Branding is important in any field, and architecture is no exception. It is important that one informs as many people as possible their ability; and that it is of a higher quality than that of their competitors.
There are many ways this can be accomplished, especially in the digital monoculture in which we now find ourselves. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are cutting edge, and excellent, examples. Contrary to popular belief, however, face-to-face communication is still paramount in society; and face-to-face meetings often result in exchanging business cards. The business card is something tangible and is carried around in a wallet with ease. The business card carries a vast tradition and has been the way people have been marketing themselves for decades (Click the images below to expand to full-size).
What is it that makes Architectural Business Cards unique? Above are examples. As you can see the contact information clearly delineated. Each also gives an idea about what the client can expect from the cardholder. A graphic of what services are provided is very important, after all the primary purpose of a business card is to help sell a product and/or service. Architecture is a product that takes an extremely long time to realize, has massive and long-term collaborations, and embodies constant political and social maneuvering. It takes trust from the client that this person can see a building to fruition.
The business card is a great way for the architect to demonstrate that he or she is worthwhile.
The question, though, is - are the architects to whom these cards belong accurately portrayed? Does it matter? The business card is not about honesty it is about selling a product, an idea, and most importantly, a person.
What other methods exist to forge a clientele? Is it important that a virtual business card database exist?