How to Design the Perfect Business Card
Last Updated: Jun 22, 2018
Business cards are a valuable marketing tool for your business. These seven tips can help you design a professional business card that will help customers remember you.
Business cards are still essential marketing tools, particularly if you run a local business. Their small size makes them easy to carry and hand out to prospects you meet at networking events. Equally important, the size of a business card makes it convenient for prospects and customers to tuck your card in their wallet, a desk drawer or other location so they can find it – and your business – when they need to.
That’s why it’s important to design a card that portrays you in a professional light. Here are some tips on designing the perfect business card.
When you had your logo designed, did you consider that it might ever be shrunk to minute proportions? If your logo is too complicated or includes words (a couple of single letters is fine), it isn’t going to be recognizable. If you have a complicated logo that only looks good on websites and signs, consider replacing it or creating a related logo especially for business cards, stationary, letterhead, and promotional products like pens, uniform shirts, and advertisements.
Include essential information only. Business cards are small so include only the information that’s most important for the prospect or customer to have. In order of importance:
Simple, businesslike fonts work best. A favorite of business card designers are the sans serif fonts. Resist the urge to get overly creative with your font choice. It’s all about readability and a professional appearance.
Look at a business card that you like and you’ll see a lot of white, blank space. That negative space allows other design elements to stand out to the reader. The more you pack onto your business card, the more difficult it will be to read, and thus the more likely that it won’t be read.
Bright colors can make your business card stand out, but they can also make it look garish – a look most business owners probably don’t want. Bright, loud colors can also make your business card difficult to read, if not designed correctly. A card with a red border, and extensive gold text over a black bacground can be difficult to read. Similarly a card that has a purple border, white background, and with some lines of text printed in purple and others in black, can look unfocused and unprofessional.
Similarly, very light gray, pink or other pale-colored text on a white background may look artistic to a graphic designer, it can be very difficult to read, especially in small type sizes used on business cards. If your customer can’t easily read the phone number on your business card, they may just go to the web, search for what you do… and then find and call a competitor.
Related: Business Card Mistakes To Avoid
Think About Your Business
The best type of business card for financial services, doctors, lawyers, and other “coat and tie” wearing professions is usually a subdued card. But that’s not the case for everybody.
If you’re in the creative business, a card that shows off your design skills not only advertises your business but also serves as a small portfolio of your work. If you are your business, or if prospects are more likely to remember your face than your business name, consider including a photo of yourself on your card.
Remember the first rule of creativity: Less is always more. Be careful not to overdesign or to include too many elements or lines of text on your card.
The front of your card serves the purpose of telling people who you are, what you do, and how to contact you. The problem with business cards is that everybody gets them—a lot of them, in fact. How many business cards do you receive in an average year and how many end up somewhere besides your trash can?
If that’s where your card finds its final resting place, you’ve done nothing more than waste a perfectly good piece of cardstock.
Instead, why not give the customer a reason to hold on to the card? Accomplish that by putting something on the back. If you’re a Realtor, maybe a chart that lists the approximate monthly payment for homes at various price points. If you’re a security system salesperson, maybe a list of emergency numbers in your community.
The goal is to give potential customers a reason to hold onto your card instead of throwing it away. Just like in other parts of your business, customers respond more favorably when you give them something of value at little or no charge.
Consider how your business card will look to the customer, and what they may want to do once they get your card. If you’re going to use a glossy card stock to help your card stand out, consider using card stock that’s glossy only on the front side. That way someone could jot down a note to themself on the plain back of your card. If you are a service provider who works for consumers in their homes, you may want to make some or all of your cards magnetized so they can adhere to metalic surfaces such as refrigerators or washing machines.
If you don’t have graphic design skills, you’ll be happy to know there are a variety of ways to design a perfect card without the high price of a graphic designer.
Vistaprint – Vistaprint is a low cost, online printing service that not only allows you to a design for printing; the site has tools that allow you to design a card on your own. If you have a logo, you can load it into the system to see what your card looks like or you can choose from premade designs.
Hire a Freelancer – Sites like Upwork allow you to place your job on its site and collect and evaluate bids from graphic designers. Quality designers will include a portfolio for you to view as well as past reviews from clients.
There are numerous sites like this that allow you to receive low cost bids. You’ll be surprised at how reasonable the prices are for a quality design.
Your business card is one of those parts of your business where you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. A classic design with simple design elements is all you need to achieve a professional appearance.
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