Business cards are for dummies, you dummy*
Business cards, however, are for worker bees. Everyone worth their Dyson CSYS Task Light knows this. They fall into the same category as briefcases. Yes, you like the idea of owning one. It might even make you feel more professional for a beat, but ultimately it’s worthless. Other than your trips to the Far East – where card giving is purely about respect and protocol – when was the last time you gave your business card to a client you cared about? Oh, sure there was that time outside Kettner’s Townhouse when Dave from marketing needed a roach for the king-size blunt he was rolling, but other than that the stack of biz cards on your desk has remained largely unfingered for years.
Listen, we get the ambition. And yes, the idea of bespoke stationery still gives us a little thrill too. (House Rules is nothing if not grandiose with our affectations.) So that’s why we are rebooting the concept of visitor cards, otherwise known as calling cards. These are about the same size as the humble business card – small, handheld, around 3.5 by 2.1 inches – but were originally used in 18th-century Europe by footmen to announce the arrival of their masters, usually aristocrats and royalty. In 2018, however, everyone already knows who you are and what you’re about – and, if not, ask yourself why not – so we charged Smythson of Bond Street to print us some cards that we could use less like introductions and more like full stops, as declarations of intent and philosophy.
Emblazoned with lettering that is brim-full of entitlement and ‘tude – “GQ House Rules / You’re Welcome” – HR’s cards have been littered at dinner parties, posted with letters to competitors, even left in client showrooms after a particularly heated exchange about advertising spend. We commissioned three versions, all on 350gsm: one, “Grosvenor Place” font printed in black ink on white wove; two, “Park Avenue” font printed in Smythson blue ink on ermine white laid; and three, charcoal grey on Colorplan real grey.
If you received one, consider yourself served – and blessed – it means we care what you think of us. If not, well, try to figure out what you’re doing wrong.