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My BlogHer '10 Business Cards and What You Should Think About When Designing Yours

my new business cardThis is the business card I designed last night in preparation for mine and the Palinode's upcoming trip to New York for the BlogHer '10 conference in August.

While I was putting the different elements of the card together, I gave a lot of thought to what was important and what was not with an eye to the fact that I would be handing them out at an incredibly busy conference. I wanted them to stand out but also behave as a mini-resume of the work I do, and I think I managed to accomplish that. In hindsight, I wish I had chosen to include my Twitter handle, but I was really working at not over-cluttering the card.

There are more than a few other people going to BlogHer '10, a conference that has swelled to well over one thousand attendees, so I thought I would create a checklist of things to take into account when it comes business cards.

Business Card Design Checklist:
  1. A picture of yourself on the card is an extremely good idea if you can work it into the design. BlogHer is a busy series of events, and I find that a week after I return home, my memory of some specifics is already blurry, including exactly who each of the business cards I picked up belongs to. At an event like BlogHer, I will see your face more than I will see your website, so bank on what will make you most recognizable.
  2. If you have a logo, include that on the card. Your card is a visual extension of your web presence.
  3. Don’t forget to put your name on the card. This sounds obvious, but I received a few cards last year that solely represented a person's website and completely missed who they were behind the website.
  4. Include the name and/or url of your website and/or business.
  5. Include at least your main point of contact, which is usually your e-mail address. There is no need to crowd the card with everything from your e-mail to mailing address to Twitter handle to phone number. It will clutter up the card, and a lot of your contact info is discoverable via your website or e-mail inquiry.
  6. Your business card acts as a mini-resume, so list only the most relevant websites/businesses with which you are involved. This does not mean that you should include everything that you do, because space on a business card is limited. For instance, I have subdomains within Schmutzie.com, but I chose to pare it down to Schmutzie.com on the card.
  7. If you put information on the back of the card, make sure that the majority of the space is blank. People often make notes about your meeting on the back of the card to trigger their memory later.
  8. Make the card any colour you want, but make sure that the back is light enough to show pen ink.
  9. A matte business card is the most practical option. Glossy might sound like a flashy option for your business cards, and it is, but it also makes note-taking impossible with most pens.
  10. Odd-sized cards and novelty items tend to get lost in the shuffle. Oversized and undersized cards or alternative materials like keychains might seem like a good idea, but the fact is that there is a lot of stuff handed out at BlogHer. I found that regular sized business cards, 2.5x3 inches, stayed well together in a pile, and, by the time I arrived home post-conference, they were the ones I was most likely to sift through and read. The others ended up in a mess at the bottom of my suitcase with random conference paraphernalia.
If you are going to BlogHer '10, I'll see you at the conference! And have fun designing your business cards!

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