Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why Don't Writers Have Business Cards?

In my three-year stint in the corporate world, I collected easily over 500 business cards. I’d meet people on planes and tell them what I did, and they’d hand me their business card. I’d get packages in the mail and a little business card would be tucked inside. It’s just the shorthand of the corporate world, and there’s a reason--they are small, easy to store, easy to carry, and have all the information you need about someone should you need to find them again.

I got a lot of simple pleasure out of handing out my business card. It was like I was saying, “Here, I’m an adult. And here are eight ways to reach me.”*

So I was a little dismayed to become a writer and find--no business cards! I decided to do something about this.

Side story: around the time of the great paid-journalist-to-unpaid-writer-switch, I was also planning my wedding. This is not a wedding blog (although I had one! And it was cute!), but, through wedding planning I stumbled upon the slightly-sketchy yet extremely cheap printing website Vistaprint.

We printed our save-the-dates through them, and I prayed that they weren’t stealing my credit card information (they didn’t). And then, I started getting all these ridiculous emails from them. 200 BUSINESS CARDS FOR $5!!! 500 POSTCARDS FOR $2!!! EVERYTHING WE OWN FOR FREE!!!!**

We’d had a good experience with the save-the-dates, and I was (am) vain enough to want my own business cards, damn it. So I whipped up a little design, featuring my mint-green vintage typewriter, and ordered some. They were 500 for $10. TEN DOLLARS!! How could I turn that down??

(my reasoning, of course, is that even if I was throwing away $10 on something that would one day line the litter box belonging to my future cat, $10 was not a lot of money, so screw it.)

They arrived a few weeks ago. And I loooove them.

Simple, effective, has all my info (here blacked out, so that the Internet doesn't chase me down with torches).

Plus, it is absurdly fun to hand them out to people.

Mostly, I got them for conferences, so if I meet someone I don’t have to dig through my bag for a little piece of paper (which invariably gets lost, laundered, or used as a gum wrapper). But there is something very validating about them, something very American Psycho about having my own:

If you’re interested in getting some business cards, you can check out Vistaprint here. They regularly run promos and discounts, so if it doesn’t look that enticing, try checking back in a few days or weeks. My cards were designed by me, because my brother is a graphic designer and made damn well sure that by the time I was in 7th grade, I knew how to work Photoshop. But Vistaprint also has an array of lovely designs available. Oh and go for the mega-cheap 28-day shipping. It rarely takes that long (usually they print within a week or two), and it saves you some cash.***

*A quick, business-card related story: The best business card I ever received was from my dear friend James, who has just graduated from Harvard Law. In his second year, Harvard had business cards printed up for the students, but they were too cheap and lazy to actually individualize them, so where normally James’ name would be printed, instead they left a blank line and “(name of student).” So here was this beautiful, tasteful Harvard Law School logo, under which my friend had to scrawl out his name like a drunk kindergartener. He actually handed these out to people. Whom he wanted to work for. Keep it classy, Harvard.

**Some of these may not be actual offers available on Vistaprint.

***Pursuant to Internet law, Vistaprint did not pay me anything for this post.

1 comment:

  1. These info are really informative for my business cards...this is interesting post..!!!!