Your business card is CRAP!

Your card should be so good that, even if they don’t like you, they won’t throw it out, because it demonstrates incredible marketing capability.

James Ellis@jamesellisnyc

Chris Black@donetodeath

We have designed so many business cards. For ourselves. For clients. We have attended so many meetings, where everyone in the room distributed cards, putting names to faces.

Given the nature of our work it’s always been important that our cards be memorable and well crafted — which is hard! 3.5 × 2 is a small canvas. Only so much design can fit.

One solution is to avoid being clever and focus on quality: Pay for high quality stock. Perhaps flex and pay to have multiple sheets of paper glued together to form a card so thick it can’t be folded! That’s what one did in the olde times, before on-demand printing took hold. Now anyone can hit moo dot com for cards made from four layers of archival-quality Mohawk Superfine starting at $35. What a deal! But this technology means that quality isn’t particularly special. High quality cards are now table stakes, much like designerly typesetting has always been.

So what to do? What is a good design?

We pondered.

We ruminated.

We pulled ref.

But nothing landed.


We have found that when creatively stumped, solutions often shake out using a different approach. A different point of view.

We returned to one of the KEY MOMENTS in the life of a business card: The moment you hand your card to someone… when the meeting is starting and everyone distros cards around the table… that moment. We realized what we value most are the conversations good business cards can start—let’s pass out our cards, have a chat, be memorable.

Finally, an idea arrived:

We were aware that moo dot com and similar on-demand presses offered the ability to print a variety of designs. We realized we could personalize our cards! Each card could be unique!

We settled on a design concept: On the FRONT, contact details set according to our typographic style guide. On the BACK, unique, individualized images.


Chris’ card ↓


James’ ↓


This is the best business card design we are aware of, and the concept is yours for the taking. An open source concept. We wish you all the best in your upcoming capabilities presentations.


ps this post’s Title and Dek come from this classic YT video.


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