Ideas for business cards?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Tbini87, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. Tbini87
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    Tbini87 New Member

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    Hey guys,
    my wife and I finally have our company logo in the mail (my sister designed it and is mailing it to us), we are brainstorming on designing some business cards. We will have a graphic designer throw it into illustrator or something like that (we have no idea how it works, but he tried to explain it and knows what he is doing). I am personally a minimalist when it comes to design and stuff like that, and was wondering if you guys could offer some insight to what we would NEED on the card.

    I was thinking something as simple as our company name with a .com, and maybe below it what we do (Family-Wedding-Graduation) or something along those lines. We won't be shooting from a studio, and our site will have all the contact information that people would need. However, would not having an email or number on the card just be a waste of time since we may be missing out on some potential clients that might chuck the card if it doesn't have that info?

    Also, I know at least a person or two around here use recycled paper for their business cards. I like the idea of it, though it does look like it will cost substantially more. Any specific company recommendations for recycled products? I found some on Vistaprint though it wasn't all that easy to find. Any recommendations on companies (recycled paper or not) would be great. Thanks.
  2. Studio7Four
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    Studio7Four Active Member

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    As far as putting an email address on your card, if you're putting the website on there I feel the email is redundant (and needlessly cluttering, if you do go for a minimalist approach). I would dare to say that anyone who is computer literate enough to be emailing you would be able to find the contact link through your website - and you probably want to steer them to your website to wow them with your online portfolio.

    However, just to play Devil's Advocate, if you are set up with individual accounts you can create the feel of a larger (often assumed to be "more professional") business by putting your individual email on the card, such as Travis@AlbiniPhotography.com. This implies that there are enough employees that not every email goes to you unless they email you directly (if this is an image you want to portray). You can even embellish this by making the email contact on your website go to something like "inquiries@AlbiniPhotography.com". If you go this route you can then simply have your company name without the .com appendage as the website will be indirectly supplied in the email address.
  3. Tbini87
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    Tbini87 New Member

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    Thanks. I think I would prefer to leave the email off the card and keep it a little more clean looking. Thanks for the email suggestions.
  4. c.cloudwalker
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    c.cloudwalker New Member

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    On this forum you deal with people who are, for the most part, pretty much computer savvy because today's photography and computers go together. In the real world, however, I find people pretty ignorant about computer things.

    Whether or not to put an email address, imo, depends on what kind of photography you intend to do. If you're going into retail photography, I would have both the email address and the website address on the card.

    I am all for simplicity but think of old time cards. They had a company name, the person's name, a physical address, and a phone #.

    More recently, a fax # and a car phone # were added.

    In other words, a whole lot of info. So you can definitely do a card with your company name, phone#, email address and website address and keep it all simple and clean.
  5. Tbini87
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    Tbini87 New Member

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    These are all things we will have to discuss. I think since our logo and brand will be Albini Photography (our last name) that we probably won't need our names on the card. We won't have a physical location because we don't have a studio. We would only have 1 number if any... and still debating the email. We will probably be doing solely retail work for a while.

    I was thinking that be only having the website name (our logo with .com attached to the end) and what we do (portrait, weddings, etc) this could force people to go to the site. There is a ton of info (and our images of course) on the site that we would want potential clients to look over (about us, pricing, what we offer etc).
  6. c.cloudwalker
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    c.cloudwalker New Member

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    How does anyone know that Albini is a last name? That is the main reason I tell people to not worry about using their name in the business name when they are unknown. A catchy business name is more useful at first, imo. The only good thing about your last name is that it puts you towards the top of the list in the yellow pages. I'm sure you've seen companies named AAA this or that :)

    Eventually, when your name gets known, you can change the business name. You wouldn't be the first and you won't be the last one to do it. In the meantime, people like to be able to ask for a specific person so it's a good idea to put your name (first and last) in there. Business Cards are cheap enough these days that you can do one each for you and your wife but if you want to keep it simpler, there is nothing wrong with "Amy and Tom Albini" type of thing.

    About the 1 number, have you thought about how it will work as far as answering it when there are two people involved?
  7. Tbini87
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    Tbini87 New Member

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    Our last name is unique. I don't think most people would have a problem knowing it was a last name. I personally am not a fan of business names that seem a little cheezy. So for us I think the last name approach is simple and easy. I think it could easily become a popular name in our community which is fairly small, and we are somewhat active.

    My wife will be the one answering the phone. We only use cell phones. That shouldn't be too big a problem for us. However, our area codes are not from our current location (where we plan on building our business). I have been thinking about changing them soon since San Diego area codes might not be too popular in Northern California.
  8. fast eddie
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    fast eddie New Member

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    It's important to remember that form follows function. Having an email address, and phone number on the card is almost expected by most people. And can certainly be designed so it still has a clean simple look.

    It can be cool to have minimal info and require them to go to your website, but what if they don't want to or can't? After you've made the contact and gotten the card in their hands, do you want to place a barrier between you and a call or email?

    Ed
  9. Tbini87
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    Tbini87 New Member

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    That is the main issue I think we are dealing with. However, I don't think there is much barrier between the card and an email... since they would obviously be online to do that. A call might be different though. Maybe I am making a poor assumption in that most people are using the internet to do most of their communicating. It would be difficult to do the whole rundown of how much a shoot would cost, how it works, get a contract written up, etc on the phone so in most cases an online portion will be necessary. But these are all good points, since I don't want to spend good money on a ton of cards, then spend time getting them out and about... just to have no calls, emails, or hits on the site haha.
  10. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    You don't yet have a brand. How can you possibly have an effective logo?
  11. Light Artisan
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    Light Artisan New Member

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    After reading this thread, I'm curious... why did you ask for ideas, it's obvious you know what you want.

    Do it.
  12. Tbini87
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    Tbini87 New Member

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    Of course I know what I want. I am asking questions to make sure that what I want is what is best for the company. I am also trying to find out if there are any major flaws in what I want. Just because I want something doesn't make it a good idea. Sounds like you don't have any real issues with a simple card with minimal information on it? Sweet.
  13. Tbini87
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    Tbini87 New Member

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    We don't have a brand. That is something that our logo and performance will help create right? We don't yet have an effective logo because we don't yet have a business. Our logo is in the process of being made... which will lead to finishing our website and creating business cards. Hopefully these things will lead to more clients and business (who are satisfied with our photography services), who then spread the word, which leads to us having a recognized and effective logo, which eventually creates a brand. What am I missing?
  14. Light Artisan
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    Light Artisan New Member

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    See?

    Every single thing someone brings up you shoot down immediately... things that are valid concerns. At this point, nobody cares who you are - nor will they go through a lot of effort to find out if another photographer makes it easier.

    Here's my card, which requires you to remember what it's for and not only that - but you have to visit my website to get my contact information - but wow, isn't my business card simple?

    It seems you want reassurance for your idea more than advice.
  15. Robin Usagani
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    Robin Usagani Well-Known Member

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    Well.. I bought 1000 cards and still have maybe 700 cards left. I already want new ones.
  16. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Only you can decide what is best for your business.
    No. That is exactly backwards.

    Your brand defines your logo. Be careful you don't confuse your style, with your brand.

    Do you have a written business/marketing plan?

    www.sba.gov
    www.score.org.

    90% of retail photography businesses, have zero need for a logo. The business name is more than sufficient to fulfill that role.
  17. Tbini87
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    Tbini87 New Member

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    A logo is a graphic mark or emblem that will help promote recognition. It helps in "branding". I guess what we are doing is actually a logotype. I don't know that a brand defines a logo as much as a logo represents a brand.

    Our logo is our name, which we had drawn up for us by my sister who is a talented artist. She created it by hand including our last name in script with photography underneath it. I would consider it to be our company logo.

    A brand is the identification of a business. I think style may be a part of our brand. Our logo will also be a part of our brand, along with our pricing, our personalities, etc. Our brand is how people view us, what we stand for etc.

    We have been working on a business plan and have the basics pretty much nailed down. Not all that worried about creating a complete business plan or going too in depth, but we understand market segments, cost structure, business partners, key activities, revenue streams and things like that.

    We have not looked too much into marketing yet. We have been more focused in building a portfolio, getting our website up, getting our logotype created, learning more about photography, practicing etc. Any general tips on where we may want to focus more or less? Thanks.

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