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Several Crossroads businesses jazz up their business cards

By ALLISON MILES
July 26, 2009 at 2:26 a.m.


Looking to create a business card but not quite sure what to do?Take a few tips from the pros:

Don't go bigger than typical business cards because they won't fit inside card holders, shirt pockets and other places many people take for granted.

Do something that reflects both the business and its owner. Don't be afraid to have fun with the design.

Don't use more than two colors on a logo. Fewer colors can mean a cleaner design and lower printing costs.

Choose a unique design that will stand apart from traditional cards.

Sources: Bryant Price, president and CEO of Agama Advertising, Carrie Hendrix, owner of Simplicities by Carrie Hendrix, Bruce Miller, owner of Miller Appliance Inc.

If a person's seen one, they've seen 1,000. A few are probably littering the kitchen counter, a number stowed snugly inside a Rolodex and, possibly, the remnants of a few inside the washing machine.

Yes, business cards. Those 2-by-3.5-inch bits of paper brandishing a name, title and phone number aren't extremely difficult to come by.

But the card is more than a dumping site for a company's contact information and logo. It's also a chance for the business to represent itself and leave a lasting impression.

And a few businesses in the Crossroads region are doing what they can to make sure theirs stand out from the rest.

Miller Appliance Inc. in Victoria changes out its designs every year or so, said Bruce Miller, one of the shop's owners

Its current cards feature company information in silver against either gray or rainbow backgrounds. The backgrounds change colors or patterns, depending on the way the light hits them.

People are more likely to toss out a paper card, Miller said, explaining his wife, Lynn Miller, switched them to the alternative designs at least 25 years ago.

"A good-looking card stays in the pocket longer," he said.

The appliance shop has customers who have collected their designs for 20 years, Miller said.

Children often grab up the cards, too, he said, to show them off to friends and their parents. Although they may be admiring the design itself instead of the company information, it still keeps Miller Appliance Inc.'s name out there.

"They catch people's eyes," Miller said. "Yes, they cost more, but it's worth it."

Flashy papers aren't the only way to draw the eye to a card.Size can make a difference, too.

Victoria's Agama Advertising's cards are the same length as a regularcard, but half the width. They feature just the basic nuts-and-bolts information a person needs and a black, white and red design.

As an ad agency, Agama is expected to do things differently for the clients, said Bryant Price, the company's president and CEO. It's difficult to prove the company can do that if they aren't willing to do something different themselves.

Their cards get results, Price said.

People often comment that the cards are different or neat, he said, and others joke that they're too small to fit inside their card holders.

"Sometimes they'll complain that they drop it or lose it," he said. "But they don't forget it."

Not every business requires a punch card and office space.

Being a parent is a job in itself, which is exactly why Carrie Hendrix developed "mommy cards," business cards for parents.

The cards feature the parents' names, contact information and their children's names. All parents have to do when they drop off their children for play dates or sleepovers is hand it over.

Hendrix, a Victoria resident, owns Simplicities by Carrie Hendrix, where she designs custom stationery, note cards and other items.

Depending on the design chosen, some mommy cards come with a bit of ribbon snaked through them. It makes them stand out from the everyday card, Hendrix said.

"It's something fun and something different," she said.

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