Too Cool For Words: Moo MiniCards

Just in time for the National Performing Arts Convention this week, my new Moo MiniCards arrived and I can’t wait to start handing them out. If you aren’t already familiar with Moo’s MiniCards all you need to know is that they are "it" when it comes to the latest trend in business card design. London based Moo takes business card customization to insane levels by allowing users to print a full-bleed graphic on one side with up to six lines of text on the other. But wait, I can hear you saying "that’s no big deal, a lot of printers allow you to do that already. Here’s the catch: you can print each one of your minimum 100 order cards with a completely different image if you so desire…

The process Moo created for users to design their MiniCards is far
more advanced than anything else you’ve encountered when it comes to
business card design. However, if you have any experience creating
on-demand print material then Moo’s design process will feel very

You can use existing photos/graphics or create something
especially for the cards. Moo has some nifty built-in features that
allow users to pull images directly from a Flickr account but I opted
for downloading a psd template so I could design something special.
Although I didn’t go so nuts as to design 100 different graphics I did
come up with 10 different designs, which I then had Moo print in
varying percentages of my 100 count order (another slick feature).

Even though the cards are printed and shipped from London,
they arrived at my Chicago office in seven business days following my
order submission. I know some folks might see the smaller size as a
negative (easier for recipients to misplace) but I think the unique
factor will help marginalize that problem. I was also drawn to the fact
that smaller cards are environmentally friendly compared to their
traditional counterparts and Moo’s attitude by using paper sourced from
sustainable forests and shipped in study, yet recyclable, plastic
cartons, as pictured in the photos below.


The cards were kept safe and secure in their plastic shipping
bin and I was enormously satisfied to discover that any worries I had
about tearing up these cards due to their slim design was eliminated
after feeling how study they are. The smooth satin finish clearly
reproduced all of the images the images (even those with significant
detail). Due to the satin finish, don’t expect your images to look like
mini-photographs but at the same time the photo quality was adequate
enough to displaying all of the fine details in my images without
trouble. My only gripe is that the cards were not collated and I had to
go through and separate each card design by hand but that took all of
one minute. The pics below show before and after the collating.


Although you can select a different image for each card, you
only get one option when it comes to the text on the opposite side.
Furthermore, the six line maximum can begin to feel crowded if you have
multiple email addresses, phone numbers, or URL’s to print. If you want
to include a shipping address in addition to that sort of information,
you might be out of luck. Nonetheless, I still managed to fit my
company name, position, one email address, two URL’s and two telephone
numbers while using a blank line to visually divide the info. Although
I would have preferred to have enough room to include a shipping
address, it wasn’t a deal-breaker as I could have ditched one URL and
telephone number to make enough room. You can also incorporate some of
those text elements into the graphic side if it suits your needs.


Smaller than standard business cards, Moo’s MiniCards measure
2.75" x 1.1" (or 70mm x 28mm) which is roughly the dimensions of a
stick of gum. The pictures below should provide a good frame of
reference for exactly what you can expect a MiniCards to look like.
Furthermore, the cards fit in a standard Rolodex sleeve without


Perhaps one of the best aspects of Moo’s MiniCards is the
freedom to be creative with a medium that is typically dull. In fact, I
can imagine orchestras, opera companies, theaters, and ballet companies
getting quite a bit of mileage out of something like a Moo’s MiniCards.
In particular, they could use the graphic side to portray a long shot
of every ensemble artist (even the 100+ members of a full symphonic
orchestra) with the other side displaying an employee’s contact info.
Groups that produce eight or less productions per season could design
cards that feature the graphic elements from each production which
include ticket order information (or maybe even special discount
codes). You can see it won’t take much to get creative juices flowing
and finding a way to feature the organization’s talent is only going to
improve labor relations.

As for cost, an order of 100 cards is $20.00 so the cards
aren’t ideal if you regularly distribute thousands of cards each
season. But if you’re like me, a few hundred cards per year is plenty
(just under half of my last order of 1000 from 16 months ago went
unused – they’re now being used as post-it substitutes and blank
inserts for my Rolodex!). And honestly, given the high turnover at some
groups, printing high-impact cards in small quantities is a better when
you look at the long-tail economic impact.

For more pics, visit my Moo MiniCard Photo Album.

Order your own Moo MiniCards here.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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2 thoughts on “Too Cool For Words: Moo MiniCards”

  1. I bought Moo cards for self, partner, and one of my best buddies last year. Mine say some of the things you’d expect, but the photos are all pictures I took at various places. I think I used 50 different photos. Donna’s are all from the graduation ceremony for her Dr. P.H. and say “Dottoressa Strega” on the back. My buddy’s are business cards for his small winery. I think he was mildly skeptical at first, then discovered that wine geeks go nuts over them, especially when there are grape photos. ( – he makes pinot noir and syrah. If you get on the mailing list, tell him Lisa sent you. 🙂

    On subject: I love my Moo cards, and will post photos of ’em.

    Cool, let me know when you do so I can post a link! ~ Drew McManus

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Too Cool For Words: Moo MiniCards