Recently I came across a terrific article about business cards from the ProFreelancing blog. According to the author most business cards are largely a waste of money. People will quickly lose interest in you and your work if all they have to remember you by is your contact info. It’s even worse at a networking event where everyone is collecting business cards by the fist full. If your card doesn’t pull “extra duty”, it won’t stand out and will likely wind up in the trash.
Fortunately the article gave me some great tips for making my business cards more effective. In a couple of weeks I’ll be traveling to a “freelance fair” for a major toy/game manufacturer, and decided it was high time I made up some new cards using the author’s advice. (i.e. use both sides of the card, give a clear description of what I do, list some of my past clients, through in a couple of quotes from satisfied clients, etc.)
But I wanted to go one step further and do something creative and unexpected. Recently I met a creative director who’s business card is actually a tiny sketchbook with her contact info on the front cover. I really liked that idea, and wanted to come up with my own fun little gimmick to help make me and my business cards more memorable.
Since I specialize in character design, I thought it would be fun if each card was its own character. I also want to get more work in toys, games, and other children’s markets, so I wanted to the cards to appeal to our “inner child”. I doodled up some quick little characters from the waist up, then decided to punch finger holes in each card for legs.
At the very least it should make a nice conversation piece, and will hopefully make a more lasting impression at a networking event.
The front of the card is the character displaying a short message and my website. The back of each card (not shown) contains a quote from a satisfied client, my contact info, and a list of some of my more prominent past clients.
I know some consider it amateurish for an illustrator to put actual artwork on his/her business card. Many successful artists I’ve met in the past keep their business cards surprisingly simple and plain. However, in this case I’m hoping that (a) the novelty of the idea and (b) the “big name” clients I’ve got listed on the back of the card will make it clear that I am a professional despite the fact that I’ve put artwork on the cards.