Please help me find the business cards of the big dogs
February 9, 2007 6:21 AM   Subscribe

Are there any sites that have a collection of pictures of Fortune 500 companies' business cards?

I've recently opened up my own business, and I'm trying to find some professional designs upon which to base my own business card design.

It seems like a good idea to see what the big companies/law firms' business cards look like, because that would convey the sorts of business cards an attorney should have.

Whenever I try to look for images in Google or Flickr, the results mostly consist of the cards of overly creative types. Being an attorney, I have to go a little more conservative.

My web search skills have failed me, and I now throw myself upon the mercy of AskMeFi. Thanks for your help.
posted by reenum to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Here's your design: name of firm in Palatino 11 pt reflex blue, your name in Palatino 10 pt caps black, other information in Optima 7/8 pt black. Take it to the people who print wedding invitations and get it made up engraved.

Avoid all temptation to have it printed in gold on black.

Go see a graphic designer. It's our job to interpret your instructions, do the research and show you some design options based on your ideas.
posted by zadcat at 6:31 AM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

But there are books like this if you want to see options.
posted by zadcat at 6:33 AM on February 9, 2007

You could preview it on google books too, for some quick ideas, even though it's a limited preview. I don't know what's visible, alas, because ever since they went to their new design, I've been unable to see books using their interface.
posted by cashman at 6:56 AM on February 9, 2007

zadcat's answer makes me think of the business card scene in American Psycho (YouTube, SFW) where the bigshots compare the tiny differences in font and shade of white in their nearly-identical cards. I'm guessing that's what any big company's cards look like.
posted by pocams at 7:12 AM on February 9, 2007

Of course, what makes design geeks ooh and ahh might not be what impresses your customers.

I would bite the bullet and pay someone. This is your first business card project. This won't be theirs.
posted by mrbugsentry at 7:19 AM on February 9, 2007

I don't have an image collection of ALL of them, but... here's one for the company I work for.

You can go to the various businesses if you have them in your area, or call them, and even possibly get a small child to do the calling, and say/have them say "I'm doing a project on the fortune 500 and I wanted to get as many business cards as possible from member companies!" I'm sure they'd be glad to send 'em to you. Business cards are public things.

yes, I'm aware that I blocked out the cell phone and email addresses in the business card, but anyone can access mefi, and I don't wanna get our DLPM pranked.
posted by Verdandi at 7:31 AM on February 9, 2007

My advice is visual balance. In the office where I work (federal gov't), all of our cards looked cartoony and blah. Everyone took someone else's card and just copied it and changed the relevent information. I was the first one to design my own card, and one by one everyone has since copied my design, which I think speaks to its professional look. (Or maybe it was just easy?)

I chose a Cooperplate font without serifs, which makes it modern yet still holds gravitas. And the paper isjust off-white, which I think is easier on the eyes than pure white. In the left corner I have a seal (this could be your company's logo or anything else you think would be appropriate. For lawyers: the scales of justice?) and in the right corner I have the name of the office I work for and it's place within the agency. These are centered relative to themselves (two lines) In the center, I have my name bolded and slightly larger and my title under that (not as big, not bold) Then in the lower left I have my business address, in the lower right I have my phone number and fax (both of those sets are centered relative to themselves) and under both of those in the absolute center is my e-mail address. I also have the union bug of the shop that printed my cards in the lower-lower right, but I don't know if you'll be choosing a union shop or if you'd even want one. Personally, I can't have it printed without the bug so it is there.

I hope this is helpful. I know it'd be easier to show you a picture than to describe it like that, but I'll see if i can't scan one or send a mock up
posted by indiebass at 9:11 AM on February 9, 2007

You could create a contest at site point and see what people come up with. I've never used the service before but I'm really happy with the results of my first contest so far.
posted by bleucube at 9:41 AM on February 9, 2007

Crane & Co. prints a letterhead and business card book for law firms. It is one of my most treasured possessions but if you send me an email I will give you the contact information for Crane's and you can request your own.

Please, God, do not be another lawyer with another boring business card printed on beige cardstock with engravers' font.

The Legal Marketing Association also has an amazing online file of many of the U.S. law firm's stationery.
posted by MeetMegan at 10:44 AM on February 9, 2007

If you're looking to impress with your business card, you have to be conservative to the point of dull. I mean, tasteful and well-chosen, but dull. Anything else smacks of desperation and too-clever.

The cards for Tort, Car Wreck, and Ambulance Chaser LLC has full-color photos of each attorney, a massive logo, their corporate slogan, about six different means of contact, and a helpful checklist of services on the back. The cards for Old Money and Wall Street Bros. has the firm's name, the attorney's name, email and a phone number. In black on white. Embossed.
posted by ardgedee at 10:48 AM on February 9, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the great answers folks. I understand that some of you may not want to post your own business cards publicly, but if some of you could e-mail me your card designs (with info blurred out if desired), I would really appreciate it.

I've added my e-mail to my profile, so please feel free to mail me.

Thanks again. You guys are the best!
posted by reenum at 4:19 PM on February 9, 2007

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