Business cards 101: How to stand out in the crowd

The best scene in the film American Psycho is when a group of Vice Presidents from Pierce & Pierce sit around a conference table comparing business cards. Each character flicks open their stainless steel case with a razor sharp sound effect, each one topping the next with their wicked style in fonts calligraphy and coloring. You can just taste the jealous tension in the room. It's enough to launch Patrick Bateman into a killing spree.

Fortunately, one of the things gone with the end of Wall Street flashiness is the need to outdo your fellowman's business card. You won't need Bone cardstock or Silian Rail font in this economy. As more and more people fight for jobs, a lot of people are turning to creativity to stand out in the job market.
Smashing magazine recently did a roundup of some of the best. But please note, these work best in a creative field. You're probably not going to get a job at Goldman Sachs by printing your name on a banana.

Give a token that someone will keep:
  • Ed McCulloch turned his business card into a sew-on badge.
  • Putting your name or logo on a pin will certainly keep you fresh in the minds of an employer.
  • Stickers are easy and cheap ways to get your name out there, especially if you want to get your name out onto the streets.
  • How about a card that grows alfafa sprouts?
  • Get a laser-cut card for a true keepsake.
Start playing games:
  • Mechanical engineer Bryce Bell created a card that turns into a catapult.
  • Print your info on a playing card, or use the back of a bizcard to start your own game. A friend of mine lists 20 qualities on the back of his card: "Designer, engineer, artist, mover, innovator, etc." and invites the receiver to pick three.
  • Print your info on a domino, or another old playing piece.
Homemade cards:
  • turned their website into a nifty cassette. Paper can be cut and glued into a variety of inexpensive symbols to represent your brand.
  • gives a step-by-step guide for creating your own embossed card.
  • Print on fabric, and give them a sewn card.
  • Use a sharpie to write your info on a flat stone, or another found object.
And of course you can always put your stamp on a banana if that's your style. Do you have any ideas you've used to get noticed?
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