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Modern Calling Cards for Life + Business

by Caitlin Kelch

Grace and I met up in Philly two weekends ago for some much needed face time and to check out this year’s Sweet Paul Makerie event at the amazing Urbn campus, the headquarters for Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and other sister brands under the Urbn umbrellas. At dinner on the evening before the big event, we were talking about business cards and the fact that, well, we don’t really have them. In today’s hyper-tech environment, we tend to make new acquaintances and build relationships online. Sometimes it’s years before we meet an old friend face to face.

In everyday life, however, I’m always running into someone I’d like to stay connected to for personal and professional reasons, but I’ve always been hesitant to whip out the standard business card because it just doesn’t feel right. Instead of sharing something genuine, I feel like the exchange of businesses cards can turn a budding relationship into a networking encounter or a stale ritual. Right around that time, Moo reached out to share with us some new designs and embellishment options for their business cards. Think Gold Foil and Spot Gloss accents! My fear of the dreaded card exchange all but disappeared.

My final four choices: Criss Cross from the Gold Foil collection, Hello from the Luxe collection, What’s the Angle from the Gold Foil collection, and Notebooks No.2 from the Luxe collection. I love the look and feel of all of them, but ultimately decided on the friendly color and font driven Hello range.

I did a little research on the history of the calling card because, even though I knew they were popular during the uptight Victorian peroid, the name calling card seems closer to what I wanted to accomplish when handing over a card with my contact information. (See some gorgeous examples of calling cards from the 1800s in the slide show above.) While I didn’t want to drop my calling card off with the butler, I did want it to be a thoughtful exchange and to express something about myself and my company, beyond simply my name and email address.

I love these calling cards from the late 1800’s, although I'm thankful that we're no longer bound to the social rigidity of that period. The flourish and formality reflects the era. I learned that there was an entire initials code to express reasons for delivering the card to a residence. For example, a lower case p period, r period meant (p.r.) meant you were expressing thanks to the recipient. It stood for the French phrase pour remercier, meaning to thank.

More than that, I thought it would be awesome to be able to make a gut call on what mood I was in when I met the card receiver, or to have a choice of cards that reflected the mood of our encounter. Was it a punchy-pink serif moment, or did it have more of a deep cobalt, sans serif vibe?

I also knew I wanted my card to be a tactile experience, to hold weight in the hand and mind of the receiver, so I opted to try Moo’s new Luxe line expertly printed on extra-thick stock. How thick is extra-thick? In my world, let’s just say that my new stack of 50 calling/business cards are as high as three Oreo cookies. In the paper world, we’re talking four layers of Mohawk Superfine paper that form a 600 gsm (grams per meter) card. Another perk of such weighty stock is you can add a color accent to the seam edge, if you’re so inclined. After some keen testing and observation handing out my new cards, I found that the card lingered in peoples’ hands and they tended to rub the card, soaking up the surface texture, weight and deep color.

Bingo! This is exactly the result I wanted. No more glazed-over stares into a cell phone as my contact info disappeared into the glow of the digital ether.

For those who want to make a more glitzy impression, check out the lovely options with the Gold Foil and Spot Gloss accents. I loved both of these options, but thought the weight of the Luxe stock really represented our almost 12-year history here at Design*Sponge. My new cards have a chic sturdiness and a memorable bespoke quality that pairs well with our brand, identity and mission.

Whether you’re looking to make connections or simply do some unforgettable outreach to your existing customer base, Moo has a product that will fulfill your needs and then some. See their collections here.

Thanks so much to Moo for collaborating on this post and for creating my ideal card for multiple purposes! While this is a sponsored post, we are always thrilled when a product delivers and the company behind it shares our passion for affordable design. Thanks for supporting brands like Moo who help us bring you original content daily. Visit Moo to see all of their products, including notecards, postcards and my personal favorite I’ll be ordering soon, sticker books!

1/9
My new tools of the trade: spring tulip, new glasses, my Luxe business cards and my trusted pencil.
2/9
I love these calling cards from the late 1800s, although I'm thankful that we're no longer bound to the social rigidity of that period. The flourish and formality reflects the era. I learned that there was an entire initials code to express reasons for delivering the card to a residence. For example, a lower case p period, r period (p.r.) meant you were expressing thanks to the recipient. It stood for the French phrase pour remercier, meaning "to thank."
3/9
When exploring my options, I made a collage of some of my favorite designs by theme, so I could see which designs stood out in the crowd. Primary Color Collage - Designs clockwise: Marble Marvel, Key Skills, Pet Print, Criss Cross.
4/9
Pink & Black Collage – Designs clockwise: Marble Marvel, Louis Marie Augustin, Gorgeous Gardens, Colour Me In, Coffee Colors, File & Paint, Sharp Contrast
5/9
My final four choices: Criss Cross from the Gold Foil collection, Hello from the Luxe collection, What’s the Angle from the Gold Foil collection, and Notebooks No.2 from the Luxe collection. I love the look and feel of all of them, but ultimately decided on the friendly color and font-driven Hello range.
6/9
I was impressed with the beautiful packaging that emerged from the plastic package. This gave me my first hint that Moo meant serious business when it came to first impressions.
7/9
My new cards came complete with a beautiful aubergine ribbon sealed with the signature Moo ink drop embossed on a wax stamp. At this point, the anticipation was killing me. I know they’re just business cards, but to me they are so much more. I kind of felt like Moo got this!
8/9
Ta-da! My cards looked and felt just as I had hoped, with brilliant color, major personality and a desk-worthy box for my desktop.
9/9
Behold my new desktop wallpaper! Yes, I’m that obsessed. Thanks Moo!

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Comments

  • After I was no longer working I decided I needed something for when I ran into people and wanted to give them my contact info. Trading phone #’s via cell phones or writing on a napkin wasn’t my style.

    I remembered that ‘calling cards’ were common ages ago so I decided that would be just the ticket.

    I had a stamp made with my name, phone # and email and cut out them out of interesting paper and decorate by hand or with other stamps.

    Makes me feel so civilized.

  • I’ve seen some really interesting takes on the standard business card, ranging from simple (a round card vs rectangle) to elaborate (pop-up card with handwritten notes inside). I like these calling-card-ish examples above, but am still searching for something between “here’s my card” and the glazed-over phone-contacts-entry stare.

    I’ve seen many, many people actually take smartphone photos of business cards rather than taking the card, and using an app to generate a contact from the photos – a reminder to make sure the info on your card is clear enough to make out in a potentially blurry/dimly lit cell phone photo!

    • Oh this reminds me – if it’s doable, leave some blank space somewhere on your card to hand-write a note if needed/appropriate. It’s a nice touch, particularly in networking situations (“Fun talking to you about ____”, “Let’s get in touch about _____”, etc), and when you’ve got a big stack of business cards it can be difficult to remember who’s who!

  • Thanks for a great post Caitlin.

    I really enjoyed the history of the calling card, and the images you chose.
    I am a huge believer of having something unique to pass along to someone you meet or reconnect with.
    It’s much more personal, and then you don’t end up with all of these contacts in your phone who you can’t recall.
    Plus it completely avoids the zone out “let me just add you to my contacts” look down and the phone, and lose eye contact thing that transpires.
    I currently make my cards myself out of fabric, it’s something I started doing a while back when I really wanted letterpress cards, and simply couldn’t afford them.

    I wanted something unique.

    Now I change the print, and thread colour with each season.
    People have started collecting them.
    They’ve become a huge conversation starter.
    I usually keep a few colourways in my purse, so I can choose the one that fits the person I’m giving it to best.

    Frankly, I don’t have time to make them anymore, but I really like them, and so do the people I give them to…
    I’m not sure how I will go forward with it.

    Moo looks like they have some great options.

    Thanks again,

    Ashley xo

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