The Art of the Alt Business Card

This post is sponsored by HP. Photography by Brittni Mehlhoff.

Alt is a time for creativity, inspiration, education, and…showing off your business card! The business card trade is a proud, distinguished tradition here at Alt that celebrates individuality and encompasses what the summit is all about— design and making connections. The classic use of the “business card” is to be informative, polite, and provide an easy way to keep in contact with connections you make.

A pretty business card can be the perfect icebreaker, whether you’re a networking pro or on the shyer side. You’ll get a stream of questions like, “How did you make this?” or, “Where did you get the idea?” and, “Tell me more about your blog…” Don’t be afraid to showcase your talents and do a little “humblebragging” about your awesome craft and design skills. After all, you created it!

To make your business card unique, here are a few tips:

  • Use symbolism to stand out and portray your talents and interests. For example, if you have a gardening blog, try packaging up some seeds as an attachment to “grow” your network.
  • Always bring a gift! This year at Alt, we saw great examples of symbolism in the form of trinkets - including baking spoons, mini craft projects, jewelry, office supplies, codes for free projects, yo-yo’s, candy, confetti, glitter garlands, friendship bracelets, party kits, paper animals with outfit changes, sewing kits, and candles. Basically, if you can build it with your hands, we saw it on a business card!
  • Experiment with your card size and shape— think outside of the box (maybe a circle, square, or unique shape). The important thing is that it reflects your quirks and style! 

The meat and bones of a business card:

To begin, take the idea out of your head and get it into your PC. Plan out all of the design elements—decide if you want to incorporate a photo, print on letterpress, or play with elements of color. Most importantly, arm yourself with the proper tech tools—this includes the latest technologies and cutting edge software. We recommend the HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart All-in-One because the large, vibrant 23-inch screen with 10 point multi-touch technology is the ultimate canvas.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • We recommend installing Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop Elements on your PC. Then, start with a blank canvas and do a brain dump.
  • During the creation process, you can pull inspiration from your Pinterest page quickly and swipe back to Fresh Paint or InDesign for free styling, grab bold fonts that stand out, or design a simple logo, graphic, or illustration using Photoshop.
  • Get a degree in color: a pop of pantone can help you communicate your message and provokes emotion. In fact, HP recently did a study that discovered that people were up to 69% more likely to understand a printed message in color than in black and white.
  • Last but definitely not least— add an extra element of quality by printing on premium paper.

 Once you’ve collected a pile of awesome looking business cards, don’t just stick them in a drawer and forget all about them!

  • Find a way to archive and digitize all the contact information onto your PC. 
  • File your favorite cards to help trigger new ideas for next year—whether it’s a color scheme, fresh logo, or bold font. 
  • Make it a priority to maintain the relationships you cultivated at Alt through engagement on your blog, Twitter, and other real-life events. Your business card is your first (and lasting!) impression with someone you meet, so make sure you make it matter.