|Belongs to George Fox.|
19th century trade cards and advertisements for wood engravers and designers seen over at Sheaff : Ephemera. Except where noted, they personally belong to Dick Sheaff.
With so few marketing options available for shopkeepers in the 19th C, the trade card was considered an essential form of advertising. Designers were just as compelled to create sharp examples of typography and printing then as they are today—much of it hand lettered and illustrated to promote their skills. American cards were intended to be more colorful than some of the European cards and they soon became quite collectable. These ornate trade cards eventually evolved into the business card as we know it today. I fear the business card may now soon go the way of the trade card as more and more marketing is moving online. Yet I doubt it will disappear altogether, as I believe a smartly designed and printed business card can be one of the most effective tools for promoting a small business today. The key word here is smart.
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