All About Business Cards, Part 1

Here at Sesame, we print lots of business cards. Even though they are a relatively simple item, we really love the challenge of designing something memorable and unique within the quite small parameters.

I've been investigating a little more about the humble business card and I wanted to share some anecdotes with you. This is also a great opportunity to post some photos of our favorite business cards.

During the 19th Century, the practice of “calling” upon relatives, friends, and acquaintances was a middle and upper class social ritual with strict guidelines and rules. Visiting etiquette hinged upon the calling card. Upon arrival, a gentleman placed his calling card on a silver tray, held by the servant who answered the door. This served to 'announce' him to the person he was visiting.

If a gentleman was visiting a home for the first time, he would leave a card and then depart. If the new acquaintance wished to receive a visit, he or she would send a card in return. If no card was sent, or if the return card was sent in an envelope, this signaled that the new acquaintance did not wish for a personal visit to occur. It was basically the well-mannered brush off. All those subtle little social clues...a little different to "un-friending" someone on Facebook!

- Jana