Business cards as a tool for artists

Business cards as a tool for artists

Did you know that in some Asian countries especially Japan, business cards are considered an extension of you, that’s why when they present their card to you they bow slightly and hold it with two hands. It’s considered to be a huge insult to write on the back of your cards or worse yet on theirs, so if you want to be doing business internationally you might want to keep that in mind!


As an artist or any business person for that matter, you should have a business card, one that reflects who or what you are and that gives the relevant information like contact details and what your business actually is. Some like to have a photo of themselves on their cards, in fact when in business it’s a good idea to do so in that when your potential client goes away and sifts through their pile of cards they have just collected they will connect your card details to you the person they met.

Most artists have a picture of one of their artworks, or like me several. I personally have played around with the look of my card every time I get a new lot printed. I’ve had boozehags on my card right through to my new pet portraiture. The reason I change it each time even though my contact details remain the same, is because I get bored with them, I also don’t want everyone associating me with art that’s now in the past or because I like a little diversity, I want to be able to display that with my business card! Gosh what would they say in Japan about that I wonder?!


So what information should you have on your business card? Some of this is optional but as a minimum the business card design should usually contain:

  • Your Name and/or Business Name
  • Your Title or some other descriptive text to indicate what you do if it's not obvious from the business name, like for me I have ‘Artist’
  • Your contact details because that’s the whole point of the card in the first place i.e. phone, fax, email, web page, mailing address, street address, etc.

Don’t fall into the trap of being arty and having a funky card tht says nothing at all. That can trip you up big time as not everyone ‘gets’ it so things like your signature with a splash on paint and your website on it, doesn’t say much about you other than you’re trying to be complex and clever, if you want them to call you then put your phone number on it!

What about the layout, most people tend to chose horizontal layouts but artists or creative’s in general often choose vertical or portrait as we would say in the art world! Check out this site for some really cool cards

Something else you might want to remember, is that rounded corners on your card mean you are dare I say it….a prostitute in some countries! Patting myself on the back for not ever having done that but Im sure it could have been a possible card design at some stage, as like most artists I want to be different. Im thinking next time I plan a new card Ill check in with Google and my friend that I’m not creating any unwanted attentions!


What about tag lines? What’s that you ask? A Tagline is a short sharp statement that says what you are or what you do, on my cards it is ‘Unique Pet Portraiture’ which says exactly what I do in only a few words.


Size does matter- the size of your card does matter, if it’s too big as in bigger than the standard business card it is less likely to be kept. Business card holders and files won’t take them so it’s a high chance your potential client will bin that card when you want them to keep it.

Quality matters too, if its too flimsy as in the card it’s printed on is too light, it’s not going to look very professional. If you can afford it get the best possible cards you can buy.


Remember you only get one chance to make a first impression, make sure it’s a good one!

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Posted: Thursday 10 June 2010


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