Most of the business cards we print are rectangular. This follows on from the earliest examples of calling cards which would always be this shape. However, we also like the individuality implicit in a card with an unusual shape or dimensions. We recently printed this gorgeous square business card and now most of us here in the workshop are coveting them!
In the 19th Century, it wasn't just the information printed on the calling card that mattered, subtle adaptations to the card itself could convey meaning:
If a gentleman folded over the left hand upper corner of his card, it implied that his visit was congratulatory in nature.
A fold to the lower left hand corner meant that he sent his condolences.
If a gentleman was taking leave for a considerable amount of time, this would be communicated by a fold in the lower right hand corner.
I'm not sure people would pick up on these distinctions nowadays, but perhaps we should start experimenting with our own business cards: