Don’t need a business card? How about a calling card?

I remember my first business card. Being subterranean pond scum somewhere beneath the actual totem pole of success did in fact still provide a way for girls you met at a bar to communicate with you (at work), even when client contact was still rarer than sasquatch sightings. It kind of makes you wonder: What on earth do people who live on this planet, but are not among those designated to be worthy of business cards supposed to do when they need to disseminate semi-personal information? The old writing stuff on the back of a napkin or receipt gambit just screams low rent at the top of your voice.

Hence calling card printing. It's cheap, classy as all get out, and anyone can do it. Professional printing services ain't just for businesses anymore.

Originally popular in the 1700's, people would request a visit by leaving a calling or visiting card at your door. And to show that you were amenable to a visit, you'd likewise leave a card at theirs. A lovely, if passive, way to keep in touch with people. Kind of slow motion texting, long before such existed.

Unlike texting, though. Calling card printing leaves an impression. High quality card stock and embossed printing is a pleasant sensation to feel on your hands. Plus, it's more personal. A number gotten off the back of a napkin can be dialed and then forgotten, but a card suggests that you're interested in engaging with someone.

These days, all kinds of people are using calling cards to build new relationships.

• Bar and club goers use calling cards as a classy pick-up tool.

• Parents use calling cards to organize play dates for their children.

• Travelers use calling cards to stay in touch with friends they meet on the road.

• People attending large events use calling cards as an informal way to make an impression on acquaintances, or to reconnect with old friends.

Back when calling cards were at the peak of their use, there wasn't much in the way of information on them. Name, and perhaps a coat of arms. And they were generally business card sized or a bit larger.

You could put everything under the sun on modern day calling card printing, they're a great way to impart minimal information as well. Name and email address with some design-y element would work just fine. Something that's subtle and low key.

It isn't the 1700's anymore, but the idea behind the calling card and the etiquette of relationship-building hasn't changed. A calling card basically says that you'd like to hang out, but if the other person doesn't, that's no big deal. It's a perfect low pressure deal.

That's probably why calling card printing is coming back in such a big way. It's tasteful networking, without offering up the potential for any awkward moments.


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