Choosing the Right Business Cards

Here’s an interesting new problem. Without a full-time employer with a brand and existing stationary, I now find myself needing business cards for when I’m meeting new people and making new business contacts.

But what to use, what to use. Hmm. There are two that particularly caught my eye: MOO’s MiniCards and gapingvoid’s Streetcards. Many friends tell me to get VistaPrint’s Business Cards too, since they’re free.

MOO’s MiniCards

MOO For $19.99 US, plus shipping, you get 100 MOO MiniCards. They are smaller than normal business cards (28mm x 70mm) and printed on thicker stock. You can customize the back of your card with your own photos or ready-made photos. For your own photos, you can choose from your Flickr, Fotolog, Vox, Bebo, LiveJournal, Second Life, or Habbo accounts, or upload them from your desktop. These cards are especially popular among designers, artists, photographers, etc.

I must admit, I like MOO’s MiniCards. It’s a really neat idea. I did find it tough choosing which photos to use, however. So I experimented a bit: like photos of myself (I dunno, I thought people might want that to remember who I was?) to photos of funny scenes & inanimate objects. So far, the most popular one is a photo of a whiteboard sketch a friend made of me once.

The size of the MiniCards aren’t the easiest to deal with either. Since they’re on thicker stock, they don’t fit in my wallet or business card case easily. Since they’re smaller, I don’t know if other people will have an easy time holding on to them. But they’re still pretty neat and memorable.

gapingvoid’s Streetcards

gapingvoid For $29.95 US, plus shipping, you get 50 gapingvoid Streetcards. They are the same size as normal business cards (89mm x 53mm) and you can order them matt laminated for about $44.75 US. The backs of the cards feature cartoons (some hilarious, some odd, some irreverent) from Hugh MacLeod of gapingvoid.com. According to the web site, these cards are popular among bloggers like Joichi Ito and Jeff Jarvis.

I like lots of Hugh’s cartoons, but most of the cartoons available to the Streetcards don’t seem to make great business cards for me. Some just seem… I dunno… weird. I haven’t gotten any yet; I haven’t decided which cartoon I want.

VistaPrint’s Business Cards

VistaPrint Cards For just the cost of shipping, you get 250 VistaPrint Business Cards. They are the same size as normal business cards (89mm x 53mm) and you can order their Premium Business Cards for $19.99 US (also for a pack of 250). There are 42 ready-made designs, though you can only customize one side of the card. Since these are free, I’m guessing these are popular among scrappy entrepreneurs and money-tight freelancers.

There’s a reason why they’re free though. Their ready-made designs, well, are kinda “eh.” To their credit, you do get a lot more design flexibility and choices when you pay for them—including the ability to add your own logo (but not background image), print the text horizontally or vertically, and choosing from hundreds of other designs. But after a quick browse through those other premium designs, I’m still left with an “eh.”

BTW, I noticed that after jumping back and forth from the VistaPrint web site and going through part of an order flow, I noticed that all of the prices have suddenly been discounted. The Premium Business Cards are now $5.99. Clever marketing move on their part!

Which of these business card printers do you like or use? Know of any other good ones?

Author: Mike Lee

An idealistic realist, humanistic technologist & constant student.

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