The 'Phoenix' Company's Business Card

Outside Inside

The audience for this card are those who want, or are pondering financial planning for their families, or themselves. The audience covers a wide range of ages, probably early 30s and up. They have money, and are looking ahead to their financial future.

The purpose of this business card is to sell Phoenix's financial planning services to potential customers, as well as to spread the word about this company.

This is a folded business card, containing four sides of information. It is printed on slightly textured, and stiff paper. Because of its size, it is extremely portable, and meant to be kept in a wallet, or purse. It was on a rack with dozens of other business cards on display at East Side Mario's on King St. N in Waterloo when I picked it up.

There are several different typefaces in this business card. The first is on the front of the card. It is a serifed font, all caps, coloured gold, in 24 pt. This type face enhances the emphasis, ethos, and tone of the document because of its strong figure-ground contrast with the white background, creating a bold and glowing image of the company. On the second page are two typefaces. One is bold, serifed and coloured black. This typeface is in both upper and lower case, consisting of 18 and 16 pt sizes. The second typeface is sans serif, upper and lower case, in 10 pt regular treatment. On the third page is a serifed font, in both 18 and 10 pt upper and lower case. The 18 pt font is bold. The mixture of typefaces within the document reduces both conciseness of the document and the ethos of the company suggesting an unorganized and highly erratic business.

The second page of the document contains a header which is centred at the top. It catches the eye minimally though, because beneath it are the services which Phoenix provides in bold, centred on the page and in the same typeface as the header. This reduces emphasis and clarity since the similarities between the header and the services combine to create a jumbled and blocky looking mess. The eye goes straight down the page and tends to skip over everything. The third page contains the name of the representative of the organization centred near the top, with plenty of white space around the name. This enhances clarity and emphasis as the reader can clearly see the representative's name. The contact information is separated into mailing address(left justified on the left margin), and telephone numbers(right justified on the right margin). The fact that these separate but equally important groups of information are grouped accordingly enhances the ethos, arrangement, and emphasis aspects of the document, presenting them as equal in importance, and logically organized.

The extra element on the front of the card is an elegant and eye-catching portrait of the mythical phoenix, with its wings outstretched. It is coloured gold and stands out well against the white background. This gives the business card an elegant and sophisticated tone, which also builds up the ethos of the company as one containing grace and knowledge. On the second page, the graphical elements work against the document. The small black logos of the phoenix acting as bullets down the left side of the page do nothing important, and weigh down the left side of the page, detracting from conciseness, tone, and emphasis of the business card. The horizontal lines which connect the logo to the text also serve to reduce conciseness because they are not needed(we already have the bullets), and they reduce clarity, since they clash with the text(notice the small 'g' with the line running through the descender). These lines also serve to detract from the ethos of the company because of their unprofessional, and poorly planned execution. The last exta level element is the logo of 'Sun Alliance' which is positioned on the bottom of the last section, centre justified. It is small, and seems lost on the page which decreases clarity. The logo does add to the ethos of the document, since it is a fairly well known company.

The supra level of this business card is very weak. There is nothing to suggest that one section of the card goes with the next. Headers are inconsistent with each other and weaken the ethos and arrangement of the document greatly. Inconsistency in headers suggests a company with little regard to organization, or how others perceive it. This haphazard feeling, which runs rampant through the entire card, is a major problem. The only supra level element of any significant help is the logo on the front of the card which is repeated on the second section as seen in the small bullets. It helps clarity, because it does connect the front of the card with the inside, though this connection is quite weak.


This business card starts off well due to the elegant and eye catching picture of the phoenix on the front, but thereafter it falls flat on its face. The overall weakness of the card can be found in its supra and extra level elements. Extra level elements detract from the information and cheapen the feel of the card. At the supra level, there is nothing to keep this card together. The card is inconsistent with its typeface selection for headers. If this organization means to sell itself, it must work to find ways to keep the inside consistent with the look and feel of the front of the business card.