POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Fri 2008/11/28 05:15 JST in Japan

"Meishi" is the Japanese word for a name/business card and is a fundamental item of Japanese business.
Thought we'd take a look at my latest meishi design and while we're at it have a gander at meishi from my previous positions.

My new meishi - Mirai on the default Japanese side with Haruka on the English side.
Folks in Japan can order name cards at Tokyo Meishi Land - just over 1000 yen for 100 double sided full color cards. They have a template you download where you use Illustrator to make the data.
Images should be embedded 300dpi and submitted in CMYK color separation with all fonts outlined. They print on demand and ship the same day.

Before I had the girls on the card I used to wonder how some folk would view us - especially when I handed one to the British Ambassador to Japan ^^;

But our main clients are in Japan and the Japanese seem to love the designs which reflect out company culture. I guess they wouldn't be contacting us for their instance of Mirai Gaia if they thought we were strange.

And here is my name card for which I can give out a bit more freely and does not contain my phone number. The next version will be double sided with Haruka-chan.

This is what my first business card for Mirai used to look like. The cost was something like 5000 yen for 100 which was done by a printing company. The quality is better but I much prefer the Tokyo Meishi Land double sided 1000 yen job.

One of the reasons why I decided to have the Suenaga sisters on the company business card was because when I gave out my card, the other person would see the Mirai-chan card and want one of those too ^^;

I discovered that having the Suenaga girls on our card makes an impact and helps the other person remember us from an evening of networking and receiving a load of other business cards. They are usually the first talking point.
Its also easy to talk about and the achievements made here which immediately leads to "where can I get my hands on Mirai Gaia?"

We still dont have an official site which is ironic because we are a web development company ^^; The reason is because we have not had a reason to showcase out goods because all business is through folks we know or through introductions - have enough clients lined up which will last us quite a while. We do have a makeshift page for though.

And a look at my business cards from previous employment. First up is Microsoft where I was a CGM Product Manager managing some of the Windows Live services.

Here are my business cards from my time at Amazon in Japan and Seattle. Site Manager in Japan and Manager for the Global Asin Metrics team in Seattle. Asin = Amazon Standard Identification Number which we assigned to each and every product.

Ah, before I forget, If you are planning on doing business in Japan, you need to learn how to hand out business cards in the correct way - handing one out incorrectly will immediately give you and your company a bad impression.
I see so many gaijin just fling out their business cards - needless to say they tend to be the ones who don't do too well. See the video below of how business cards should be exchanged.

This is my first business card in Japan. I was looking after Web Marketing in Japan, China, Taiwan, HongKong and Korea thus the many versions of my name.

Cant seem to find my Japan Airlines meishi anywhere. Maybe back at my mums place in London.

The gray card is the first personal name card I made for myself after arriving in Japan - made in Microsoft Word and printed on an Epson printer with paper from Tokyu Hands. I also help out at Akihabara News from time to time.

And a rummage around some of the other business card designs in the meishi folder.

One of the nicest meishi I've received from the boss of Moe Japan. I wish my previous bosses looked like this.

Kotobukiya have a cool meishi too which has their photo and opens out.

Inside the Kotobukiya meishi contains details of the other stuff that they do.

The meishi that inspired me to have Mirai-chan on the company card - Joy Max from Nitro Plus.

Name cards are not only useful for business but for any type of networking. If you have a card, it makes it easier for other other party to remember you.

Business is all about who you know but life in general is also about who you know. Even if you are not working nor have your own business, I still recommend you carry around a personal name card. Having an name card will help you connect with other people easily.
Even if you cant play around with Illustrator, you can easily make cards online with services like Invest a bit O cash and you will discover just how useful a name card can be.

Once you start to network, you will accumulate a ton of business cards which are a pain to maintain. What I do is follow up by sending mail to each person I met the following day - don't leave it more than a week or you will end up not following up. if a person replies, it shows they are interested in maintaining a relationship and once their mail comes in, their name and address is automatically added to your address book (for Gmail). What you can do then is to use the address export function in LinkedIn and add that person to your list of business contacts. I can use LinkedIn to manage my business comrades by region and can see who they know and as for introductions if needed. Its also much better than managing your contacts through physical meishi which you can simply search.