Are fancy business cards dumb?

I was extremely impressed by this business card:

http://www.finestationery.com/product.cfm?prod_id=57749&cm_ven=Shopping.com&cm_cat=Product+Feed&cm_pla=&cm_ite=null&NG_urlID=13666038

and am considering getting similar ones of my own. But they cost $170 for 75 cards! It’s gold print on very thick, 100% cotton paper.

Is it dumb to have business cards that nice? Well, I wouldn’t call them business cards so much as calling cards. It’s not going to say anything about my job on there - the main purpose would be to give my phone number to cute girls I might meet. Would a card like this pique your curiosity about me and make you significantly more likely to call me? Or would you say to yourself “nice card” as you toss it in the can?

Granted, you don’t know me, but what would be your first impression if this is all you know about me? Is it worth it to pay for something like this?

If you are just going to pass them out to teh babes, I’d say the classier the better.

Wow, that’s pricey. I, however, like the heft, feel, and look of a good business card. The card should be of a proper weight, the ink should be raised, and I must say that’s a damn classy look. Having not been on the dating scene in about a million years, I don’t know how it would go over but even for day to day interactions, I’ve thought about having similar calling cards printed.

I am told that putting your phone number on the back of one of these works way better than any business card.

My grandfather used to be a rather successful sales rep for K-Line. He still has a collection of business cards he accumulated from clients there.

That’s a very nice card, but not so much next to some of the others he has. Handmade papers were pretty common. I remember one made from a very thin piece of engraved (and I believe, hand-painted) sandalwood, and a similar one in cedar. He keeps them in a little binder, almost the way people keep baseball cards.

Now, K-Line is a Japanese company, with all the meishi-fetishization that entails, but the fact that my grandfather still has these cards says something about lasting impressions. He left the company thirty-odd years ago, and is still actually on Christmas-card terms (or better) with a few of his former clients.

Personally, I think it depends a lot on context and the way you present yourself. It makes no sense to be the guy whose business card case is worth more than the clothes he’s wearing, does it? Or, to comment on Rick’s contribution, is it really a good idea to pretend your wallet is an order of magnitude bigger than it really is?

I don’t keep business cards. If I think I might want to be in contact with someone, it goes into my pda on the spot and I give back the card.

I’ve always liked cards, and I have social calling cards of my own.
To me, I’d have no idea at all how much money you spent on them. The niceness of your cards would have neither a positive nor a negative impression.
But I got mine online at 100 for ten bucks and I love them.

My sister works in PR and London, people in her field tend to have very fancy cards with just their name and their company’s name, then they can hand write appropriate contact info on the back.

Obviously this will depend on whether the client is premium (personal mobile, personal email address, their PA’s phone line), mid-range (business mobile, office reception phone no, work email) or low range (office number, work email of the person who handles small accounts).

That way you can tailor your contact info to the situation, ensure no-one gets the wrong numbers and save money by only printing one card!

That’s a ridiculous price for those cards. Are you looking at a foil stamped card, or just printed? For print, the price is not really that depend on the print color. Most cards are printed in batches of 250-500 minimum, although some companies will now do shorter runs. If you want something elegant, the paper stock is more important than the print. Textures are usually more important than thickness or color, but ymmv. Multiple colors or foil stamping make expensive cards, the ink shouldn’t*.

Before you decide on a card, go to a business show or someplace where you see lots of business cards. Pick out a few that appeal to you most, that make you remember that person. Then get something that goes off of that. I had a friend who was an architest that printed his cards with a simple black design on a clear film (probably 5mil vinyl, but not sure). This was very memorable, but also I found them easy to lose.

*There is something in printing called PMS, or Pantone Matching Scale. This ensures that the color you get is spot on. There is often an upcharge for a PMS match, but unless you need an exact color to match your logo (and are using a non-standard color), this is unnecessary.

Also, where are you located? I might be able to recommend someone for you to talk to.

That is hilarious! Although, the balance is way too high…if I saw that, I would think that either it was fake, or the guy was a total idiot for keeping 600 grand in checking!

As for the OP, I like the idea of it, but you’re looking in the wrong place. Crane makes nice stuff, but they are known for being super expensive. Keep shopping around.

I had a couple of designs made up from www.streetcards.com that I use for calling cards. I don’t want every schmoe I meet to know where I work, so these I use for social situations. In their humor category, I like the Gaping Void designs. They are more fun than classy, and I would remember one of these type cards more than something fancy. If someone gave me a fancy card with gold leaf and stuff, I would probably think they were a pretentious prick. But that’s just me.

I’ve been out of the dating world for a lot of years but this sentence set off my creepy vibe right off. I got a mental image of an oily lounge lizard type sidling up to his target, slipping them “my card” with a wink. Not to say that that’s your plan - just my first reaction.

While I have no need for something like it, I think this card may be the coolest one I’ve seen.

His website has a place you can ask for one if you send a SASE. I’ll be doing that on Monday. hehehe…

This is very true. I get a lot of business cards, but the ones that impress me are the ones on good paper, particularly if there’s some interesting texture to the paper – it makes it feel rich, much more so than the print. I personally also like raised letters.

No, it’s not just you.

The raised ink is done by a process called thermography. A chemically reactive powder is sprayed on the press sheets while the cards are still wet, then they’re heated, which causes the ink to bubble up and raise. You can get letterhead and envelopes printed this way, but they have to be done with a different precedure or else the ink will melt and gum up as it’s re-heated by your laser printer.

Thermography was invented to mimic the much more expensive process of engraving. For engraving, a plate has to be made (because of the cost, usually of just two cards per press sheet), that’s then used to pusht the ink into the surface of the cardstock.

Other nifty tricks are cards made with custom cutting dies that are stamped into unusual shapes. Or, using translucent vellum carstock, the stock can be made with watermarks in it. Then there’s blind intaglio, where die stamps out shapes in the cardstock like low-relief sculptures.

Gold (or other metalic foil) leafing also requires a custom die. Printing or foil-stamping can be done to register it with the raised intaglio.

Realtor cards are done using photographic printing, becasue they’re done by the bajillion with herds of realtor’s photos on huge press sheets. This volume is how it’s economical. Speaking of economy, most fancy cards are done as “shells,” or “masters” with the main fancy stuff on no-name cards, which are then imprinted individually as people are hired, promoted or run out of cards. If you want fancy cards to hand out, you’d have to pay hefty prices for all these set-ups.

Which reminds me of the cards I printed for the newly-founded Dept of Homeland Security. Most inks are coded into the PMS (Pantone Matching System), with basic colors having a three-digit code. Homeland Security wanted a five-color card shells with each color having 4 or 5-digit codes (custom-mixed, not to be found straight out of the can). Because they chose such distinctive colors, we couldn’t “build” the colors using 4-color process like in most color printing. And then, the imprints for individual employess were to be done in two multi-digit inks. Was it because they wanted Al Qaida to go bankrupt making conterfeit cards? Or egotistical government boondoggle?

Ditto Hockey Monkey. I’d think the same…
The man giving out the card, and the vibe he gives off, is more important than the card itself.