Personal branding is pretty important in the life of a freelancer. As a matter of fact it is pretty important for any professional. The very concept of personal branding has
enough advocates to fill up an entire encyclopedia and although we talk often enough about this concept, how many of us are actually applying its principles on daily basis?
Also: do we study the concept enough? Or are we just “talk?”
I have to redesign my business cards – to “revamp” my business offline. My previous design worked pretty well – as colorful and fun as this blog. I’d call the design “bold” – especially for a deeply conservative country like Germany. But although “bold” the design was not as “unique” as the business cards I use to illustrate this entry. And that made me think.
I use so often the expression “stand out of the crowd” – it almost feels like a cliché. But what about actually practicing what I preach?
I am branding myself, all right. Mihaela “Mig” Lica is not a foreign concept for many. I get more and more PR and SEO inquiries based on the “good name” I have on the Web – a normal course of events. But this is not enough. Nothing lasts forever. Success, once achieved, needs nurturing and care. So this is what this entry is all about.
My former business cards do not speak my language. No entirely. They don’t deliver the message I want them to deliver. They are more or less “quiet” – despite their bold colors. And I can say the same about my stationery.
Since it is already clear that I need to redesign, a different question comes to mind: which is the best approach for the new “Mihaela Lica – PR Consultant” business cards?
The Quest for the Perfect Business Card
When you start looking for the best business card, where do you go? I chose Flickr this time with the business card pool. And I found there amazing creations – unique business cards that show skill, creativity, imagination and all the ingredients that make the perfect business card. I spent two good hours on the site analyzing each card, reading the comments, following links and making notes. And then I put up a list of “Top 10 Business Card Designs” that really wow and stand out of the crowd.
1. The winner is clearly Brian Moore – the very business card that opens this entry. Do I need to say why? First of all because it’s fun to look at and the idea makes it memorable. Any client who gets that card will remember it and most likely keep it and show it too his colleagues and friends. “Cool” is not the best term to describe this card, but nothing else comes to my mind right now. I am mesmerized.
2. Another excellent business card is alvena. Note the beautiful round corners and the warm colors. This is a very elegant and feminine business card. I am not sure whether alvena aimed for such a message but the tones and the paper cuts make the card the ideal inspiration for a woman’s business card. Of course, there are other cards pretty similar – and enough “round corners” in the business cards world. But what is really special about this card is the balance, a rare equilibrium that gives a feeling of comfortable joy. When a client receives such a card the subliminal message could be: creative yet balanced.
3. My third choice is difted. It’s bold but elegant and simple. The color is so striking that it is most unlikely for a client to f0rget it. Crude green usually sticks with the eye. It is a very fluorescent color used often for its therapeutic effects. Pretty interesting to receive such a card don’t you think? It opens the appetite for green apples. 🙂
4. Four is Pete Prodoehl – Web Developer & Hacker. Well, we have to admit: he doesn’t lack imagination and if he is bold enough to state his “secret” talents on a business card, who are we to argue? This card is elegant and classy, and it has a very interesting paper cut that really makes it different. You’ll need to click on the image to see the design in all its beauty.
5. Five is a fun card from Lump Design. I am not “mesmerized” by it – I just find the idea interesting. As a matter of fact I find the card “too crowded” – but it might do the trick if you are in the music industry, or, why not podcasting? Well, any audio will do.
6. Six is really nice for a florist. Not a very original idea if you think at Flowers by Kenzo (I know I do) but still remarkable.
For the next four places I will just give you the links – to let you explore the world of Flickr business cards – you will not regret it.
7. Etsy Glass Artists business card with business card holder.
8. Heartsupport business cards – simple and elegant, another perfect “round corners” example.
9. Taste chocolate – a funny business card with a bite.
10. Nathan Crawley – excellent combination of colors and lines and another “round corners” approach.
Well, I am at the end of my list. As you see creativity knows no borders and there is enough on the Web to inspire us and to help us improve our approaches. And it’s all free. Of course, I do not encourage that you copy these styles in detail. As the Mona Lisa inspired a masterpiece, you can always look around you to find your essence. Whatever we do, let’s play fair and give credit where due.