Business Services

Introductions: A History Of Business Cards


The small cards which are handed out ubiquitously in networking events and corporate parties just to exchange contact information with a prospective customer or business partner, were once exchanged ceremoniously by the elites and aristocrats of society during visits and social occasions.

In 17th century Europe, it was used by the servants of royalty and nobility to make announcements to other households of the impending visit of their master. Beginning as common bits of stationary which were useful for jotting down information, the visiting card had evolved into a fad of etiquette by the time the 18th century rolled around. It had its attendant rules and regulations attached to its use.


Much like today, even then these cards were the means of creating an impact on behalf of their owners. They were engraved with extravagant designs, the coat of arms and made as attractive as possible. By the Victorian era, a visiting or calling card was a necessary staple of any middle-class social life too.

Each home had a designated card tray where all the visitors card would be collected, and the host or the hostess would make sure to schedule a return visit to them. The card of a visitor was presented to the lady of the house by the butler and then the meeting would take place only if she is willing to grant the privilege.

These cards were the visible indication of popularity and social position. They were as meaningful then as getting likes; on our Facebook posts is now. Business card printing was in high demand and formed a significant part of income for press-owners. This complicated bit of social etiquette made a gradual transition to the utilitarian business world after the Industrial Revolution.

There was a loosening of the bonds of the class system and social etiquette during this time. Rich merchants, who needed to exchange exact information with each other, produced these cards which were handed out like flyers during business meets and trade shows. Even in the face of disapproval from the upper class, this practiced continues. It came to be so that to present a business card at a front door of a respectable house meant that creditors were visiting. Visit this link for more info on flyer printing online.

The USA, a young nation of entrepreneurs and opportunists, was quick to adopt this practice. With the passage of time, it became the excellent business tool it is today.


The Business world has adopted this practice in Asian countries with all the ceremony that their business counterparts lack. In Asia, a business card is considered an extension of the personality of the presenter and as such should be treated with respect. Even after the centuries that have passed since the invention and use of these cards first started, they retain their functionality even in this age.