The True Value Of Business Cards

One of the most memorable scenes from the 2000 satire-horror film American Psycho is the infamous Business Card Battle scene. Sat around their office, a group of businessmen compete for each other’s adoration by showing off their new business cards. If you haven’t seen it, I’m aware that might sound dull. But despite seeming mundane, the film presents this like an intense battle for dominance. The contrast between what is happening and the sheer intensity is the entire joke, which gets heightened every time we get a good look at the cards and realise that, for all the apparent drama unfolding, each card looks very similar – subtly off-white, tastefully thick, letter-press, and all with the same layout and even the same typo – every card having misspelled the word ‘Acquisitions’. Yet by the time the final card is revealed our hero is so overwhelmed that he is sweating, his shaky hands drop the card and he has to excuse himself from the room.

This scene is both hilarious and exciting on its own, but the most fascinating part about it is how it has cemented itself in the public’s imagination. A clip of this scene has almost 20 million views on YouTube, and according to AnswerThePublic plenty of people are specifically searching for business cards in the style of this film. It might sound strange, but the scene’s original hilarious intention has been overshadowed by its ability to showcase the impact of well-designed business cards. When viewed through that lens, it’s easy to see why. Despite lacking imagination (and a spelling checker, apparently), the cards in the film look great and have finishing touches that help them all stand out, looking both attractive and professional.

Typically clocking in at 85 x 55mm, designing for business cards sets plenty of limitations, which makes the impact of our decisions really stand out. The choice of colour, typeface, layout and spacing convey so much more compared to other forms of document, and extra embellishments like luxury foil, die-cutting and various forms of lamination really stand out.

Business cards can be truly impressive, versatile and expressive as a form of self-promotion, and if you’re not yet convinced, here are 10 benefits that business cards offer unlike anything else.

1 – They boost impressions during first meetings
In meeting new clients, it is your aim to help people to feel like they can trust you. It’s important to come across as both confident and competent, where arriving prepared is a big deal. Sharing a business card can assure the client to establish a professional relationship.

2 – They provide a direct way to stay in touch with you
Most business cards present plenty of information, including company and personal names, phone numbers and email addresses, a website and social media contacts, QR codes and more. With so much information, having it already in writing can be ideal for both saving time and maintaining communication.

Two businessmen exchanging business cards.

3 – They say a lot about your values
At QuickPrint, we offer a variety of card styles; including recycled materials, because sustainability is a core part of our values. Every company has their values, it is important to remind yourself of them to consider how to communicate that visually. Is your company stylish, professional, trendy or down-to-earth? Every part of your company should reflect your companies’ priorities, and this includes your stationery.

4 – They’re hard to discard
This one might be personal, but I can’t bin anything I’m given. When I’m given a gift, even the thought of throwing it away makes me feel guilty because I want to keep everything for as long as possible. There are plenty of others who feel the same way. Business cards essentially turn your branding into a personal gift for sharing with others. A quality, tactile and well-designed card is worth keeping, as it speaks volumes for making your business more appealing. 

5 – Business Cards will never be replaced
I described in last month’s post that the digital era we are in has shifted how we think about the world, where it’s become common to rethink what is still relevant and what we take for granted. Posting letters is much less prevalent than writing emails. Who even remembers how to use a fax machine? But business cards have stood the test of time because they’re irreplaceable. We’ll always need to exchange contact details to stay in touch, and being able to give this away on a convenient card is quicker and easier than anything else, with no sign of this changing in the near future.

6 – They prove your commitment
Did you know that in Japan there are entire etiquette rules for accepting someone’s business card? When exchanging a card both parties should stand with their shoulders facing each other, accept the others’ card with both hands (no higher than their chest), and, depending on the scenario, they may also bow their heads. In the UK it’s not nearly as formal, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still serious business. Imagine meeting with a client who ends the meeting by pulling out a napkin and scribbling their phone number on it. It’s not nearly as impressive as already having a card, ready to give away.

Two businessmen following Japanese etiquette rules for exchanging business cards.

7 – There’s endless room for creativity
People don’t often think about business cards as creative tools, but if you conduct a quick search online you will discover a wide variety of imaginative and creative ideas, with designers playing with shape, typography and colour – I’ve even seen business cards with bags of seeds attached! They say limitations breed creativity, and there are so many examples of this being taken to impressive extremes.

8 – There is literally nothing more convenient
Business cards are the ideal tool for anyone who works with clients or customers. Not just business owners, but also artists, photographers, even gardeners and cleaning services. Because of their simplicity and ease of use, you can have plenty in your bag or pocket without issue, and just a little preparation is all it takes to reap major rewards.

9 – They’re evergreen
Traditional forms of advertising are all fantastic, but they are limited by paying to book space over set periods of time. This is the case for billboards, screens and search engines. But for business cards, there is no time limit. Once a client has your card, they are likely to hold onto it for a long time, either in their wallet, file or attached to their fridge door. That’s why it’s so important to consider your design thoroughly to make sure you’ll be proud of them years down the line.

10 – They are extremely simple
Business Cards leave no room for miscommunication. You risk very little while standing to gain so much for your business. There’s no wasted space – direct and key information only – and are incredibly cost-effective to produce in bulk.

If you are now waking up to the amazing benefits that business cards can offer, get started planning today. We’re always here to lend a hand because we love seeing anyone that goes above and beyond in taking their business seriously. Whether it’s to explore the variety of options on offer, or to discuss working with our team of professional designers, you can reach out via email at or call 01392 271739. They’ll be happy to assist you with all your design needs.