In a happier world, would this be a good business card?

Tongue-in-cheek-ish slightly-bored early-evening version of what I would kind of like my business card to be like. Potentially on the finest, richest paper and with slight ridging for the text or something so it looked like the result of some kind of weird ink pen:

As ever in my fontified handwriting font: Coates.ttf

27 replies on “In a happier world, would this be a good business card?”

Not sure about the “I am 32” business either… do you really want a business card with an expiration date?
Best business card I ever saw was from a retired gentleman I used to know–a fellow in his seventies, comfortable, who devoted much of his time to amateur theatrical productions and singing in his church choir. Beautiful engraved card, elegant font, centered, just two lines:

I like it. Maybe you could leave the age blank and fill it in each time you give a card out. You don’t even need to put a number in there…I am __tired__, I am __pleased to meet you __, I am __running out of business cards__, etc.

QotD: Gay
Question: What the hell does being gay have to do with getting a job? My Answer: Hell if I know. I couldn’t care less whether an employee of mine was gay or not, but just as I’d never hire a…

Quote of the year
It […] has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘overt sexual behaviour’, any more than you being seen with your girlfriend or wife in public has anything to do with overt sexual behaviour, or a wife referring to herself as…

Reading through all the nonsense about whether or not the “I am gay” bit is some kind of aggressive, intrisuve declaration of overt sexuality (tired battles of rhetoric that never go anywhere), I’m more astounded that so many people think about the function of a business card in such a limited way. From a design standpoint, I think having the chatty prose, the sprinkling of personal details, and the handwriting go all together extremely well. For years I’ve ignored “professional” business cards in favor of cards like this that work more as calling cards. I’ve found that I pass out cards at the end of conversations — they function as reminders of who I am, not mini-resumes or something that demands a more austere approach. I think a bit of cheek and a bit of nerdliness make a perfect mix for a card for Tom: they set the tone, regardless of what the details may be.

Interesting how the “I am gay” bit has jumped out for some people (although I do think you should have a version with “and I’m free tomorrow night” on – just in case ;-).
Thinking about cards, I do think it would be really helpful to have a picture on your business/calling card. I am terrible tying names with faces and it would serve as a useful reminder. I’ve always thought people who put the picture on a CV were wrong – it too hard to get past the picture to read the detail.
A business card, on the other hand, is usually only handed out when you meet somebody and you know more about them to form a more rounded impression of them. Then, I forget who the hell they are when I meet them six weeks later …

Three little words have generated reams of content about your business card idea but I did want to ask about the format.
Does the fact you came up with an image that looks like a traditional paper-based card have any significance? In the days of bluetooth mobiles, pdas, iPods etc. are there any ways in which a virtual business card works? Or is paper/card the best medium for this kind of information sharing?

That you’re gay is nothing. I’m all cut up over the fact you have legible handwriting. Bastard.

it’s a bloody brilliant card Tom – I don’t understand the comments elsewhere (nslog) at all.
it says everything it should say about you – it’s personal and quite clearly covers things that are important to you as well as things that make you, well, you… (and one more ‘you’ for luck)

Thanks for including that fontifier link. I’ve been wanting to make my own font out of my handwriting for ages. Now I just wish that I could run certain letter combinations together like I do in my own hand.

I was once designing myself a contact card for friends, pick-ups and acquaintances which went like this: “25-34, 6’1″, 177 lb, hazel eyes, hair varies, rational, direct, movies, music, reading, blading, one ear-ring, one nipple-ring, one old tattoo, dominant, romantic, top, bisexual, out, oh and the left one hangs slightly lower…”, plus it had my email address.
Mostly my “market survey” produced sympathetic smiles, but then I wondered if some individuals, especially potential dates, might view it as slightly too cocky to have cards at the ready, akin to being a serial dater, so I dropped the project. Perhaps I should have posted it instead, to see what sort of reactions I might get!

Like it a lot!
Might switch the order a bit, though:
“My name is TOM COATES” stays the same. Then I’d do, “I think about….” And finally “I am 32, etc.” except maybe start that with “I do R&D work…” and follow with the rest in any order you choose.
But your order works, too. Depends what you want. My approach might be too conventional; regardless, very forthright, straightforward and *real* concept card. Nice.

Definitely the card to be seen at the next SxSW at Austin.
I think the information apposite: you write a blog, in which all kinds of info get together, both personal and professional.

I collect business cards. So iwould love to have one of your cards & any others you may have and no longer want or need. John puckett 3019 n.e 20th way gainesville fl. 32609

In trying to design some cards for myself (both a “business” and a “personal” version) and for my dog (it’s a long story, the short version being that she’s a service dog and goes everywhere with me, and I’m a public speaker, so she’s developing a bit of a fan club and I’m in the process of starting a blog “written” by her for said fans) I’ve been doing some googling on card design. I have to say, your idea is rather unorthodox, but I *love* it! I also like the idea of having an area of the card specifically meant for personalization. I think we should totally return to a society where everyone has calling cards… there’s something about the permanence of a card, the tangible-ness of it, that’s so quaint and therefore cool in an age of intangible communication through email.
I’ll stop now. Awesome card. Thanks for sharing!

man dates
Last week, I got really very angry at an article in the New York Times entitled ‘Man Dates’. I was going to let it go, just grumbling at anyone who met me last weekend, but it’s been reprinted and expanded on by several other newspapers, lastly the Obs…

Is there anyone out there that reads these?
If so. I collect business cards. If you have any to give away ill take them. John Puckett 2841 N.E 13th. Dr. Gainesville,FL. 32609
Call 352-339-1734-cell 352-378-4519-H

I appreciate that this is not a current topic of conversation, but it is a good one.
I thought I’d mention what I’m sure Tom and most of the commentators know … On MySpace they give you several profile sections to fill out. One poses the question: “Sexual Orientation” and you get several choices. Perhaps the most damning is giving no response to the question!
The whole business of being (out) gay seems to go through cycles of being trendy. Right now (February 2008) I’m guessing not so. But the celebrities seem titillated by the likes of “Perez Hilton” suggesting that they are. It is, in some way, “good for business”.
And so, perhaps the business card might read:
Sexual Orientation? No response.
Of course, include your phone number!

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