Portfolio? No,VCard: when doing things “small” is better

Those who saw the film “American Psycho”  surely remember the part full of pathos where Patrick Bateman and other daddy’s boys  show off their business card just to boast in an elegant way-    maniacally,  if you permit- their social status: headed letters, monograms, glossy paper, cream colored … an endless series of classy details to be evaluated  for and for which to be feel  above the others.

Probably the same scene of the same movie, filmed in America 2011, would have as the main character not the traditional paper business card but a VCard, an electronic virtual business card, viewable only with an appropriate electronic device. Impalpable , impersonal, but in step with times.

And a lot of sweet goodbyes to suspense.

After the dutiful – and theatrical- premise, we’ll talk about the VCards and the new trend that these have brought in the web design.

A Vcard is – quoting Wikipedia- “ a file format for electronic business cards. VCards can be attached to e-mail messages, but can also be exchanged in other ways, generally on Internet or between two or more mobile devices via Bluetooth, sms or mms. They can contain information such as name, last name, address, telephone numbers, email, url,  birthday, images and also audio clips.”

In other words, a new and simple way to exchange  contact information digitally.

Quickly  the VCards gave the kicking start to a new phenomenon for what concerns the web design. Instead of the conventional portfolios, in fact more and more professionals choose to present themselves on the web with small , elementary sites, focused on basic information and on the different typologies of contact.

Business cards in html and css, in practice.

Elegant to see and easy to design

VCards are a valid alternative for all those who are negated  with graphics but want to present themselves in a pleasant way on the web. With this type of layout, in fact, it’s much more easier  to create one’s online profile,  without useless embellishments purely aesthetic..

It’s not a coincidence that  the bigger fans of VCards aren’t web designers but web developers ( besides photographers and other professional of other sectors) that don’t need a graphic portfolio but a simple business card with which present themselves online. It’s just that now, with a simple html page, a few css lines and a small (and optional ) javascript effect they can have a really professional personal page.

So, this novelty- that under certain aspects  seems to be a curious cross between a social network and a personal site, gives the opportunity to everyone to put one’s contact information on the web, without the necessity of getting tangled up with the creation a real website, task that obviously requires much more time, competences and contents.

Consider to create your online VCard if..

  1. You already registered your personal domain (www.nomecognome.it) and haven’t found the time to create your site, so that page is bleakly empty: creating a VCard is relatively an easy task and it allows you to fill up that “hole” and to be actively present online.
  2. You have a social and professional life on the web, meet people, manage blogs, sites and what else: you give to your interlocutors the possibility to track you down in a simple way and always have at hand your contact information. A kind of visiting card impossible to lose!
  3. Want to be present on the web but don’t have the money nor the real necessity of a 5 page standard site because all you need is that your contact information and a brief professional profile are visible on the web: if the information and the contents to put online are not a lot and  your budget is not that big, a VCard can be a valid compromise. If you really aren’t able to create your VCard, you can find them online easily customizable and for few dollars.
  4. You need to be present immediately on the web: a last minute event, a sudden departure,  whatever reason for which you need to be online immediately: the creation of a VCard with a simple model requires an hour and it gives you the possibility to be online…now!

Some information before you create your VCard

  1. Even if the VCard is born as a single page containing mainly contact information, most all of these “sites” now have several sections where you navigate thanks to a particular Javascript effect (fade, horizontal slider, vertical slider, etc…). The sections mostly used are “About”, containing a photo and a small bio of the person, “Project”, a sort of  synthesized curriculum, “Social”, containing the links to the different profiles in the social networks and “Contact”, containing telephone numbers and contact module.
  2. A  peculiarity of the VCard is that it provides  a link where you can download the card and automatically add it to mail client  like Outlook: downloading the card all the contact information of the author of the site (name, last name, telephone number, etc.) will be memorized in the address book of our e-mail client
  3. The dimensions of a VCard are very small respect to a traditional site: the  standard width of a VCard is about 500/600 pixel.
  4. Generally the graphics of a professional VCard is deliberately minimal, essential: with this type of site creativity and aesthetic are less important because what really counts is to provide in a simple and fast way one’s contact information and not to impress with style exercises.
  5. Therefore the password is simplicity. One of the few touches of style admitted- and that as far I am concerned , find really attractive- regards to break the schemes for what concerns the photo to include in the “about” page. A trend in vogue  makes that the traditional – and maybe banal- the square avatar that a few months ago was omnipresent  in every presentation page on the web is replaced by more extravagant photos , with original poses, funny  and informal.

To know more about this argument I advise you to read the article dedicated to the methods to present oneself on the web, with a deep analysis of the new trends and more creative ways to … put the face!

Showcase: some VCard samples

Resource: free VCard

If for lack of time or of ideas, want to begin with  a pre-packaged resource, here you can find some  VCards available for the free download that I found on the web. Appropriately customized they can be excellent starting point for creating and putting online your professional business card!

Available for the download here: http://blue-anvil.com/archives/minicard-theme-for-wordpress-a-cool-free-business-cardsocial-network-theme/

Available for the download here: http://human3rror.com/the-digital-business-card-wordpress-theme/

Available for the download here: http://free.simplethemes.org/free-vcard.php

Available for the download here: http://www.design3edge.com/2010/01/03/free-professional-vcard-theme/

Available for the dowload here: http://www.instantshift.com/2010/10/13/clean-vcard-a-free-professional-xhtml-css-vcard-template/

Available for the download here: http://ibrandstudio.com/freebies/stylish-vcard-theme-psd-template

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The Author

Web designer, has been working in the field of graphics and web development for six years and at the moment besides collaborating with a web agency successfully manages her freelance activity under the name of mascara design. Like many freelancers she is used to handling more roles, ranging from paper graphics to the development of html and css codes; nonetheless this passion of hers remains, always and however, web graphics.

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  1. chris
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