Business card definitions
Posted on February 14, 2013 | 0 comments
Business cards are cards bearing business information about a company or individual. They are shared during formal introductions as a convenience and a memory aid. A business card typically includes the giver's name, company affiliation (usually with a logo) and contact information such as street addresses, telephone number(s), fax number, e-mail addresses and website. It can also include telex, bank account and tax code. Traditionally many cards were simple black text on white stock; today a professional business card will sometimes include one or more aspects of striking visual design.
ConstructionBusiness cards are printed on some form of card stock, the visual effect, method of printing, cost and other details varying according to cultural or organizational norms and personal preferences. The common weight of a business card varies some by location. Generally, business cards are printed on stock that is 350 g/m² (density), 45 kg (100 lb) (weight), or 12 pt (thickness). High quality business cards without full-color photographs are normally printed using spot colors on sheet-fed offset printing presses. Some companies have gone so far as to trademark their spot colors (examples are UPS brown, Los Angeles Lakers' purple, and Tide's orange). If a business card logo is a single color and the type is another color, the process is considered two color. More spot colors can be added depending on the needs of the card. With the onset of digital printing, and batch printing, it is now cost effective to print business cards in full color. To simulate the "raised-print" effect of printing with engraved plates, a less-expensive process called thermography was developed that uses the application of a plastic powder, which adheres to the wet ink. The cards are then passed through a heating unit, which melts the plastic onto the card. Spot UV varnish onto matte laminate can also have a similar effect. Full color cards, or cards that use many colors, are printed on sheetfed presses as well; however, they use the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) four-color printingprocess. Screens of each color overprinted on one another create a wide gamut of color. The downside to this printing method is that screened colors if examined closely will reveal tiny dots, whereas spot color cards are printed solid in most cases. Spot colors should be used for simple cards with line art or non-black type that is smaller than 5 points. Some terminology in reference to full-color printing:
- 4/0 - Full Color Front / No Print On Back
- 4/1 - Full Color Front / One color On reverse
- 4/4 - Full Color Front / Full Color Back
- Bleed size: 95.25 × 57.15 mm (3.75 × 2.25 in) (1⁄8 in bleeds)
- Standard cut size: 89 × 51 mm (3.5 × 2 in)
- Bleed size: 91 × 61 mm (3.58 × 2.40 in)
- Standard cut size: 85 × 55 mm (3.35 × 2.17 in)
DimensionsAspect ratios range from 1.42 to 1.8. In Australia the most common size is 90 x 55mm
Japan Global variations名刺?). It typically features the company name at the top in the largest print, followed by the job title and then the name of the individual. This information is usually written in kanji on one side and Latin characters on the reverse. Other important contact information is usually provided, such as business address, phone number and fax number. Meishi may also contain a QR code to provide contact details in a machine-readable form, but this has not yet become a widespread practice. According to a 2007 survey, fewer than 3% of Japanese people own a meishi with a QR code printed on it. The presentation of one's meishi to another person is more formal and ritualistic than in the Western world. The card should be held at the bottom two corners, face up and turned so that it can be read by the person receiving the meishi, who takes it by the top two corners using both hands. Placing one's fingers over the name or other information is considered rude. Upon receiving the meishi, one is expected to read the card over, noting the person's name and rank. One should then thank the other person, saying "choudai itashimasu" or "choudai shimasu", and then bow. When meishi are being exchanged between parties with different status, such as between the president of a company and someone in middle management, it is proper that the person of lower status extend his or her business card in such a way that it is underneath or below the meishi being extended by the person in a higher position. Meishi should be kept in a smart leather case where they will not become warm or worn, both of which are considered a sign of disrespect or thoughtlessness. A received meishishould not be written on or placed in a pocket; it is considered proper to file the meishi at the rear of the leather case. If the meishi is being presented at a table, the recipient keeps the meishi on top of the leather case until they leave the table. If several people are involved in the meeting and one receives several meishi, the one with the highest rank is kept on the leather case, and the others beside it, on the table. The manner in which the recipient treats the presenter's meishi is indicative of how the recipient will treat the presenter. Actions such as folding the card in half, or placing the presenter's meishi in one's back pocket, are regarded as insults.
Other formatsCompact Disc "business cards" possible, which could hold about 35 to 100 MB of data. These Business Card CDs may be square, round or oblong but are approximately the same size as a conventional business card. CD business cards are designed to fit within the 80 mm tray of a computer's CD-ROM drive. They are playable in most tray computer CD drives, but do not work in slot-loading drives. Despite the ability to include dynamic presentations and a great deal of data, these discs were never in common use as business cards, though they are still available. With handheld computers and smartphones becoming more ubiquitous, business card data is increasingly exchanged electronically via direct wireless connections (e.g. infra-red, Bluetooth, RFID), SMS, or specialized apps (e.g. Bump). Once again however, these new methods of transmitting business information have yet to completely replace the traditional physical business card.
Special materialsApart from common business cards made of paper/card there are also special business cards made from plastic (PVC), especially frosted translucent plastic, crystal clear plastic, white or metallic plastic. Other extraordinary materials are metal, rubberized cards, rubber, magnets, poker chips, wooden nickels, and even real wood. For the most part those special material business cards are of standard format, sometimes with rounded corners. These new materials are popular among companies that wish a unique and eye-catching look.
Business card softwareBusiness cards can be mass produced by a printshop or printed at home using business card software. Such software typically contains design, layout tools, and text editing tools for designing one's business cards. Most business card software integrates with other software (like mail clients or address books) to eliminate the need of entering contact data manually. Cards are usually printed on business card stock or saved in an electronic form and sent to a printshop. Multiple programs are available for users of Linux, Mac andWindows platforms.
Web-to-PrintIn addition to business card software, many printing firms now offer a web-to-print service, which allows the customer to choose from a selection of stock design templates, customise online using their own logos and imagery, select quantities, view pricing options and request them for delivery to home or business addresses. Often this process is applied not only to business cards, but also to letterheads, notepads, labels and compliments slips.
CollectingThere are several hundred known collectors of business cards, especially antique cards, celebrity cards, or cards made of unusual materials. One of the major business card collectors' clubs is the International Business Card Collectors, IBCC. IBCC members exchange cards with other members, simply for the price of postage. Collectors often shorten the words "business card" to BC to make e-mail discussion easier.
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