Note cards

Taking the lead from designer Graham Smith, I bought some “note cards” and a holder from MOO.

Moo card David Airey

Moo card David Airey

Moo card David Airey

The front and back PDF layouts are above, with the resulting card trims below. The margins are disappointing. The artwork supplied was to the exact proportions requested.

Moo card David Airey

Moo card David Airey

The holder is solid enough for the small price paid. It wouldn’t take too much effort to snap one of the segments when fully open, but it’s as robust as you’ll need when closed.

Moo card David Airey

I don’t carry a wallet. For quite a few years I’ve used an aluminium card holder for my business cards, credit cards, and driving licence (I don’t like carrying much). The downside is that business cards get mucky when kept against frequently used credit cards. So I can see this compartmentalised holder helping.

Moo card David Airey

As Graham says, the uncoated stock is ideal for writing on — whether it’s the time and date of a meeting, an address, or a simple “thank you” note.

Moo card David Airey

Total cost: £27.94. Includes 50 double-sided cards on 350gsm uncoated recycled stock and plastic holder.

MOO discount codes

A first-time MOO customer can get free shipping by entering this code at checkout:


Only works one time, though, so you’ll need to be quick.

New or current customers can save 10% on a pack of 200 cards by entering this code:


Again, one use only, valid for 60 days.

Here are the MOO websites (I think the UK site works for European orders):


Thanks for the tip, Graham. the trim’s poor, but the holder’s more useful than my old one.

Update: 07 May 2011
I emailed MOO’s customer service, pointing here and requesting replacement cards.

Update: 09 May 2011
I received the following email reply:

“We are sorry to hear that your order did not come out as expected and that the trim on the cards were poor. There is a 2mm leaway in the cutting process so we cannot guarantee that your cards will print out as accurately as a result. However we would be happy to reprint your cards again for you free of charge.”

When received, I’ll post a photo of the reprint so you can see if there’s much difference.

Update: 17 May 2011
Reprint received (photo here). Still a little out, but a decent improvement.

Update: 09 July 2011
I’ve since upgraded my note cards to a letterpress version.

33 responses

  1. A client of mine ordered business cards from MOO recently and had the exact same problem even though the artwork I provided was proportioned as MOO requested. After a quick call to MOO, they made it right and sent new cards. I do love ‘little Moo’ and you can’t beat the prices. I have recently discovered your work and am a big fan, thanks for the inspiration. I am loving this note card idea!

  2. I’ve used what I call “info cards” for a while now – no phone number, address, etc. – just a nice background with web site url. recently did one for an author friend and included QR codes on the back – one to his web site and one to the Amazon order page. Developed another one after a week of customer service extremes – front says “Thanks for the excellent service” , and the back has “___ provided me with excellent service today. Please make note of it.” Now I guess I’ll have to do one of the mini-note cards like yours – thanks for the idea!

  3. Thanks, Kelly. I’ve just emailed customer service asking for cards with the right trim. I’ll post another comment when I find out the score.

    Marge, some nice extra ideas there. Good of you to comment.

  4. I’ve used Moo three times now for cards and stickers and have had this disappointing issue with the trim each time, to varying extent. They were pocket-money jobs and I didn’t bother to complain, perhaps I should have.

  5. Hey,

    Thanks for sharing! I love Graham’s and your ideas. More importantly, I am really thrilled to see that you guys are actually doing it on professional practice. Really creative and innovative.

    What about using touch/heat activated thermochromic ink? Just a empty card but reveals your name and info when a recipient touches it. That would be really cool.

    Also thanks for the (Moo) links. I saw your case holder and love it. Just ordered mine.

    Best regards

  6. Very cool idea for business cards. Critical element in being green is the concept of “buy local”, therefore, unless I move to England it isn’t likely I will order from Moo. Nevertheless, the ideas are inspiring. Thanks David, again and again for a great read.

  7. Pun, that’d make a nice gimmick for a fuel supplier (home heating).

    The green aspect is a good one to keep in mind, Meredith. Most of my clients are overseas, and I always advise that they work with a commercial printer local to them.

    The only proper practice I get, Graham, is when writing letters to my grandparents. I always make mistakes if I’ve not written for a while. Typing’s second nature. Handwriting? An often forgotten art.

  8. @David I’m not surprised you were disappointed by the margins. I assume they have 3mm tolerance for cards, but Moo shouldn’t be offering this size card if they can’t get the guillotine to be accurate enough.

    The cards are a great concept, though…

  9. Just ordered some cards with much the same idea, no contact details but will add the ones specific to each request, ie Skype, Facebook twitter, email or phone no. etc, adds a nice personal touch. Thanks for sharing this David, I hope they cut my cards right.

  10. Andrew, I just updated the post with an excerpt from MOO’s reply, stating their 2mm leeway, and offering a reprint.

    Richard, good luck with yours. If you remember, I’ll be interested to know how pleased you are.

  11. Thanks for this post David, I decided to try these out as I live in London (to take advantage of the quick production times etc.) Ordered a batch of 50 cards just to see how they come out, really impressed with the website as well. Easy to design and customise the cards.

  12. Lovely idea… especially the thought of whipping one out and writing a quick personal something on it, before handing it over to whomever you’re just met. (Although this might require one to carry a pen around too?!) Nice. Thanks David.

  13. I had issues with Moo, too. I finally complained enough and they gave me a new order and refunded my shipping charges. I’d paid rush, and they didn’t get there in time (off by three days). When I did get the cards, you could see the CMYK dots with the naked eye. Very disappointing.

    The new cards, however, came out very well done and I couldn’t be happier with them. Good luck with your reprint.

  14. Cheers for the coupon codes David! Will have to see what they send through.

    My other half had his done with Moo, with full pictures/photos on the back and they were really nice.

  15. Clean, minimal, and awesome! :)
    I recently saw a tweet by another designer–I can’t remember his name–who recently had his business cards made by MOO. His business cards didn’t turn out the way they should, either.
    It’s very nice to see that MOO cares about its customers…but when I compare your .pdf file for the business cards to the pictures of actual printed business cards, it looks like more than 2mm was chopped off.
    I do love MOO’s card holder.
    Oh, and I also love your neat handwriting!

  16. Although I haven’t ordered from MOO, I think your note cards look very good and simple. I like the idea that MOO made their products from 100% recycled and 100% recyclable/biodegradable. I also think it’s great that they are willing to reprint the cards free of charge.

  17. I’m always very disappointed by the margins on my Moo cards, they’re always really inconsistent. It’s somewhere they could definitely improve.

  18. NICE! I always find myself looking at things like this and asking if it could be my regular card. I’m not one for the idea of dropping my cards off randomly so the card hand off will be face to face thing…I think the adding of writing will make it even more personal and make an impression. Also, with so little info, I think it still could work as a hand off with no info given. My schooling tells me it’s a bit too impersonal and unconventional, but my nature, who I am, says this card is SOOO me on a regular basis.

  19. Hey David, Thanks for replying to my comment : ) These cards look great! So simple yet so ‘airy’ / airey with all the white space.

  20. David, the PDF artwork you displayed above, does it include bleed? Because if not, it’s quite drastically out of proportion in the production version! But good on MOO to take the initiative to rectify the situation.

  21. No bleed in the original photo, Ash. The reprint’s better, but still out, and because of which I recommend either using a higher quality commercial printer or creating a design that’s not so reliant on accurate trim.

  22. Hi David, my cards arrived today (they had to come all the way to Prague), the cut seems fine with plenty of room around the content. I’m not sure about the calibration of their press as the purple is a bit off but for the price it wouldn’t be worth sending them back. If I wanted to do a larger run I would definitely consider doing a press pass.

  23. These are rather smart! But I can’t help but ask if you have printed more than four sets of 50? In which case you can get 500 cards on a much higher quality/much more sustainable paper, perhaps even with a foil block for about the same price!

  24. Just the one set of 50, Ebi (and the uncharged reprint). What printer are you referring to?

    After publishing this post I received a kind offer from Evan Calkins in the US. He’s going to send me the same design created using the letterpress he recovered from disuse. Looking forward to that.

  25. I’d suggest to anyone to use the .psd they’ve made, which has guides showing the bleed area and where they trim the card.

    I’ve printed with MOO (only for the 10 free business cards), and I’m genuinely impressed. The uncoated card stock is wonderful, and looks great when photographed with natural light. I’m sick of glossy, shiny cards, I feel that uncoated is the way to go, and makes it look more natural.

    MOO are such a great bunch, and are very friendly. I don’t know if they’re the cheapest though, but the quality certainly shines through.

    I think I’ll consider your card design idea David, it seems like a great idea.

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