3.5×2 Identity Business Card Ideas

Come up with your own unique business card

The “meishi,” or business card, is a piece of paper that transcends its humble nature and works as a communication tool. It’s one of our most familiar everyday tools. The business card presents more than just the owner’s information — it conveys that person’s uniqueness and personal value.

Paper is one of the essential tools the creative person uses to express his ideas visually. Depending on the texture and makeup of the paper, the medium itself becomes a tool for conveying a message.

If a business card is to be the tool that presents you to the outside world, then one ought to have more creative freedom to change its parameters and express one’s individuality. That’s where our project comes in. We’re soliciting design concepts on the theme of “New meishi ideas that subvert conventional wisdom,” using that focal starting point of “paper-as-tool” as a guide.

Successfully accepted ideas will be sent to the cutting machine and turned into real items through the collaboration of takeopaper.com and FabLab Japan, and the results will be posted on awrd.com. (Maybe a Loftwork rep will use the design for their own card!)

We look forward to receiving your unique ideas of never-before-seen card concepts.
* 3.5×2 refers to the standard dimensions used in business cards, in other words 3.5×2 inches.

How to apply

A panel of judges will conduct the final selection, based on key considerations like novelty and functional utility.

Idea submissions are being collected on the awrd.com website; submitted pieces will be viewable by the public.

A panel of judges will conduct the final selection, based on key considerations like novelty and functional utility.

The winning selections will be brought to life through laser cutters and other machines.

Winning ideas will be made a reality!

Winning pieces will be prototyped and made into real cards through a joint effort between takeopaper.com and FabLab Japan.
Through the use of 3D modeling and cutting machines, we can make changes to the shape, add holes, three-dimensionality, and more — allowing you to design whatever kind of card you can imagine. We can also employ rare and fine papers in the printing of the card.

Check this Make:Japan article to see the workshop and cutting machine in action!

FabLab Lunch Box

Acrylic font carving (piece by Dainippon Type Organization)

Fumi-fumi Slipper

Food art printed onto sugar with lasers

Images courtesy of Yohaku Lab Printers (Noguchi Naoko)

3.5×2 Identity: “Handheld communication tool” campaign

Application period

September 27 (Tuesday)~through October 24 (Monday)

“Leveraging the power of paper to create unique Business Card Ideas”
Submission rules

● Concept should go against established styles and feature a creative idea
● Concept must involve use of paper and retain functionality as a business card. Pieces should employ a Creative Commons License (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs)

>>What’s Creative Commons?
>>Basic facts about paper (Info courtesy of:takeopaper.com)

Contest open to

Graphic designers, web designers, illustrators, photographers, product designers, etc.

* To submit your piece, you must register at awrd.com (Registration and full use of the site is free and open to anyone).


Winning designs will be prototyped and fabricated by a joint effort between takeopaper.com and FabLab. You can view details about that process on the Loftwork site.

Amazing Idea Award (2 winners + maybe more?)
Awarded to pieces that garner the most “wow!” reactions from the judges and advisory team.
Prize: Winning idea will be prototyped into a meishi business card.

Most Popular Award (1 winner)
Awarded to the piece receiving the most Likes on Facebook.
Prize: Winning idea will be prototyped into a meishi business card.

* Depending on the nature of the design, the number of cards we are able to print may vary.

Judges’ panel

These members will judge the idea’s uniqueness and novelty.

1. Judgment by the judges’ panel
2. Popular vote through Likes on Facebook

Judges and advisory members

These members will judge the idea’s uniqueness and novelty.

Yuichi Takeo
Managing director and CFO, Takeo Co., Ltd.
Born in 1974. After graduating from the Keiō University Department of Policy Studies, worked at a TV production firm before joining Takeo Co. He serves in his current position since February of 2011. Hobbies include working (he grins ruefully) and projects that get the brain and body moving. His policy is “Tough on work, gentle on people and the environment.”

Hiroya Tanaka
Founder, FabLabJapan
Doctor of Engineering. Associate Professor, Keiō University Faculty of Environment and Information Studies. The founder of FabLab Japan, in 2011 he opened East Asia’s first FabLab in Kamakura. His fields of specialty are Design Science and Design Engineering.

Manabu Tago
Representative Director, MTDO, Inc. Art director/designer.
Graduate of Tokyo Zōkei University. Spent thirteen years at Toshiba’s Design Center, involved in the design of consumer electronics and information systems. After being responsible for the design management of REALFLEET Co., Ltd., he founded MTDO in 2008. In November of 2011 he joined Narumi Corporation as its creative director. He is a part-time lecturer at Hōsei University’s Faculty of Design Engineering. As of 2010 he is on the judges’ panel for the Japanese Institute of Design Promotion’s “GOOD DESIGN Award.”

Naoko Noguchi
Born in 1984. Graduated from Musashino Art University’s Department of Science and Design. Shortly after joining a design and desktop publishing firm, she moved into the Ikejiri Institute of Design’s “Monodzukuri Gakkō,” naming her unit “Yohaku Lab Printers.” (She now resides in the area of Taishidō, Setagaya.) Focusing on art direction, she is active in editing and design, taking printing and printmaking as the central focus of that work. In addition to doing a range of freelance work, she conducts seminars and workshops on paper and printing under the title “Paper Lab!”http://yohaku.biz/

Mitsuhiro Suwa
Represenative Director, Loftwork, Inc.
Representative Director and principal founding member of Loftwork, Inc. Seeking to cultivate a new creative forum, he set up the awrd.com creative community and founded Loftwork, Inc. in 2000. Suwa himself has been active as a creative director, and he brings those experiences to bear on awrd.com as they strive to make it Japan’s top creative community.

How to apply

Please apply by following the instructions below. If you haven’t registered yet, click here to register as a Creator. (Registration and full use are free)

How to submit your piece

・After logging in, click on My Portfolio and then Create New. Add the tag “cardidea” to your piece and upload it. >> How to use Loftwork’s Portfolio function
・In the Description pane, describe any aspects of the design worth noting and/or your intentions going into it.
・You can also submit pieces that are already public in your Portfolio. Go to the piece’s page and click Edit, then add the “cardidea” tag and save it.

Work consent

Persons applying to this campaign should note the points below:

・Text and images used in submissions may be used publicly by the organizer and affiliated organizations.
・Some proposals may not be possible to realize because of technological limitations.
・If the judges are not impressed by the entry and it doesn’t elicit a “wow!” from them, it may not be selected as a finalist.
・We cannot respond to inquiries concerning the selection process or results.
・The campaign is not being operated or held in collaboration with Facebook.

Participating organizations/groups


takeopaper.com is a specialty paper vendor and webstore operated by Takeo Co., Ltd. We offer a range of about 9,000 paper styles ranging in texture and color, starting in full-size sheets (a standard large-format sheet provided by manufacturers) and also in sizes cut to your desired dimensions.


FabLabJapan is a specialty printers and part of a worldwide network of workshops based on a community workshop model. They provide a range of devices for 3D printing, cutting, and other techniques, offered in a space open to the public. Stationed in over twenty countries and fifty cities, “fab labs” function on a DIWO (Do It With Others) model, allowing everyone from children to professionals to participate in creating end products.

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