Don't Leave Home Without It

Perhaps this isn't the kind of feedback you're looking for, but here goes: I think you missed a great opportunity to drive home the points of your article "Don't Leave Home Without It" by using real examples of good business cards to illustrate it. I didn't find the jokey examples you chose funny -- which anyone could overlook -- but they were also poor matches for the article's tone and content.

As a designer, I see both shining and appalling examples of business-card design regularly. You would have done your readers a great service by showing real-life specimens (with emphasis on the shining examples). Failing that, you might have whipped up some dummy cards that fleshed out important points.

I also think you'd have done your readers a service by recommending that they hire (or barter with) a designer to create cards (and, presumably, a complete set of business paper). The unfortunate fact is that today lots of folks have at their fingertips the tools to create business cards without the training or experience to know how to do it well. I'd bet that you could probably trace many of the bad examples the writer cites to that very problem. A professional designer would be able to help clients tease out what needs to be on the card, and would be able to develop a design that sells the IP in precisely the ways the article's experts recommend.

Steve Wolf
Boston, Mass.

Great article on business cards! I agree with Rita Webster that "business cards bring credibility," but I don't agree that a $10 Kinko's repro will bring the same credibility as a $10,000 designed identity. I started with the Kinko's version and quickly shifted to a designed (by another IP!) identity. The result was added legitimacy in my mind, and more importantly, in the minds of my prospective clients. Future clients need to know you're serious, and a well-designed business card helps them believe you will deliver a quality product.

Jeff Robertson
Business Climate Specialist
Fishers, Indiana

I enjoyed your article Don't Leave Home Without It -- it was food for thought. I am currently having an identity crisis over designing my calling/business card. I'm currently in school, and I want to work for a company for awhile, so my card can't say "self-employed."

Rita Linsey
Long Beach, CA

Since you don't want to tie yourself down to one identity -- student, wage slave, or independent professional -- what exactly do you hope to get out of a business card right now? Are you just looking for an easy way to give your contact information to people who might have a job lead for you? It sounds like in this case simplicity reigns supreme: a card with just your name, address, phone number, and email address would probably do the trick.