March 2013

newsletter #10 business cards bobby james inigo montoya aaron

If you were searching for “A Tale of Toucans,” please visit our aviary division.

So you want a business card. The templates from online printers are pleasant enough, in their one-size-fits-many way, but you’d rather look unique, which is easier to do if you actually look, um, unique.

Having a logo to plop on the card would be ideal, because a card without a logo is like a dress without underwear: you can wear it, but you’re limited to avoiding windy areas, playground slides and hot vinyl car seats splattered with ancient spilled ice cream. Or maybe you have a logo, but it just sits there like a sullen baboon waiting for the rain to stop.

“The Sullen Baboons” would be a good teen band name, if their parents had any say in the matter. It’s catchier than “I Won’t Clean My Room.”

621Aaron is a rancher that raises longhorns here in Utah, producing a lean, tasty, superior product. His logo is a brand, which looks fetching on a steer’s left buttock, but sullen-baboonish on a card.

Putting it on its own background not only beefed up the logo, but also carved out the space to put a sales pitch on the card, something I usually avoid. But the best part? It looks hairy. No one knows why, but hairy cards are universally adored.

Then comes Bobby James. Despite having the ideal name, he does not race NASCAR, but is a serial entrepreneur who has several ventures, with more to come.

business coach cardThough cards with headshots on them are fine for realtors and wet baboons, they’re wrong for the rest of us. But Bobby has more personality than most primates, and he’s the brand. That kind of bravado won’t fit into a tidy box, so there he is, dominating the card in his bigger-than-life way. Eat that card like the business Godzilla you are, Bobby!

Both these guys were formerly slightly embarrassed to hand out cards, but now flip them at everyone they meet, as if they were ninjas on assignment wielding their deadly throwing cards. You, too, can upgrade from baboon to ninja.

Work That Card!

How is your card? Are you ashamed to hand it out, or do you produce it with a flourish and say, “Bam, sucka!” when you whip it from your wallet like Inigo Montoya unsheathing his six-fingered sword?

What does your card really say about you? Sure, it says your name, company and how to reach you. But to communicate the rest of who you are, it has to be done via design that tweaks the imagination.

Pair that with your brilliant patter—like “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Call me. We’ll do death”—and you’re sure to secure prime real estate in someone’s Rolodex.

The business card could be your most valuable advertisement. Your potential associate/client/secret lover is standing right in front of you. You don’t need a $5,000 billboard to grab their attention. They’re right there. I can’t emphasize this enough.

Okay, that’s enough.


Praise It or Raze It

Is there a visual component of your business you’re not sure about? your sign, your logo, your ads, writing, packaging, posters, stationery, forehead tattoo? Ask me for a free opinion. If everything looks fine, I’ll tell you. And if there are minor changes you can make to the art or copy, I’ll tell you, with kindness. If the whole thing would be better off scrapped, I’ll put on a somber hat and deliver the sad news.

Contact Jim Hayes at his ridiculously wonderful phone number, (801) 486-8444 for a critique or any other graphic need. You are welcome to forward this newsletter to anyone who may benefit from its healing powers.