A sustainable business card

Srini and I have been business card-less for the last 2 years. Printing a business card is not very environmentally friendly for some reasons.

  1. When you go to a printer, they print only a minimum of 200 cards or more. With so many cards you have to force them down family and friends or they are not used for a long time. By which time some important detail in the card like a phone number could have changed.
  2. Regular card printers work only with fully bleached virgin paper and not with any manner of recycled paper.
  3. We are Krya – we believe in saving paper and the environment before bedtime, and a standard issue business card just doesn’t say that.

Moreover being card-less has been interesting. Telling an associate / friend why it is not environmentally unfriendly has led to interesting conversations.
But a business card also is very useful, especially for a young company starting life.
So here is our take on business cards

  1. We printed our cards ourselves – off our office printer. That way we printed only as much as required.
  2. We used a single colour, black for our cards. As we’ve said before, the more the number of colours on paper, the harder it becomes to recycle. Black is also the cheapest, and easiest to produce colour for the environment.
  3. We do not laminate our cards. Lamination is an energy intensive process, and it puts a thin, un-reusable film of plastic on paper, that makes the paper very hard to recycle.
  4. We used tree-free paper for our cards – Our paper is made from cotton waste and not by cutting trees.

This is how it looks.
Krya sustainable business card
There’s one more change we will make now. (And hey it is easy to make because we design and print it ourselves).
We will create a joint business card – because that is even more sustainable than printing 2 separate cards. And because we are a creative partnership – and nothing says that more than a joint business card.
Upping the ante
To get to the bleeding edge of thoughtful business card design, we will also partner with a friend to make our cards Braille enabled.
What is a Braille enabled card?
Nidhi’s Organisation Esha, has trained visually challenged professionals who make your business card Braille friendly. They use a brailler, which is a special machine for the blind, that resembles and woks like a typewriter.
Using this typewriter they Braille emboss your card with your name and perhaps the name of your organisation.
This is how a Braille embossed card would look:

Why are we getting a Braille enabled card?

  1. Our card makes a distinctive statement about who we are and not just what we do
  2. It will delight a visually challenged person who will finally be able to read for him/herself our names and what we do.
  3. The money made on the cards goes directly to the visually challenged professionals working on our card.
  4. It costs an absurd 1Re per card. Esha takes orders for any number of business cards.

By having braille-enabled cards, we are looking forward to getting this done as every little detail about the card says something about who we really are.

0 thoughts on “A sustainable business card

  1. AWESOME ! i mean.. AWESOME!!! What a lovely idea!
    And of course, Thank you for braille enabling them.

    1. Thank you so much Nidhi!

  2. Genius really. I am inspired. I am making hand written business cards for myself.

    1. Thanks Appu! Hand-written biz cards sound very cool. Do send a pic!

  3. I just got some cards designed and gave them for printing about a week back. It just did not strike me though I did instruct that I did not want a lamination. Next time I think I will make my own business cards. This is such a great idea. I am handicapped when it comes to designing with softwares though. Like the insight and the information.

    1. Hey Harini. We’ve used a simple DTP software to design our card – you could even used word / powerpoint. What’s critical to have is a good sense of aesthetics that you already have ,as evidenced in your food photography. Would recommend reading John McWade’s B&A magazine for further inputs @ http://www.bamagazine.com. He’s a great designer and gives some astoundingly simple and sound lessons on design.

  4. […] A sustainable business card and the joy of working with your hands Written on October 24, 2011 by Preethi in carbon footprint, Entrepreneurship in India, Ideas & Opinions, Our business, Sustainable by design, Urban living The quest for a sustainable card has come full circle. To recap, we started with no cards, and then made a self printed card which we had written about here. […]

  5. Hi
    I am in delhi and what to get business cards with braille on it
    can u help in this

    1. Glad I was of help in pointing you to Nidhi’s organisation Divesh – I’m happy you decided to support the visually challenged and braiile enable your card – more power to you!

  6. inspiring, will follow the same sustainability methods to our company print needs

  7. Awesome idea guys.
    I am just starting a new sustainable fashion business and I will now print my own cards.
    Thank you and good luck.
    God bless

    1. Thank you Ayesha! and best of luck with your venture as well.

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