Picking the right card for the job

3rd December 2009 by Anne-Marie

Ever dreamed of quitting your day job and just taking off around the world? Well, who hasn’t, right? But some people actually do it. And we’re not just talking about taking a brief sabbatical either.

Take Kristin and Paul Cowles.

They loved travel, but found that working in advertising was just giving them ‘itchy feet’. A whiz around the world only to end up back back in the regular rat-race just wasn’t going to cut it. Instead, they formed a company that combined their two loves, travel and computers, creating a The Circumference, a website dedicated to inspiring others to take the trip of a lifetime.

The Circumference isn’t about pre-packaged tours and ticking off a list of tourist “must-sees”. It’s about experiences. Kids on mopeds flinging hot pink vegetable-powder dye into your hair at the Holi festival of colours in India. Sea-turtles right up close as you try open-water diving for the first time in the MiniCards and Business Cards with them in order to promote their company, with each style of card performing a slightly different function. Below, Kirsty tells us a little more about these cards and describes the ways in which they, and the Circumference, aim to help inspire people to follow their dreams.

Nice business cards! How did you decide which photos to include?

We choose a combination of the most unique – and the best – experiences we’d done personally on some of our recent travels. The criteria that we focused on for selection was quality and inspiration. It was also important to us that our cards embody a variety of different experiences – what appeals to one person might not to another.

How were your business cards received on your first trip?

For our first trip we took along the MiniCards and they were great. We used them largely with other travellers and some business contacts. Their unique size made them memorable and more of a ‘marketing piece’ than a standard ‘business card’. It also made taking a large quantity much easier in our backpacks!

Do the cards, being predominantly image- rather than text-based, help you to transcend cultural and language boundaries?

Definitely! Approximately 65% of people are visual learners, so it also really helps relay our message of inspiration through experience. You can see the understanding sink in as they scroll through the cards and see the variety of images/experiences we have to offer. It’s also great because people get excited picking out the card they want to take, looking for their favourite, one they relate to, or one that inspires them.

You’re using two sizes, the Business Cards and the MiniCards – what made you decide to do this? Any difference in the way the cards are used?

The reason we did this was largely based on function. Between trips we found the need for more business-related information and so we added the business cards to the collection. When we were on the road in Asia, we didn’t really need to provide people with our mailing address or phone number. We still continue to use both sizes, the Business Cards for business contacts largely at home and the MiniCards for awareness/marketing and taking on the road.

What do you think about the option of short print runs? It’s not a standard Business Card offering, but is it useful to you?

Short print runs and the ability to choose 50 images is invaluable. It allows us flexibility and variety, both of which are important to us. We also found the creation and ordering process simple and pretty straightforward to use.

What plans for the future?

We’re in the process of planning our next world adventure, tentatively set in India, the Philippines and Palau. Not sure exactly where we’re going yet though, we tend to make last minute decisions. It’s part of the fun and adventure of travelling. Will we be taking our Moo Cards with us? But of course!

Thanks for stopping long enough to chat with us, Kristin!
Get inspired to plan your next trip at www.thecircumference.org

Comments (1)

  1. Gina:

    Great idea, hope you have fun on your trip.
    Have a look at my blog or at my flickr


    greetings from Germany


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