If you’re a model or actor, you’re likely already familiar with the concept of the model composite card. They’re used to showcase the best shots from a model’s portfolio and can also be used as business cards, so if you’re keen to make a big impact this is an absolute must for you.
Peter Marlowe of Marlowe Press (which stopped trading in the 90s) registered the trademark Model Composite in Europe and the US in 1965. At the time they were an A4 format but changed to A5 in 1972, largely for filing purposes.
Other companies started publishing cards for the model industry under different names to avoid trademarks issues, among them Sebastian Sed who traded under Sed Cards, which were mispronounced as Z (Zed) cards or set cards.
When it comes to creating your own cards for PR purposes, you can always ask your favourite photographer to help you come up with something really eye-catching and useful (a good idea since they’re sure to have seen lots of these in the past and will know what works and what doesn’t). Or you can come up with your own designs using your PC and image editing software if you have the necessary skills to do an expert job.
Bear in mind with regard to printing costs that prices can vary wildly, depending on how many pictures you want to include and the kind of paper stock you want to use. Thicker paper stock may be advisable since this is an indication of quality from the outset.