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What can the history of business cards tell us?

The business card is a strategic weapon. It creates the first impression of you as about a businessman, and it continues to work for you and your reputation even after the meeting. Nowadays in the age of instant messengers and social networks, a business card remains to be an important way to establish and maintain the connections between people, which greatly helps not only in business, but also in everyday life. Every store, restaurant and businessman has a business card.

But, earlier the purpose of business cards usage was quite different.

The history of business cards began 5000 years ago, namely among the Sumerians, merchants and artisans, they had original "business cards" - clay and leather tags, where were written the names and origin of their owners.

But the appearance of real business cards began 2500 years ago in China, during the reign of Chunqiu (770-476 BC) and Zhangguo (475-221 BC), it was period of a cultural prosperity in China. They used thin bamboo plates, on which the names of the owners were recorded, most often the owners were respected or rich people, then through servants they passed the "business cards" to others to make an impression and to mark their importance and position in society.

In the III century BC the main material for creating "business cards" was silk. People used to write the name of the owner on silk and then sent such a "business card" to those, whom he was going to visit. Calligraphers made such "business cards" individually for everyone. But, they demanded a lot of money for this, so not everyone could afford such a luxury at that time. Chinese officials had cards with their own name and position held, necessarily written only on red paper. There were no superfluous, secondary details.

The first card, similar to ours, modern, dates back to the Rococo era, at the time of Louis XIV. Then the visiting card became an essential accessory among high society figures. After all, every respected person of those times considered it his duty to order a beautiful business card that would emphasize his status.

Their business cards were similar to playing cards with the name of the visitor written on it, which represented their owner from the most positive sides. Luxury jewelry, ornate drawings, engraved coats of arms - this is the main feature of the French business cards of that period. In a nutshell, business cards in France were used to emphasize the status of the owner. All business cards were made from expensive material, fabrics, ivory ornaments and family emblems.

And in 1786, in Germany, the first printed, modern business cards were created. A well-known collector of business cards was the German poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe.

Here is his collection:

And the business cards of Goethe:

A little later, namely, under the reign of Catherine II, business cards came to Russia. They did not have any differences with the luxurious and decorated French business cards because the Russians adopted this "attribute of a respected person" exactly from France. It was incredibly posh in high society to order business cards from famous artists.

This was the period of the "golden age" of the nobility, when everything was incredibly rich and elegant, and business cards were a special sign of high respected origin. Even the richest man, but of simple origin, simply could not use business cards.

But later, business cards became widespread among simple people. The most popular color of business cards was bright bronze. Business cards were even divided into women's and men's. Women’s cards were usually small, but very beautifully decorated. In the center there were written the name of the owner, along the edges were small floral ornament. Ladies always generously splashed their business cards with perfume, before giving it to someone.

Men's business cards were much larger and had a slightly chaotic shape, they were rarely rectangular. There were no specify any details, only the name of its owner. Men used to write something on the other side of the business card, if there was such a need.

Then the corporate business cards have emerged. They were created from the most expensive materials, in a restrained style, without any extravagances. Because of the high cost of corporate business cards, they were used only by very famous institutions and companies.

Development does not stand still. The world of modern information dictates its own rules, and that’s why we have created a new service, the network of digital contacts Fly Card. Digital business cards are a new step in the development of classic cards, s that are already outdated and too uncomfortable for a modern person.

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