Business cards have long been considered a simple and effective way to network. Small in size and relatively inexpensive, they pack a big punch, quickly conveying information, style, and the purpose of your business in their compact and portable stature. But while business cards themselves have evolved into important visual marketing and branding tools, the method of distribution has remained relatively the same. Sure you give them out to new colleagues you encounter, stuff them inside a traditional mailing, or even pin it to a public bulletin board at the coffee shop, but none of these methods are innovative or unusual. A case of 'been there, done that'.
Moriyuki Ochiai Architects, however, had a brilliant idea for making the distribution of business card unique while still sporting an artful edge. Entitled Forest of Business Cards, the installation consists of multiple business cards inserted into slots in a foam wall, creating an assemblage of pattern, color, and three-dimensionality. Serving as central hub for artists, visitors to the wall are free to peruse and pluck business card from the wall, making the feature successful from a distribution and marking standpoint, while also maintaining an interactive, constantly evolving, and unusual experience.
Moriyuki Ochiai Architects “…aimed to create a meeting place where 200 different card designs meet, revealing a complex interaction between individual cards and the whole. We inserted the business cards in Styrofoam in order to confer the paper's fragile,fine and light properties onto its surroundings and reinforce the relationship between object, support and environment. Visitors remove cards of interest, thus changing the exhibit density which in turn shifts their own focus. This results in a complex and beautiful facade that changes from one moment to the next as would the Japanese Sakura(cherry) tree.”
For transforming a tried and true tool into an artful method of distribution, we salute Moriyuki Ochiai Architects. In our next product meeting or Lunch-and-Learn, we just might reconsider the antiquated handshake/business card exchange ritual - imagine redesigning the experience by stringing business cards from ceilings, tossing them out like a Frisbee, or popping out of hydraulic trap doors in the conference table! What method would make the most lasting (and positive) impression on you?
Image source: Design Milk