I’m a paper junkie. Anybody out there with me? I love most any kind of paper… fine stationery… watercolor paper… thick cardstock… scrapbook and crafting papers. Yep, I could collect paper just to look at it and touch it. Oh, wait… I think I DO!
Making a Good Impression
Since I have such a love for all things paper, it’s no wonder that I love having my own business card. And I like to change and update it frequently. But I find myself, as a blogger, using it in many situations that aren’t classified totally as ‘business’. I’ll often hand one to a friend with whom I want to stay in touch, or to a new friend to exchange essential contact info. Of course, they do serve the purpose in business contact situations, but I find they are so much more versatile than that! In this day of social media, it’s great to include that on my card, so it’s easy to connect with everyone I meet.
Victorian Society Calling Cards
Remember that engraved name card that you inserted into your graduation announcements before you mailed them out? That was a modern-day version of the Victorian-era ‘calling card’ that was so popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The calling card, or ‘visiting card’ as it was known as during the Victorian era, was the socially acceptable way of connecting with potential acquaintances in society. The practice, which began in France and then spread to England, gained popularity in America during the early 19th century. If you’re interested in learning more about the etiquette of the calling card, I suggest reading this chapter from Emily Post’s Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home (1922). It’s a truly fascinating read about how the calling card was used effectively in society before the age of telephones.
Another fun resource to read concerning calling cards is The Etiquette of Using Calling Cards. To ‘call on someone’ originally meant ‘to pay a visit to’ – as opposed to making a telephone call, as the word ‘calling’ came to mean in the 20th century. Today, most people refer to a calling card as a kind of credit card that you can purchase and receive so many minutes’ on a landline or mobile phone. My, how times have changed!
Rethinking the Modern Business Card
It appears that the pendulum is swinging back to the ‘calling card’ concept – with a modern-day twist, of course. Here’s an article from the Wall Street Journal about the current trend of a ‘kinder, gentler business card’:
A ‘calling card’ provides relevant information about where to reach you, but also clues about your style and character,” said Luke Ives Pontifell, publisher and founder of Thornwillow Press, Ltd., a bespoke stationer based in a drawing room of New York’s St. Regis Hotel. “Ultimately, a personal card is a useful tool. It helps you get remembered.”
As a blogger, I actually do have a ‘brand’ – a certain look to my blog that lets people identify it. When I meet readers and sponsors alike, one of my goals is definitely to be remembered! If I meet someone and they ask what I do, is it better to just tell them, or to tell them and show them by handing the a card that personifies my website?!
Recently, I attended the SNAP blogging conference and wanted to take some cards that reflected my latest blog design. Having worked with the Minted company previously, I reached out to them again. And since I had done a website re-design since my last cards were printed, I needed an all-new card design that would closely align with what you see on the blog page. My website has a certain look and I need my business/calling card to reflect that look! I also wanted the card to contain all my contact info so that any company or colleague could reach me. But I also wanted a pretty and streamlined look to the card as opposed to a corporate-type image.
When I went online to Minted’s website, I found literally hundreds of business card options. One thing I really like about Minted is that their designs are done by real people! Some are professional artists, some independent blogger/artists, and still others are stay at home moms. And they ask for submissions, so it’s a level playing field! If you have talent, even without training, you’re invited to submit your designs. Isn’t that awesome?!?
Here’s the design I decided on. I was so excited to see that they already had a card with my signature orange watercolor splash on it!
Their designers worked with me to get the spacing, font sizes and colors just right. I simply sent them the details and my logo design for the front and they sent some proofs back to me. In no time, I had approved the design and they were off to be printed. Although I didn’t for this one, you can of course add your own artwork or photo!
Another thing I love about Minted is the weight of their papers. You can certainly find cheaper business cards, but the weight of these is so substantial – it looks like real watercolor paper!
So… do you have a ‘calling card’ or a business card?
What is some info that you think is necessary for your cards?
Do you have a photo on yours?
Let me know what you think… and visit the Minted page for any of your stationery needs!
Thanks for letting me share my business/calling card with you today!
You might also be interested in this post on Christmas card etiquette!