CosDown 1: Cosplay Cards

9:00 am HelenLJohnson 1 Comments

Cosplay cards, or cos cards are now a common addition to the cosplayer arsenal. For someone new to cosplay, do you need them? Where do I buy them? Well, I am here to answer your questions in the first of my new series ‘CosDown’, the lowdown from the cosplay community, broken down with some handy hints along the way.

What are cosplay cards? 
Cosplay cards are practically the same as business cards and used in a similar manner. At conventions, it can sometimes be confusing to remember every photographer or a cosplayer who you meet and wish to talk to again, either for photographs, commissions or inspiration for example. They usually consist of a high quality photograph on the front and social media details on the back; sometimes you get an email or website. They are also handy to send out with commissions if that is something that you undertake. I do this with orders from my Etsy store.

Do I need them? 
Definitely not. Ordering a batch of cards is not cheap and the price can increase quickly with finishes and paper type. You could easily make notes on your phone with people’s names or social media handles instead of swapping cards. However it is without a doubt the easiest way to swap details, especially if you want some photos back with minimal searching. If you are just starting out with cosplay, wait until you have a few cosplays under your belt before taking the plunge (and you’ll have more photos that way!).

Isn’t a little egotistical? 
Perhaps it is a little, but as long as you don’t throw them around like they are going out of fashion, reserving them for people you have worked with, has asked if you have one or people you want to work with. Then that makes the cosplay card a handy part of your cosplay experience. Plus, for a lot of people it is nice to have a little collection in the way people enjoyed the collecting side of Pok√®mon cards!

What should I put on the card? 
At the minimum it should be a high quality picture of your iconic or frequently worn cosplay and your main point of contact. It will be easier for people to remember you that way. On mine I have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, email and my Etsy store name. Some people put QR codes on while others make duel sided photo cards with details around the edge. It is completely up to you and your budget. Use a clear font, either black or white depending on your background colour and no urls!

Where can I buy them? 
Moo and Vistaprint both offer a great selection for cosplayers. Personally I prefer Moo because of the quality and editing options. Moo also have mini cards which are much easier to carry around at conventions. You can also make them yourself using business card templates available online or on word processing suites.

Cosplay Card Tips: 
1. Don’t hand everyone and their mother a card. Not only will it cost you more in the long term but not everyone wants one. Normally photographers will ask if you have one. If someone is asking you how you made your costume and looks like they would want to know more; offer them a card to say if they need any help you can contact me via these details.
2. Be concise - Only put on details that are necessary and relevant.
3. Make sure to get the photographers permission to use their photos on your card.
4. If you can, get multiple pictures on cards that match up to your common or recognisable cosplays.
5.Google codes for sites such as Vistaprint or Moo, they are usually abundant and you should never need to pay full price for a pack of cards.
6. Order smallish quantities so they can up-to-date with your most recent cosplays or photosets.

Excellent resource for tips on card creation can be found on OHI Cosplay’s Tumblr.

Hopefully this has help you understand a little more on the world of cosplay cards. CosDown will be back again in a few weeks :)

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