Lolita calling cards: a nebulous trend that needs to become reality. Why haven’t they picked up? I think it’s because most lolita interaction is still, unfortunately, over the Internet. It leaves us at a bit of loss when you can’t just swap usernames or links in real life!
The first lolita calling card I ever got was from Crystal of Pretty Wonderland. It was sage green, dusty rose, and printed with a gilt crown. Below ‘Princess Crystal’ in script, there was an email and other online handles. I was absolutely touched. How cute! How personal! I loved knowing that she had designed it herself to reflect her personality and style, and I was even more pleased to know that she thought I should have one!
For ages I knew I should have a calling card. Meeting new lolitas at meetups, tea parties or conventions is great – losing touch with one who you only know by her first name or ‘the girl in the blue Happy Garden skirt’ is not. Scribbling on pads, keeping notebooks, fumbling for pens… how messy! Or whipping out cellphones to give and enter numbers, a slow process. Calling cards are the ideal item to bring to any event where you’ll be meeting new people – or hope to do so! ;)
If you want to get your cards printed:
Design your card in an image program like Photoshop. It’s best if you use a template first, either from a send-away company or from just a business card company in general. This is great for experimenting with different graphics, fonts, photos, pink backgrounds… anything you can design, you can create! I chose a template, designed mine in Photoshop, and then took the file to Staples where they quickly printed up a batch of them, ready for the next day! (Note: don’t order too many at once, in case you’d like to change yours or something isn’t right with the first batch. Somehow my pretty pink cards ended up purple! And I have 300 of them so…)
If you want to do it the old-fashioned way:
Victorian ladies made their own calling cards by hand using laces, calligraphy, pressed flowers, illustrations… No two were exactly the same and each was a small labor of love. Use good cardstock paper and some crafting supplies to make a set of calling cards next time you’re stuck with a rainy day indoors. Decoupage them with magazine cuttings, use cute rubber stamps, or adorable stickers. A great option if you’re meeting a new friend for the first time or attending small, personal meetups. (If you’re attending a large meetup of twenty or more, do yourself a favor and get them printed! Don’t be up the night before gluing pressed violets onto cards!)
Don’t forget to include on your calling card:
- Your name – to be called in person, not just your username! Usernames are rather impersonal… I can’t imagine anyone saying, for example, xobubblesox in person! It doesn’t have to be your full name if you prefer, just whatever name you go by for lolita or your other hobbies. Using your full name is also cute and princess-y – usually historical and fantasy princesses had many names, and adding your middle one is quaintly old-fashioned.
- A contact – somewhere they can reach you. I think an email is best, but you can use a Livejournal name, Facebook address, or instant messenger screen name.
- Your website – blog, tumblr, personal journal, anything!
- A picture – a lot of people shy away from pictures on cards, perhaps they’re worried about how it would look design-wise? But I think a picture is so important for people who need to match names and faces. A favorite face shot of you in your prettiest clothes would be just the thing – perhaps in a gilt frame or with a faded edge?
- Graphics – these make your calling card especially cute. A strand of ribbons, a spray of roses as a watermark, or maybe printed paper can make your cards stand out from the pack.
- Unique fonts – you can download tons of free fonts to your computer for making your own graphics or calling cards. Try dafont.com/en or just google free fonts – Hanako Lovely even has a collection of lolita-specific or cutesy fonts. My favorite lately is the Lolita Charm logo font – called Creampuff!
- Optional – add something about yourself or a cute description. I added my substyles to my card in case they weren’t obvious :P But a whimsical title would also be sweet, describing your style or personality. Meetup organizer? Shepherdess of rufflebutts. Super sweet fanatic? Angelic Pretty cult member. Be tongue-in-cheek about it! I think I’ll start adding Powdered Sugar Princess to mine, just because it’s so silly & cute!
For extra cuteness (and organization, a word I don’t use much! :P) make sure you have a business card case to keep your calling cards in. This way they don’t get crumbled in your purse or lost in your wallet.You can find one pre-made, or buy a plain one and deco it with rhinestones, sweets or even just cute stickers (I love puffy stickers especially!). It’s very popular for gyaru and hostesses in Japan to have cute business card cases, and I think it’s something lolitas should adopt!
Have you ever made calling cards or designed your own? I’d love to collect them from a meetup or event and save them, just like brand tags! It’s like a collection of mementos from friends and good times