9 Creative Alternatives to the Business Card

In a world with conventions, trade groups, and fierce competition for nearly every service imaginable, it's important for savvy businesses to have something extra to catch and keep a client's attention. And let's face it: The humble business card has become downright forgettable. Even putting your business' basic details on a little bit of swag isn't always enough. Pens, keychains, and the occasional beer cozy emblazoned with a business's name are so routine and dull that they almost guarantee you'll be forgotten.

This has encouraged a more creative approach among ambitious sellers. Turning your business card into an item of unique usefulness helps separate you from competitors, and makes it harder for a client to forget you. Here are some examples of clever and functional business "cards."

1. Cookie business cards

Lady Fortunes specializes in the sweet marriage of business and baked goods. They can even bake you up some business cards by putting an edible print of your actual business card on top of their frosted graham cookies.

2. Seed envelope card

This envelope was specifically designed for the Lush Lawn and Property Enhancement company by the design firm Struck. Unlike some business cards that are printed directly onto seed paper, the Lush design allows you to sprinkle the grass seed on your lawn while keeping the pertinent information on the "card."

3. Lock pick card

Kevin Mitnick is a world-famous hacker, who, after being arrested and serving his time, set up a successful computer security firm. It is fitting that a man famous for breaking and entering past technological barriers would have such a unique and morally ambiguous calling card. His website sells the cards and hosts a video on how to use the tools it provides.

4. Cheese grater card

The JWT design firm in Brazil took utility in advertising to a delicious new place when they presented Bon Vivant, a cheese specialty store, with its new business card. It may not be routinely carried around in wallets in case of parmesan emergencies, but it will likely stay in a kitchen cupboard, and the minds, of whoever has one.

5. Sea salt vials

Lulu the Baker is a blog run by farm girl, chef, and all-around food fanatic Melissa Bahen. She distributes these clever little corked vials of sea salt, imprinted with her name and business info, when she attends conferences. Possibly the most savory marriage of charm, simplicity, and utility on this list.

6. Tea bag cards

When Kim, the blogger behind Blending Beautiful, set out to make business cards advertising her husband's web design business, they thoughtfully included a little bag of comfort with each card. Gluing together their own small bags from pieces of paper bearing the logo, the couple inserted a tea bag (with the logo again pasted to the string tabs) and a formal business card. A soothing way to help set his business apart.

7. Pop light cards

The Light Bulb Flashlight may be mass-produced, but it can still be a great business card alternative. The light bulb very cleverly raises from the base, making this gadget very useful, and very hard to throw away. Especially when it can fit right into your wallet.

8. Soap cards

It's a clever enough idea to include something as attractive and useful as soap as swag with your business card, but to actually have your business card in the soap ensures the message and the medium don't separate. Haley's Dragon Fly Garden can insert your business card into any number of clever soap designs, making your business the first to come to mind when a client gets to her hotel room for a hot shower.

9. Tetris card

The YouTube video title says it best: "My Business Card Plays Tetris." Designed by Kevin Bates, this card is tiny, but it has all the proper Gameboy-esque button placements and a replaceable battery that runs for up to nine hours. "Practicality" may not be the first word to apply to this ingenious little card, but desirability counts for something. Longevity, too. Your grandchildren will find this one day when they clean out your desk, and they'll play with it too.

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The Top 10 Pizza Chains in America

Pizza is a $45.1 billion industry in the United States. Here are the top pizza chains across this great nation, based on gross sales in 2016.


Pizza Hut is truly enormous. Raking in more than $5.75 billion in 2016, the chain is best known for its red roof architecture. The style is so distinctive that the blog Used to Be a Pizza Hut collects photos of former Pizza Hut restaurants now turned into other businesses.


With more than $5.47 billion in revenue, Domino's is nipping at Pizza Hut's heels. For decades, Domino's offered a guarantee that your pizza would arrive in 30 minutes or less, or it would be free. The policy was terminated in 1993 in the U.S., and Domino's has since focused on expanding its menu with pasta, sandwiches, and other goodies.


Photo of the exterior of a Little Caesars restaurant

Founded in 1959 by Mike and Marian Ilitch, Little Caesars focuses on carry-out pizza at ultra-competitive prices. Using slogans like "Pizza! Pizza!," "Pan! Pan!," and "Deep Deep Dish," the chain offers hot cheese pizzas for just $5.


Headquartered in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, Papa John's was the first national pizza chain to offer online ordering in the U.S., way back in 2002.


Papa Murphy's offers exclusively "take and bake" pizza, where the ingredients are put together in front of you, then you bake the pizza at home. It's the only large chain to offer this kind of pizza, and it's a smart business model—stores don't need pizza ovens!


California Pizza Kitchen

The first California Pizza Kitchen launched in 1985 in Beverly Hills, California. The focus is on gourmet pizza, including a line of relatively fancy frozen pizzas. In many locations, CPK also offers gluten-free crust as an option, making it a favorite for gluten-intolerant pizza lovers.


Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco founded Marco's Pizza in 1978. The Toledo, Ohio-based chain is now the country's fastest-growing pizza chain, with more than 800 franchised locations across the U.S. as well as in Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and India. They specialize in what they've dubbed "Ah!thentic Italian."


In 1958, Bill Larson concluded four years of US Navy service and got a job at a pizza parlor in San Mateo, California. A year later, he founded his own: Round Table Pizza. Using a King Arthur theme, Round Table has often featured knights and shields in its logo. The knight theme originated when Larson saw drawings of King Arthur's court eating pizza.


The brainchild of two Georgia Tech students, Mellow Mushroom opened in Atlanta, Georgia as a one-off pizzeria. Today, it boasts more than 150 locations, and is regularly inching further westward.


Macaroni and cheese pizza from Cicis

Cicis is the world's largest pizza buffet chain. It features all sorts of wild stuff including a macaroni-and-cheese pizza.

Source: PMQ Pizza Magazine

Pop Culture
North Pole Blockbuster Video, One of Chain’s Few Remaining Stores, Is Closing

With streaming quickly becoming the new standard in movie-watching, the majority of today’s youngsters will never know the joy that came with a Friday night visit to the local Blockbuster Video store. Nor will they understand the inherent drama such an outing could bring: “Ooh, look Hocus Pocus is on VHS! Oh no, that kid got the last copy!” That already-tiny number is about to shrink even further with the announcement that Alaska’s North Pole Blockbuster, one of only an estimated eight stores left in the U.S., is closing its doors.

The announcement was made on Monday afternoon via the store’s Facebook page, which thanked its employees for their service:

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner spoke with Kevin Daymude, the store’s general manager, who pointed to declining sales as the reason for the shuttering. “Do we have a great clientele? Yes, without a doubt,” Daymude said. “It just declined.”

While Blockbuster Video filed for bankruptcy in 2010, the brand continued to license its iconic blue-and-yellow ticket stub logo to franchisees, the bulk of which are located in Alaska. Why Alaska? Lack of broadband and high Internet price tags in the state mean that streaming content isn’t as simple as just pointing and clicking.

“A lot of [the stores] are still quite busy,” Alan Payne, a Blockbuster licensee-owner who owns a handful of the few remaining stores in the U.S., told The Washington Post in 2017. “If you went in there on a Friday night you’d be shocked at the number of people.”

Earlier this year Payne was forced to close his Edinburg, Texas store, the last Blockbuster in Texas, which had been operating since the 1990s. But Alaska won’t be Blockbuster-free anytime soon. Even with the North Pole store’s closing, there are still four remaining locations in Alaska.

While the North Pole store ceased its rental operations on Sunday, it will remain open through April while it sells off its inventory of movies and fixtures. The only question is whether there’s a VHS copy of Jerry Maguire somewhere in there.


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