Fun with Business Cards

I’ll admit it – when it comes to business cards I’m a complete slacker these days.  I used to always carry business cards with me, but to be quite blunt about it, I’m too cheap to have a big bulk of cards printed.  I’m also too cheap to replace my broken printer here at the office (it works just fine as a scanner – in fact, it’s an EXCELLENT scanner), but it’s stripped it’s gears.

I had a rally I needed to go to, and along with the requests for contact information I get when I teach classes, I figured it was time for me to break down and print some cards again.  Problem is… I think business cards are quite often very boring.  My old cards also used to have a TON of text on them – something I actually don’t recommend.  Simple and to the point is so much better.

Midnight Ryder Technologies Card, Side 1
Side 1 of my new business cards - yawn....

So I started with side 1 – pretty much the simple, boring, but to the point business card.  Company, name, phone, and website.  There’s no need on most business cards for a title – that’s an ego thing more often than not (thought, there are some times it’s important, just not nearly as often as people think it is.  How many people from your company are coming in contact with a customer for the first time and need to provide individual contact information?  Usually a single point of contact is best.)

I couldn’t be happy with something that boring, of course.  I had to think about it for a while – what other cool stuff could I do with it. I had considered throwing a QRCode on there.  Problem is, only the tech savvy really know what a QR Code is at the moment, so throwing that on the front of my card with a block of my contact info built in is pretty useless.  And even with the people who are familiar with what a QR Code is, well, they have to have an app on their phone that parses it, and the phone has to have a camera that’s actually good enough resolution to read one (which is a problem with QR Codes if they get printed too small.)

Midnight Ryder Technologies Card, Side 2
Side 2 of my card - an array of QR Codes to delight and amaze 😉

When the common person doesn’t know what something is, and it looks high tech?  That’s a marketing opportunity, I realized.  So I decided to embrace the QR Code idea, and then go nuts with it 🙂

I created 7 QR Codes – the center one is my contact information, and the one I figure that’s the most useful.  The other ones?  That’s where I had a bit more fun with it – it’s all encoded websites or app stuff that goes with Midnight Ryder Technologies.  I laid them out in an odd looking array, and added a bit of text at the bottom.  Instead of explaining what they were, I went a different route and used it as a way of trying to entice people to give me a call.  For those who are tech savvy, well, it’s also a marketing opportunity for the company there too – but if you want to know what all of them are you’ll just have to go visit them yourself 😉

In the actual business card there are some problems though. The QR Codes are printed small enough that some cell phone cameras have problems with them (which is an issue anyway – most cell phone cameras suck anyway, and aren’t effective on something the size of a business card at times.) An iPhone 4, for instance, can read all of them. An iPhone 3 can’t, and a 3GS is hit or miss. It also matters what app is used – for instance, AT&T’s app (of all things) for QR Code scanning works great. Four different free scanners couldn’t read a number of the codes (but could all get the contact information block, which was the important one anyway.)

I did these cards in a relatively small run, and I think I’m going to start just dropping these (face down, so the QR code is exposed) everywhere I go. When I run out, I’ll print another set – but the next set I’m going to start having even more fun with!

2 thoughts on “Fun with Business Cards”

  1. I saw these yesterday at CityArts & immediately knew what the QR codes were :-).
    Great minds do think alike, I ordered Pixel Time biz cards for me, you, Kevin & Scott last week, should arrive Monday.

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