A good business card should convey the overall image of your business and you as a professional. If you care about making the right good impression, you should probably continue reading…
The main question is: How can you possibly get a message across in such limited amount of space?
Of course, you can’t expect your business card to tell the whole story about your company. But what you should aim for is to give a professional image of yourself that people will remember. The color, wording and texture of our business card have a lot to do with its appeal and ability to convey your company image.
Now, imagine how good it will feel to design yourself your business card…after all, you are the one who knows your company and business the best.
Find below 8 tips that anyone can use to create the ideal business card for their unique situation.
1. Who, What, Where, Why?
Understand the purpose of your business card
The purpose is the reason for which something is done or created. It may sound obvious, but the first (and most important) thing to consider when designing your business card is the information you want to convey. Make sure your name, job title and company name or logo are clearly displayed. Think carefully about which contact details to include – you need to strike a balance between providing enough points of contact, without making your card look cluttered. Your website, email address and phone number are essential. Many businesses no longer include an address on their business cards, so if you’re struggling for space, you may want to remove this from your design.
Whatever you do, the business card serves as a connection between your company and your customers. Make sure the main information is correct and well-designed before jumping to colors and materials.
Example: This card is relatively simple to start but you make the light on how you pay attention to detail. It can really set you apart.
2. Get creative within the constraints
There are a couple of ‘standard’ sizes for business cards, depending on where you are in the world. The standard card is 3.5 x 2 inches, although you’ll see many other sizes quoted on the web.
Even though you only have a tiny canvas, you can still get creative with the space. Start by considering the key information you want to include, which will typically be a name, phone number and email address, then work your design around presenting this information in a creative way.
Example: On this card, you can see that the space is using in a different way than usual.
3. Keep your business card simple
Make sure that your business card is readable, clean and professional. Stay away from card formats that are so full of things that makes it impossible to see where one piece of information starts and where it ends. Remember that empty space is part of the design and it is used to make your card “breath” and keep the focus of your eyes in the important elements. Use a readable font as not everyone has perfect vision. Research says that ideal fonts to use include Helvetica, Myriad Pro, Glasgow and Karat.
By keeping your business card simple, you can clearly illustrate who you are, what you are doing and what you want to achieve.
Example: The simple front and back looks clean and professional, yet the subtle splatter effect on the logo and edges gives it a textural element that really stands out.
4. Color choice: Colorful or Plain?
It’s wise to keep your business cards in line with the rest of your company’s branding. If you have company colors, use them. Of course, if you don’t have any particular color scheme to work with, you’ll have free reign on your cards.
Bright colors – when used correctly – can make a business card stand out, and look distinctive. This tactic is often used by design and creative businesses, with the aim of appearing fresh, exciting and original. However, don’t underestimate the power of simplicity. A plain black and white design can be as memorable and striking as a colorful card – and can often be seen as more ‘stylish’ too.
But, be careful to choose complementary colors – clashing colors can look tacky and unprofessional on a business card. If in doubt, use an online color matching tool.
Example n°1: This card corresponds perfectly to the colors of his company while remaining very attractive.
Example n°2: On the opposite, this plain black and white design appeared very fresh and stylish too.
5. Visual Content
Pictures speak louder than words. This is true for business cards. While you need to have written content on one side of the card, think about saving the other for something more visual. Perhaps you could use the space to display an image of your product, or something related to your business. Or, put your company logo on the back of the card. Whatever you do, don’t leave it blank – it’s often claimed that people don’t look at the back of business cards, but that’s simply not true. Just think about how many times you’ve been given a card, and flipped it over to check…
Example: These graphics of colored animals make this card original and catchy. They use the space but we don’t have the impression that the card is overloaded.
6. QR Codes
Another way of saving space is to create a QR Code for your card. They provide a neat way of including a lot of information on a business card, without making it look cluttered. It’s also an easy way to create a link between your printed and online content – by scanning the code, people can automatically be sent to your website. There are plenty of free QR code generators on the web, so getting technological doesn’t have to break the bank:
Example: The QR code doesn’t require a big space on the card and fits perfectly with the colors black and white.
7. Double-check your artwork
This tip applies to every bit of print work you do, but it’s so crucial that it’s worth repeating for business card design. When sending your artwork off to the print shop, make sure you’ve double-checked every single detail.
There’s nothing worse than getting back your cards and discovering a typo in the email address or name. Check twice, print once is a well learnt adage!
Another way to keep your business card professional is to make sure that it is clean and free of smudges. Don’t make it seem like your business card has lived in your back pocket for ages. It is also a good idea to develop a system for handing out your business card. You may want to get into the habit of placing your business cards in your right pocket and keeping the business cards of those you meet in your left jacket pocket. That way, you’ll know where to reach in case you need to hand out a business card of your own or stash someone else’s away.
Example: In the movie, Paul Allen’s department title reads “Mergers and Aquisitions.”
That should be a c quisitions, of course. A cursory Google search shows that the secret has been out for some time.
8. Have at least 50 business cards on you at all times
It can be a very costly mistake to suddenly run out of business cards in the middle of an event.
Don’t let that guy be you!
A way to avoid this is to plan and prepare ahead. If you are going to a conference of 2,000 people then bring about 500 business cards with you.
A great thing to invest in is a nice business card case. Not only will this make it easier to remember to bring one’s business cards but it just keeps them in good shape and maintains a professional image.
Don’t forget to also keep some business cards in your car so they can be ready to grab just in case.
Lastly, keep about 5 or so business cards inside your wallet, preferably in a small case.