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The Top 5 Business Card Mistakes

The right business card can make a great first impression or leave you as just another name in a stack of cards. Of course we’ve all seen plenty of business cards throughout our careers. I’ve got stacks of cards from people I’ve met and we’ve designed plenty of cards for our clients. To help you with your business cards I’ve outlined the top 5 business card mistakes that I see regularly.

Mistake #1: Cheap Paper

This happens all the time. People will use a service like Vista Print to print their cards because it’s cheap. $10 for a box of 250 is a typical promotion. The problem is that to make such deals possible they have to cut costs somewhere. Paper is always an easy way for a printer to print something cheaper. Of course when you hand someone your card they feel the quality before they see what’s on it. It doesn’t cost that much more to have a quality card printed.

Mistake #2: Too Much Color

Business cards need to focus on just a couple of colors. Rainbows are a bad idea. Too much color distracts from the information on the card, is hard on the eyes, and is very distracting. Your company logo should already be focused on just a couple of colors. Stick to those colors and use you business card to extend your brand. Remember brands are built on consistency and that includes how you use color.

Mistake #3 Using Different Sizes

Some people think that using weird sizes helps a business card stand out. They are right but not necessarily in a good way. Most people use business card organizers to store cards and odd sizes don’t fit. If they don’t fit they often get discarded. On the bright side there are plenty of ways to create a standard size card that is cut in such a way as to stand out anyway. Consider using rounded corners on your cards or cards that open up like a mini brochure. Such a card when closed is still the right size. You can even use materials besides paper for printing.

Mistake #4 Using Stock Design Templates

I know the owner of a handyman company. When I first looked at the business card she handed me what was obvious was that it was a stock design. It had their company name and some tools pictured on it and no company logo. About two months after I met her I met another handyman and he handed me his business card. Different company name same exact template. Design templates are great if you want to look like hundreds of other companies that have already used the same template. If you want to look unique stay away from templates and have something custom designed.

Mistake #5 Make Sure What You Do is On the Card

How many times have you received a business card from someone, forgot about it and then when you next looked at it could not remember who they were or what they do? More often than you would think people print up their business cards and forget to mention what they do. If you forget to do that then the people you hand it to are unlikely to remember you later.

I can never say it enough. Business cards are meant to help you make a great first impression. Avoid these mistakes and you’ll be on your way to handing out your own great business card.

If you are interested in having a great business card designed for your business and need help please call our office at 615-890-3600 orĀ email us. All of our consultations are free and we always love meeting new people.


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3 thoughts on “The Top 5 Business Card Mistakes

  1. Thank You for these interesting tips. We spent time designing our business cards, and its good to read that we were on the right track. We collect a good amount of business cards as we approach businesses about advertising with us. We agree that there needs to be information on the card, so that when we go back and review them, we know right away who they are. Thanks again for these pointers.

  2. Good article. I might add that you can also be sure to put something on the back of your business card that has value. Those in the pet industry could add the Pet Poison Control Hotline. Those in the medical field could put a small tutorial of how to perform the Heimlich. Calendars are used by many. Give your business card a dual purpose that will entice others to put it in their wallet and not their junk drawer.

  3. I agree with Jennifer Graham; business cards with something useful on the back can be very powerful. I have one in my wallet with a tip chart printed on the back and every time I pull it out, I am reminded of the business owner who gave me that card.

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