The calling card is deeply rooted in the tradition of social etiquette. The calling card first appeared in China during the 15th century and continued to be used throughout the 17th century. During the Victorian Age, the calling card became an essential for all social events, as a way to call new acquaintances at these gatherings. At a social gathering hosted in someone’s home, the host was able to collect calling cards to recall who his or her guests were. The calling card also represented one’s social standing; if a person receives a calling card in lieu of a personal visit, it suggested that the person offering the card came from a place of wealth and high society.
Historically, the gentleman could have his address engraved on his calling card, but it wasconsidered improper for a lady to do so. There are also discrepancies in the sizes for both women and men. It was more often that a man’s calling card was a smaller size than a woman’s because he had to carry his cards in his pocket. Although employing motifs or additional flourishes was seen as gaudy when calling cards were first used, they eventually became representative of the owner’s personality and unique flair. As calling cards were often employed in courting, they also acted as a way to preserve one’s mystery since contained only the individual’s name.
Today, the tradition of the calling card is undergoing a metamorphosis. The etiquette of the calling card is honored and preserved yet calling cards are an extension of one’s style, featuring designs and color palettes that complement the person. They can also contain any kind of information the individual wishes, ranging from his or her phone number to a personal twitter handle. In the age of technology, the calling card acts as the perfect wayto capture the attention of a new acquaintance, and ultimately, make your impression.