“Wow! I’ve never seen anything like it!”
Well, where business cards are concerned, there’s normally a good reason for that.
On the surface, one idea might seem innovative and unique, but sometimes the designer forgets about functionality, and where the card is going to end up.
The image above, showing a design for Eduard Cehovin, is a wooden clothes peg with the contact details printed on. Yes, it’s a novel idea, and some people would think it great if used for a dry cleaner, or laundry service etc., although there’s no functionality. No-one will carry a clothes peg around, nor can they file it or keep it in a business card holder.
Here’s a business card that sprouts vegetation when watered, by Jamie Wieck (broken link removed, 2014). It was designed to be kept on your table, but I’m curious, would you really leave a bunch of cress growing on your desktop? And where do you think the card will go when the cress dies?
This rubber business card, created by Chris Hirsch for personal trainer Poul Nielsen, is another unique idea, but without very much functionality. Poul only had 10 of the items made, but last I heard was planning for a reprint, with his tagline on the reverse. Notice how you have to use both hands to read the telephone number? That makes it a two person job to give Poul a call.
In saying all this, these designs prompt people to talk about them. They generate interest. If they were more subtle in appearance I wouldn’t have written this blog post. So are there different functions to a business card? Is a business card used for more than just conveying information?
So what’s the purpose of these designs? Are they supposed to be discarded soon after you receive them or has the designer missed the point? Should conventions be challenged where cards are concerned?