Helping Photographers Understand the HOWS & WHYS behind Great Photography

What is a comp card?

 
 

A model’s comp card is a 5.5” x 8.5” card that usually has the model’s headshot on the front and three to five images on the back that show the range of the model’s ability. Comp cards are printed on a thick card stock and are handed out to agencies and potential clients during castings, go-sees and auditions.

Comp cards came about in the 1960s in London, England and for decades have been the primary marketing tool for models and the modeling industry. They are known by several different names, depending on what part of the world you may be in. Zed Card, Z Card, Sed Card, Comp Card, and Composite Card are all the same thing.

The comp card is used by the model when submitting to agencies either online or by mail, to get a modeling agency’s attention and hopefully an interview. Modeling agencies use these cards to show clients which models the agency recommends for the clients’ projects before a go-see or audition is held.

Comp Card Specs

Industry Standard Comp Card

As you can see in the sample comp card above, the front of the card contains the model’s headshot and her name printed in an easy-to-read sans-serif font. The back of the comp card will have between 3 to 5 photographs, (4 is the industry standard) along with the model’s stats.

Stats for Men include: Height, Suit or Chest size, Waist, Inseam, Shoe size, Hair color and Eye color.

Stats for Women include: Height, Bust, Waist, Hips, Dress size, Shoe size, Hair color and Eye color.

The industry standard comp card size is 8.5” x 5’5”. The cards can be formatted horizontally or vertically, like you see in the examples below. A high-quality comp card will be printed on a thick card stock (12pt or 14pt).

comp card

Use a printer who specializes in comp card printing. You invested a lot of time, effort and money into the photos that make up your modeling portfolio – don’t use a cheap printer and risk having a comp card that makes your photos look horrible.

Quality comp card printers will generally provide samples of their work if you request them. Cheaper comp card printers will save money by using a thin, lightweight card stock that is flimsy and bends and creases easily. This combined with poor color reproduction and crooked cuts can leave you with a very bad first impression.

Comp Card Printers

OTL Graphics
Phone: 610.408.0540
570 W. Linfield Road
Royersford, PA 19468-1222
Services: Comp Cards, Headshots, Photo Business Card, Actor Postcards

ABC Pictures
Phone: 888.526.5336
2838 N. Ingram Avenue
Springfield, MO 65803-4583
Services: Comp Cards, Headshots, Business Cards

CompCard.com
Phone: 305.396.1048
Attn: Printing
P.O. Box 281
Woodstock, GA 30188-0129
Services: Comp Cards, Headshots, Photo Business Card, Actor Postcards

Comp Card Express
Phone: 877.552.5047
1279 Chili Avenue
Rochester, NY 14624
Services: Comp Cards

Bunker Los Angeles
Phone: 323.463.1070
957 N. Cole Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Services: Comp Cards, Headshots, Business Cards, Postcards

Spotlight Printing
Phone: 888.954.8467
11568 Trask Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843
Services: Comp Cards, Headshots, Business Cards, Postcards

This listing of comp card printers is provided by Joe Edelman / www.JoeEdelman.com. Inclusion on this page is NOT an endorsement from Joe Edelman. The printers are listed here either because I have personal experience with them OR I have reviewed their website and investigated them using Google and did not find a compelling reason to exclude them from the listing. Help me keep this listing up-to-date and accurate. If you find any errors or if you are the owner of one of these companies, please submit your current details.

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