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Reflections

Random thoughts on business cards

by , November 17, 2009
Feeling stoked with your 'card', until you see it in the mirror

Feeling stoked with your ‘card’, until you see it in the mirror

Business cards and the rituals around them

While ‘pundants’ are hailing the imminent death of the business card, we think there are still some interesting years of transition to play out– especially in ritual homelands like Japan.

Called Meishi in Japan, business cards have seen quite a particular ritual evolve around them, as a way of according respect to the first meeting of a business relationship. In a similar way to looking your drinking mate in the eyes when saying cheers– the Meishi ritual makes us pause and properly acknowledge the meeting, and the person.

In the west, we generally do not look after business cards, or their exchange, all that well. Other than machine-gun dispersal sales reps, we are often seen handing over tardy and bunny-eared cards that send all the wrong signals. Yet if we approach each meeting with a separate and sizable steel case of cards, we come across as too schmick and contrived…

That sounds like a project; the card carrier that is casual yet careful, gives and takes, yet is incorporated easily into our pocket systems.

Has anyone seen any great solutions?

Some favourites so far are:

One side for giving, the other for receiving

One side for giving, the other for receiving

  • Sam Hecht for Lexon: Give and Take. Facilitates a great ritual, but is unfortunately too clunky for the pocket.
Casual yet refined... pretty good if you can find them

Casual yet refined… pretty good if you can find them

  • Dior Homme card carrier: Hard to track down, and a little bulky, but getting close…

  • And of course, we had to link to everyone’s favourite business card designer: Business Card Fail

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