This photo by Pablo Abuliak and the rest by me, which is why they are not as good.
Branding experts tell us that is is engraved in marble that every real estate agent and broker MUST HAVE HIS OR HER PHOTOGRAPH on every single business card and all printed materials or suffer bad consequences. We understand the motive here: Prospective client interviews a bunch of firms and agents, takes all their cards home and ponders whom to choose. A photo helps client remember who was who. But is that the ONLY way a business card can actually distinguish its owner? Well, of course, you are here, at the letterpress capital of the world, so you have an inkling of what my opinion of this is going to be. But I won’t let that stop me from going ahead and opining away on this breathless topic.
To pursue our scenario further: If, in the handful of cards the client takes home to peruse, there is a certain thick, gorgeous, unusually-shaped card with a beautiful logo, well printed with deep impression, and the logo is interesting, compelling, and the client has never seen anything like it in his life, whose card, may I ask, is standing out? Whose card is speaking loudest and most eloquently about its owner? Well, yes. The big question is always, what is your business card saying about you and how hard is it working for your business?
So I have done digital cards with photos on them, and they are beautiful, too, because they are well designed and have interesting color and typography, so they work. But I have also done letterpress cards like Mark Strub‘s above, that have no photo, and just look at it. Mark loves the way people respond to it every time, and we love it too, just because.
I made these cards for Iain Reilly recently, a real estate broker in the Napa Valley: Black/white duplex paper, apple green foil stamping on the black side, with this sort of “internal monogram”logo I made for him, no photo. He tells me he never hands a card to anyone who doesn’t say something about how amazing they are. BTW, he also got a complete stationery wardrobe. Letterhead and #10 envelopes, a 9 x 12 envelope for sending things flat, folding black/white duplex paper note cards and envelopes for them because he writes an inordinate number of thank you notes. That is an incredibly rare thing these days. Whenever I get a hand addressed envelope in the mail, you can be sure that is the first one I want to open. Here are Iain’s note cards and envelopes:
The front of his envelope makes you want to know what’s inside
I’m sure there are arguments on both sides of this issue that will hold up in court, I just wanted to put out my two bits. Photo or no photo, what is YOUR opinion?
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