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Coscards - A Cosplayer's Calling Card

Cosplay Business cards or Coscards as they've become known as are exactly what they sound like - a cosplayer's business card. They've been around as long as conventions and cosplay has been around. In Japan and most of Asia, business cards are a very big deal so much so that there are companies in Japan that are aimed directly at making high quality and personalized business cards. Japanese printing companies like Choei offer a cosplay-centric business called Proof that allows cosplayers to create several sets of cards, each with a different outfit, for an affordable price. Granted, these glossy and colorful cards look more like trading cards than business cards, they always contain the cosplay's name, at least one cosplay photo and contact or social media handles. It's only natural that the popularity of handing out cosplay business cards has made it's way over into the mainstream cosplay community. Nowadays you can't go to a convention without getting handing multiple cards from both photographers and cosplayers alike.

That being said, do you really NEED cosplay business cards when going to a meetup or convention?

To answer that question, let's go through some of the pros and cons of having personalized coscards. Stay tuned to the very end because there will be some tips and tricks if you choose that creating your own cards is for you!


  • Takes away the awkwardness of introductions

Do you have social anxiety or is introducing yourself sometimes difficult? Sometimes it can get hectic in the hallways of conventions or in group photo shoots. Cosplay business cards are a great way of introducing yourself whether you aren't the best at introducing yourself or you just don't have the time. Going to a photo or fandom meetup? This is a great way to hand out your contact information on a large scale during a hectic time without getting stressed out about it. Are you hosting a meetup? These are great for getting your information out there so that everyone can find the photos or can contact you with any questions.

  • Simple to make (if you're looking for a basic cosplay card)

Most business card design sites are self-explanatory with pre-made layouts and designs ready to use at your fingertips. All you need is a basic idea of what you want and some photos at the ready. You don't necessarily need a graphic design background in order to create a personalized card.

  • Great way to network

Want to keep in touch with that really cool cosplayer from the convention that you just met but the WiFi isn't working? Exchange cards! See a photographer you'd always wanted to work with but they're booked that weekend? Exchange cards! Got stopped in the hallway for a quick photo by someone? Give them your card. Met someone who loves the same animes that you do? Give me them a card so that they can tag you and follow you. It's a great way to stay in touch with people you meet at convention and could possibly lead to collaborations in the future.

  • Personalized one-stop shop

Hopefully, you're organized and have the same handle throughout your various social medias. If not, this is the easiest way to get all of your handles out there without it being too confusing. It's also great because you have all of your accounts right there (if you choose to include them). You can also go above and beyond and create a scannable QR code that can link to all of your accounts including Amazon wish lists, Throne, Patreon, etc. These are pretty easy to make and there are a ton of websites out there where you can create them. Vistaprint and Canva even have a create a QR code option. Don't forget that this card is an extension of your brand! Make sure that you make it personal and only contain the things that you want to be associated with. It should contain your cosplay style and reflect your personality.


  • Can be expensive

Unless you can create your own business cards and print them at home, ordering them from a website can get a little pricey between the cards themselves and shipping. Vistaprint, for example, has three options: Traditional (100 cards starting at $17.99), Premium (100 cards starting at $24.99) and Deluxe (100 cards starting at $33.99). Moo gives you the option to pick your price point by business card size, paper or finish and prices can range from $21 to $60 for 50 business cards. If you decide to make them at home, make sure that you have a printer that can handle card stock and can print quality photos.

  • Can be a hassle or bulky to carry around

There's no "best way" to carry around business cards except in the box that they arrive or in a slim business card holder which can limit the amount of cards that you can carry. These are the best options as they won't really allow the cards themselves to bend while being carried. Depending on what you're carrying around the con it can get a little bulky. Carrying the cards in a purse, bag or backpack is the most common but if you don't want to carry around a bag the entire time then you'll need a pocket on your cosplay or an empty hand to carry around the cards.

  • Can be stressful to remember to bring them or hand them out

Did you grab your badge? Did you remember your phone, ID and wallet? You have a lot of things that you're trying to remember when heading to a convention and sometimes it can get stressful. Adding something else on top of all those things when it isn't imperative can only make things even more stressful. It can also bring you down when you realize that you forgot your cards.

  • Can get outdated quickly

Unless you're a cosplayer who only cosplays the same character or who is known for cosplaying specific characters, cosplay business cards can get outdated very quickly. The same could be said if you choose to revamp your social medias and change your handles. Especially if you're getting a package of 100+ business cards, unless you hand them out consistently and have them on you at all times, it will probably take you a while to go through them which could be a good thing since you spent all that money on them. If you don't mind handing out outdated cards, this won't be an issue but if you're trying to stay up to date or go through a rebranding, this could get pricey quickly having to redesign and print more updated cards. It can also get very time consuming having to redesign the cards and find new photos.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Make giving out your cosplay cards an experience! Do you have a ton of anime stickers? Hand them out with your cards! You can also make little goodie bags with some candy and put your card in there. Just remember, this can also take time, energy and money on top of preparing for a convention.

  • Shop before settling on a card - most sites offer a percentage off for first time users. Also double check the shipping - make sure you know what time frame you're working in so that you know if your cards will get to you in time. Check with your friends, if you are all making cards maybe order them all together because some sites offer free shipping over $100.

  • Always- ALWAYS check with a photographer because using one of their photos and if they request it, make sure to credit them. Do not remove their watermark unless they give you the okay. Obviously, if you're using photos that you've shot of yourself you don't need to do this, but if you're using a photo from a photoshoot, always check with the photographer.

  • Sometimes less is more. You don't need every single one of your social media handles on your card if it's going to make it too cluttered. If you feel like you MUST have all of your handles in one place for everyone, consider designing a QR code and having that with your name. You don't have to have every cosplay that you've ever worn. If you can't pick, toss a poll up on your social media to see what cosplays your followers associate you with.

  • Since this is a reflection of your personality, make sure to make it pop! Feel free to incorporate comic book or anime aspects into your cards like speech, action or thought bubbles. Do you have a color scheme that you always follow or a favorite character? Design the card in those colors so that way other people can associate them with you.

  • Pay attention to the edges when making your cards! Most sites will show you where your photos or fonts will get cut off - make sure to leave yourself space. Also make sure to use clear fonts and colors - Usually black or white font depending on the background that you choose.

So, do you feel like making your own cosplay business cards is for you?

Let us know by commenting below.

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