Why Every Model And Actor Needs A Comp Card



Updated by Wilson Moore on 5 May, 2020.

comp card

As a model or an aspiring model, do you have a comp card? Do you know what a comp card is and why you need to have it? You only get one chance to make an amazing first impression. The composite card, comp card, sometimes called a sed card or zed card, serves as both a model's business card and a mini-portfolio.

Any businesswoman would tell you how important business cards are to the success of her business.

Comp cards are really more important to the model than the business cards are to the businesswoman.

This is the reason. 

A composite card with "wow" pictures, garnished with effective formatting and information, might just be all it takes to attract a positive reaction from a casting agency.

Such an interest might lead to your next modelling or acting job. Therefore, zed cards are highly important marketing and branding tools for serious actors, and especially models. 

Composite cards contain the latest and best of a model's career portfolio and are used for the same purpose that business cards are used. Since models depend on getting jobs based on their attitude and looks, you can see why a 'mini-portfolio' with the up to date "wow" pictures and the agency's contact information is very important.

Even though looks are not considered one of the most important things needed in order to be successful in the modelling business, you will have to be noticed first, before your other qualities come into play.

A comp card is the most important thing that you bring with you to auditions and casting calls.

This is so important because, with a comp card, you can leave a positive and lasting impression of what you look like with the casting director. If his team needs to go over your stats, they've got all the information right there on your comp card. It also has information on how to contact you through your agency.


What Is The Difference Between A Comp Card And A Z-Card? 

Glad you asked. In the modelling business, you will hear the terms comp cards and zed cards are thrown around a lot. If you're new in the modelling business, you might feel lost. What then, if any, is the difference between a z-card and a comp card?

It turns out folks, that there is no difference. 

The two phrases mean the same thing. Both of them mean a 'mini-portfolio' with contact information that a model or actor would leave at a casting call or send out to casting directors to help her get jobs.

The term "comp card" is from the original trademarked phrase, “Model Composite”. That trademark was the brainchild of Mr Peter Marlowe.

He trademarked that phrase in the 1960's when he came up with the original idea of comp cards. That trademark has expired, and the phrase has since been shortened to simply “comp cards.” 

So, how did 'zed cards' come about

You ask good questions. You see, one of Mr Marlowe's competitors, seeing that he could not use the trademarked phrase 'model composite' in his own cards that he sold, came up with his own phrase “sed cards.” 

“Sed” comes from Sebastian Sed’s last name, the competitor to Mr Marlowe. However, with time, people have misspelt the phrase and came up with “zed card”. Interestingly, you will find that more people are using the z-spelling than the s-spelling. 

Which phrase is the more popular today?

While individual agencies and models may have their preferences, the global trend is to use the phrase “comp card.” 

To back that up, according to Google’s search data, about four times as many people search for the phrase “comp cards” than the people that search for “zed cards.” 

Moreover, almost no one uses the original spelling, “sed card”. Very few people are about half as many as the “zed card” crowd, are using the full phrase, “composite card”.


What Does A Comp Card Look Like?

comp card

 You will see as many designs of comp cards as you would models. One thing that they all have in common, is that they all contain some basic information that would help them get a job.

Here are the basics: A close-up headshot is a key component. This shot should be head and shoulders, or perhaps from the waist up, but no wider than that.


Choose The Right Sizes 

The card itself should be 8.5 x 5.5 inches, with a headshot comprising most of one side. Add four 3 x 2-inch images aligned approximately 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch from the top border of the opposite side. 

Ensure that these photos display a range of looks, including full body shots, a mix of locations, various poses and different hair, clothing and makeup styles.


Add Important Details - Your Call To Action 

Beneath the large headshot on the front of the card, type your full name in large print, making it easy to notice. Below the images on the back, list your measurements as well as eye and hair colour.

For female models, dimensions should include height, bust, waist, hips, dress size and shoe size. For males, they should include chest, waist, inseam, suit size and shoe size.

If you have an agent, leave space for an agency to add its own information with a sticker or stamp. Otherwise, print your contact information, including phone number and email address, below the photos. 

Many casting directors and agents encourage models and actors to keep this headshot nearly makeup-free so that their true face shines through. 

Your comp card should also contain three or four other images, showing a variety of looks with at least a few full body shots. As far as basic information, your comp card should include the measurements a casting director would need to know in order to hire you.

Your comp card should also reflect what type of modelling work you are doing. A good z-card includes perhaps, bust, waist, hips, height, shoe size, and bra size.

That depends on the gender and the type of modelling or acting job the model does. Is it lingerie, fitness, or haute couture?

Finally, contact information is extremely important to feature on the card!

Comp cards are typically 6″x9. Many of them are two-sided so that the model or actor can feature the headshot on one side of the composite card and several smaller images on the other side.


Why Should You Get Comp Cards Now? 

You will not appear professional or be taken seriously about your acting or modelling career unless you come to castings prepared with a comp card. It’s just that simple.


How Can I Get A Comp Card?

You need 'wow' pictures for a 'wow' comp card. If you don't have an agency, you would probably do well to hire a good professional photographer. Be careful ofsharks. After you get your pretty pictures together, then you can use a good design software to put together an awesome comp card that would 'wow' casting directors and their stakeholders.

At Anaconda Modeling Agency, we take care of the comp card for our models. The first step in getting a comp card is filling out our FREE online application form.

After we receive your application, and you are selected, we schedule you for a photo shoot.

After the photo shoot, we take a good look at your pictures to see if any marketing or branding company, would find them compelling enough to use them in promoting their goods, services or brand. If we love what we see, we develop a comp card for you FREE, because we see a diamond in the rough.

Even after a photo shoot, we may decide not to promote you. It is our choice and that is why it costs you NO MONEY to join our agency. 

This is serious business and we only promote talents that are in harmony with the long-term goals and interests of Anaconda Modeling Agency® and our parent company, Anaconda Marketing, Nigeria Limited

A good comp card is truly a great asset for your budding modelling career, you need tons of them. If you don't have any, why don't you? If you want to join an awesome modelling agency, fill out our FREE online modelling and ushering jobs application form.