Kinkos Business Cards are a cheap and effective way of getting your business details in front of potential customer’s eyeballs. Business cards are used widely across many industries as a way of leaving a lasting reminder of you, your company and your products with your client.
A well designed business card can have an immediate visual impact, quickly convey your main marketing message and also get your contact details into the hands of the people who most want it.
They can be one of the most cost effective ways of spending your marketing budget (especially if you take advantage of online offers such as those offered when buying Kinkos business cards, or indeed many other online retailers). They really can be as cheap as a few dollars per hundred cards (particularly if you do not go overboard on fancy paper, multiple colours, extravagant design etc).
It is important to bear in mind when you are designing a business card that it should be sharp and punchy – people do not have the time or inclination to wade through a load of close typed text just to find your telephone number. It should also convey you key marketing message – a potential client should be able to at least get an impression of what your business does by looking at the card.
Business Cards are particularly useful to distribute when amongst groups of people – where it may not be acceptable to wander around a conference or meeting with armfuls of flyers, brochures etc you can always discretely distribute cards. People will also be less inclined to put them straight in the trash as they are not cumbersome to carry, can be easily stored in a jacket pocket or handbag and will not get in the way when people try to carry on with their daily tasks.
As a minimum you should have your company name, logo, strapline, own name, full contact details (telephone, mobile, email) and full address on the card in an obvious and easy to read format. Like all marketing material if it is not clear or requires effort to extract information from then it is significantly less likely to be used. One area that you have more scope for creativity is on the rear of the card – further marketing messages, additional graphics and other material can be placed on the rear of the card. Your Kinkos Business Cards should reflect your business image.
To summarise – Kinkos business cards can be a very flexible and cost effective medium to help boost the marketing efforts of your business and not something that should be ignored in this increasingly competitive age.
Business card cutters and printers are used in the production of business cards. A business card cutter is a device for cutting card and paper into business card shapes (and usually a number of other shapes as well). It has two main uses:
1) To cut cards on a commercial basis for use in printers, business card producers etc
2) For in house production of business cards (particularly where cost savings or total control of the production process is important)
Business Card Printers are printers that are specifically designed for printing business cards, they exist in two main forms – ones that accept pre-cut blank business cards (usually via a hopper arrangement) or those that accept sheets of card or paper for later cutting. When used with Business Card Cutters (or pre bought business card blanks) they can provide a complete end to end business card production facility.
Having both Business card cutters and printers can not only help to save costs when producing your cards but also give great flexibility in terms of design options, custom made cards, short run cards (for temporary staff etc), emergency card production (if stocks run out) and even for producing mock up cards to be sent out for professional printing at a later date.
Business card blanks are, as the name suggests, simply blank business cards. So the obvious question is what would you use business card blanks for?, there are a few possible answers for this :-
1) To use as a temporary business card until your new fully printed cards arrive from the printers (or whilst you have temporarily run out of your existing cards)
2) To issue to temporary members of staff when you do not want to go to the expense of paying for fully printed cards as usage would only be short term.
3) To use to create designs and mock ups for your final cards – by using the correct sized business card blanks you can easily see how the final card might look.
4) If you are printing your own cards using business card printer or other device.
5) If you are a very creative person and want to create individually designed cards for each contact you want to give a card to.
6) If you only have a short term need for business cards and you are unlikely to need cards on a medium or long term basis
7) For other uses other than the production of business cards – name badges, place makers and numerous other applications.
Business card blanks are available from most major stationery retailers and are usually available in a range of weights (thickness), colour and size. Alternatively you could always produce your own business card blanks by hand cutting or by the use of a business card cutter.
As you can see from the above list there may be many more uses of business card blanks than you might have previously imagined. A they are normally very low cost items I would recommend you buy some in and keep them in stock just in case the need ever arises for them.
I often see raised eyebrows when the subject of Business Card Etiquette is mentioned – surely there is no etiquette involved in such a simple process – you simply hand them out and collect them in ?.If you are working under this assumption then you may be severely limiting the usefulness of your business card.
There are several golden rules involved in Business Card Etiquette, these include:
Do not use a scattergun approach –only give out your card when someone asks for it.
Do not hoard others cards – Only ask for cards if you intend to follow up or think you may have a requirement for the services being offered.
Make sure you follow up on the exchange of cards – a business card in itself is only a means to an end
Be aware of cultural differences - I will return to this later
Keep well stocked – a business card left back in the office / home is useless
Care for your cards – handing out damaged, folded or dirty cards does not create a good impression
Care for the cards of others – store them carefully, do not deface them and generally treat then as if they were items of value to you
Only give out one card per person – giving more creates an impression that you expect them to distribute them on your behalf
Orientate your card correctly so that the receiver can immediately read it without having to
As mentioned above there are also some regional specific rules that apply to business card etiquette, these include:
When in china use gold ink, make sure your card has been translated into Chinese (in the appropriate dialect) and offer your card with both hands. Never write on the business card unless directly asked to.
When in India make sure you include your degree or any other honours on your card, there is no need to translate your card but you should always offer your card with your right hand.
When in Japan make sure your cards are kept in excellent condition, always include your title, when receiving a card always take it with both hands (although you are free to give them with just one hand). You should try and distribute your cards in order of seniority, at the end of the meeting carefully store the cards you have been given in a suitable card case or holder.
As you can see there are many elements to business card etiquette (and the above lists are by no means exhaustive) but with a little care and fore thought most of the obvious pitfalls can be avoided.
Business card holders mainly serve two functions – either to store the cards that you have received from your contacts / suppliers etc or to hold cards that you want people to take away with them. Whilst at first site these two functions seem broadly similar they are in fact very different and therefore require two different solutions.
Business card holders for the storage of received cards should allow for easy access to the cards, protect them from physical damage and be robust and resistant to damage themselves. They fall into two types – desk based holders or portable (the latter being largely used for storing cards on a temporary basis whilst out on business trips, attending seminars etc). Good examples of holders to store received cards include :
Business card holders for the storage of cards to be distributed should be easy to access (i.e. to get cards out of), easy to restock, stable (or have ability to be mounted to something else that provides stability) and . Again these fall into two broad categories, those designed to be used in a fixed location and potable ones (again (the latter being largely used for storing cards for distribution whilst on a temporary basis whilst out on business trips, attending seminars etc ). Good examples of these type of holders include :
Budget wise business card holders can vary widely, from literally a few pennies to many hundreds of dollars for designer versions. How much you choose to spend is up to both budget and your level of design consciousness. Materials can also vary widely from basic cardboard versions through jewel encrusted precious metal cases. For business use Perspex based holders tend to offer the best blend of functionality, looks and price but again the choice is very much dependant on business requirements.
Business card sizes – time for something a little different?
As I sit here and leaf through my folder of business cards that I have accumulated through my working life ( we are not talking a vast selection here, just a little over a hundred) I am struck by the uniformity of the size of the cards. I only have one card that deviates from the “standard” credit card sized offerings of around 10cm by 5cm.
Now there are obvious reasons and advantages for this apparent standardisation of business card sizes– card holders (such as my own) are created to accept a standard size, they fit neatly into wallets that are designed to take credit cards, there is a reasonable trade-off between size and capacity to carry the required information etc. However perhaps there is an opportunity to perhaps stand out from the crowd by using a non-standard size?
The one card (which represents less than one percent of my collection) that deviates from the norm for business card sizes certainly has a high degree of visual impact – I notice it every time I am going through the collection. The way they have chosen to go is for a half size version i.e. around 5cm square. This size still fits in wallets, card holders etc but adds a great deal to the impact of the card.
I have not received an oversized card and therefore do not have one in my “collection” to compare to and I suspect this is for purely practical reasons – an oversize card would not fit in standard card holders , wallets etc therefore I suspect that they would be consigned to the bottom of the drawer and would languish there unnoticed until they are disposed of.
So when considerin business card sizes the high visual impact, practicality (i.e. ability to fit in standard holders and wallets) and pure novelty factor I would recommend looking at the smaller size business cards if you are looking for something to really make your card stand out and get noticed.
In these harsh economic times every business is looking to cut costs and that is in every area from the biggest areas of expenditure to the smallest. One of these costs is printing costs with many businesses asking themselves – in the digital age why am I spending so much money on printing ?. One of the items that often gets examined within the spectrum of printing costs is business cards.
When looking at the cost of cards an obvious question is : why don’t we just use one of those free business cards offers you see on the internet. Indeed there are many such sites offering free business cards printing, for example easyprint, vistaprint and moo to name just a few. Well the obvious advantage of these sites are that they offer a free service, however there are several possible disadvantages as well :
1) Nearly all free business card printing services will put their name and url on the card somewhere so you will advertising their services as well as your own each time you hand out your cars.
2) Design choices are often limited (usually only to a restricted range of templates) so your ability to be unique disappears and hence it is more difficult to stand out from the crowd
3) Quantities are almost always limited so unless you do not need mnay cards this may make the free option non viable
4) The quality of paper they are printed on is usually low quality (after all they are free so what do you expect!)
5) Options (other than design options discussed earlier) may also be limited – card size, finish etc would not normally be optional and you would be restricted to the default option.
So in conclusion I woudl say that unless you have a really low budget, only need very limited quantities or are not concerned about limited design choices then free business cards are not the way to go.
Kinkos Printers – do they only produce business cards or are they capable of producing a wider range of materials than just business cards?
The answer to this question is a very emphatic yes; kinkos printing centres are a full range print shop that can produce a varied range of items that includes:
Kinkos postcards – a range of postcards from simple black and white mailers to full colour promotional postcards
kinkos print labels – have your sticky labels pre printed by kinkos
Kinkos brochures – looking to produce high quality, glossy colour brochures for your business then kinkos can help you with this. Anything from small and simple black and white documents through to multi page full blown colour can be produced.
kinkos flyers – if you need flyers for your business (either to be handed out or to be included in publications) then you can have them produced at your local kinkos printing centre.
kinkos letterhead – most businesses now choose to have their letterheads pre printed rather than actually printing them as part of each document, again Kinkos Printers can help you with this.
kinkos custom printing – although there is a wide range of print types and output formats in the above list there will always be someone who has a custom requirement. You do not have to be limited to a defined format, size or style of publication. Kinkos can work with you to help meet your exact requirements, even if they are completely non standard.
The majority of the above services can be ordered directly in the local store or online via the kinkos website. Not only are production and printing services available but also a full range of design services as well. If you are uncertain about your requirements then you can always discuss them with a member of staff who are there to help you with your print requirements.
Kinkos services – Kinkos do far more than just design and print business cards, they are a full service design and print service. You may well be surprised as to the full extent of services that they can offer.
The range of services at Kinkos includes, but is not limited to, brochures, letterhead, flyers, custom printing, labels and postcards. This is not only printing but also design of these items. The majority of these services are available not only in Kinkos stores but also online. Even if your local store does not offer the full range of these services then they can access them through the group network on your behalf.
As you would expect from a company that is part of the FedEx group kinkos services also include a wide range of packing and fulfilment services. Not only can you purchase all your packaging materials in the Kinkos store but also dispatch your parcel from there as well.
A less well know kinkos service than the design / print services and delivery services that is available through kinkos stores is that of mailing list services.
Kinkos direct mail services not only includes the design and printing of direct mail material but also mailing list management, cleansing and distribution. Kinkos will also stuff your envelopes, address them and deliver them to the postal service for distribution. In fact they can even assist in providing mailing list data if you do not have your own mailing list (via a third party service). Therefore all you really need to do is provide the content for your mail shot and Kinkos will design , print, address and distribute your mail for you.
As can be seen from the above list the range of kinkos services is wider than most people would normally consider and kinkos are much more than just a print shop.
Kinkos originally established 4 central London shops plus another shop in Reading however these stores were bought out by The Color Company in April 2009. They have now been rebranded as Color Company sites but still offer other FEDEX services such as parcel services. The stores were located in High Holborn Street, Curzon Street, Cannon Street and London Wall.
In addition to the Fedex services that they offer they still also offer a full range of print and design services – business cards, brochures, design , print management etc. They can be considered to be a one stop shop for all your design, print and stationery needs.
Whilst some people may be disappointed that Kinkos no longer operate in their area they can be assured that the same level of service and quality can be expected from the new owners. Obviously a knock on effect of the withdrawal of Kinkos form the London market will mean no further expansion will occur in the UK (nor probably Europe).
Fedex have obviously decided to concentrate on their home (US) market for their Kinkos brand.
Kinkos Business Cards Template – does using a template make the production of your cards any easier or should you do it all yourself without the use of a template ?
There are many advantages of using a template when designing your cards, these advantages include:-
Vast selection of card templates – if you want to use a Kinkos Business Cards Template then you will have a vast choice to choose from, at the time of writing there were over 5300 different templates to choose from. With such a vast choice (and all for free) there is almost bound to be one that is suitable for your needs. This large selection also reduces the chances of other people having exactly the same card as you (particularly when you factor in changes in colour etc)
Design Skills – if you are not confident that you have sufficient design skills to produce your own card then using one of the pre-designed templates is definitely the way to go.
Benefit of experience – the templates that are offered have all been created by professional designers that know what does, and does not, work when it comes to card design. You can benefit from their experience and feel confident that you have a good design in terms of layout, font, look and feel etc.
Reduction of effort – why do it yourself when you can have someone else do it for you for free. There are enough competing pressures on business people without you taking on the role of designer as well.
Speed – by using a template you can drastically reduce the time it takes to produce your cards – you no longer have to spend time coming up with a design, doing the layout, making sure it looks right
Good layout – you can be guaranteed that the cards you produce from one of the templates will have the correct layout and present all the information that a good card should have.
Ideas – if you are struggling to come up with an idea or theme then the search facility within the template database should furnish you with inspiration and help you get started very quickly.
Cost – as the templates are made available for you to use free of charge then you no longer need to pay for the services of a designer to help create your card.
As can be seen from the above list there are many advantages of using a template, however there are also some downsides. For example you may feel that you really need an individual design to make your company stand out in increasingly competitive marketplaces. There is a balance to be struck between individuality and the benefits of template driven cards.
In conclusion using a Kinkos Business Cards Template can save you time, money and effort and also help to ensure that you have a correctly laid out and presented card.