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Gearing up with Business Cards-An Editorial From The Rickie Report

Did you know that in the 17th Century, business cards were used both as advertising and as maps as there was no formal street numbering system in London?  They originated as trade cards.  Having a professional business card is a key factor in doing business – and that includes being an artist who wants to promote and sell their creative work!  In this article, The Rickie Report looks at this valuable promotional tool.  





  • Business cards are an effective promotional tool to hand out to prospective clients and customers.


  • They are an important part of the artist/art patron relationship


  • They can increase your visibility when you include an extra one when someone is purchasing a gift.


  • They act as a reminder for a future client to get in touch with you.



Standard business cards are 2 x 3 inch rectangles of card stock with business name, logo, person’s name, address, service or products, phone number, fax number , website, and email address. Most business cards are blank on the back, providing a place to make notes about the company’s products or the date of an appointment.


We’re focusing on the art world, so be creative!  Graphic design is the most important element when planning your business card.  A business card should be easy to read!  THINK: Background color for easy readability. A fancy font diminished to the size of a business card can be hard to read. Make sure you look at a “real dimension” before ordering!  Before agreeing to the order, have someone else proof read for typos, mistaken phone numbers and email addresses!  



What really NEEDS to be on a business card?


Who are you?  Include your name and the name of your business!


What are you offering? Be specific if you work in a particular media. Include the fact that you are available for commissions, if you are. That said, do not overload your card with too much information. Be concise.


If you have exhibition space, like a gallery or a place of business, give the street address and city. Include the zip code for anyone using GPS. Include your phone number and/or email address, depending on how you prefer to be reached.


Your website is your “internet business card”. It gives you more space than a hand-held one, so you can go into greater depth with your information: examples of your work, brief biography, artist statement, a listing of exhibits and awards and more. Not everyone sells from their website, but if you do, be sure that your prices are the same as your work being exhibited. 


Handing Off Your Business Card:


One clever painter printed his contact information on one side of his business card, and the other side is a small portion of one of his paintings – a great way for a potential customer to remember why they took the card in the first place! A jewelry artist shows a few of her designs on her business card, again to set her card apart from the other jewelers who don’t specify. She is giving you a message along with her contact information!


Now What?


Most business cards only do half of their marketing job.

What do you want people to do with the business cards you hand out?

  • To encourage continued contact with the customer, consider offering a discount with the card for a future purchase.


  • Give your business card whenever a person signs up to be on your email list. This insures that you will be able to contact them in the future about upcoming shows, special events, or targeted sales. Again, it is not just about them giving you information, it is an exchange – a relationship.


  • If a potential customer asks a question, write a short note on the back of your business card before you hand it to them to help jog their memory once they get home.



  • When you hand your business card to another professional, be sure to shake their hand and thank them.


  • You want to establish a relationship.


  • Take a minute to look at their card. This is a perfect time to ask a question about their business and hopefully find more common ground.


  • This also gives them the opportunity to look at your card and gives you more time to make an impression.


  • You only get one chance to make a first impression.


Do you have an interesting or unusual business card? Send us a jpeg of both sides and tell us how you use your business cards. We love to share ideas! 


For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420


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