How to Craft a Business Card that Pops

Business cards. Everyone needs one -- because you sure as heck don't want to be put in the awkward position of having to explain, "Oh, I'm between cards" or "I don't have one" when someone goes to give you theirs.

As a small-biz blog, it was pretty inevitable to have a post on business cards sooner or later -- it's been on my list of post ideas for quite a while -- but I have been inspired to finally make good on it when my latest cards arrived. Well that, and reading Network Solutions' post this week on how to make an effective business card.

Unlike resumes, which are disappearing in some offices as ways to consider new applicants, business cards are not going anywhere. Even if they will someday be traded through smart phones using Bump technology, you are still going to need something that fulfills this role.

Well, yeah, we all knew that.

But how do you make yours stand out, and not in an American Psycho kind of way? Business blog Network Solutions has 10 points on the topic, but here are the three I agree with and follow on my card.

They say to put a picture on your card ("make sure it's a professional image…picture cards get attention!"), not to be stingy when you order them ("the more you hand out, the more opportunities you have"), and not to overload it with words ("a business card holds your attention for mere seconds"). 

I'll throw one more out there for you: If you're tired of Vistaprint and its frustrating habit of inserting its own watermark on your cards if you aren't paying attention, I'd highly recommend Overnight Prints.

Overnight Prints, ironically, takes a while longer -- or at least my order did -- but I hadn't heard of it before Megan Tickle, a colleague of mine at Adult Swim as a web and interactive designer, recommended it after she was gracious enough to design my card.

By the way, if you're going to be out at C2E2 this weekend, come see me on Sunday to get one off me. It's, well, memorable.

Mine is a "mullet," or, business in the front and party in the back. The front is clean, slick, and has only a handful of essential words on it. Flip it over and the back shines with a glossy layer. Beneath that gloss is, as a friend of a friend put it: "The sword is in a… wait for it… money rock."

It might be bizarre, but I guarantee you: they'll remember that card. If you follow these rules and your own muse, folks will remember yours, too. 

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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