Tagged: business cards

Feel Good (Braille) Business Cards on a Budget

I recently ordered a new set of business cards to match my new prefix (Dr) and new email address. Previously I’ve relied on institutional business cards – however, as I’m now freelance, significant decisions have had to be made regarding content, design, usability and accessibility. Cost and convenience have also been important. As with all such things, time was short as I noticed several impending events careering towards me; (see my Twitter account @slewth for forthcoming tweets from the a11yLDN unConference on Weds 21st Sept 2011).

The need for speed led me to moo.com. Moo supply a huge range of designed templates, with options for those wanting to make their own. They print to both Premium and high quality Green standards.  They can rush a print job and supply a sprint delivery also.

I chose the Less is More design by Jonathan Howells on several grounds: it uses a large, legible font, the contrast is reasonable and, importantly, there’s plenty of analogue hack space on the reverse.  The cards arrived today – so I’m halfway there.

Less Is More business card
The front of my new business card using large black and white text on a mid tone grey background.
Less is More business card: reverse view
Less is More business card reverse view: the words 'My Card' and a large blank space that I intend to hack.

As committed readers will know, I also want braille for my business cards.  My previous investigations in this area have led me to Azzabat, who have supplied me with transparent braille stickers that can be applied over a standard business card (or anything else). Azzabat frankly rock the opposition.

University business card with braille sticker
My previous university business card with transparent braille sticker overlaid. Braille on this side represents my name, phd status and the LSRI over four lines.
University business card with braille: reverse view.
My university business card with braille label: reverse view. Four lines of embossed braille give my phone number (top line) and email address (over next three lines).

There are no set up fees, customer service is excellent and I recommend them highly, especially for institutions and other organisations. Importantly, as their labels are clear, they can be stuck to both sides of a business card (as pictured) – this is vital given the large (36 size) font necessary for braille  – as it allows more space for contact information to be represented.  Azzabat have a minimum order of 100 units with labels retailing at £0.85 ($1.33) per unit. This is well below other equivalent brailling services for business cards, but on this occassion I needed a cheaper option.

As a result, I’m taking a D.I.Y. approach. With a view to creating my own (opaque) labels  for the reverse of my new cards. I’ve just ordered the RNIB‘s Braille King Pocket Frame.  This is a small device that allows the user to create braille. The demonstration video below shows how it is used.


The Braille King Pocket Frame retails at £14.39 ($22.5). I’m really looking forward to trying this out. I’ll post the results back to this blog when the device arrives. Comments, as always, are welcome.

Cheap Braille for Business Cards

Update: A more recent post on this subject is available: Feel Good (Braille) for Business Cards (2011).

Due to an imminent change of name, I’m currently in the process of updating all my personal effects.  Nottingham’s School of Education supplies basic business cards to all PhD students, however, in an effort to make myself as accessible as possible, I’ve begun pursuing a braille option to increase the accessiblity of my communications arsenal.  People who read braille are in the minority amongst visually impaired people, so I will be exploring other avenues simultaneously (large print cards are an obvious first step).  But if you’ve investigated braille and always thought it out of your price range – consider AZZABAT.  The website is in the process of being updated – but in terms of supplying Braille Business Cards, their claim that they are “First for Accessible Products for the Blind and Visually Impaired” is not overstated!

AZZABAT supply transparent braille stickers that can be applied over a normal sized business card, or anything else.  As with talking labels this gives them a lot of flexibility.  This format allows one card to hold two sides of braille text (important considering the 30+ font size of standard braille, and the traditionally tiny format of the average credit-card sized business card).  Prices are also remarkably low, at 20p per unit ($0.39) with no set up fee and no apparent minimum order (as of today’s date).  Postage is extra, but reasonable.  Amazing, considering that a straw poll average of alternative printer quotes start with a one-off set up fee of around £150.00 ($300.00), too much for many individuals.

I’ve ordered two sets of 50, one set covering my name and organisation, the second disclosing my email and phone details.  This gives me not only braille business cards, but also stickers with braille contact details that can be applied to academic posters, or anything else, without concealing printed text.