Techie Business Cards

Some examples of how to get creative with an overlooked medium.

Nice to meet you: 15 business cards with nerd credibility
Most business cards tend to be pretty straightforward, and there’s nothing wrong with that approach. However, as we’ll see, there are plenty of creative ways to make one’s first impression a lot more memorable with a unique approach to the humble business card.

All-in-one
Montreal creative workshop Akufen’s two-part business cards can provide more information than one might expect.

Circuit board
Frank Zhao, an electrical engineering student at the University of Waterloo, is definitely putting his coursework to creative use.
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Mind-bending
This one, from New York design firm Heads Inc., is pretty visually impressive, though we confess we’re not sure exactly how it’s put together.

Googled
There were definitely a lot of different variations on the “my business card looks like Google results” theme. The company actually got in on the act itself in 2009, giving away 10,000 sets of 25 business cards to help promote Google Profiles.

Got a quarter?
Lottery enthusiasts might get a kick out of this one — and it’s certainly a clever idea — but it still probably won’t get you a job on its own.

I see what you did there
Sure, it’s a bit gimmicky, but the string-on-finger idea definitely makes this one as memorable as the designers intended it to be.

Low-tech
While it might not be as sleek and high-tech as some others we’ve seen, the cardboard motif is distinctive. If you’re wondering how that’s supposed to fit in your wallet, though, you’re not alone.

Old-school
Continuing the low-tech theme, this throwback highlights the bearer’s profession very well indeed. No QR codes need apply.

The metal look
Metal seems to be increasingly popular for distinctive business card designs. The sophisticated looks can’t be argued with, though we’re curious about the potential for nasty “paper” cuts.

Eyes light up
An impressive bit of work from Aaron Alai of the University of Nebraska. According to Technabob, touching the two contacts on the card make the LED in the bottom-right light up. What’s more, the wires outline the chemical formula for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

Next, we look at some business cards from some of the top names in the tech world.

Bill Gates
The Microsoft founder showed off this early business card in a presentation for Fortune magazine detailing the origins of the company. According to that publication, the card dates from the late 1970s, when Microsoft was located in New Mexico.

Steve Jobs
Another oldie — this early business card apparently dates from before the recently deceased Apple co-founder’s rise to prominence.

MORE: Steve Jobs’ business card from 1979

Kevin Mitnick
Revered hacker Kevin Mitnick’s steely, metallic calling card should leave few doubts as to what his profession is. Particularly when you realize that the card itself can be used to pick locks.

Steve Wozniak
Apple co-founder and tech authority Steve Wozniak has gone the same metal route as Kevin Mitnick, though Woz’s sleeker offering is a little less intimidating.

Larry Page
The co-creator of Google already had the minimalist aesthetic down when he gave this card to a Reddit user who claims to have turned down a job with the search giant before it took off.

Next, and last — possibly the out-and-out weirdest business card we’ve run across.

Have your business card and eat it too
Yes, it’s exactly what it looks like: a business card made out of beef jerky. The website meatcards.com appears to be down, but its smoked offerings — advertised as being “made from MEAT and LASERS” — made quite a splash on the Internet when they were introduced a couple of years ago. Regardless of the economic viability of meatcards, they’re definitely stuck in our memory, if not our teeth.

Can you one-up any of these business card holders?
If so, email an image of your card to Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com.

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