a peek inside the fishbowl

22 Jun, 2010

The business of business

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life|Oh! Things!

I used to print my own business cards but I was never totally satisfied with the quality. They always looked homemade. I blame the card stock. It was flimsy. And sometimes, even … perforated! Gack!

I decided that if I wanted to be taken seriously as a professional, I had to look professional. And that’s why I am now having my business cards professionally printed.

How important is a business card?

Well, I don’t know how to quantify it other than with a resounding OF COURSE IT IS.

If you receive a well-designed card you immediately think THIS PERSON IS SMART or WOW THIS PERSON IS CREATIVE (or whatever) and immediately follow it up with I WANT TO WORK WITH or CHAT WITH or MAKE OUT WITH or HIRE THIS PERSON.

Am I right or am I right?

Many years ago I had an interview with an NGO for a position of web content manager. I interviewed with a panel of people. They offered me the job, although I didn’t end up taking it because I realized it wasn’t quite right for me. Fast forward five years. I got a phone call from one of the women who interviewed me. She liked my card and had kept it. And was calling me about some design work.

Anyway, yes. Business cards are key. They provide people with crucial contact information AND have the ability to make a lasting impression. I use them for work purposes (“here’s my number and email”) as well as for networking purposes. I use them to promote my blog as well as my “real” work.

A couple weeks ago I ordered a whole bunch of business cards from moo.com. They arrived yesterday. I am thrilled with the quality. They are really great.

I ordered some “mini moo” cards (sorry for the soft photos, but you get the idea). The card with the text shows what’s on the back of all of these cards:

Mini-moo cards

I also ordered cards for the photography side of things:

Full-size Moo cards

… as well as regular business cards.

It was Mark’s idea to start punching holes in them, but now a question has arisen re: size of the hole. What do you think? Bigger or smaller? Mark thinks the smaller hole is interesting and more discreet. But I like the large one because I can stick my finger through it and point at people. :)

regular moo cards

What do you think?


18 Responses to "The business of business"

1 | Lee

June 22nd, 2010 at 8:55 am


I think business cards are important. Even poorly designed or homemade ones can have value (imparting information quickly). It depends on the use too. If you’re a small non-profit, I’m not sure that having a super slick business card always sends the right message. (Unless the message is that you’re raising funds to buy your business cards.)

I like both sizes of whole punched from the design side. I’d be curious to see how the large hole looks from the back. Something about the size and the postion of the small one isn’t sitting right on the info side of the card shown. (Or it could be that I need more coffee.)

I know that the holes match well with your dots / circles graphics. I’m curious though, if you have access to other types of punches (butterflies, hearts, diamonds etc) how holes of those shapes would look juxtaposed to your circles.

2 | andrea

June 22nd, 2010 at 9:09 am


Lee: here’s a shot of the reverse side of the card with the larger hole.

And I don’t think I could ever do anything that’s not a dot. :)

3 | Amy @ Muddy Boots

June 22nd, 2010 at 9:18 am


The far right mini card makes me want to make out with you…

4 | Jenn @CanvasPop

June 22nd, 2010 at 10:22 am


I completely agree with you on the importance of business cards. The whole team @CanvasPop has Moo business cards, We love them!!!… Moo give you the chance to personalize your cards to match your personality and to stand out in the sea of otherwise boring business cards..

I would have to agree with @Lee that the small hole does something with the composition, and I prefer the look of the larger hole. It’s more interesting, and more prominent.. I love your mini cards too!

5 | Lee

June 22nd, 2010 at 12:04 pm


Andrea: Thanks for the photo. I like the larger hole.

6 | Binki

June 22nd, 2010 at 12:43 pm


How do you make the larger hole?

7 | andrea

June 22nd, 2010 at 12:51 pm


Binki: a larger hole punch! :)

8 | kaitlin

June 22nd, 2010 at 1:19 pm


some of each. I like the big one, but could see it being a tad annoying. Both have the advantage of being useful for sticking into binders.

9 | milkfacemama

June 22nd, 2010 at 3:32 pm


Bigger one for sure. The small one looks like a mistake to me, the bigger one on purpose and more interesting.

10 | Jennifer

June 22nd, 2010 at 6:44 pm


I have to agree with Amy, except they all make me want to make out with you. ;-) Very cool. Very Rock Star!

11 | Lex

June 22nd, 2010 at 7:38 pm


I think they all look great and agree with the whole quality cards produce quality impressions. I’m a huge fan of Moo as you know.

In terms of holes, I like both, though I’d like the little ones more if you punched out a hole leaving an even blue frame around the hole (which is how the larger hole looks)

12 | coffee with julie

June 23rd, 2010 at 7:35 am


Love the new cards! Look fantastic!

13 | Carla

June 23rd, 2010 at 10:21 am


wow, a holey card, who’d thunk it? I like it, the one with the big hole. it is bold, not all afraid of being a hole, but it says I AM A HOLEY CARD, Look at ME! Big one for sure.

14 | Capital Mom

June 23rd, 2010 at 12:34 pm


They look great! I got some mini moo cards too and love them.

15 | Natasha

June 23rd, 2010 at 8:19 pm


Love your new cards! I especially love the mini moos.

16 | andrea

June 24th, 2010 at 8:23 am


Thanks everyone for your input!

From personal experience I have to say that the mini-moos get a lot of attention. Everyone I give one to tells me how much they like it and how unique it is and spends extra time looking at it.

The goal, with business cards (I think) is to make it a keeper.

Come to think of it, I don’t throw out any business cards I receive. I keep them all!

Mark is disappointed that so many of you have voted for the bigger hole! I prefer the larger one, but maybe my punch needs to be a shade smaller. Don’t know. I will make a bunch with a smaller hole to make him happy. :)

17 | Laura

June 24th, 2010 at 9:47 am


I have been reading your blog for many months since moving to Ottawa and have never commented before (does that make me a bit of a stalker?)

I just love moo products so much I had to comment. My husband and I used mini moo’s at our wedding. We ordered them with various pictures of us over the years and added a sweet little “thank you” on the back. We then punched a small hole in each of them and attached them as tags to homemade bottles of jam as favours. They were a hit! My sister actually took leftovers and added small magnets to the back and has them dotting her refrigerator!

18 | Investing in your business >> a peek inside the fishbowl

July 26th, 2011 at 10:34 am


[…] a past post I wrote about a fantastic service called Moo.com. You upload your design, add your text, and […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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