Analog Pen

I am an avid reader of Vanity Fair magazine and particularly love their New Establishment issue, where they profile the leaders of businesses who are changing the world. In this month's issue, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, was quoted as saying the analog pen (as in the non-stylus, manual writing utensil) would be obsolete in five years.

Ha! (Immediate, involuntary reaction upon reading the quote)

Mr. Nadella, I am confident in saying you are an intelligent man, certainly more intelligent than me, but that is by far the silliest thing you may have ever said. As long as there are writers, graphic designers, fashion designers, illustrators, or kindergartners, there will be a need for the lowly pen. Yes, the stylus has come a long way and is able to recreate the effect of a pen, however, in order to recreate something digitally, you must first understand how it works manually.

That's all.


Why Business Cards Are Important

Why are business cards important? Because relationships matter. “No man is an island” is true both personally but especially professionally. Why should anyone want to work with you over someone equally accomplished? Because they like you better. Why do they like you better? It doesn’t matter. Whatever the reason, you’ve established a relationship and, in doing so, earned his or her loyalty. Loyalty means return customers and new referrals. It’s not something to be taken lightly. Much like a marriage, professional relationships take continuous work. Don’t take it for granted.

Marriage is preceded by dating, and dating begins by first getting noticed. You are awesome at what you do, you keep up with current trends and on top of that you’re a nice person, but Prince Charming is never going to notice you if you don’t stand out from all the other would-be princesses out there.

Enter the business card. This 3.5”x2” piece of paper is all Prince Charming has left of you when the clock strikes midnight. Cinderella’s glass slipper was a pretty unique calling card and so too must your business card be just as unique and memorable an artifact to help customers find you again.

In a sea of overly-used template-designed business cards, what will make yours stand out? Many cards are printed digitally for its cost-effectiveness. However, if your card is 2 colors or less, consider offset printing. Offset, like letterpress, uses a plate to transfer the ink to the paper. This gives you solid coverage of color versus the dot pattern (poor) digital printing does. You put effort in your appearance. Do the same for your card.

Here’s something to consider: Cognition follows a three step sequence - Shape, Color and Form. You’re going to remember the shape of an object first, then it’s color and finally what it says. Consider rounded corners, a unique cut-out, colored stock versus the traditional white, or a specialty printing process. When a potential client is perusing their box o’ cards looking for yours, even if they’ve forgotten your name, they’re going to remember “it’s a dark blue card with yellow edges and rounded corners."

Every detail counts. Have your business cards custom designed to your business. Doing so tells current and prospective customers that details matter to you and attention to detail is something they can expect doing business with you.

The bottom line: You card should represent the effort you put towards your business, the unparalleled service it offers, and the attention-to-detail that makes your company the right choice for your customers.