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List services or disciplines?

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I have experience in several fields related to graphic design, web development, game development and consulting/tutoring in said subjects. However, I don't know how to describe myself on a business card without getting wordy or ambiguous.

I do not want to call myself a "game programmer" or "web developer" since my experience is not limited to these mediums. However, just calling myself a programmer or artist would not bring attention to more specialized abilities. I imagine situations where people will look at the card, raise an eyebrow and say "Ok, you're a programmer, but what kind?" Thing is, I would normally respond with a list of specific skillsets that would clutter a card. The fields are abstract, so I feel compelled to use ambiguous titles and just write "Programmer - Digital Artist - Designer - Consultant". I'm not seeing a compromise between listing specific services and disciplines.

Do you, as an external observer, prefer a business card with more abstract titles such as "Programmer" or "Digital Artist" without further clarification, or do you want a raw listing of specific services someone can do for you so you don't have to ask?

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When I worked at Virgin Interactive Entertainment I had business cards that read
"Dan Marchant
Shit Bastard"

Often when doing the biz card swap people would ask if I had one of the Shit Bastard cards they could have.

You work in a creative industry so you can be creative if you want or go businesslike, but be succinct. A business card is not a resume - put Programmer/Artist or Consultant. People will know what you do from talking to you not from an essay in tiny font on a 3.5 x 2 inch card.

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Business cards have many uses.

What are your cards for? Why do you have them? Why are you getting them printed in the first place?


At a minimum they should give your name and tell the card user how to contact you. But they can do so much more.


Many cards, especially those for doctors and other professional services, have appointment reminders. Commercial outlets may have coupons or discounts on the business card. Group offices often have multiple people or even directories on them. Sales people often use cards for marking down bids. Cards are used for stuffing inside presentation materials, or inside brochures, or the cover of project bids, or given to secretaries so they can introduce you to a group. Some meeting facilitators and training/coaching leaders will incorporate presentation information on the card. Some business cards include schedules. They can be designed for co-workers (such as the insurance office or payroll office), designed for potential employees (such as recruiters or HR departments), designed to encourage corporate contact, designed to help with legal contacts, or whoever the target customer is. They can be designed for frequent referral, or for one-time use.

One common reason for having cards is for conventions. At conventions they are currency. Give a card to get a card. For most people the cards you give are unimportant and will be thrown away, put 'student' or whatever else you want, since you are just trying to collect their contact information.


Consider why you want the business cards in the first place. Who are you giving them to? Consider what they will do with it. Consider if it is for one-time use or for frequent referral. Consider what they would expect at a minimum, and what secondary uses it may have.

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This topic is 2593 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

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