One Image, One Question: May 9, 2016

They once were required for just about everyone who held some position of importance in business, politics, media, education, entertainment and many other fields; or at least, a position one believed was important.

Those of us in most professions, especially sales, marketing and yes, public relations, would — to paraphrase a once popular slogan incorporated into a successful, memorable and long-running advertising campaign for a credit card — not leave home without one.

Make that several.

Business Cards

Did my best to block out names and addresses. Can you find my business card in this “still life?”

And, many in today’s advancing digital business and professional world probably still carry a few with us, especially when attending an event; they probably still mandate a ritualistic exchange.

I’ve seen examples that were whimsical, memorable and miniature works of graphic art, and others that were cluttered, uninspiring and totally baseless. Sizes vary around the world, with the “standard” in the U.S. and Canada being 3.543 × 2.125 inches or 90 x 54 millimeters. They once required employment of an individual with certain skills and a relatively modest investment of money, but now hundreds can be obtained online for under $10.

During my nearly 40 years of post-university experience, I’ve had more than a dozen of my own and collected hundreds, perhaps thousands.

Of course, I’m referring to business cards, those printed identifiers used to communicate vital information and leave or make an impression.

I’ll be you have — or at one time — had a business card.  And, you probably have some collected, wrapped in rubber bands and stored someplace.

But today’s question centers on the future of business cards in modern society:

Will business cards one day no longer be used in the professional world?

Perhaps a follow up question would be: “Have digital communications increasingly dominated by handhelds made business cards unnecessary?” After all, it’s quick, easy and green to email or text one’s contact info these days.

Your thoughts, please, because I mean business when it comes to the outlook for business cards.



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