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Dog eared thin bits of paper lurking at the bottom of your wallet or bag embarrassingly offered to a luke-warm reception.  Or slick, statement pieces of stationery winning business and high fiving the high flyers wherever you go!  Which category do your business cards fall in to?

The humble (or not so) business card can be an invaluable networking tool but ensuring that yours doesn’t get relegated to the green bin can be challenging.  A good card can set you apart and leave a memorable impression, but this is not a new game.

As far back as the 17th century cards were used to announce the impending arrival of people of note.  Even then the competition was on to have the most stylish card and as technology advanced, so did the techniques used to make them stand out, they were adorned with interesting type faces and engravings, demonstrating the stature of the holder.  In the 18th century, ‘social cards’ had to be placed in the card tray by the door when ladies were visiting.  The lady of the house would then examine the card as a way of gleaning a first impression of the visitor. It was a complicated affair; a fold in the corner of the card meant it had been presented in person and if folded in half the card was for the whole family.  However, these cards also had a less glamourous but more useful purpose, as they started to be used for trade and the business card as we know it today was born.  Originally they were made using wood presses and then lithography after it’s invention in the 1830’s.

Like a lot of things now, business cards are all too often a cheap, disposable after thought.  But to disregard them this way is to miss a trick.  In this digital and busy age, having the chance to give someone something physical with which to remind them of you or your business is a

precious thing.  It is far easier to delete a faceless email than dispose of an interesting business card.  Most of us are probably guilty of throwing away the non-descript cards that we get handed, accepting them just to be polite, but make a card that people like or want to show around and you’re on to a winner.  There are some companies absolutely smashing it when it comes to creating stand out examples, from the divorce lawyer whose cards splits in two or the bike company with a whole set of bike tools on their metal business card.  Using industry specific materials to sell; yoga mats or stretchy gym bands with information on them or even a miniature plunger for a plumbing business or a lego agent with your details on.  Keep an eye on our Twitter feed to see some of our favourite examples.

Making us laugh, being useful, or just awesome design can really set you apart from the competition.  Don’t think, ‘vista print will do’, business cards can be key to selling your product or service.  So, think outside the business card shaped box and get creative, or let us do that for you!  At Woodblock we have years of experience in creating stand out handcrafted business cards.  Whether you want simple classic embossing or super shiny foil, we offer a range of stunning customisations, paper stocks and finishes to ensure that your business cards reflect your style, ethos and brand.

With these new promotional tools lovingly stowed away about your person, ready to flash at the next big opportunity, you’ll be one of those high flyers in no time!  Luckily, the politics of handing out cards from previous centuries has largely past but be warned, offering a card with your left hand is simply not de rigueur!  Now, get networking.