If you are an aspiring model, you will likely have heard the term ‘z-card’ before. But what is it, and do you need one as a model?
Read on to find out everything you need to know about z-cards.
What is a Z-Card?
A z-card, also known as a comp card (short for composite card), is like a model’s business card. It should include information like your statistics and body measurements, your dress size and shoe size, and your contact information. If you are signed to a modelling agency, their contact details should be added rather than your own personal ones.
Perhaps most importantly, your z-card should also feature a handful of your best images to show off your scope, experience and range as a model.
A model will keep several z-cards on them in case they meet someone they wish to keep in contact or work with. They hand the person their card to keep, so it’s worth printing out a few and keep some on you at all times – you never know when you may meet someone who could advance your career or provide you with opportunities.
Your card should be updated if your contact details change, if you want to update your images or if your statistics change.
Many professional models have a z-card as it is a smart and memorable way to ensure you are remembered.
Why Should I Have a Z-Card?
A z-card is very useful for marketing yourself and finding work. All models should network and build contacts and a z-card is an excellent tool to help with this.
Unlike your modelling portfolio which you keep and allow people to view, a z-card can be kept by the other party so they won’t forget your details. You can hand everyone you meet within the industry your z-card including photographers, art directors, modelling agency workers, other models and even make-up artists and hair stylists you work with.
Without a z-card, you can waste valuable time trying to find the relevant information to give to people you want to stay in contact with. The industry is fast-moving and many won’t have the time to stop and find a pen to write your details down. And even if they did, a scrappy piece of paper with handwriting on will never be as professional as a high-quality printed card which they are far less likely to lose. A z-card allows you to hand over vital information at a moments notice.
A z-card can be your first or last interaction with someone, so take the time to make it as good as it can be.
Your z-card must feature high-quality images – not selfies taken via phone. If you have yet to gain any experience modelling, it’s a good idea to hire a professional photographer to take some images for you at a photoshoot. Not only will this give you valuable experience behind the camera but you will also be able to select the best images to feature in your modelling portfolio and on your z-cards.
Keep your cards neat and easy to read. Don’t try to cram too much information on as it will look messy and be illegible. You want viewers to be able to pick out the important information at a glance.
You can have fancy finishes on your z-card like soft touch lamination to give it that extra something to help it stand out. You don’t have to cover it with lots of information; stick to the basic facts and details.
The quantity you order is up to you. Generally, if you order more you will have more competitive rates. Part-time models will need less than full-time professionals as they won’t meet as many people.
You want the card to be small enough to slide into a customer’s pocket, but large enough to hold all the right information.
Remember to feature images that speak to your target audience, particularly if you are trying to find work within a specific sector of modelling (like fitness or plus-size).
Don’t forget about finishing touches like the thickness of the paper, whether you want a shiny or matt finish, and any other design details. It might be worth hiring a graphic designer or an online team to help you with the layout of your card.