DIY: "Keeping it extremely real" business cards

by Nina Myers McCammon


Allow me to explain. The night before the National Stationery Show and ICFF, I realized I had forgotten to order business cards with my new logo. Kind of disastrous if you're a blogger attending two major national trade shows; The whole point is to get yourself out there, and a business card is the most efficient way to leave a piece of yourself behind. So I did what only the craziest, most disorganized people do: I made my own.

Let me preface this by saying I am not an extremely crafty person. I've had the odd seed-to-flower success story and I can sew a button, but I'm not making my own curtains anytime soon.

I should also add that the last person to whom you want to hand a homemade business card (or any kind of card, for that matter) is someone in the paper business. These are people who do letterpress for a living. They hand-stamp their prints in 150 year old mills. They wake up every day and paint. They know their washi tape patterns and their paper clip shapes and the entire colorwheel by heart. They went to school for this! Handing one of them a homemade card is like inviting Jean-Georges over to your house for dinner and serving him Burger King. It's wrong, but better a burger than water and air.

I thought about going to one of those places where you can rush order business cards. I have no idea where they are, but I know they exist. I thought about going to an art supply store and picking up proper materials, but I was having too much fun with my family. My mother-in-law is visiting, and we were about to barbecue under a cloudless sky. I knew s'mores were a possibility. The last thing I felt like doing was driving all over the 'burbs for materials on a Saturday night, so I challenged myself to scrounge up all the items I needed from my desk drawer.

I found them. Kinda. Here's what I used. Go ahead and laugh.

FOR THE LOGO

  • My toddler's washable Crayola magic marker. Its name is "raspberry squirt." (I can't make this up.)
  • Heavy stock resume paper which has been sitting in a drawer for 10+ years and is amazingly not discolored. (Are you crying?)
  • A gold Hybrid Gel pen
  • 100 year old paper cutter I borrowed from my parents with no safety latch. It's remarkable I didn't lose a thumb or two.


My handwriting is decent at best, so I figured the less I had to write, the better. I also know that everyone exhibiting at a trade show at this point, has, or at least comprehends Instagram, so I simply wrote my full name and my handle @50statesofstyle, and thank goodness my logo, designed by  Geraldson Chua, could not be easier. It's just five stripes. Five stripes! So easy. Thank you, Geraldson. I decided to go small; the cards measure 1.5" x 2".

The result? A homemade card that has my info on it and tells a story.

The reception: Surprisingly positive. At the very least, an ice breaker. Some of my best, most fun conversations stemmed from the awkwardness of the card exchange. Okay, and so what? They might be laughing at me, but at least they'll remember me. I hope!

And I hope that what you'll take away from my epically screwy success is that if you ever find yourself in a similar bind, you'll remember that you're more creative than you think, and that sometimes potentially embarrassing yourself is way better than showing up empty-handed, ya know?