Over the course of last 10 years, Producers have developed their own set of customs and exchanging Producer name cards is one of them. However, what are those cards? What’s on them? Why are they even made? Should I make my own? Let’s answer these and a few more questions!
1) What exactly are they?
Basically, they are just name cards that Producers exchange on their first meeting, but instead of actual names, jobs, they have nicknames, favorite idols and most importantly contact details (Twitter, Line, Skype etc.) written on them. The custom is really common and the vast majority of Japanese (and more and more foreign) Producers have their own name cards, so whichever event you go to, you are bound to get at least several of them.
The name card I’ve been using during my stay in Japan
2) What is their purpose?
The most basic reason for exchanging Producer name cards is the same as with their corporate counterparts. You use them so that you can get the contact details of people you’ve met and so that others can keep in touch with you. Simple.
Their additional purpose is showing who is your main(s), which is one of the most important piece of information for a Producer. Because those cards are not bound by any formal requirements, some people use them also as a way of expressing themselves, their hobbies, the seiyuus they support and so on.
3) Why should I make them?
Firstly, if you want to get to know more Producers, exchanging your contact details in form of name cards will let you keep in touch after the event.
Secondly, those name cards are simply the best ice-breaker when dealing with other Producers. If you don’t know how to start a conversation, just walk up to a group and ask them if you can exchange your name cards. By simply doing that you’ll not only have a perfect start, but will even know who likes the same idols as you do!
Thirdly, both making and exchanging name cards is tons of fun. It makes you feel awesome too!
4) What should be on my name card?
All cards share three common elements: nickname (Producer name), main idol(s) and contact details. Most also mention your “branch” (shows where you are from). In case of foreignPs it’s the country, JapanesePs put the name of their prefecture or city.
Producer name cards hardly ever are just pure text and usually have an artwork(s) of your favorite(s). There are no guidelines when it comes to designs, so be it simple or gorgeous, just create a name card that represents you the most. It’s also completely okay to show your other hobbies as well (like combining cosplayer name cards with Producer name cards). Just make sure your contact data is readable, since that’s the whole point of those cards in the first place!
Remember you can use both sides, although it’s not obligatory.
NOTE: When using fanart, remember to always ask the artist for permission to use their work.
5) What contact details should I put on my name card?
When it comes to JapanesePs, basically all of them have a Twitter account. LINE is almost as popular. Therefore it’s best to put at least one of those. Skype is much less present on Producer name cards, but still visible from time to time, while hardly anyone writes down their Facebook or e-mail address.
Some name cards also contain Cinderella Girls, Million Live! or PlayStation Network IDs.
HINT: It’s extremely handy to use logos of particular messengers/sites, because it makes things simple and easy to read.
6) What software do I use to make name cards?
Most people use either GIMP or Photoshop. There is also some specialized software created to make name cards. You can contact the print shop of your choosing for more information on how to make the card, and the specification to use for the design.
7) How many name cards do I need?
That is the tricky one. The amount really depends on how much you want to socialize, but you’ll be surprised how fast your name cards can dissappear. When you go to a big live that is two days and attend a party after each day, it’s is not uncommon to hand out around one hundred cards in total.
8) If I go to an event in Japan, does my name card have to be in Japanese?
Because name cards have hardly any text, I would say no. However, there are actually at most only two phrases that you need to use, you can go for it if you want.
- (name of the idol in Japanese)担当プロデューサー
It means „the main producer of (name)”. It is usually put over or below your nickname and as you’ve probably already guessed, shows who is your favourite(s).
- 765プロ(name of the country in Japanese)支部
[765pro (name) shibu].
This one means „(name) branch of 765Pro” and that’s how JapanesePs show where they are from. Alternatively, for 346Pro, you can just put 346プロat the beginning.
Many name cards (including mine) use 支部所属 instead of just 支部, but both options are as valid (the latter just means “belonging to xxx branch”).
If there is any other text in Japanese you really want to have on your name card, but don’t know how to write it, ask me on Twitter (@YashaFox) and I may be of any help.
9) Is there any specific etiquette/behavior concerning exchanging Producer name cards?
Some people try to apply most of Japanese corporate etiquette to Producer name cards, but, personally, I’m against it. When you start very formally, it forces your partner to behave the same way and basically ruins what those cards are about – making friends with other Producers. Having said that there are two very basic rules, that you should observe (mostly when dealing with Japanese).
Firstly, you give and accept name cards using both of your hands. Secondly, you store other Producers’ cards in a proper container. In my opinion those two rules are enough to show that you respect other person withouth being unnecessarily formal.
If you are wondering what are the Japanese phrases that will be useful when exchanging name cards, they are as follows:
- „Excuse me, can we exchange our name cards?”
[Sumimasen ga, meishi koukan wa ii desuka?]
- „I’m (nickname). It’s my pleasure to meet you!” (used when handing out your name card)
[(nickname)to moushimasu. (Douzo) yoroshiku onegaishimasu!]
Your partner will answer（どうぞ）よろしくお願いします！[(Douzo) yoroshiku onegaishimasu!] and that’s how you answer too.
That would be it~ Thank you very much for reading and I hope this article helped you understand what’s that big fuzz about Producer name cards. If you have any more questions about name cards, please feel free to ask us and leave a comment!