by Rachel Smith
18 August 2013
I met with an editor the other day who’s about to go freelancing and she asked me if I thought having a business card was absolutely essential. I do, actually. I know a lot of freelancers who don’t have business cards, or who put it in the non-essentials basket when money’s tight – which is totally understandable. Still, it’s part of how you ‘brand’ yourself (wanky as that sounds), and right now, when the industry is going through so much upheaval, I reckon it’s an essential investment to help any freelancer stand out more – and be remembered.
If you’re thinking about getting cards, or updating existing ones, here are a few ideas, from hilariously budget (like Roger’s, right) to push-the-boat-out beautiful (like some of the letter-press designs below). Card costs vary wildly but you don’t have to spend loads to get something you’d be proud to hand over to an editor or potential employer. If you have a specific idea, I’ve included some design and printing contacts at the end.
Along with using professional designers at RL, we use Canva for day-to-day stuff – social, blog images and so forth. It’s a great tool packed with templates you can modify, including those for business cards.
Sometimes, simple is good, like these customisable cards for journalist, editor, blogger, designer – you chuck all your details on the back. They also have others, like this ‘Writer’ card, which is also fully customisable. At Zazzle it costs around $35 for 100 cards, but gets cheaper the more you buy.
A US company I discovered through blogger Swiss Miss. Moo has heaps of beautiful designs to choose from, including some by famous cartoonists like Hugh MacLeod. This cute card for a copywriter / proofreader (right) says it all really, and I also dig a simple vintage typewriter card like the blue one below left (customisable on the back). Prices at Moo start at $20 for 50 cards up to $199 for 400.
A US design company created these letterpress cards for writer Caitlin Hall. All the info is in the speech bubble at the front and the back has space to scribble on. Click on the picture to see more pix of these super-cute business cards.
Hate the idea of carrying cards around, but still want a way to let people know where to find you? A custom stamp could be just the thing; it hangs off your keychain so you can stamp your ‘calling card’ wherever you like. And a downright bargain at just $25.
This card, from Etsy shop Simply Pixel, is kinda cute if you want something a bit organic and not so corporate. It’s handmade, and cards are emailed to you in a sheet.
Any radio journos out there? I love this microphone-style card to instantly tell people what you do. Custom-cut cards like this one are incredibly memorable, but be warned – they’re quite expensive to have printed.
Daniel is a UK-based designer who created this stunning letter-press ‘press pass’ business card for journalist Carlton Boyce. Letterpress cards are becoming much more popular although they can also be more pricey to print.
I love, love, love the stuff these guys are doing. They’re Aussies and their letter-press business cards are drool-worthy. Like this one, for Mei Yen Chua’s publishing and editing business.
Not sure where to get yours done? As you can see, there are heaps of options locally and overseas for getting cards printed. Locally, I love the letterpress cards at The Distillery. Or try Amber at Sprowt in Melbourne; she’s a fantastic designer and can arrange printing as well. I also recommend two designers we use regularly: Justine Ramsay and Jenny Lee. If you have artwork from a designer and just need printing, check out CMYK Printing – prices are reasonable because they’re an online print store. I’ve had cards, letterhead and flyers printed here and have always been impressed with the outcome.