I’m looking for new business cards. In the past, I have made my business cards out of used Japanese telephone cards. This is a cheap (I’ve gathered a large collection of used telephone cards while living in Japan for free by simply picking them up when I came across them). These tend to stand out (most have very colorful photos on the front) which means that people will generally keep them and remember who I am. An example would be this phone card of Mt Fuji:
This is an effective and cheap way for me to give out business cards at conventions or other large gatherings. The phonecard is more rigid than a typical business card, but not as thick as a credit card. The cards are just unusual enough as a business card that it will prompt several questions, especially since it has holes in it and has Japanese on the back. This conversation reinforces me with the card. I think I have used these quite successfully, although they do take some time on my part to create.
The problem is that they aren’t very “professional” since I simply write my name, url, email address, etc by hand on the back. Thus I’ve been a quest to find a cool business card that people would never throw away that is a bit more professional that would still stand out. Here are some of the ideas I’ve found:
bottle opener business card
shoe scoop business card
toothpick & mirror business card
These three cards are all concept designs by Ji-Young Chun as smart credit type cards, but I think any of them would make an excellent business card – especially the bottle opener card. Not only would a person keep a card like that, they would be showing it left and right to all their friends and family which would be great. If they ever makes business cards like this, I’ll be first in line to purchase them.
Along the same thoughts, another good idea if a lot of your clientele are women would be a mirror business card that was quality enough to allow a woman to put on make-up when they are in a hurry and didn’t have a regular mirror handy. I know this would work because my wife often uses a Japanese phone card which reflects well as a mirror when she needs to put on make-up in a pinch.
Paperclip business card
This is also not supposed to be a business card, but I think it would make a great one. This was actually part of an advertisement for a brand of Japanese rice wine (sake) that I bought a few weeks ago which is the same size as a business card. You can see die-cut into the card are three paperclips. It’s unusual enough that I think most people would keep it and might even show it to friends.
lock pick business card
This is one of those cards you see and just think, “I want one of those.” Putting together something like this would certainly make a huge impression on anyone that received it and you could bet it would be shown to a lot of other people in the future.
USB business card
This seemed like a good idea on first impression, but on further thought I don’t think it would work for me. People would keep it, but because memory has become so inexpensive, it is like putting you name on a pen that happens to be digital. I think if you have a small business that you want to brand, this might be the way to go, but it probably won’t leave the lasting impression that I’d like (especially as prices fall even further).
Here are some more business cards that I came across that I thought were creative. Although I don’t think they’re right for me, they may get your creative juices flowing if you are looking for new business cards too:
cord business card
chocolate business card
CD business card
metal business card
tape measure and level business card
peanut business card
ruler point business card
seeds business card
liquid business card
rubber band business card
ticket business card
I’m still undecided which way I’ll go until I can find out if some of the concepts above can be made for a reasonable price. Any other suggestions on cool business card that you think would leave a positive impression that would help that person to easily remember you would be greatly appreciated. Although, nothing is better in the end as a good old fashioned MBA specialization degree.