Look at that subtle off-white coloring...
May 10, 2007 9:19 PM   Subscribe

BTW, here's where I made the best cards ever, as well as this rubber stamp for paying my bills.
posted by hermitosis at 9:20 PM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

Hahaha, I totally missed that one of the characters names was "Paul Allen"

And didn't one of them have gold lettering? You can't really see much of the cards at all at this resolution.
posted by delmoi at 9:28 PM on May 10, 2007

batman; Bateman -- I liked the links, but not what I expected.
posted by acro at 9:30 PM on May 10, 2007

Love love love business cards.
posted by ColdChef at 9:37 PM on May 10, 2007

Man I despise people with over designed business cards. It's just so tacky. It's like Barbie dolls for adults. Every time I get one of these 'look at me, I'm so different' cards from some insecure twit who feels the need to purchase his identity and then inflict his poor taste on unsuspecting innocents I look deep into his eyes, smile, and try to make his heart stop through sheer force of will. It mostly doesn't work but there's no harm in trying.
posted by nixerman at 9:44 PM on May 10, 2007 [2 favorites]

Aaaaaaaaaaaaah! Thermography! Kill it! Kill it in the face!
posted by lekvar at 9:44 PM on May 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

Any recommendations for the layout code? (first inside link)
posted by acro at 9:50 PM on May 10, 2007

Look at me though.. I really AM so different! And now you can call me!

People should have cards. A box lasts forever, they save time, save having to find a pen, save you from illegible writing, and save you from looking like a jerk with no card.

Nothing is more disposable than a hastily handwritten phone number or email address on whatever scrap of trash you have floating in your wallet. (Except a really really poorly designed card.)
posted by hermitosis at 9:54 PM on May 10, 2007

hermitosis, a while ago I made up a box of "Acquaintance Cards." They had my name, IM handle, my cell number and my email. No home address or business info though. Under my name I'd scrawl stuff like "Rocket Surgeon" or "Professional." It was fun but I think people just ended up throwing 'em out.
posted by lekvar at 9:59 PM on May 10, 2007

(acro, I don't remember which layout I used-- I just picked one and stripped it and built from the ground up.

The clipart section is not to be missed, featuring categories such as "Animals In Conflict" and "Civil War Maps".)

(I swear I'm not a shill for them. I just get excited when people let me make WHATEVER I WANT. And then sell it to me.)

posted by hermitosis at 10:04 PM on May 10, 2007

I'd love to h8, but some of them are really creative.
posted by ninjew at 10:09 PM on May 10, 2007

These are pretty neat, but I do wish that folks who are willing to spring for fancy cards would put a freaking mugshot on the things. Yeah, it might mess up the clean lines and aesthetic storyline of your business card, but I'm much more likely to recognize your face than remember your name, especially if you're boring, which, let's be honest here, you probably are.
posted by phooky at 10:25 PM on May 10, 2007

You know, I once put a great deal of time and effort into making a couple of "acquaintance cards", as mentioned in a previous comment; they were well-designed, witty and simple.

Of course, I was in grade school at the time.

Now I'm in a business where I have business cards, but never an occasion to use them, thanks to email; if I need to get someone, I just pull up a past email from them, and there's all the information I need in their sig.

In fact, I can't even remember the last time I *thought* about business cards. I guess I kind of assumed they were still around but outdated and outclassed, kind of like typewriters.
posted by davejay at 10:31 PM on May 10, 2007

It is quite possible to design a 'look at me, i'm so different' business card without purchasing much more than paper, and paying a small printing fee. And really, I do not want your boring futura font throwaway, so kindly overdesign it -- Or else.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 10:37 PM on May 10, 2007

Wait, what's wrong with Futura?
posted by thecaddy at 11:44 PM on May 10, 2007

Also of note: the Chia card, and Moo (the folks who thought up the mini-photocards) now offer notecards, also suitable as cartes de visite.
posted by rob511 at 11:51 PM on May 10, 2007

Great scene, and a good movie. I remember my friends all hated it and I was the only one who "got" it. ("It's satire, people!")
posted by zardoz at 12:07 AM on May 11, 2007

I can't believe he thought Paul Allen's card was better than mine.
posted by clearly at 12:19 AM on May 11, 2007

Someone should make a post about American Psycho just so we can shoot the shit about that movie. Such a fun movie.
posted by lostburner at 1:16 AM on May 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

My favorite design is still the one from Virtual Light, I think it was: printed, or rather etched, on a severely thin piece of crystal. It says "Take care of me, because I'm the most precious thing you'll get this year." As well as being beautiful.

I have geek cards, with my various interests and contact information listed on them, mostly for giving out at cons. They're very handy.
posted by jiawen at 2:07 AM on May 11, 2007

I have worked with some fatuous, conceited assholes in my day (Wall Street late 80s, hi-tech early 90s, "new" media late 90s), but I have NEVER seen a business card fetish anything close to the way it was represented in that movie.

The rest of the movie, though? Completely believeable.

As far as this topic goes, business cards are still incredibly useful things, but by and large they should be functional, readably, of standard size and simple. Having a "cute" or "cool" business card tells your potential client, customer, partner that your company is wasteful or not very serious.
posted by psmealey at 3:27 AM on May 11, 2007

They're good for tearing up and making filters for joints.
posted by emf at 3:37 AM on May 11, 2007

Some of these are great. So long as you can read the details I really can't see what's wrong with having a bit of fun with this. In my opinion, while taking an interest in visual design may be a sign of frivolousness, it's more likely to be a indication that you are emotionally involved with what you're doing, and not just going through the motions.
posted by teleskiving at 4:05 AM on May 11, 2007

when we had a problem with too many people parking like assholes in our office's parking lot, one of my coworkers got a box of painfully politely phrased business cards done up by vistaprint (not fabulous with raised print and all, but cheap and easy!) to provide feedback to the people unable to park correctly.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:23 AM on May 11, 2007 [3 favorites]

Those are pretty good, rmd1023. I had a set a while back that was meant to convey a similar message, although they were a bit cruder. They said: "I hope you don't FUCK like you park. You'd never get it in."
posted by psmealey at 4:41 AM on May 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

delmoi - i think the character name is "paul owen", not "paul allen".
posted by rmd1023 at 4:41 AM on May 11, 2007

I've been given business cards made out of thin sheets of wood and metal before - often from materials suppliers. The coolest one was actually an invitation from a firm of architects - it was a clear plastic pocket filled with clear gel, and floating in the gel were individual bits of the invite message print on fragments of transparency.

Also, little CD business cards are increasingly widespread.
posted by WPW at 5:09 AM on May 11, 2007

I guess it really depends on what line of work you're in. I tend to go to a lot of trade shows and meet and greets in my line of work, so cards need to be uniform size, and you should be able to write on them. I personally find the CD business cards, non-standard shapes and over-the-top fancy ones that WPW is talking to be really obnoxious, since they defeat the utilitarian purpose that I need them to serve.
posted by psmealey at 5:32 AM on May 11, 2007

Waxy weighs in
posted by acro at 5:34 AM on May 11, 2007

i think the character name is "paul owen", not "paul allen".

ah, nevermind. it's definitely allen in the movie. i thought it was owen in the book.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:36 AM on May 11, 2007

I personally find the CD business cards, non-standard shapes and over-the-top fancy ones that WPW is talking to be really obnoxious, since they defeat the utilitarian purpose that I need them to serve.

The ones made out of samples of material made a lot of sense. The floaty-gel one was from architects, so utility was the last thing on their mind. Function was very much slave to form, there.

These things were being sent out to get attention, and the wacky ones worked, but sometimes only to get the "what a bunch of tossers" type of attention. They do clutter a desk over time, these lucite models of buildings with phone numbers engraved in them and so on.
posted by WPW at 5:42 AM on May 11, 2007

[Enable pedantic mode]
lekvar - Cards that have personal info used to be called visiting cards. Usually they have a minimum of info (i.e. name, phone number).
[Disable pedantic mode]
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 5:43 AM on May 11, 2007

When I was a child no more than 10 I was in awe of one of the older boys in the neighborhood who had cards made up. His position: Finder of Lost Things.
posted by Gungho at 6:18 AM on May 11, 2007

His position: Finder of Lost Things.
You grow up with Encyclopedia Brown?
posted by inigo2 at 6:27 AM on May 11, 2007

Or maybe Saint Anthony.
posted by mendel at 6:41 AM on May 11, 2007

I have seen business card fetishes similar to the one in the film. The combination of Bale's tense inner monologue combined with his "happy," twitchy external presentation - not to mention the tight closeup coupled with that lens - makes that scene.
posted by adipocere at 6:42 AM on May 11, 2007

I love Encylopedia Brown - every criminal makes one mistake.
posted by leftoverboy at 7:14 AM on May 11, 2007

And didn't one of them have gold lettering? You can't really see much of the cards at all at this resolution.

Actually, the lettering is something called 'Cillian Rail.'
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to return some video tapes.
posted by Demogorgon at 7:37 AM on May 11, 2007

I love all of these, but I love mine the best.

(Why, yes, I am a business card fetishist. And how about that Huey Lewis?)
posted by Katemonkey at 7:43 AM on May 11, 2007

Now this would make a great business card idea. Bury some iron filings in one half of your card, put that film on the other side, and fold to reveal.
posted by Skorgu at 7:53 AM on May 11, 2007

This is awesome.
posted by ColdChef at 8:41 AM on May 11, 2007 [2 favorites]

When I found the first link on Kottke, the scene in the second link was the first thing I thought of.

Moo cards are still the best.
posted by Saellys at 10:33 AM on May 11, 2007

psmealey, I've seen it. Also, two other interesting notes on business cards:

1. I have seen a business card for an artist friend that exactly matches Bateman's card in the movie, save for the actual content. The title? "American Psycho." I don't know if it was too cute or not, but I did chuckle.

2. An early business mentor of mine taught me that business cards should not contain anything other than your name. The theory was that you should only give a business card to someone with whom you have had a meaningful interaction, and the polite, personal thing to do is to write the pertinent information on the back of the card, along with a quick note to jog the recipient's memory - like:
Thank you again for the cocktail and apartment advice at the Algonquin.
555-555-5555 (mobile)
For a while, this was my practice, until I required business cards in languages I did not read/write. The practice seems a little funny in retrospect, though perhaps charming?
posted by rush at 10:43 AM on May 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

I liked this post, herm.
posted by Dizzy at 11:00 AM on May 11, 2007

I know it's a day late and a dollar short, but what the heck, I'll stick my new business card in here.
posted by willmize at 11:41 AM on May 11, 2007

Skorgu, that's a great idea... very cool looking. And perhaps a photo on a card would work .

I suppose it does depend on your industry, and I understand people wanting the utilitarian functionality of being able to write on the back of a card - although I've heard that's apparently offensive if you do that to a Japanese client. But honestly, seeing a hugely creative business card does impress me, because it shows that they are a unique and creative person who thinks outside of the box - heck, when you're spending that much care over a biz card, you're pretty much redefining the box. And I'd like to think some employers *like* that kind of attitude (although I'm beginning to wonder these days...)
posted by rmm at 11:53 AM on May 11, 2007

Excellent post. And timely, as I'm in the process of designing my own cards right now. Keep linking your own cards! They're fascinating.
posted by churl at 12:08 PM on May 11, 2007

Scott Ott rocks my world. Also, your favorite business card sucks.
posted by The Bellman at 2:18 PM on May 11, 2007

It would've been nice if they'd included the per-piece cost of those cards.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:58 PM on May 11, 2007

I would like a totally black card with invisible glow in the dark ink that you have to shine a light on and then go into a dark room to read.
posted by jamjam at 3:33 PM on May 11, 2007

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