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Business Cards

You'll be needing plenty of these if you want to do business in Japan.

Business cards are taken very seriously in Japan. Make sure you take some with you.

Getting started

Please provide me with as much of the following as possible:

Your existing card

If possible, please send the existing artwork as a PDF document. Failing that, a high-res scan should be sufficient, but please note that I may need to charge extra if I have to spend a lot of time recreating graphical elements such as your company logo.

Card dimensions

Japanese dimensions of 90×55 or 91×55 mm are recommended, although the standard dimensions used in the US (3½×2 = 88.9×50.8 mm) and UK (85×55 mm) are not all that far off.

Double-sided or single-sided?

Printing costs for double-sided cards don’t seem to be much higher than for single-sided cards, so I would recommend getting double-sided cards with English on one side and Japanese on the other. But let me know which you prefer.

Fonts

To achieve a consistent look between both sides of the card, they should be typeset in the same font. The Japanese translation of your card will invariably contain some Western characters, like your email address for example, so if you are using any fonts that are out of the ordinary, I might ask you to provide the font source files on a temporary basis. Most font licenses permit this sort of use, and obviously I will delete any copies I receive as soon as you are happy with the translation.

Names

The Japanese write foreign names using the phonetic katakana alphabet. What this means is that in order to translate a name into Japanese correctly, you need to know how it’s pronounced. If you’ve ever heard someone reading your name out and pronouncing incorrectly, then please be sure to tell me how it should be pronounced.

Business card etiquette

The Japanese have complex rules of etiquette regarding the use of business cards. You won’t be expected to follow these to the letter, but do bear in mind that business cards are treated with great respect. Hand your card over carefully (don’t toss it across the table), with the Japanese writing oriented so the recipient can read it. When you receive a card, read it carefully and keep it on the table in front of you during the meeting so you don’t forget the name. Don’t fiddle about with it, and put it away safely when the meeting is over.

How much?

Please see the translation pricing page for details.


In this section

Printing Your Cards

A few do’s and don’ts to help you get professional-looking business cards.

QR Codes

QR codes are a Japanese invention, but are starting to grow in popularity in the West. Have you considered putting one on your business card?

Checklist

Here is a quick list of the what I will need before I get started on translating your business card:

  • Your existing business card, preferably in the form of vector artwork such as a PDF or EPS file
  • The card dimensions you intend to use
  • Whether you want a Japanese-only single-sided card or a bilingual double-sided card
  • Any unusual fonts used in your business card design.
  • The pronunciation of your name (unless it's blatantly obvious!)

You can place your order through the contact page.

Header image: The sacred bridge (神橋) across the Daiya river at Futarasan Shrine (二荒山神社) in Nikkō. Photo: Frank Gualtieri.

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