Business Cards. They’re this little necessity left over from the 20th century that still seem to legitimize who you are and what your business does. Right? Wrong.
We all live and work in a digital world. Why do I have to stuff my wallet full of these obsolete items and tote them around the world with me? And if you’ve gone for the “Luxe” (you all know who you are) card, I can maybe fit 4 or 5 of them in my wallet. Not exactly ideal. Or comfortable. Or practical.
Last year at the Mobile World Congress I had so many requests for, and opportunities to hand out a card that I ran out within the first two days. Normally, this would be an “oh shit” moment, but I thought I’d put a bit of that good old, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” to work and decided to come up with a creative solution.
Combining my disdain for paper cards and digital prowess, I took a screenshot of my iPhone wallpaper and brought it in to Photoshop. After lining up where the “Time/Date” and “Slide to unlock” items where, and finding dead center of the image, it was a simple matter of selecting content to include on the “card”.
So what do people need to know? Who I am. What I do. How to get in touch. Honestly, I think anything more than that, and you’re just showing off.
While normal business cards include some type of graphic element, one of the strongest cards I’ve ever seen was some 30 years ago. During it’s heyday, a friend of my mother’s worked for Eastman Kodak. Every Kodak employee had a portrait in the top right corner of the card. Even as a child, I can remember thinking that this was a great idea. Quite literally putting a face to the name.
So often we collect so many cards at an event, never really remembering who all these people are. “Was this the guy at lunch, or at the cocktail hour?” Adding your own portrait to a card solves this problem. For my Lock Screen Business Card, I chose a square cut version, as it leaves the most amount of room for contact details.
“But this is an image on your phone, how do you give it away?” you might be asking? Simple: A camera.
When asked for a card, I always tell people that I don’t have any. This is usually met with a frown or a hand over of their card with the, “call me, maybe” attached to it. And this is one of those things that I hate – the drop and dash. I feel that so often cards are dropped with no real meaning behind them. When I’m asked if I have a card and reply with a no, my immediate follow up is, “but do you have a phone?”
At this point I reach for my phone and power up the Lock Screen Business Card, and then ask them to take a picture of it with their phone. This provides all my details, a face to the name, and has the added bonus of the time and date that we met. But what I really like about this presentation is that every single person I’ve “exchanged” cards with, I’ve had a chance to have a conversation with. Not a drop and dash.
Likewise, post event, do you really want to have your card mixed in with that pile of all the others? Maybe the recipient will go through all of them, maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll have perfected the left/right/breast pocket sorting procedure. But chances are…they will go through the photos on their phone sooner than later, et voilà, there’s you all up in their photo stream. And getting the followup email.
Personally, I have an iPhone 5, and the dimensions here have been calculated for it’s 1136 x 640 pixels, 16:9, and 326 ppi display. Likewise, I’ve compensated for the parallax effect. This wallpaper will work on an iPhone 5s, and 5c as well.
If you’re downloading the template, I’m going to assume that you know how to use photoshop and change the content on each layer. I used the official Heisenberg Media PT Sans font for my card, but have changed it to Arial in the template.
If you use this template, let me know about it in the comments. Would love to hear your personal experiences and the reactions you get. Likewise, I’ll do my best to answer any questions you might have or difficulties you encounter when creating your own iPhone Lock Screen Business Card.
Enjoy, and until the next shoot – Dan