History of the business card

19th December 2016 in Just for fun

History of the business card

The history of the business card

The fifth and final product we’re going to have a look at in our quick hit history section is the history of the business card.

business card

Visiting card of Wilhelm II, German Emperor

We have also looked at mugs, pens, bags and calendars.

Unlike the other products in our mini-series, business cards came into relatively recently. We’re not looking at Neolithic discoveries with this product.

Business cards originally started off as visiting cards. From the 1600s to the 1800s, the cards were an important part of etiquette. They were sent as an intention of introducing yourself to a stranger and as a form of personal identification get into private residences.

While visiting cards were used for etiquette, 17th century London merchants were also taking advantage of the developing technologies in the print industry. They would hand out trade cards to customers to be used as a marketing tool.

These were extremely similar to the business card of today. The informed of the business’s name, the services provided and the location of the organisation.

business card

Trade card of a cologne manufacturer

With the newspaper industry still developing and a lack of house numbers on the streets, these trading cards often had maps on with the business’s location.

During the industrial revolution, the middle class came to prominence with a great number of new businesses and entrepreneurs emerging both in Europe and America. With the growing number of businesses there needed to be frequent communication between businesses. They merged the visiting card and the trading card. Leaving a card would let the business owner know you’ve been there and have your company’s details on.

Modern Day

As more technology emerged business cards have gotten more creative and more full of information. Nowadays the small pieces of card often include a logo, name, address, phone numbers, email address and even social media accounts.

business card

Image by Clive Darra

The business card has developed from a vital piece of etiquette to a vital piece of marketing. First impressions matter in business. Handing over a good-looking and informative business card makes a good first impression.

Development in printing techniques has allowed businesses and individuals to have some fun with their business cards. Business cards now come in many shapes, sizes and materials. Companies have the chance to stand out from the crowd with the new styles and effects. However, sometimes a simple, clean and traditional card is best. The card needs to suit the industry and the business.

In this increasingly digital age, there is still a place for business cards in any marketing strategy.

Our sales team help you out on 0116 3660052 if you have interest in a business card. You can also search our website by heading to our homepage.