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Meet Joel Bauer, Infotainer and Business Card Designer Extraordinaire

Advertising, Graphic Design, Photography

Posted by Patrick Burgoyne, 16 April 2009, 8:19    Permalink    Comments (49)

We linked to this video yesterday but so many people have been in touch about it that we thought it worth a proper post. Joel Bauer, 'Author, Mentor and Infotainer', tells us why his business card, which took 25 years to design, is oh so much better than yours

Joel's American Psycho-style analysis of the intricacies of the calling card left us intrigued. Who is this confident young aesthete we wondered? According to his site, Bauer was "consumed by martial arts and magic" at a young age. He began performing professionally at 7 then went on to become a "featured entertainer on cruise ships from 14-21". However, a career in infotainment beckoned for young Joel and he bade the high seas farewell and headed for the glamour of the trade show floor.

The many faces of Joel Bauer, all of them somewhat disturbing

Something of a renaissance man, Joel is also a best-selling author whose books include: "Hustle, Hustle–The Business Of Magic", "How to Persuade People Who Don't Want to be Persuaded", "Gravitational Marketing", and soon to be released, "Retire In 5-8 Years As An Infotainer".

Joel retired at 43 (although we're not quite sure why he appears still to be working as an "author, mentor and infotainer" in that case). His favourite music is Vivaldi, Queen and Green Day.

Joel Bauer, aka The Puppetmaster

We will leave you with Joel's favourite quote: "Man's greatest fear is not being inadequate, but powerful beyond measure". Just like a foil-blocked, embossed, die-cut, pop-up, too-big-to-fit-into-a-Rollodex business card.


It's not die-cut; it's die-CUT.
Ed Wright
2009-04-16 08:48:58

that business card is disgusting, to much going on. And i bet he is still annoyed that he couldn't find space for holograms and lasers on there.
2009-04-16 09:19:55

Is that guy for real? His card is pure overkill!

And, 25 years to design his business card? What did he use in the mean time? A crappy one colour, 60lb card that holds a crease perhaps?
2009-04-16 09:27:23

He's not wrong is he? But his design is! On saying that I would kill to have a pop up crowd in my business card!
PS. If you haven't got anything good to say about Joel don't say it!
"I will never make a critism... if I don't have a resolution!"
"Life is not about being liked, its about being effective!"
2009-04-16 09:42:53

Both the card and his approach scream attempted ‘style’ over any substance.

If your personality, approach and ability do not make a positive impression in your first meeting, even a solid gold business card won’t win you the work.
Ian A
2009-04-16 09:58:21

It looked like he was a ceo for a business card printing place, every possible thing they could do to a bit of paper was on their, 10 different weight sizes, thirteen different fonts, twelve point sizes, bold italic and underlined, foil printing, embossed lettering, full colour on both sides and black and white, dye cut, folding, pop-up, origami, it makes tea and will walk your dog twice a week.
2009-04-16 10:53:54

It's lucky he doesn't care about being liked.
2009-04-16 11:03:23

It's not a business card, really is it. It's a brochure. You would have thought after 25 years he'd have worked out which bits of stationary are which....
2009-04-16 11:43:47

pah! my 'card' cost 9€ a piece and is made from solid wood!

Yanks, think they KNOW it all....
action man
2009-04-16 12:03:54

"Infotainer".. That is incredible! Almost on par with "Brainovation"
James Kirkup
2009-04-16 12:08:10

Shortly after this was filmed, he was wheeled back to his room.
2009-04-16 12:34:30

"His favorite quote" is actually a paraphrase of something Nelson Mandela said. So now he can add plagartainer or disingenusionist to his card.
Aaron Winters
2009-04-16 16:29:21

How the hell can he carry more than one card around with him?

And I think he spent to long developing his business card when he should have really spent some time on his website.

i know someone who is quite similar:
Paul Wright
2009-04-16 17:19:51

Someone should tell him about
I don't see any stickers on his card!
Tom H
2009-04-16 17:20:21

That's my business card he bitches about the beginning.

Daniel Brown
2009-04-16 18:04:30

On the subject of business cards, who didn't think this scene was interesting?
Hon Lam
2009-04-16 21:16:27

Hahaha! I love him! He’s just become my hero.

He’s given me a real purpose for the next 25yrs, I too want to design a business card like that.

I’m thinking bigger picture though, not a business card made out of paper, but steel! A business card that you can drive, a business card that moves you, whether it be your business or your milk and bread on the way home.
2009-04-17 00:31:24

He looks like Rimmer from Red Dwarf
2009-04-17 08:58:47

2009-04-17 12:05:55

Blimey! You can smell his aftershave via Youtube.

His card's hideous. And I don't have a bleedin rolodex, GRANDAD. But I think he has a point. I'm shocked by the number of companies that use cheap digital cards on thin stock now, because it saves money no doubt.

On the whole, more thought needs to go into what a companies' cards should be like. Though I do mean thought not some pissing contest over who uses the thickest board and has the most ridiculous and expensive combination of print finishing techniques.
2009-04-17 12:28:51

AND he needs a new tagline:

Joel Bauer... available in more shades of orange than even Pantone has yet discovered.
2009-04-17 12:36:03


Awesome, only in the good old USA, he would make a great documentary subject

er... does any one have his contact details!
2009-04-17 13:49:34

"Joel Bauer… available in more shades of orange than even Pantone has yet discovered." That made me laugh hard!

On the topic of imagery, the pictures on his sight are shocking. I dont like to criticise if its not constructive but for someone who prides himself on standing out and looking good, the images used look, tacky, cheap, lazy and (swearword) terrible!
2009-04-17 14:15:17

A few years ago I used to have lightweight stainless steel business cards. They were always commented on and could be used for all sorts of handy tricks. Then airport security was tightened and they became very risky things to have in your pocket...

Stick to simple, well-designed, elegant cards or don't bother.
Samurai Funky
2009-04-17 14:29:21

Oh Lord. Is he for real? 'My card doesn't fit in a Rolodex because it doesn't belong in a Rolodex'. But it will fit in a bin and it sure as hell belongs in that.

Eugh...I need to go take a shower.....

P.S Pantone 165U I think
Sarah Turner
2009-04-17 16:57:51

I hope his business card goes under a train and dies. With him.
2009-04-17 20:39:04

The best things in life are free.
Lets not equate the cost of production with the value of things.
Javier Garcia
2009-04-17 23:07:40

Excellent... nothing like absolute self belief in the face of overwhelming adversity!

Anything new in his statements about a business card requiring more impact to stand out of "rolladeck"? You have to admire the enthusiasm to have spent 25 years designing his card, which he probably went to a real designer to get it done properly!
gareth simpson
2009-04-18 06:00:21

I'm not sure it's accurate to describe him as a business card designer. As a relatively new-start business I spend a lot of my time networking, and people like him are ten-a-penny. The secret is to identify them early and keep out of their way. They're the people who will tell you how they can help your business without even knowing any more about you than what it says on your card.

The psychology these guys use is interesting to me. By my reckoning, the standard approach is this:
• knock your confidence in your ability down as far as possible (they may carry a Samaritans card in their other pocket in case)
• tell you that you are actually better than you think you are (I was 10 times better last time, 5 before that, so I'm improving)
• tell you all about their success and how great they are and how it's just what you need to help you 'make a fortune' (never mind the fact I'm not after a fortune, just a good living)
Funnily, they very rarely tell you about anyone they've helped

The thing these people have is an astounding amount of confidence - make that arrogance - that their way is the right and only way. Personally, the prospect of being mentored by someone who takes every opportunity to criticise and patronise is my idea of hell, but maybe it works for some?
Robert Hempsall
2009-04-18 07:40:08

I'm wondering how many people have hired him for pure comedy value... I think that might be the hidden window to his soul that he ain't seen yet.
Ashley Pollak
2009-04-18 12:56:47

I quite like his card in the disgustingly overdone way that it is, if you showed that to the majority of average joe bloggs businesses down your local high street they would love it too.

At least the dude is honest - "crowds guaranteed" - he's got all us chumps watching it and replying hasn't he :-)
Mr. Arteest
2009-04-18 12:58:11

The only thing I'm now amazed at is the ability of some people to take him seriously!

The comedy value of this article is the only thing that is worth commenting on, he has about as much relevance to design as a Lilly Allen has to Music!
2009-04-19 12:10:18

Richard Evans
2009-04-19 13:40:32

I would remember this guy because of his amazing unique effort in pushing the boundries of design and printing.

It would enable me to successfully avoid him for all time.

Please don't give this guy any more airtime than he has already generated for himself by being himself.
2009-04-19 19:14:41

What happens if he goes bald? New run?
2009-04-20 00:09:19

I'd bin that card straight away it's too awkward to carry around with you not to mention fugly
Gregory Allan
2009-04-20 11:32:22

So, his 'infotainment' career started when he was 21 and it took him 25 years to design his card. Then he retired at 43, three years before the design was finished?

Talk about bad timing.
Andy Polaine
2009-04-20 11:52:27

I want to see his letterhead, I bet it doesn't fit in an envelope!

Good call on him looking like Rimmer!
Mark Taylor
2009-04-20 12:02:52

I know Joel. I've met him. He is ridiculously over the top, yes. He's also ridiculously successful. He makes about 50,000 USD a day persuading people to buy his very valuable services.

The funny thing is, this guy make more money than probably everyone who has commented on this board . . . combined.

Whether or not you like him, he gets results that are measurable. He has testimonials from thousands he has turned into millionaires.

Is your goal to make people like you? Joel's not for you.

The question is: with obnoxious design like that, why is he still more successful in persuading people that my clean, polished "educated" design?
2009-04-21 19:12:59

'Dave'? This is Joel!
2009-04-22 16:08:14

I have also had the pleasure of being one of Joel's students - if you haven't heard of him before, don't be surprised because I hadn't either. And I'm really, really glad that I hear one of his telephone calls, & subsquently attended one of his seminars ...

You need to know this:

- Joel is ACTING a CHARACTER in this video. This video is from "The Pitch, The Poker & The Public". If you go to the director's blog (, he too will admit this & provide testimony to Joel's successes. In real life, Joel is a little over the top at times, but he is EFFECTIVE & MEMORABLE.

- If you think this video is about business cards, you're missing the point. He's creating conversation about a business card, his stands out & he is remembered by everyone who meets him.

- As Dave points out, Joel has made more money than everyone commenting on this post put together. Without a doubt. So you might not like his opinion but he doesn't care.

Take a moment to go to & see why he has the right to criticize 'your crappy business card'.
2009-04-26 16:58:16

On the positive side one or two things he said make sense.

However, with him behind the card I just want to walk away!
Paul Christie
2009-04-28 09:29:55

"It does't fit in a Rolodex". So it goes in the bin.

I wonder if he has a followup card that features a life size popup model of his penis? I bet he does.

Do you think that would fit in a Rolodex?
2009-06-12 22:07:45

I think this is what makes business cards printing a tough business. I only have one question though: if someone gets his business card, where is he going to put it if it’s too big to fit in the wallet or in the card holder?
business cards printing
2009-06-30 03:39:31

An honest approach to business cards. Going cheap has it's disadvantages.
Pop Up Displays
2009-09-22 11:33:03

Often we forget the little guy, the SMB, in our discussions of the comings and goings of the Internet marketing industry. Sure there are times like this when a report surfaces talking about their issues and concerns but, for the most part, we like to talk about big brands and how they do the Internet marketing thing well or not so well.
2010-01-15 10:06:21

Really creative. I like Possessing very different Business Card with me. I would much rather have a sustainably produced business card than a cheap piece of plastic that requires me to replace batteries. Besides the most important part of the business card is not just the contact details but the graphic way in which they are conveyed.
Alison Crase
2010-02-08 13:10:27

Until this day i still am wondering if he was serious in making that video or if he was just making a parody. Nonetheless you got to give it credit that his methods were effective.
2010-07-16 18:53:41

For those who just start designing plastic business cards it`s motivational...
2012-12-05 12:07:26

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