May 27, 2015

Business Cards That Tell a Story – But the Story First - Then a Lenticular Look

A few years ago I was telling a story to a CEO friend of mine about why the business card is dead as well as why much of postal printing is dead.  He disagreed with me and responded with this: "Bob, I think you are missing the personal interaction that these products provide and will continue to provide".  "We hire a lot of smart kids from Stanford, Berkley, Baylor, USC, Duke, NYU,  etc;  one of the first questions these new hires, ask, almost every time, is 'how do I get my business cards'".

Segway to some history.

Business Cards used to be, very simply, a calling card identifying who you were, who you represented and how to get in touch with you.  They may have had a standard logotype which may have been something as simple as a generic line picture of something related to the holders business; something as simple as a hammer, a horse shoe or even a set of teeth as seen here.  This card was printed, most likely with hand set type on a Relief Letterpress.
Old Business Card

Through the 80s and 90s Lithographic Printing became more and more cost effective and we saw small card printing move from relief letterpress to lithography.  This transition greatly enhanced, arguably, the overall quality and increased the capability to print more intricate images.

Full Color Business Card
In the late 90s and early 00s, a mass of technology, and economies of scale through ganging (grouping) brought both short run and color into everyone’s budget.  Today the two most common methods of business product printing are Digital, for short run quantities less than 500, and offset lithography for quantities over 500.  Color turned the business card from a leave behind identifier to a product/business identifier and promotion tool.  Digital influence has brought the cost down for extremely short run.

Today we see very intricate products that may include holograms or Lenticular Printing; the costs of such has come down so much that today’s business card can tell a short story about a product or service.  Business cards printed with these technologies and features are as much a promotional item as a business card.  As a business card, they are somewhat expensive; as a promotional item, they are inexpensive; as a story teller they are priceless.

These Business Cards tell a story, that a picture ban not do.  This video demonstrates a Lenticular Business Card by LightsOn Graphics, used by a real estate agent to demonstrate what they deliver.

Maybe it is not all about technology after all.

Bob Leonard
561-371-4113 (Call My Cell)
512-593-8830 (in Austin)

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