Business cards are a valuable way of keeping customers connected with your business. In a way, handing out business cards is another form of networking and has been around longer than Google, Facebook or Twitter. Along with that Rolodex full of favorite businesses, we now have sites to follow these companies on where their info is just a click away.
You might expect something more bizarre from the CEO of Google but his first business card was simple and straightforward:
Larry Page knew from an early age that he wanted to invent things. He followed that dream all the way to co-founding Google. He is the mastermind behind the company’s search ranking algorithm, PageRank.
This card is easily recognizable:
Evan Williams is the co-founder of Pyra Labs, a company that is responsible for sites like Twitter and Blogger. Williams loved technology and he started out as a freelancer writing computer code for big name electronic companies like Intel and HP.
His business card has a nice texture on the background but his logo is front and center. Business cards are excellent branding tools and even in the very beginning, Williams used it to his advantage. That little blue bird is recognized world wide as one of America’s most used networking platforms.
Speaking of networking platforms:
This was Zuckerberg’s first real card. At least the first card he passed out to family and friends. It’s said that the card designer heard him utter that phrase (in jest) and made it up as a joke.
Steve Jobs’ American Success story began, like many others, in his parents’ garage. He worked there alongside his friend, Stephen Wozniak, to build what we know as Apple Computers. Jobs had a vision for the future of the media and personal computers, a vision that took him to the top of the corporate world.
Behind all that success is this rather simple business card. It features the first Apple logo and Jobs’ contact information. This tells us that simple can be effective.
Steve Wozniak on the other hand found a business card that matched his profession:
It resembles something you might find inside a computer. And why not? It is an interesting design for someone that aided in the invention of personal computers.
After leaving Apple in the 80’s, Wozniak turned his focus to education. He spent most of his time and resources on helping teachers and students gain hands on experience with computers and other electronics. So great is his success, he even appeared on season eight of Dancing with the Stars.
Then we have Apple’s rival, Microsoft:
Bill Gates didn’t get started in his parents’ garage but he did start out in the computer lab at the school he attended with his business partner, Paul Allen. Throughout their education, Allen and Gates were passionate about computers and what they could do. That passion followed them all the way to the top of a computer empire.
After reading up about Gates, it’s no surprise that his first business card made a bold statement with its bright colors and busy design. It’s a nice card that would be hard to forget!
A Political Point of View
It’s hard to believe that some of the world’s well known faces ever needed a business card. But the people that lead the world started out like everyone else and had to build up their network from the ground up. And there’s no better way to do that then handing someone a business card.
Arnold Schwarzenegger rose to fame as a popular Hollywood actor, starring in roles that often had him saving someone, or the world, from disaster. Then he turned his focus more toward the problems the real world faced and attempted to conquer some of those as the “Governator” of California.
The card is simple but is well presented. Not something you would expect from an award winning body builder but it is perfect for his political persona.
Fidel Castro Ruz first business card was simple but he used the negative space well:
He wrote his personal numbers on the card.
Being the leader of Cuba, and a controversial one at that, it is interesting to see such an understated business card but he does have a nice logo in the top left.
Before he was president, Abraham Lincoln practiced law in Illinois. His first business card is very classy:
It’s interesting how he placed a blurb at the bottom to assure people he would be back to work soon. In those days, it would be hard to get status updates on people’s whereabouts and what they were doing. I mean today you just go check a friend’s Facebook Timeline or Twitter feed to find out what is going on. But Lincoln didn’t have those. Instead, he used his business card.
A business card certainly does make a statement and Barack Obama’s is saying “I’m a busy man”.
It’s packed with phone numbers and addresses on where he could be reached. It’s a very nice card with a simple logo on the left side. Even more interesting, he started out in Illinois as well.
Science, Math and Medicine
In the world of research, it’s important to stay connected with other influential people in your field.
Isaac Asimov had a love for both science and science fiction. He was a biochemistry professor at Boston University and a famous American science fiction writer.
His card was also simple. It gives his name, what he does and where to reach him. And he even signed the back.
Albert Einstein is, without a doubt, the smartest man in history. He received the Nobel Price in 1921 for his discovery of the law of photoelectric effect. He gave a lot to math and science. And to many, he gave this business card:
It’s a very elegant card. It has his name, his job description, and where to reach him.
Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist and the founding father of psychoanalysis. At a young age, Freud showed exceptional intelligence and his parents were dedicated to furthering his eduction.
Freud’s first business card is decorative compared to some of the others we’ve seen. It’s also interesting to note that there is a chunk missing out of this particular card.
Orville and Wilbur Wright were the pioneers in aviation. Together, they invented the world’s first airplane. The two brothers shared more than airplanes and a bicycle shop, they also shared a business card:
Neil Armstrong was also a pilot but he’s known more for making history in naval aviation. He was the first man on the moon, NASA’s first civilian to fly in space, the first to dock two spacecraft, and this was his first business card:
This card is from Armstrong’s time at Computing Technologies for Aviation (CTA). The company developed software for flight scheduling that would aid corporate jets in maximizing the efficiency of their aircraft.
We’ve seen business cards from researchers, computer geeks, networkers, and political leaders. And for the most part, their business cards were simple, but professional.
But would that same look work for cartoonist?
You might be familiar with the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. But what about Chuck Jones? After all, if it wasn’t for his artistic abilities, the Road Runner and Wile wouldn’t exist:
While growing up, Jones’ had an unlimited supply of high quality paper and pencils from his father’s failed business ventures. He spent all of his time using up the unusable stationary and in the end it paid off. He directed many short animations including those starring Daffy Duck, Road Runner and Wile, Sylvester, and of course Bugs Bunny.
This may come as a shock but… Walt Disney’s first business card does not have a mouse on it:
Disney started out in an art studio where he made advertisements for newspapers, magazines and movie theatres. At that time, he met fellow cartoonist Ubbe Iwerks and the two, along with Walt’s brother, went off to create the foundation for what would someday become the Disney Studios. It’s a long story full of ups and downs. But Walt overcame them all and is probably the most remembered cartoonist in the world.
A business card is a wonderful way to present to people not only your information but give them a glimpse of who you are and what you do. Thank you for joining us in our review of 1st business cards.
If looking at all of these works of art has inspired you, stop by Printit4Less’ business card section and pick out one for your business today!