in my wallet. I went to staples and they did a great re-make of the card, albiet in black and white. This was fine till my boss was at someones office and saw one of the black and white cards and pitched a shit fit, saying that if I didnt like the cards he picked for us, he would fire me and I would be more than welcome to use whatever damn cards I want.

that said, dont do it. if you want personal cards with your personal info on it, go for it. but then when you hand them out to 'friends' in social settings they will think your unemployed, and a tool for handing out cards with personal info on it. If you do it in a professional setting with cards that are not offical, it makes you look like your not a team player, that your embarassed about the company that you work for, and that your not trustworthy (IMO).

Finally, no one cares about business cards anyways. Your card is not going to make or break a relationship. All they are annoying pieces of paper that you give to someone who takes one look at it, puts it in their blackberry and then throws it away or into a pile where its never seen again. Save the money you were gonna spend on this a buy yourself a nice tie. That will go over much better for any relationship that the fake business card you make.
 

nostrings

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Can you provide specific reasons why you think your employer's current cards are ugly?

I recommend that you do NOT opt for an online printing service, and stay away from those 'send out' services that are found within office supply centers.
Find yourself a real printer who intends to use stock or custom mixed ink on traditionally finished papers.

Many people get excited about 'raised ink', but it is generally associated with cheap overnight runs.
 

chas

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Stick with the company cards. You will waste money and more importantly you might not be as lucky as jdcpa. Most people don't care about such things as much as those of us on style forum and I see no upside to printing your own cards. The downside is that if your (new) employer finds out it will single you out and draw negative attention.
 

MrGimpy

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Originally Posted by chas
Stick with the company cards. You will waste money and more importantly you might not be as lucky as jdcpa. Most people don't care about such things as much as those of us on style forum and I see no upside to printing your own cards. The downside is that if your (new) employer finds out it will single you out and draw negative attention.

Negative attention for such a trivial thing? If this is the way your employer responds to your use of the same card on better quality paper, you may want to have a think about working for such a spastic.

Wait until the end of the Great Depression of 2008-19 before walking out, obviously.
 

Tokyo Slim

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Lets see Paul Allen's card...
 

countdemoney

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Don't worry about your employers cards, and whatever you do, don't show them up by getting nicer ones made. You have no idea what kind of politics and drama can go into creating a company's external identity.

For social cards, the standard is a raised type done by engraved printing. DeBrett's recommends engraving. There are very few printers that do real engraving anymore, but you can look to Crane's, Dempsey and Carrol, Smythsons and Piccolo among others. Thermography is a less expensive way of getting an engraved look, and does in fact appear cheap. Letterpress is a classic look and the method that I use for mine. Men's cards have a traditional size of 1.5 X 3 inches, making it very distinct from a business card.

There are several interesting threads on this in the archives and a rather entertaining one from a few years back in the Ask Andy trad forum. Just search for silver salver.

+igent points to you if you do get social cards made, wot? wot?.
 
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Originally Posted by countdemoney
Don't worry about your employers cards, and whatever you do, don't show them up by getting nicer ones made. You have no idea what kind of politics and drama can go into creating a company's external identity.

+1

Besides, in the world of recipient perception, big firm name on card = a good thing. Card with just your name and number = unemployed.
 

montecristo#4

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As CMO, I actually designed our company's card based on this one once:



It didn't last very long because the vibe was all wrong for a tech company. But it was fun.
 

anxietyalways

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Originally Posted by dopamine
What accounting firm do you happen to work for?

McGladrey & Pullen

Their cards aren't HORRIBLE. It's very, very simple..but not necessarily in a good way. Plain white card with thin, quarter inch blue strip on the very top. Then name and info, etc, all left justified. There is just a lot of white space and extremely small text.

Thanks for the tips, guys.
 

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