Friday, May 22, 2015

Business Card Humor: Striking the right balance between funny vs. function

A surefire way to ensure people will take notice of you and your business card is to inject some humor in the card itself. Whether or not you ultimately leave a good impression or an awful one is entirely different story, but like we said, at least you will be remembered.

So where is the line between funny and faux pas? Humor is highly subjective and by nature will not land with every audience. The more sensitive or politically correct may even take offense. But the gamble may be worth taking if you’re betting on making an impact and becoming the center of attention.

You may even find your card going viral, like the ones we had to share with you below. Admittedly, we find all of them funny on some level, with some entertaining our higher brains and others hitting our primitive funny bones, but it’s safe to say that some clearly do a much better job than others at finding the right mix of creativity and professionalism.

We laughed at this refreshingly artless, overly honest assessment of the caregiver’s skills. But the hard truth is that it probably won’t inspire any confidence in a prospective client looking for someone competent and trustworthy. Not being the worst wouldn’t be our go-to qualifier to convince people to entrust their precious offspring to us.

Cheesy as it is, we can appreciate punny humor, especially with an added visual. Give this realtor credit for wanting to stand out from the sea of staid headshots in front of boring and stately backdrops. On the downside, an effective business card should be able to give the recipient a strong understanding of what the person specializes in, and the message that Frank is a competent and trustworthy realtor gets sacrificed for the quick laugh.

Expectations were successfully subverted by this devilishly clever card. Looking like a kind of help line for but actually fueling the addiction elicits the laugh you feel kind of guilty about but secretly relish. Is it funny? Yes. Is it tasteless? Definitely. Alcoholism isn’t something to take lightly, and it’s surely not something you want to encourage, but you can’t help but admire the spunk of this card. Jury is still out on this one.

In the same vein as the previous card, this goes for the “shock and guffaw” tactic. Being able to take the viewer from abject fear to helpless laughter in less than ten words deserves some applause. That’s much harder to achieve than you think. And like many a great artist, this photographer is not afraid of negative space. We only hope these cards don’t find their way into the hands of any bank tellers or TSA agents on the clock. That could be…inconvenient for everyone in the near vicinity.

This one is my personal favorites for several reasons. At first glance, it looks like any run-of-the-mill divorce attorney business card. But then you notice the perforation right down the middle and the contact information in both corners, which is a subtle, elegant, and hilariously sad way to illustrate the nature of the situation requiring Mr. Mahon’s services. Enjoy it while you can, because it’s one of the only laughs you’ll get from the disintegration of your 20+ year marriage.

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