Before going to the ACDA conference last weekend, I decided to make myself some business cards, just to hand out to whomever if the opportunity arose. They ended up coming in handy a few times, so I thought I'd share how I made them.
First off, I highly recommend having at least a dozen or so business cards that contain current information. Even if you don't go to conferences, they can still come in handy. A lot of people I know use Vistaprint to make their cards. If you don't have a lot of time on your hands, and you want something that's gonna look professional without a lot of hassle, they're a great place to find some really nice templates. And they're relatively cheap as well, with different options as far as paper-stock and such.
I didn't use Vistaprint. For a few reasons. The main one being that I needed the cards printed fast. Like in a day. I couldn't wait for them to ship. But if I'd had more time, I would've used them. Instead I used Ithaca College's Print Shop to get 60 cards for about 8 dollars. That's less than 15 cents a card. Not bad. I highly encourage any fellow Ithacans to give the Print Shop a try, as they are really friendly, and when you factor in Vistaprint's shipping costs, it equals out to be about the same, if not cheaper.
The ones I got have a basic matte finish, but I might try to go for something glossier next time. The problem with the paper (as you can see a bit in the photo) is that unless you have some sort of business card carrying case, the edges and corners will fray somewhat quickly. It's not a huge deal once someone puts the card in their pocket, but I feel like it makes a better impression when you hand someone a card in an immaculate state. Hopefully the glossy ones will be more resistant to this sort of wear.
I also designed the cards myself. I didn't like any of the templates Vistaprint had, and I really wanted the card to look personal and unique, so I used GIMP, which is like a free version of Photoshop, to design the font and back. For anyone who's interested in doing this for themselves, make sure you're making the card in high resolution (at least 7x4 inches at 300 pixels per inch). It'll keep the image looking sharp when it prints. I used screenshots of my own music from Sibelius as the background for the cards, and I put some titles of works on the back. I think next time I'll just put my name on the back, since just giving titles of pieces is kinda useless. I'd also have to keep it continually updated every time I write a new piece, which would be a pain. I'll also probably change the image on the back to include chamber music instead of choral music, just so people don't get the wrong idea that choral music is all I write.
All in all, making the cards was a pretty painless process. Just took a bit of work. Feel free to let me know what you guys think, or to offer any improvements for next time!