Collector’s Corner — Graphic Designer Guillermo Brotons’s Business Cards


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Photos by Krrb

Photos by Krrb

Here at Krrb Classifieds we love a good collection, especially one that’s unique. From where the collection began to the most significant item, we want to know the story behind it all. So we’re reaching out to collectors everywhere to find out what they collect and why!


Photos by Krrb

Graphic Designer Guillermo Brotons studied design at Eina School in his hometown of Barcelona. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Graphic Design from the London College of Communication and received the Fabrica Fellowship at the research center of communication in Treviso, Italy. One would expect Guillermo, an über-talented Art Director at AREA 17, to discriminate between Chinese take-out menus and Vitra, but he doesn’t. Well, he does, but there’s something nostalgic about his mixed business card collection.

Guillermo began collecting business cards ten years ago, and he preserves them in a book that’s organized into various categories. More than just memories of business and pleasure, Guillermo’s cards refer him to the who, what, when, where and why of his young adult life.

As an Art Director at AREA 17, working mostly on digital, what still attracts you to a business card?

When we are working on a branding project, the first I like to design is a company business card. It’s a fast way to test what works and doesn’t because of the limited space.

Why did you start collecting business cards?

Well, there’s a nostalgic element to my collection as well as a practical one. In this time of print versus digital, these cards are little time capsules; to have a card is to have a memory. But speaking practically, I’m a designer, and it’s really helpful to have references when I need to design a business card. As a web designer, most of the sites I work on either will change or even disappear in a few years. Business cards don’t. It’s somewhat reassuring knowing that they will be there still.

Where did the collection begin?

I began the collection and collected most of them in Barcelona when I was a student and very hungry for design.

I see that your book is divided into categories. What are the categories?

The first section is printing techniques. It’s like a resource for all sorts of paper stocks, special inks and foils. It’s important for clients to be able to feel their potential card and the differences in thickness.


The second section is a personal archive of cards I designed in the past.

Section three is a collection of people I’ve met, such as designers, illustrators and creative types. This card belongs to a friend of mine in Spain and mimics a Spanish ID (See Photo Below).


Section four contains restaurants from all over the world, many from Barcelona.

Navy is a seafood restaurant in SoHo, New York City.

Navy is a seafood restaurant in SoHo, New York City.

And the last one is my practical section where I go to find a local print shop, get binding for a book in Barcelona, remember clients from back in the day and massage places in Paris.

Yi Yuan is a massage salon in the 10th arrondissement of Paris.

Yi Yuan is a massage salon in the 10th arrondissement of Paris.

What do you look for when adding cards to your collection?

I look for the texture of the card as it adds value to the brand. The level of sophistication of a business card is important, too. If this is how much a pizzeria cares about their cards (See Photo Below), you know their pizza is going to be good. The card tells me, a potential customer, how the food is going to taste.

La Verònica BCN is a pizza restaurant in El Ravel, Barcelona.

La Verònica BCN is a pizza restaurant in El Ravel, Barcelona.

Where do you keep your collection?

On my ‘design geek stuff’ section of the bookshelf with books of typography.

How did you choose your personal business card?

After graduating from design school, I was looking for a job and decided to print some business cards. I designed three of them, using three different typefaces and three different paper stocks. After my meetings with design studios, I would show them the three cards and ask them to pick one. This small interaction was fun and engaging. It also allowed me to know more about their taste…


…the gold one was the most popular.


Thanks, Guillermo!

  • Miguel Buckenmeyer
  • Guillermo, your gold card is beautiful!

  • Jars

    Business card collecting is a fabulous way to preserve memories and I am glad to know Guillermo’s method. The idea that even the texture is indicative of a company’s commitment to excellence makes perfect sense. What a great interview!