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When was the first Business Card used?

Rotary Creative Group Rotary Creative Group - 13 June 2019

If you had to make a guess, when would you say the first ever use of a business card was?

2019? Nope, 2000? definitely not, 1980? not even close…

In fact, if you were guessing this way it would take you an awfully long time to get to the 17th Century were the first recognised business cards were ever used. That’s right, the 17th Century. The long history and evolution of a business card is quite interesting.

Business cards were used in the 17th Century to announce the impending arrival or prosperous or aristocratic people to their town or home. The cards were shaped and sized much differently back then, similar to a playing card nowadays, and they became a staple of the elite. Over a period of time, these cards became engraved with gold and different typefaces. By the 19th Century, these cards were a must have by anyone in the middle class, households would have trays for you to leave your cards in.

Within the 18th and 19th Century these cards were known as social cards and were taken from lady’s upon their first visits to a house, the lady would leave her card as a matter of etiquette. These cards were then passed on to the lady of the house and very much created the first impression of the person.

In the modern day, business cards still follow the same procedures as the 17th Century. They should provide the best first impression they can for your Company, and in traditional style should be presented in the most professional way possible and passed on with the right hand. The card should never be carried lose and presented in the best condition.

Business Cards have very much retained the same use, feel and meaning as they did in the 17th Century.

If you’d like to see how we can help you update or create the perfect card to translate your brand, get in touch.