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Old June 4th, 2011, 03:56 PM   #1
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What Info Is Good On A Business Card?

We are redesigning our biz cards in addition to creating a new business plan for the future. My biz partner deals mainly with print but has been a director and producer of many TVCs. I, on the other hand, have only done video related work for our company; however, I have experience as a stills photographer from a few years ago. We are moving towards more of a video-centric business and have begun planning on building a large studio. On his card, I am wondering what is the best approach: list him as CEO, Print Advertising, Director, Producer or all of the above. For example, I like the idea of listing his name like this, "john doe, CEO". For his work titles, I am stuck on what is the best approach in order to include his expertise in print and video.

For me, I don't know exactly what should be listed because I have experience in: motion graphics, 3D graphics (C4D), vfx, DoP, camera op, director, producer and managing a local TV channel. By the time we move into our new studio, I will focus mainly on being a DoP and motion graphics artist because I hope to hire a good camera op and a good 3D/motion graphics artist (AE & C4D).

Any thoughts?

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Old June 4th, 2011, 11:43 PM   #2
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Re: What Info Is Good On A Business Card?

Here are some thoughts:

1. A CEO only sounds good for a large organization. In fact, if you're talking to clients who haven't done video before, they might be put off or confused by this designation. E.g., while I was handling marketing, I got a lot of business cards from reps of companies looking into producing corporate videos and animations for our organization. I have never seen anyone hand me a CEO card, or a management card for that matter. In fact, if I had received one, I wouldn't know what to do with it (in spite of the fact that I am from the industry myself). However, for other industries related to marketing, I have received cards with management designations on them.

2. I think anything with 'Producer' on them will work, like Producer, Executive Producer, Field Producer, etc. Everyone who watches tv or movies know that the Producer is the person who makes things happen.

Other than Producer or Director, I wouldn't put anything more specific on a business card, as most people don't 'get' past these two designations anyway.

3. On business card design: Simple is best. A strong logo, name, designation, telephone number and email above all else. Website next, and address last. Think about this: when they flip through their rolodex or address book, can they find the 'most important information' quickly? My earnest opinion: Avoid job descriptions or more than one designation, etc. The business card is not the place for these things.

4. I have received business cards made of all kinds of materials, and the one simple truth I've learnt is this: the simple ones work, the others don't. It's crazy, but true. My card goes something like this:

Front Face: Beige background, matte card paper, My full name in caps dead center, and my designation underneath: Producer and Director.

Back Face: An image on the left (where the eye naturally goes first) that tells the person exactly what I do. On the side, my telephone number and email above and separated from everything else (these are the only things that matter in the whole card). My address and website at the bottom (to ground me to a place).

This card was designed to be an extension of my personality and my work. If they are not congruent, it will fail to impress. Only amateurs look at cool designs, professionals might be impressed, but it will be a negative because they are not looking to be impressed with your business card.

5. In your case (just guessing here), if your partner is the senior-most person (and the one who has to bring business), then he might be the Producer and Director - the person who is responsible for the entire project. If all you're sticking to is DP and motion graphics work, then you don't need a business card. But if you must, then might be Creative Director, or Director, etc.

Hope this helps.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 11:33 AM   #3
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Re: What Info Is Good On A Business Card?

Regarding titles, simple is best. In large companies, the more words a manager has in his/her title, the lower on the totem pole they are: Jane Doe, VP left-handed widgets division, Northeast region.

I like the titles of "founder" or "owner" for a small business. That tells the client that you make the final decisions and won't be fired or leaving for another position before the job is done.

Small companies have no established brand recognition, unless your company name is descriptive. I'd add a very high-level, non-restrictive description after a non descriptive brand name. For instance:

Flying Octopus, Inc.
Media Productions


Chicago Media Productions, Inc.

In the second case, no description is needed. In either case, two months down the road, when the potential client comes across your card, they won't scratch their head trying to remember what the heck your company does.

And, yes, keep it simple, and use standard dimensions. A too-small card can get lost. A too-large card can get tossed because it doesn't fit.
Jon Fairhurst

Last edited by Jon Fairhurst; June 5th, 2011 at 12:03 PM.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 12:09 PM   #4
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Re: What Info Is Good On A Business Card?

Because I'm a one man shop, I chose not to put a title down.

In contrast to Jon's liking "Owner" or "Founder" I don't like that any more. I used to have that on cards and occasionally it seemed clients thought I was the figurehead and not the person who would be pushing the buttons or running the shoots.

If someone gets a card from me now, it's pretty clear what I do from the "elevator speech" they get when they receive one. I think that speech is more important than the title on the card. Even when I was an intern, I learned the concept of the speech and from my confidence, anyone I met assumed I was either the owner or manager.

With my card I did break one rule (according to a trusted marketing expert) I printed on both sides not leaving any room to write on.

I think people should just make up ridiculous titles anyway. "Master of all things Video" or "King of Production" or "Your Faithful, highly-paid Servant" Those will be remembered!
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Old June 5th, 2011, 12:20 PM   #5
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Re: What Info Is Good On A Business Card?

Originally Posted by Robert Turchick View Post
I think people should just make up ridiculous titles anyway. "Master of all things Video" or "King of Production" or "Your Faithful, highly-paid Servant" Those will be remembered!
I've actually gone that route with my new business entity Road Dog Media... I list myself as Big Dog - Production Coordinator - Videographer

And my bio on the yet-to-be release website lists me as Fearless Leader...
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
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