Business cards have been around a long time in one form or another.
The Chinese invented calling cards in the 15th century to give people notice that they intended to visit. European merchants invented trade cards in the 17th century to act as miniature advertisements. They can provoke strong emotions.
Nothing will provoke more discussion at a board meeting than the design of the company’s business cards, says a veteran director.
In Bret Easton Ellis’s novel, “American Psycho”, the serial-killer antihero tries to impress some fellow masters of the universe with his new business card. He is crestfallen when they all whip out equally fancy ones—and aghast when one produces an absent colleague’s card, which is on thicker paper and has a watermark.