Sunday, April 1, 2012

Business Cards - Revised

Business Cards...that lovely 2 x 3.5 piece of paper that you give out...that people keep...that plays a part in getting you work.  A while back I had done a blog post on business cards.  I stated that keeping it simple is the best way to go but if you wanted to add a photo, it had to be tasteful.  Well, my opinion on that has changed.

As artists, we see a blank canvas and we just can't resist filling it up with art and color.  Some people like to put images of their work on their cards and some don't.  Putting an image on your card is totally up to you but remember, it can make or break your card.  Which is why when I am asked "should I put an image on my business card?  If so, how many images should I put?"  My answer...NONE!  Yup, you read that correctly.  None.

Here's why:
* If I put a clean beauty image on my card and hand it out to a fashion client, they're going to assume that all I do is clean work and cannot execute a fashion story.
* If I put a fashion image on my card and hand it out to a catalog/TV client, they're going to assume that all I do is fashion work and won't be able to execute clean every day makeup.

So in turn, I've just lost work because the client assumed that I can only do the kind of makeup that is on my business card.  "But, Yisell, they can always just go to my site and see that I have lots of other work."  Yes that is true...but do they really go to your site?  Does anyone go past page 1 or 2 when searching Google?  Once they see the photo on your card, they won't see a reason to go to your site.  But if there's nothing there, the WANT to see more.  Like the lovely Michael DeVellis once said "Putting a photo on your card tells only ONE story."

Also, what if you've given away your business card 5 yrs ago, and your current work has gone a major improvement?  If I'm looking for a makeup artist or an assistant, all I have is that picture from 5 yrs ago that isn't the best.  What do you think is going to happen?

What should be on your business card?
* Your full real name.  Not "luscious lips makeup" or "sparkles of glitter".  First Name and Last Name (ie: Yisell Santos).

* What you do.  "Makeup Artist", "Hair Stylist" or maybe you do both "Makeup & Hair".

* Your website, which should be your first and last name.  Not "" or "".  It should look like this: or  Why?  Because "sparkles of glitter" is NOT your name!  I don't say "hey, so glad to see you again sparkles of glitter", I say "hey, so glad to see you again Jane Smith".

* Your email address.  Preferably it should be with  Not gmail or yahoo or aol. (ie: contact[at]yisellsantos[dot]com).

* Your phone number

What should not be in on your business card:
* Photos (as per discussed above)

* Crazy Clipart (or as I like to call it "Foo Foo").  What registers as foo foo?  Clip arts of glosses, mascara wands, powder puffs etc.  Those are extra unnecessary things that your card does not need, causes a distraction and can make your card look amateurish.
NOTE: Foo Foo is not to be confused with Logo's.  Logo's are perfectly ok to have (see Liz's card below).

Here are some examples of really great business cards (phone numbers have been blocked out for privacy purposes):

Liz Washer

Victor Amos



  1. Fantastic post! Thanks for sharing :-)

  2. Thanks Yisell, I have made these changes! Your advice is always spot on.

  3. Oh gosh Yisell!!! I have SEEN the light. Ego gets in the way of SIMPLE. I now KNOW where I'm heading and I'm branding ME. Thank you xoxo Hugs forever

  4. hi Yisell, does that mean getting a name besides your actual name is a big no no? what if you have a different company name?