It Pays To Look Good – Quality Printing is Worth It

How much do you think communication mediums affect the way we think of things?

Does a well-made official letterhead, sign, or business card really make that much of a difference?

Personally, I think memes should stay on the internet

Let’s have a thought experiment.

Let’s pretend you’re an HR manager. How would you respond to a job application written on a paper napkin? If said you’d laugh and chuck it in the trash- congratulations: Nothing’s wrong with you. You’re completely normal.

If you decide to take it seriously, then great- you’re the rare type who sees past these things and sees what’s really important. I guess. Way to make the rest of us feel bad. Jerk.

Seriously though, many would argue that the message is more important – it you received a death threat instead of a resume, for instance, it’s doubtful you’d treat it so callously.

But that’s not the point – the fact remains that unless the message is of a life-changing (or life-ending) consequence, something written on a paper napkin would not be as well received as something printed on say, 14pt. card stock with a matte finish.

And if you got a death threat printed on that, then someone must really want you dead.

Very convincing indeed

Fewer new entrepreneurs these days ever bother with things like professionally-made business cards, letterheads, or sales sheets. And it’s understandable. These things cost money. The returns are difficult to measure. And it’s easy to convince yourself there might not be any!

But of course, it does make a difference.

Even if someone never bothers to look you up in the immediate future, at the very least you won’t have made a negative impression.

Look at any billion dollar brand, and I will guarantee close to 100% of the people in charge it will have professionally-made personalized letterheads and business cards. You will probably be better off with generic supplies than with custom made ones that reflect poorly on you.

"And when the doctor said I didn't have worms anymore, that was the happiest day of my life!"

 SE3, EP14: “Lisa the Greek”, 20th Century Fox

If you plan to even play in the big leagues – or even plan to get the most of what you have – you really can’t afford to mess around with this sort of thing. Not even attempting to look presentable is just almost as bad as not brushing your teeth or showering before a first date, or perhaps as bad as writing out a resume on a paper napkin.

You just don’t win anyone over that way.

Not customers, and certainly not anyone worth dating. You don’t find anyone who isn’t totally insane quibbling over the price of toothpaste after all.

Be honest with yourself – it’s unlikely you’ll always have the most insightful things to say. But it’s always possible to have an interesting way to says it.

4 comments on “It Pays To Look Good – Quality Printing is Worth It”

  1. Jonathan Dune Reply

    A pretty business card does not make for a good “ambassador” for any business. When you want to be the choice for a prospect, make your advert collateral materials like business cards, brochures, rack cards, print adverts, audio or video, etcetera… make them VALUABLE to your prospect. Offering pretty business cards, brochures, rack cards, or print adverts to a prospect is like a pretty flower, it quickly dies off and loses its impression and gets tossed in the bin. Better to make your “ambassador” advert collateral materials so VALUABLE that your prospect cannot let it go or toss it in the bin.

    So much of the time graphics designers, print houses, and printing sales people advise you to make your collateral materials “pretty” and “professional looking” and that approach only makes them money. If you are narcissistic enough to believe that “pretty” trumps value… print on! And you can keep following those who have no clue about their prospects.

    Graveyards are full of business cards… uh, “Tombstones” that provide prospects with just the same old information that others offer: name, pompous title, business address, too many phone numbers, email addresses business website URL’s, etcetera… Prospects want VALUE! Or… you pretty little “Tombstone” gets the toss into the bin.

    Making your collateral materials valuable to your prospect is vital to long term success in any field of interest. But, TESTING different concepts is the only method to find the “sweet spot” that gets your business card held on to like the last morsel of crumb in a starving prospects hand. Or, making your collateral materials like valuable currency. Who tosses real currency… money, into the bin? Only those who choose “pretty” over “valuable.”

    Get smart quick. Being like everyone else will just cost you your hard earned cash to learn it doesn’t work. It doesn’t gain prospects to convert into customers and then into clients. Pssst… if YOU don’t know the difference, find out fast or your nearest competitor already knows and your days are numbered.

    Not just my opinion, testing prove the reality to be true.

    After nearly 40 years of successful marketing looking around at all the “Tombstones”… just a little bit of advice to shake you up to the true reasons for being in business: To Profit or to Perish.


    ~Jonathan Dune
    word morphologist (ole style marketer/copywriter)
    Two Comma Copy Pty Ltd

    • Art Reply

      Of course a solid, profitable business model will trump the value of ANY business card.

      BUT – I never know who I will meet in a given day, but with a good card I always know that I won’t be embarrassed. Well-designed business cards give you confidence- and instill the same in potential contacts.

      You can argue good design and aesthetics are shallow pursuits. You may not realize that how you present yourself can protect you from far more shallow assessments from others.

      Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Pingback: It Pays To Look Good – Why You Should Invest In Quality Printing |

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