Which Is Better, An $8.00 Business Card Or A $1000 Suit?

Jane Applegate, writing for OPEN Forum wisely makes the case for print as an important part of a company’s mix of marketing materials.
In her article, she points to Clifton Alexander, co-owner of Reactor Design Studio in Kansas City, Missouri. In early 2010, Alexander eased out of website design to focus mostly on creating “amazing and ridiculous” business cards.
“The more creative your card is the more Oohs and Ahs you’ll get from people you hand it to,” Alexander said. “One glance tells people right away how you think.”
I wrote to Alexander this morning and asked for more information on his cards, which cost $8.00 a piece to produce. He wrote back to say AdPulp is not the only media organization interested in his firm’s business cards. CBS New Sunday Morning was in town yesterday to film a segment on his cards yesterday. The segment will air in February.
In the meantime, let’s look at the card’s specs:
– 3 layers of paper
– Laser die-cutting
– 3 standard die cuts (one for the white sheet, one for the middle sheet, and one for the overall shape of the card)
– Metallic ink
– Fluorescent ink
– Thermography (white image on white side of card)
– Fortunes hand inserted in the middle of the card before final gluing and die-cutting
And here’s a video that shows the assembly process:

How many of us, or our clients, put this kind of thought and investment into our first impression materials? The obvious answer is “Not many,” which seems like a missed opportunity to me.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.