Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The ART of the Business CARD.

Business cards are invented purely to make people feel important. They're entirely unnecessary, most of the time people lose them, or crumple them in their pocket from washing them one too many times through the washer, and let's be real- we all have a damn cell phone.
Business cards are a means of status, title- etc. Business cards are for unimportant people who want to feel as though they are important...for instance, I have a business card, ME. which, is. hysterical. I got them out of necessity because when I moved to NYC, I was asked "Do you have a card?" every time I met someone new. Which was projecting far more importance onto me than necessary. So I thought, "ho-de-ho, I suppose I should get a card?"

I debated writing my name and listing, very fittingly underneath- BAMF.
Then, on the reverse side it would say- BAD ASS MOTHER F*CKER. My business card was going to be a piece of flare! I ended up going with my name, and underneath- Freelance Writer. I did however sneak in my little Chelsea Talks Smack girl who stares up at my name like it's going to crush her face, which shows that I'm not only an asshole but that I have some sense of humor, no?

BAMF, is still cooler. I'm still wondering if I should have left it out, on one hand if someone can't handle BAMF, I A. wouldn't want them to employ me? B. would tell them they needed to lighten up if they found it offensive. and C. did I mention that I wouldn't want to be associated with those of the BAMF hating variety? I did list my blog however, so the secrets out. Here I am! All loud and obnoxious and entirely inappropriate. The crazy guest at dinner, cleverly disguised with a charming demeanor and skinny jeans.

The thing about cards is this; they say something about your personality. I find that handing someone a little packaged version of what to expect is the best way, unfortunately cards don't come with tequila shots and listing "free hugs" might creep people out. But each time I look at my card I wish it said more, I am NOT my title. I am not just a writer. I am not just a smack talker. I am a musician, a traveler, a modern day gypsy and a professor in snarktasm. I am a lover and nerd and a peacemaker and an ass kicker and frankly- all of those things make up my "profession."

I've found that when I'm handing out my cards, I'm also using words like; deadline, excel, in-the-loop, budget, network, contacts, evennnntttssss.....etc. All of which sound like I'm speaking Chinese with marbles in my mouth when I say them.

My business cards are sprinkled about the city, in pockets of strangers and "contacts" all of which, makes me chuckle quite a bit, because I am not nearly serious enough for a business card.I feel like my DAD when I say it I've been going to some pretty interesting events lately; GQ party, Gift Bags For Good and tonight, an event in support of Medical Marijuana, with Kurt Loder and Montel Williams (who I'm hoping brings his little psychic friend Sylvia as a date, I have some questions.) which is so my gig....how serious can you get when you're eating space cake?

What is your title on your business card, and what do you WISH is said?

54 comments:

Kateastrophe said...

I begged for weeks to have my company print "Marketing Superstar" on my business cards. It was a no go. I'm just a plain old "Marketing Specialist."

Single said...

If your company produces the business cards, they don't say much about your personality. I thought it was so cool when I got my first business cards after graduating from college, though I probably gave about ten away in 4 years. Now, my business card has a slightly better title but hasn't been getting any more use. Still, I love them.

Vanessa said...

I don't have business cards at this point in my life. I have in the past, but even then it was hard for me to take them seriously. If I were to have one now, it would say Creative Genius and Keeper of All Things. Which really, does not sum me up, because I am fluid. Things in my life change and move, but I can't carry around a white board in my purse now, can I?

margottobed said...

:) i want miiine to say bamf now too.

you're right that they're completely useless.. but i'm kind of excited to "hopefully" work for a very cooool company that will give me my very own coool business cards...

m said...

mine say "registrar" (boring, but then, i didn't pay for them) but i wish they said "actress, interior decorator, writer, baker, lover of life."

Mel Heth said...

I've been at my company three years. I just ordered business cards finally about 9 months ago...

I would like to change my title from "Copywriter" to "Tired of Working."

Hazel said...

Mine currently says: Marketing Assistant

What it should say: Marketing Director's Bitch or
The Only Person in the Office who can Successfully Use Design Software

What I wish it said: The Best Marketing Assistant We've Ever Had. She Deserves a BIG Raise.

lhash said...

I always feel like such a n00b when I go to meetings and everyone is passing out business cards while introducing themselves. I'm a chick, I don't usually have pockets, I don't carry my wallet down the hall to meetings... I'm just not that person who can pull out a card in any situation.

I still have them, though. They say "Training Developer". Boring, and doesn't really explain anything. I want them to say "Bitch Extraordinaire". While it still doesn't really explain anything, it just sets a tone up front, you know?

Ashley said...

"Trophy Wife"

"Stay at Home Wife, Lover of Sweatpants and Reality TV"

Okay, neither of those are true.

But a girl can dream.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

lhash- EXACTLY setting the tone up front is key.

Great titles guys ;)

Meeks said...

I'm officially getting a card just to say BAMF on them. That's f'ing brill. I would also like one that says "your best time" - because really, a card shouldn't just have your title, it should tout your sexual prowess. I'm going to make my card work for me.

somechick84 said...

So this is sorta related... when I graduated from my graphic design program, a guy a knew made the most awesome resume and business cards. He was gay... which means awesome. He basically took a naked shot of himself and printed it black varnish on black, you couldn't see any parts, but he was covering up his junk and had a hand to his mouth in a "oh my!" sort of way. It was AWESOME. The tag line said something like... You haven't seen the best yet... or something. He was told NOT to show that to employers. He said, why the hell would I work for a creative business that didn't also find this clever, charming and hilarious.

I have no business cards... but suddenly keep hearing "do you have a card?" So... guess I need em too?

Erin said...

My card currently says I'm a Child Development Specialist. It should say "Overworked Neurotic Who Should Get Paid More for Putting Up with your Child's Slobber." Is that too long for a title?

Katelin said...

My card doesn't have my position on it because I switched, but BAMF would have been awesome. Or "Internet asskicker" would work too.

nicoleantoinette said...

I have my first ever business cards now too! Because of Kookie Krazy, and actually I'm finding them quite useful. People are all "I want to book my child's party at your store when it opens!" and I'm all "sure here's my card with all my contact info!"

So, there's that. But I'm finding that I want like a *life* business card, listing all the types of things you said, with my blog and my personal email address and some funky graphics and cool shit.

Wait, I'm going to get those made. Where do they do that??

you = inspiration

Arielle said...

As much as I typically hate all things corporate, I have to say that business cards do come in handy often. However, I refuse to accept business cards from my friends who are just itching to give them out, because I KNOW how to contact my friends and I will promptly rip up their cards so as not to take up space in my wallet.

The title on my card isn't even really a title. It says "Fixed Income Human Resources." It should say "The one person in HR who isn't a fucking moron."

Nico said...

it occurs to me that my card doesn't list my position. which is weird.

i think i may print my own and have it be my name in large letters, the word "netizen" in slightly less large letters, and a handful URLs in smaller letters.

but you have to be careful who you give your cards to. i gave mine to a banking exec and now he keeps trying to invite me for drinks. weird.

Noelle said...

I don't have an official title now, and my company has no logo or special font, so my current cards are boring as hell.

When I was freelancing, I had cards that had a blank line under my name, and under the line it said, "insert title here." They always got a laugh.

Bayjb said...

That is awesome. My title is "Senior Account Executive" but honestly, I would prefer them to list my name and go also with the "bad ass motherf*cker." Someone has a title at my office called "Digital evangelist" and I really want that title.

nat said...

I don't have a business card. I do like the BAMF idea though. That is great! Def wouldn't be forgetting or throwing that one away!

ablogofherown said...

I want a business card set up like a dictionary definition...

Sha.ba: n.1 Innovation Specialist. 2. Wordsmith. 3.Fabulous feminist. 4. One who excels in pointless banter and coconut cream pie.

adj. 1.Kickass. 2. Devastatingly sexy.

v.1. To amaze and inspire.

:-)
I may just make some....

Tia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tia said...

damnit! i left off an important word so my first comment didn't make sense. lemme try again.

i have business cards, and they say "stylist".

i WISH they said "better than you". cuz that would be funny.

although probably not true. but still funny.

redwinegums said...

You should check out my friend's blog :-)

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

I don't like the idea of business cards myself, so instead, I made MOO cards!

My MOO cards were created with my photos, and have my blog and email addy along with my name......I didn't put a title since it was sort of obvious what I did with my photo being on the front. To me, the MOO cards are almost like a keepsake instead of a business card.....

DJSassafrass said...

Mine says "Sales Manager" but it should say "fake ass hob-nobbing you while laughing inside my head for 60 hours a week."

A Margarita said...

When I first got a card, I was all like Yay! I'm a real adult. But my title is pretty boring. Consumer Marketing Associate is really a nice way of saying we make shit up.

pessimisticredhead said...

Mine says "Project Manager." What I wish it said, "[My name]: Practically Perfect in Every Way," a la Mary Poppins.

I went to college with a kid who printed our business cards that said "Freelance Gynecologist." I still laugh when I think about it.

brookem said...

yeah, my company makes our cards so it's pretty tame and not very appealing and so not... "me."

Vicky said...

What my employers' ones say (or have said):
Associate Advisor
Branch Administrator
Project Administrator

What my own say:
Designer

To be considered further:
Spreadsheet Adventurer
Hey, let me try it
Yep, I can do that

Love it when you ask us questions. Always makes me think.

Anonymous said...

mine says "Participant Design Services Manager"....I want it to say "Demi-Goddess"...ssiiigghhh

toughtrigger said...

I promise I'm not a tool, but I do give my business cards out a ton. Mostly, to patients. So I feel like that's different - I'm telling them, hey - you're in one of my clinical studies, and should something happen to you or if you have questions, here's how you contact ME out of the other 12,000+ employees where I work. So it actually serves a useful function.

My title says, "Clinical Research Assistant." I wish it said something related to the degree I am pursuing...but all in time, I guess. And if it didn't say that, I would love, "Creator of Public Spectacles, Giver of Princess Carries"

damselindigress said...

chelsea - i need you to send me your business card immediately. i will then pin it up to the bulletin board i have in my office and laugh everytime i see it, thinking how it SHOULD say you are a badass motherf-cker. because, dude, you are.

i'm reminded of american psycho right now - when all the fuss is made over the b-cards. but, seriously, i want mine pretty too. i can't help it. i want mine unique and i want it to SOMEHOW convey a sense of humor. that i always have my tongue in my cheek. that i'm a lover and a fighter. because, future employees will just love to know that about me, right? and a little piece of paper can do all this, yes?

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

wayfaring wanderer- this is a great idea...

Damsel! I've missed you love and YES. I should they should say all of that, and yours could totally say BAMF as well ;)

Lacey Bean said...

Mine doesn't even have a title haha! Just the name of my company and my name.

It should say "F*ckin' Awesome". Cause I am.

Alexa said...

my company doesn't have titles on anyones cards. which took a while for me to get used to (even though there are only 22 of us). but the president and the designer intern are all the same.

guess ya never know who you are talking to.

BV said...

Development Assistant and Administrative Coordinator is my title. I wish my card stated "Company Bitch/Goffer". That would be much more accurate.

Lauren said...

Mine just says Freelance Writer as well, however it SHOULD say "superhero" or something awesome like that. At least that would get prospective employers attention, right?

Spirophita said...

Currently, Project Infrastructure Coordinator with a whole lot of abbreviations after it.

I'd prefer "Professional Carouser and Rablerouser"

It's hard when you work for a big company--no choice over the look of your card or really what you put on it. Damn shame.

amandadawn said...

"Design Goddess."

Seriously. Ahh, the joys of working at a fun ad agency! I designed new cards for everyone and gave all of us fun titles. They all liked them, so they stayed. My boss's—"Lead Trombone," because he's an audiophile and while he plays guitar, he used to play trombone back in the day. I have to say, it gets attention. And we've never had a bad response from it.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

LEAD TROMBONE! That is brilliant.

Trixie Firecracker said...

I would opt for having two different designs - one that's purely professional (boring, but just to be on the safe side) and one that's completely hilarious just to mess with people's heads.

Speaking of which, I have a book with a section on business card designs. One of them involved a brownie and some icing. Try that for a change!

Dolce said...

My business card (which I go through STACKS of) says "Sales Representative".

How generic is that?

What I really wish it said is:

Culinary Goddess

redstaplernation said...

I am listed as a "Clinical Operations Coordinator," which was my last job. The hospital will not change my badge, although they have changed my job role and given me a completely different set of responsibilities than the other COCs... and a raise! But they can't figure out how to write that I am a Project Manager. It sounds so much more important.

Princess, of course, would be nice.

redstaplernation said...

Addendum:

Desired title would be:
"Blogs at Work and Never Gets Caught"

Or would that be tempting fate?

Rachel said...

Don't have a card since I'm a stay-at-home-mom...most people figure that fact out by the weary look in my eyes. If I did have one I would probably have it say;

MYLFGMSD

Mom You would Like to Feed chocolate covered strawberries, Give massages, and Shower with Diamonds.

Lame I know, but I'm willing to look lame to 1,000 people just to find the one that is willing to do it.

Lisa said...

Ohhh, this makes me really, really want to get fun personal business cards printed up. I always forget my actual business cards when I go to meetings. But a personal one that actually described my personality would be so fun!

Suzy Q said...

Mine says "Suzy Cordil - Field Engineer". I wish it said "Suzy Cordil - Hoochie Mama Extraordinaire".

I'm loving your blog!

Suzy Q said...

Mine says "Suzy Cordil - Project Engineer". I wish it said "Suzy Cordil - Hoochie Mama Extraordinaire".

First time reader, and I'm loving your blog!

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

trixie firecracker- a brownie and icing?! now we're talkin.

suzy q- THANK YOU!! Love the card names ;)

Jessica Claire said...

my manager at my current place of employment is so cheap she hasn't given me cards after over a year of working here

i've made some cheapy ones of my own to tide me over when people ask

Em said...

You really should put BAMF on your cards ... quite a change from the usual boring things you see, haha. I think cards are a lot more of a city thing than smaller-town, and they really do just serve to make people feel more important. I don't have a business card yet ... I should start thinking of something catchy to say on them!

Anonymous said...

As mentioned above, you ought to see the business card scene from American Psycho, at least as these guys have reimagined it:

http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1815077

soohum said...

Very inspiring blog. :) I was looking for inspiration--I just sent our cards to print for my husband and me for one of our businesses. His title (as he chose it) is Managing Director. I wanted something not adminish but not the same as his. In the circles we'll use it for I wanted something humorous but that can be taken seriously, and actually descriptive of what I do. So...I chose "Solution Wizard." That's boring compared to BAMF but I'm not using it in bars, I'm using it with real potential clients. I thought a touch of humor might make it memorable. Let's see. :) I was a recruiter in one company and had the title "Professional Enthusiast" on my card. I loved it. The runner-up for this most recent card was "Deal-Maker Extraordinaire," but alas, I erred on the side of caution--to appear more customer-benefit-oriented. :)

 
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