Are Square Business Cards A Good Idea? Going Counterculture
Are square business cards a good idea?
Business cards originated from the 17th century when visitors to aristocratic homes were obliged to leave their badges on a tray after entering a house.
Retailers soon saw the opportunity that these cards created and started to use them for trade purposes; this is how today’s business cards evolved.
(See more about their history at this link).
Even though their layout has changed, business cards’ significance hasn’t faded since then, but it does make a difference in what they look like in the modern world.
The truth is that inventiveness has reached the area of business cards: they come in all shapes and sizes, besides the usual rectangular ones.
For instance, the square shape is one type that usually surprises people.
Is the impact of these business cards negative or positive as far as our company is concerned?
This article will try to answer the question: Are square business cards a good idea?
It will touch on the various aspects of a business card, such as content, size, associations, psychology, practicality, and environment friendliness.
Advantages of Square Business Cards
As the primary purpose of a business card is to introduce its holder, the first point of observation should be its content.
Traditionally, business cards were supposed to contain the holder’s first and surname, title, the business’ name, profile, address, contact details, or other relevant information.
There were no homepages or additional leaflets back then, so entrepreneurs tried to cram as much information on the cards as possible.
Two questions come up in the modern world: Do we have enough room for all these details on the card, and is it inevitable to stick to the conventional content?
The answer is probably no for both questions.
Size of Conventional Business Card
The standard size of a conventional rectangular business card is 3.5 x 2 inches.
Consequently, a reasonable size for a practical square business card (one that fits in a card case inside the wallet) might be 2 x 2 inches.
This size gives room for less room for information, so we have to keep the message brief.
Nevertheless, this may not be such an enormous problem after all.
The fact is that the card’s function has also changed over the centuries, even if not wholly.
In this digital age, where information technology makes data accessible online, modern people don’t want to see all the information on a single card.
Attracting attention is the primary purpose of these items today.
If the card can make a significant impression on the receivers (with a snappy name, slogan, logo, or innovative idea), it’s beneficial for the company.
These people will undoubtedly Google the company’s name and find additional details on products, contact information, or whatever they are looking for.
Hence, it is evident that the cards need to provide the rest of the details – that can be the homepage or even a QR-code.
All in all, modern business cards only need to contain the name of the business and short contact information. Everything else is superfluous and a waste of room, time, and resources.
Square business cards provide sufficient room for these and are merely perfect for the function of raising awareness.
Elaborating on the topic of size and room on business cards, it is evident that, besides shorter text, only a smaller decoration gets a place on square ones.
This could be a disadvantage, but the opposite might be right.
People decorated business cards with additional images and symbols (other than the company’s logo) because they might not have been able to print them in diverse colors on new materials.
Also, centuries ago, vibrant, more ornamented artistic styles were prevalent, such as rococo and secession, which influenced the printed materials’ layout.
Today, in the 21st century, the slogan is “less is more.”
People have become tired of being bombarded with a cavalcade of shapes, colors, and patterns.
As a result, simplicity dominates life, such as architecture, interior design, the furniture industry, etc.
Preferred objects are harmonic, simple, practical, and – most importantly – functional.
Ornaments and patterns are only present subtly since people tend to choose more sophisticated materials and unique font types, but they avoid ostentatious – or even disturbing – visual images.
The same unwritten rules apply to business cards.
Fortunately, today a company’s profile and values can be expressed using a remarkable selection of colors and materials, so there is no need for extra symbols and images.
A modern business card is to-the-point, bright, snappy, and elegant.
Thus, probably a square one is the best choice to meet present-day challenges.
The previous paragraphs brought up the concepts of size, content, and function.
Concerning the latter, we have already seen how it has changed over the centuries: business cards’ primary purpose is to draw attention.
From another perspective, it seems that a business card is a small representation of the company or person (which or who is worth paying attention to).
In other words, a business card is a symbol of status.
The previous paragraph has already mentioned that too much content or decoration is unnecessary, as it will not get the message through in the modern world.
Simplicity and simple layout are two keywords for business cards, but another element is needed to get people’s attention in this hectic world.
If it’s not the text or the ornaments, what can it be?
The answer is “impression.”
What matters is the impression the cards convey.
The impression can touch people emotionally, even if they only have three seconds to look at the card.
For this aim, the card’s appearance should create a pleasant sensation in the recipients and reflect the company’s values at the same time.
The adequate harmony of the shape, text, and appearance will provide enough incentive for future clients to visit the company’s webpage or store and see it for themselves.
At this point, square business cards come into the picture.
The impression that square business cards can give – their uniqueness, originality, the surprise effect, and other features, is precise, which meets the description above.
The surprise effect of square business cards is often underestimated.
This is the only card shape that can ensure the right amount of surprise and preserve the necessary amount of trust and safety.
Square business cards are still unique, and people expect a rectangular item when exchanging cards.
Getting a square card stuns people and therefore gets to their emotions; yet, it doesn’t give the impression of joking or being severe.
Several other business cards have funny shapes and comic appearances.
They also surprise people, but not always positively, as they might convey the message that the giver is a real risk-taker without a sense of responsibility and makes a joke of everything.
Imagining an insurance agent or lawyer making such a strange impression with a thoughtlessly selected card, we can predict the outcome of a potential meeting.
What is more, if the card’s target group is the older generation, too bold card shapes might as well scare them away.
Fortunately, this could never happen if we choose a square business card since it retains seriousness while manages to surprise future clients.
A pinch of innovation hidden in a safe context: square business cards seem to be the perfect combination of originality and traditions.
Let’s look at “uniqueness” since it characterizes square business cards.
As we have seen, information and content overwhelm customers nowadays; yet the brain can only process a certain amount of new data.
After meeting dozens of entrepreneurs each week and exchanging business cards, who can blame anyone for not remembering one or two?
People simply overlook or forget those items that they’re used to.
Square business cards, nevertheless, catch the eye and provide enhanced stimulation for the creative part of the brain.
Consciously or subconsciously, but the card’s receiver preserves the information and associates the company with innovation, opportunities, and creativity.
Although some argue that the best survival strategy is to go with the crowd and avoid standing out, regarding businesses, quite the opposite is exact.
Enterprises need to fight their competition using brand new ideas, step ahead, and take risks.
Square business cards can support this process.
Moreover, the uniqueness of square business cards has further implications as well.
That is, the person standing behind the company which the card advertises must be an original character.
The card refers to someone who is self-confident, knows what he is up to, and is determined to achieve it.
Summing up, the uniqueness guaranteed by square business cards is an essential element in today’s business life.
The Meaning of Shapes
After ensuring the importance of simplicity, impression, emotions, surprise, and originality of business cards, square business cards can meet all the requirements listed so far.
We might be curious about all the other shapes that are available on the market these days.
In today’s world, we may stumble upon business cards in various shapes: oval, round, resembling objects (cookies, piano, or fruit are just some of the odd ones).
Why would anyone choose the square shape when there is so much to choose from?
Does it have any apparent advantages?
Do square ones stand out, and if so, for what reason?
Answers to all these questions lie in psychology.
To begin with, symmetry is certainly one benefit of the many.
As proven by psychology, humans naturally find more pleasure in symmetry, whether it’s a face, an animal, or an everyday object we are talking about.
Our brain works symmetrically, too; therefore, finding and keeping the balance is exactly what we are likely to be attempting subconsciously.
Consequently, the harmony and perfect symmetry that square business cards offer are precisely what our brain wants.
Read more about this topic here.
To make it more exciting, according to an article posted by Raffles International College, every little detail about the shape and design of some aspects of marketing are crucial and need to be paid attention to achieve commercial goals.
The article focuses on logos, but the same psychological pattern applies to visual images in general, so business cards also fall in this category.
Various Shapes Carry Various Meanings
According to psychological research, various shapes carry various meanings for people.
Thus, being aware of what our business wants to convey is the easy way to success.
Circles evoke positive emotional responses, unity, commitment, strength, and steadiness.
So, they apply to companies that emphasize these values.
A typical example of such a logo is one of the Olympic Games, for which the circle is a perfect choice, as it aims to strengthen unity and understanding between nations.
A triangle (a strange but possible shape for business cards), in contrast, refers to power, development, dynamics, energy, and continuous movement.
Thus, one cannot consider Adidas, having this shape for a logo, as a coincidence anymore.
After this information, it shouldn’t be a surprise that squares symbolize strength, safety, security, professionalism, and trustworthiness.
It sounds reassuring for those considering square business cards since they are precisely the values clients seek when turning to an entrepreneur or business.
Depending on the company’s profile, you can choose other business card shapes from the list above.
But the associations square business cards convey come in handy for most businesses.
Thus, psychology has also approved of the benefits that square business cards can carry.
When talking about the benefits of square business cards, another point of observation could be practicality itself.
To be honest, a square card fits differently in the wallet – it might not even fit in some wallets.
A standard rectangular business card is 3.5 x 2 inches.
So, designers created wallets according to these measurements.
Some of the most popular sizes for square business cards are 2 x 2, 2,5 x 2,5, 2,56 x 2,56 inches, which may not perfectly fit in ordinary wallets.
It might seem an issue, and we are all used to placing business cards in our wallets after receiving them.
However, we must pose the question: is it a problem, a disadvantage?
If we think of it, it is just a small card that we can place anywhere, like in the car, in our pocket, or on the office desk.
If it doesn’t fit in the wallet, it means it won’t disappear amongst the other cards forever.
It will be all over the place, which means it will remain visible for potential clients, such as colleagues, family members, etc.
The more people come across these cards, the better.
These people wouldn’t get the company’s information if the business card are nowhere in sight.
To conclude, we can assume that while the unusual size of square business cards is a problem initially, it is not at all disadvantageous for our business in the long run.
After discussing the direct effects of square business cards, it is vital to investigate the most significant indirect impact, namely, environmental considerations.
Protecting our planet matters a lot these days for customers and companies alike.
People try to make conscious choices when choosing food, transport, clothes, and everyday objects, and they are eager to purchase products that leave a smaller carbon footprint.
Consequently, we need to check whether there is a difference between a square and other business cards in this respect.
If the size of the square is not abnormally big, it is evident that you use less paper for square business cards.
Also, there might be a smaller amount of waste during production, as more squares can be cut economically using the same length of paper as rectangles.
Moreover, as mentioned before, less room requires less decoration, so manufacturing these cards saves other resources.
We all know that saving paper is crucial since plenty of water is used to produce paper, so producing and buying square business cards is a better choice to protect our Earth’s future.
What is more, the collateral benefit might be that our company earns a reputation for using environmentally friendly visual materials, which can attract even more customers.
The arguments listed so far might have persuaded several readers about the benefits of square business cards. They have started imagining the design and material for the brand new cards.
However, we should be prepared that those who object to square business cards will argue that it is challenging to get them designed and produced.
They may say that stationery companies are not accustomed to these unusual shapes, so customers have to put more work and money into print.
Contrastively, just the opposite is exact.
Marketing supply companies have already specialized in manufacturing them to fulfill our wishes concerning the design and other factors.
As highlighted on Moo’s homepage, we can upload our images, choose from recommended templates, or edit our card online.
We can also choose from a vast selection of materials (cotton, paper, etc.) and paper finishes (matte, gloss, soft-touch, high gloss), or even decide on a double-sided model.
To make the cards more special, they’re also available with rounded corners, as written on the homepage mentioned above.
In some instances, a square business card is also easier to design, as there are fewer surfaces on them provided for decorations.
Also, as argued in the previous paragraphs, too much decoration might be unnecessary and disturbing.
Manufacturers are more than ready to help us imagine, design, and print square business cards.
So, are square business cards a good idea?
Now, we have seen the numerous advantages of square business cards versus the traditional rectangular cards.
Although the article has identified some possible drawbacks of square business cards, the facts show that the pros outweigh the cons.
Square business cards are simply great for anyone who wants to appear innovative and attract more customers.
So, don’t hesitate, go and get your square business cards printed!
If you found this interesting, the articles below will equally pique your interest.