This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

Why you should print your business cards on your desktop printer

I've carried business cards since I was 19, when I started doing freelance Graphic Design and cartoon illustrations. I still use the logo that I designed back then, and I'm still a big believer in business cards. But times have changed, and if you're still going to a print shop, or ordering 500 of them at a time, you're making a mistake. Do it yourself.

There was a time when it was important to have "raised letters" on your business card. In my dad's era, it was genuine engraving. When I started out, in the '80s, it was "thermography". The first thing everyone did back then when you gave them a card was to run their thumb over it, and if it had raised lettering, it made your business seem much more legitimate, because it said that you had invested in it (thermography wasn't as expensive as engraving, but it did cost extra). But that time has long passed. Even the bad old days of "printer paper" cards, which looked terrible because they had the jagged edge, are over. Printer paper cards are fine, and they're the best way to go nowadays. This is why:

• Printing your business cards on your desktop printer can be in full color. And they should be. Full color cards used to be a big deal, now it's as inexpensive as clicking "print" on your computer. So be colorful!

• Printing your business cards on your desktop printer means that you never have to try to "give away" large quantities of your cards. Yes, by all means give your business cards out generously, but if you're just giving them out to get rid of them, then you're annoying people, and littering. Each sheet of printer paper gives me ten cards. I print a sheet and that's enough for my wallet.

• Printing your business cards on your desktop printer means that you can fix mistakes. Handing the first of 500 business cards to someone to find out that you've misspelled "genius", or got your web address wrong, means that you are now filling your recycle bin with waste paper. And then you have to order 500 more, and wait for them. Which leads me to the best part...

• Printing your business cards on your desktop printer means that you'll never run out of cards. I keep a few extras handy in my desk drawer, but if I need some more cards suddenly, I can print more right away. Even if I'm dressing to go out, and suddenly realize that I don't have cards, I can just put a sheet in my printer and press "print".

So get with the 21st Century already. Go to anywhere that sells printer paper (yes, even Walmart has it) and get some business card paper. I like the kind that has a little bit of beige - doesn't seem quite as plain as white, and colors show up just fine on it. If you have Adobe Illustrator, you can do it yourself, or find a Graphic Designer to put something together for you. If you're not a Graphic Designer yourself, and don't know one, do a simple one with some text and an image. You can use one of my cartoons if you want to. And one last thought - keep it simple, don't try to list every thing you do - it should be as simple as an Instagram ad - what you do, and how to contact you.