Those of you who have met me in person have probably seen my business cards: plain on the front, with the necessary information, and a Hugh MacLeod cartoon on the back:
These StreetCards cards have served me well for a couple of years, but as my current stock declined, I thought it was time for a change. Coincidentally, an invitation from MOO to try out their cards landed in my inbox, and I took advantage of their offer for 50 free business cards.
MOO loves color and images, and of their many options for business cards, I selected to have photographs from my Flickr collection printed on the back (I could have also uploaded the photos directly, or imported from Etsy, Facebook or SmugMug). This meant combing through almost 7,000 photos to find my 50 favorites, probably the most time-consuming part of the process; next time, I’ll probably just select 5-10 faves and have them repeated over the print run. I could have also selected from their patterns (like some amazing ones from the UK Science Museum) or colored text options for the back of the card, but I liked the idea of something that was a bit more personal.
I entered the text for the front of the cards, which allowed me to select a variety of layouts, fonts, alignment and text/background color: completely easy interface, and a preview of the final design. I selected the MOO Green card stock, which is made of 100% recycled post consumer waste, is recyclable and biodegradable, and was manufactured using wind power. I felt virtuous as I clicked the Next button.
The order was pretty fast, they had the printing done within a couple of days, and even though it was shipped from the US to Toronto, it only took about a week via USPS. For those of us in Canada receiving goods from the US, USPS is hugely superior to most courier services since they handle the duty and customs brokerage, so there are no extra fees to pay on receipt.
The unboxing of the cards reminded me of how a playful yet customer-focused organization works: the cards were in a box that included two little dividers labeled “Mine” and “Theirs”, so that I can take the box to a conference, hand out and receive cards, and store them all in the handy box until I am back in my office. They also include a hilarious “Buzzword Challenge” game on a card, inviting you to use such phrases as “data-fluffed” and “future-retroactivate” at your next meeting to see how long it takes before someone asks you what they mean.
The cards themselves are lovely. The recycled paper has a slightly rougher texture than a standard business card, but a fairly clean white look, and holds the colors of the printed photographs well.
The verdict: I’d order MOO cards again. I like the use of color and images, and the ability to customize. At around $0.50 per card, they’re a bit pricey for business cards but about the same as the StreetCards that I was already using; I hand out so few business cards each year that it’s worth it to make each one a bit more memorable. As an independent, I can make my business cards look as I please rather than having to follow corporate guidelines, but I’ve also seen people with social media positions in larger companies use the mini MOO cards for their Twitter, blog and other social info that might not be on their corporate card.
Disclosure: MOO provided me with a free order of 50 business cards. Next time, I’ll be happy to pay for them.
(Cross-posted @ Column 2)