The inconvenience of hidden faces

For those who have jobs involving frequent meetings and exchanging business cards, one of the many inconveniences brought about by the novel coronavirus pandemic is that it's more difficult to put names together with faces when those faces are half-hidden by a mask. In addition, although "smiling eyes" and other non-visual cues can go some of the distance in conveying a welcoming and pleasant attitude to a new client, nothing beats a beaming smile to break the ice and set the right mood.

We've already seen some face masks which seek to overcome this obstacle, for example, by including a clear window in the mask. However, one Japanese company has taken a completely different approach to "uncovering" your smile...

"Smile Meishi"

長屋印刷株式会社 Nagaya Printing Co., Ltd. is a Japanese printing company with over a century of experience. With the onset of the pandemic, they began considering how they could contribute to society with new products. As we introduced in grape Japan last November, their first idea was to combine the meishi 名刺 (business card) and the face mask in one product. The service allowed customers to printing their original designs on "business card masks," thus turning their face masks into promotion tools.

Reproduced with permission from © Nagaya Printing Co., Ltd.

Now, for their second idea, they've returned to paper, the medium they know best, with a business card concept called Smile Meishi スマイル名刺.

Imagine this scenario. You meet a new client and she hands you her business card.

Hmm, this looks different...

Reproduced with permission from © Nagaya Printing Co., Ltd.

Both in Japan and in other countries, having a photo portrait on a business card is nothing new.

However, printing only the bottom half of your face on the top edge of the card?

"Just hold it up like this," she tells you...

Reproduced with permission from © Nagaya Printing Co., Ltd.

"Oh, I get it..."

Reproduced with permission from © Nagaya Printing Co., Ltd.

Look at all those happy smiling faces!

Reproduced with permission from © Nagaya Printing Co., Ltd.

According to Ms. Suzumura, in charge of public relations for Nagaya Printing, they created this Smile Meishi in the hopes that it can help "brighten the world from the business scene."


The Smile Meishi has been available since June 28th, 2021, and is already making waves, having been featured in Japanese media sites such as withews and introduced on Japanese television shows such as TBS's "N-Station."

If you're interested in printing up a batch for yourself or your company, visit Nagaya Printing's website here. You can also buy their "meishi masks."

By - Ben K.