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You are your business card

January 27, 2013

Emily Temple, you got my attention with your piece on Flavorwire:

The Fascinating Business Cards of 20 Famous People

I’d call the title a little sensationalist, but the cards got my attention. Some of them found their way to this list for the reason mentioned in the title. They belong to famous people. Nothing to shout about, really.

But on the other hand, some really fascinated me.


If that didn’t shock (it was used in the movie – not his real card), move on to Chuck Jones, Andy Warhol, and Houdini’s. The creativity and sometimes simplicity will give you an idea or two, from there you can go think more about the people who were behind this. All this when integrated branding was not yet taught in universities.

Come to this one…


Sweet, huh?

The author of this article has done some homework, but I would have liked to read more. Also I noticed that many of the cards above came from another article, @ by Bogdan.

In that collection, Twitter and mozilla are my favourites. Don’t you just love the approach in this one?

 Mozilla Card

A writer who sold cars would have a card like this:

Writer as car salesman

And of course many have liked Mr. Van Dyke parks’ card. Seriously, that’s the kind of card that celebrates the owner while giving the viewer a good laugh!

Mr. Van Dyke apologises...

Mr. Van Dyke apologises…

How about I go and find some creative cards that I have received, and put up pictures when I can. A service provider in IT gave a mini floppy with his details on it, which even if not as interesting as Steve Wozniak’s, was still good branding. Enough architects have taken clues from Vitruvius’s sketch…

Vitruvius Sketch

However the most copied symbol in my experience is still CEPT University logo (Designed, innovatively, by a Mr. Sandhu who never graduated from School of Architecture thanks to his inability to work the system)

I can understand the association of many young graduates with their Alma Mater, or the recognition of CEPT as playing a big part in their identity but a straightforward copy? Please spare me your laziness guys.


There are, however, some that try to push the norms, and succeed in varying degrees.

Architect Karan Grover had one that folded out in three surfaces.

One of the present faculties had one that was white text and black backdrop (No, it was not printed on black, but printed IN black)

I have seen those which are square (One inch by one inch), another favourite with architects.

Seen one that opened out like a book, with photos of buildings on all sides.

Also some from a creative agency that looked like flash cards, with an abstract sketch of the owner on the back.

The IAS and other government servants often have obvious logos, specially if they are retired. Old professors from old universities thinking themselves prestigious also often use gold. This, I will put down as a way of creating synergy with one’s identity. Even when some of these people are obviously thinking a lot on themselves; I say some effort spent on one’s card helps: It tells the owner apart. The normal (read:most boring) ones, typically, have come from middle of the line walkers, or, from shrewd business persons.

So when you give me a boring card, I do hope you belong to the latter category…


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