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  • Names on Business Cards

    I'm tweaking my husband's business card and he's asked me to remove his name. He says he read an article in which a survey showed that when people throw out old business cards or thin out the cards they keep, they will throw out cards with a person's name on them first, rather than a card with just a business name. Something about a personal connection, I'm not completely sure of the reasoning.

    I've never seen a business card that did not have a person's name on it, but my husband says he sees them all the time from bars and auto repair places. I don't do any business card design aside from family, so I'm curious about what you guys do.

    Does it depend on the business? Do you think a less personal card is more effective or keep-able? Do you think customers/clients would be more likely to call a number on a card if they thought they were calling a company rather than a person in that company?

    Thanks.
    Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

  • #2
    For me, I don't care if it's an individual or a large corporation, what I look for is professionalism. If the card looks like a cheap clipart job, it is a real turnoff to me. Regardless of what line of work it is.

    The same goes for the email address. I HATE hotmail, gmail, yahoo, etc. email addresses on business cards.

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    • #3
      I'd like to read that study. My common sense tells me that when I need to contact that HVAC company that worked on my air conditioning three years ago, I want a reminder of the person I spoke with. I can look up the company online.
      This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
      "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."

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      • #4
        In my opinion it just all depends on the business.

        if your a single person out of a group of people in a business then yea a name would be nice being that it personalizes you from the rest of the people.

        if its a card in general for a company (kind of covering the whole company) then I dont think a name would matter, being as its directed to the company as a whole, and not trying to single (for lack of a better word) anyone out by their profession inside the company.

        as far as freelancing goes, ive read multiple articles about including names and not including names. personally i think if you are working under an alias then its best to put your real name too. to me its still professional instead of your client having to remember you by your company name, they can speak of you directly.

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        • #5
          let me rephrase my last part there, a client would be able to refer to you directly instead of having to call you by your company name. obviously its goo for them to know your alias and be able to remember it, but i doubt it would be effective for them to be able to only refer to you by your alias, and not your real name too

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          • #6
            G - I'll see if the boy can remember where he read it and find it for ya. And that was my thought, too. I usually prefer to have the same repair people back, so I like names on the cards.

            Thanks, Infinity, that makes sense. In my husband's case, it's just him, so if you call 'the company' you're getting him no matter what. I get what you mean about the freelancing, too, which is sort of what he's doing but in a different field. If your freelancing company is called Jack's Designs, but your name is Tom, that could get confusing unless both were on the card. Thanks.

            So far I'm thinking there's no hard and fast rule, or trend, but more based on the type of business and the impression they want to leave with a client via their card.
            Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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            • #7
              I get that too, Infinity.

              I remember a time a ways back when the common advice for resumes was to concentrate on the position and responsibilities, and not list the company names.

              And yeah Kitch, I agree there's no hard and fast rule, just best practice for the business at hand.
              This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
              "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."

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              • #8
                Thats how it is with me, you call my "company" your getting just me. but since my freelance goes by a different name then theres two different names involved, my real name (allowing clients to refer to me directly) and my company name (directing everything as a whole).

                being as its just him, unless he has an alias, if it was me talking to a client i would suggest them to leave their real name on the card. unless of course they want their alias to stick out and stand on its own, and to leave their real name unknown unless other wise inquired. I guess that would be a suitable alternative.

                ive learned that alot lately, with all the "rules" that there are in our field, everything kind of varies according to different variables. There are never really a set list of rules for any one thing.

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                • #9
                  I've seen cards that are printed out for franchises that are generic, nice high quality but impersonal. It's customer service and human interaction that are tops, also I am annoyed when there is no name. I write it down immediately after as a contact reminder, same as garricks, putting a face on it.

                  Secondly I'd think, what are you too: cheap, secretive, annoyed, anonymous to have your name on it?

                  PS what about email address? These are important
                  "After all is said and done, more is said than done."
                  Aesop

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                  • #10
                    Mike - there will be a phone number and email address on the card. The email address contains the comapny name, not his name.
                    Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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                    • #11
                      I print a generic card for each location/branch in the company that has only the company name, address and local phone numbers on them ...they are used for new people until the cards come in for them that are personalized.

                      I just a couple of weeks ago was in a local shop and they had a display of business cards and not a single one had any persons name or contact info, to me it seems like they are trying to save a buck or have a huge amount of turnover and just expect me to write the name of my contact on the card.
                      Not gunna happen....
                      "You're only given one little spark of madness. You musn't lose it" - Robin Williams

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                      • #12
                        If it's a freelancer working from home, I'd put the person's name on the card. If it's a large business with dozens of employees, I'd put the individual names on the cards. The only way I could see no names on the cards working is if it's a very small business (2-3 people) and there's a main business phone number that any of them would be answering.

                        If you and your friend start up a business together, and you're working out of a small office with a main phone line, just the two of you, I don't really see a point in having two sets of business cards.
                        "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
                        -Steve Jobs

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                        • #13
                          Most important, I think you have to have a name on the card to win free meals when you drop the cards into restaurant fishbowls.
                          This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
                          "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by garricks View Post
                            Most important, I think you have to have a name on the card to win free meals when you drop the cards into restaurant fishbowls.
                            Oh, we may have a winner here.
                            Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by garricks View Post
                              I'd like to read that study. My common sense tells me that when I need to contact that HVAC company that worked on my air conditioning three years ago, I want a reminder of the person I spoke with. I can look up the company online.
                              Ah! Here we are now, someone that actually calls someone they spoke to. Yeah... a lot of younger folks don't do that. We just want a rep to help us and we understand if they are no longer at the company. I don't even do that.

                              I have had thus far three clients all of which wanted exclusivity with their business cards or all web information with no spokes person; it's everywhere in fact.

                              People are attached to an idea more than a person behind that idea... it's strange really.

                              Ultimately you will write down that persons name and information if it is that important to you usually on the back of the card and you develop a connection with that person. This is also a reason to leave a name off.

                              It works better for my business too I have come to find...

                              Whatever works best; if the clients have 50+ year olds as his base then let it be as such that they have names; or if it's their financial advisors name.

                              Personally though, I go for the QRCodes.

                              Leave of course a call to action... website, email, and phone number; facebook page, twitter feed, your you-tube feed —maybe even a podcast; heck lets go with a Dewey decimal system that is in fact an IP address that you type into your computer and it comes out with my website with portfolio as I do IT work and graphic design!

                              Or maybe I will just ask your name how you are doing and start a conversation as a kid/business man/clerk/patron/college kid/IT professional/(insert cliché here)etc. behind me types on his phone all day long.
                              In life there are a lot of grey areas; not in the conception phase of logo design.

                              When a person asks you to do work for nothing in return, they are saying to your face, "You're worthless but useful to me."

                              Shall is a direct command whereas the verb will is a prophecy of the future.

                              http://www.behance.net/tmt

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