For centuries, business cards have always been used as a means of both introducing their owner, and at the same time ‘creating the right impression’.

The origins of the business card can be traced back to the 17th century in Europe, where the footman of a notable dignitary would announce his masters’ imminent arrival by presenting a card to the butler of the host. This card would typically bear the name and title of the owner, along with the family crest or coat of arms; in just the same way as the modern business card will typically display the name and job title of the owner, along with their contact details and logo.

Clearly, then as now, it was considered essential to have a card which would impress the recipient and convey the importance and status of the visitor.

In the modern business environment, your card is generally the first real impression you make to a potential customer – and it has to be good. It’s a simple fact of life that the more impressive the card, the more likely it is that the recipient will keep it.

The impression which a business card makes depends on a number of factors:

Firstly, there’s the question of how it’s designed and what it actually says, and the style of your card will to quite an extent depend on the type of business you’re in. For instance, a firm of solicitors are going to have very different looking business cards to a firm of party planners. One needs to convey an impression of serious, reliable professionalism; whilst the other needs to look fun, exciting, even perhaps a little whacky!

Next, and absolutely crucial, there’s the weight, quality, and finish of the actual card itself, and nothing creates a worse impression than a cheap, flimsy card with tatty edges. Of course, you can buy thousands of ‘budget business cards’ for next to nothing, but you might as well throw them all away yourself, because that’s exactly what your potential customers are going to do the moment your back is turned!

For the ultimate statement of quality and professionalism, take a look at Instaprint’s new Luxury Business Cards. These incredibly stylish cards are ultra-thick, and produced by sandwiching a layer of coloured card between two white layers, before adding a laminate to both sides.

The result is a really spectacular card which creates a genuine wow factor when you hand it to a prospective customer. Just watch them touch it, feel it, test the ‘bendiness’, and comment on it to you and all their colleagues. In short, they’ll remember you, your company and the product or service you are offering – and for all the right reasons.

And whilst these cards might initially seem expensive, in reality they represent terrific value for money simply because their retention rate is vastly higher than the average business card.

As the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”