I am looking to attend the EGLX development conference in Toronto next weekend. I will certainly be printing business cards to hand out for networking imagine my difficulty however as I have no current relevant work in the industry and not enough time to complete my first portfolio. I was thinking instead to create creative contact cards inspired in the art styles of old Victorian acquaintance cards as a proof of design and manner of remembering my information. However, it’s worth noting that some of the most current media regarding acquaintance cards was about their use for “engaging” with ladies at parties despite the more common casual use for meeting people. Is it in poor tastes than to pursue this theming? Will it seem unprofessional or come across inappropriately to people who know the subject? I would really appreciate some assistance in brainstorming this. Thanks!
I can’t say that I have any experience with this kind of thing, but having just Google _“Victorian Acquaintance Cards” I can see the concern. I suppose it may depend on your idea, for example, do you plan to consider this theme but change the imagery/wording significantly, so the “Victorian Acquaintance Cards” were merely the initial concept that got you to a different thing, or, do you plan to use similar wording/imagery?
The examples on Google depict a very different time and I can see whilst some may find the cards humorous and entertaining, others may be offended, and that is likely to be the last thing you would want I’m sure.
Whilst searching I also stumbled across “Compliment Cards”, equally not something I was familiar with, and these equally appear to have wording which you would have to take care using, but these seemed like another potential approach, a little more modern perhaps, but they could convey your message without any misinterpretation of meaning.
I particularly liked this one;
…the unicorn one here was also I thought quite good fun;
…but as you can see from the wording on some of the others, the wording is perhaps less suitable for your convention.
With your Victorian cards idea, if you can make them “acceptable” and fun I’m sure they could work well.
Personally, I would be much more likely to remember something fun which really stood out, but for the right reasons, over the standard, more formal, business card.
In all scenarios, I hope you enjoy the conference
Thank you very much Rob. Those may be tremendously more helpful to work with. Definitely looking forward to this conference!
You’re very welcome, it would be great to see a couple of examples of what you decide to go with in the end, and perhaps a note after the event on how they went down - your topic could be very useful for other people too
My answer is based on a google search yielding results like this:
It would seem unprofessional to me. I would even go so far as to say I would rather go in with nothing or a simple typed letter than with something that would be so unprofessional.
Having something so stylized and functionally useless amidst my business cards is a bit like having those advertisement leaflets sent to you along with your mail. First thing I’m likely to do is throw those out.
The business card should be styled and unique, and bring your conversation to mind when someone sees it but it should still be a business card.
The worst effect your cards could have, and this seems pretty likely to happen unless you are well-prepared, is that your victorian acquaintence card content actually becomes a distraction for your conversation, not only leading your topic in a direction away from game design and professional inquiries but also giving the encounter a joking and trivial impression in hindsight. I think its better to not have cards than to give out cards that can be destructive to your intended purpose.
In addition to style concerns, a lot of people use software to scan and organize their business cards. You want the cards to be machine-readable and physically fit in the same container with all the other collected cards.
If you would like something more useful and stylized and professional to hand out that includes your contact info and design demonstration, look up what’s called a “sell sheet”. These are basically a one sheet piece of paper used to communicate a product pitch. They convey all the useful design-related data in a very visual almost-brochure-like flyer with a lot of room for creativity in their design.
You should still have business cards (calling cards) though, if possible, and give one out with your sell sheet.
I recommend a simple but stylized calling card format like this:
It can be tempting to omit the title, but I do not recommend it. When figuring out what title to place, try to imagine the conversations you would like to discuss at the conference.
The card should have a link to your Linkin profile (even if its bare) or portfolio page. I recommend at least linking to a placeholder site for your portfolio if the portfolio is not ready yet. Perhaps your “coming soon” webpage could have the “victorian acquaintance” design you were thinking about.
Thank you for reminding me of the practicality of machine scan for business cards. I will be sure to incorporate that into the design. Any recommended fonts that excel for this use?