Business cards are used to win prizes, as part of introductions and to write on. They are used to spread the word about yourself and your company.
Did you think that business cards were just used to win free lunch drawings? If so, what do people do with the ten billion cards printed each year?
Calling cards were thought to be first used in Asia. These cards were about the size of playing cards. They were used as an extension of the person presenting the card.
Seventeenth century France and England saw calling cards become a part of proper etiquette for the upper class. These cards were ornate with engravings and coat of arms. A card was delivered to a home by a servant prior to the visit of a distinguished guest. One did not plan a visit without first presenting a card to the home.
By the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries people from the upper and middle classes would arrive at homes with their cards in hand. A servant would present the card to the lady of the house. Only then would she decide if she wished to meet the visitor in person. It was considered bad taste to look at the other cards on the tray while one was waiting.
Trade cards became popular in seventeen century England. A savvy entrepreneur would use these cards to advertise his business. A map was usually on the card directing the holder of the card to the location of the business. It was considered inappropriate to use a trade card as a visiting card.
By the nineteenth and early twentieth century business cards were part of everyday business life. They were part of modern business interactions. Even in this day of social media business cards is what you receive when you first meet someone at a networking group.
A graphic designer can help you look through the vast array of fonts and papers available today to assist you in finding the card that can best represent you and your business.
Here is some business card protocol. Business cards should only be presented with you right hand. Cards that are used when doing business with non English speakers should have a translation of the front of the card on the back of the card. Cards should be in pristine condition and kept in card cases.
The calling cards that started this evolution of business cards are still being used today.