SEPTEMBER 2011 IN
RICK ASTER’S WORLD
The trend toward minimalism in paper documents has now reached business cards. If the new slim business cards have taken a few years to arrive, it is because business cards were small to begin with. Yet the traditional business card of the last century, 2 inches tall and 3.5 inches wide, does not seem quite so small now that smaller business cards have become a recognized alternative. The new cards generally have the same width of 3.5 inches, but the height is reduced to 1.5 inches or less.
One sign that the new business card profile is the right idea is the fact that the smaller cards are easier to design. The challenge of business card design was always, “What do you do with all the extra space?” A card could seem unbalanced unless you used the sides and corners well. But with the smaller cards, this challenge is reduced. It is sufficient to put something on the left side and something on the right side. The empty space that remains is not prominent enough to steal the show.
It can be something of a challenge to feed the slim cards into dedicated business card scanners, but on any other scanner, the smaller cards scan a few seconds faster. The fact that business cards are so readily reduced to digital form is also a sign that their material form does not have to be as grand as we previously expected to see.
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