The Learning Center
AKA... The Blog
AKA... The Blog
Ah the trusty old business card. That tiny piece of paper that will forever be needed by people in business everywhere. It’s been a mainstay in business for as long as anyone can possibly remember and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Unfortunately considering the impact it can make on a business far too many people neglect the design of the card itself. With that in mind here are 9 tips to designing a better business card.
Why look like everyone else? There are plenty of companies like VistaPrint that can offer a vast array of business card designs to choose from. The problem is if you’re choosing it someone else likely has chosen it as well. In fact there are probably 100’s of people that have already chosen it. I once had some dealings with a local handyman through a networking group I was in. Of course I had one of their cards. I visited another networking group and met another handyman, and he gave me the exact same looking business card! The only thing different was the name of the business on the card. Every business is unique so why would you want to look like everyone else. To get a professional design you need to use a professional. For example a company like Titan Web Marketing Solutions can design for you a knockout business card that you’ll be proud to give out. (Disclaimer: That was my personal plug for our services, because I couldn’t help myself.)
Yes you want a great looking business card but if it’s not readable what will it matter? Keep the fonts simple and make sure they are large enough to be easily read.
This seems like an obvious thing but there have been plenty of instances where typos get missed. Pay attention to detail and if the details change, such as you changed your phone number then get new cards printed. Typos always look bad and so does handwriting new information on your card. A box of business cards is not that expensive. Don’t worry about making sure you use up the rest of the box just to make sure you don’t waste the $20 worth of cards left in the box. Also never trust that the designer you hired didn’t miss a typo. In my experience designers often miss such things as typos because they’ve been staring at the card so long during the design process.
Odd sized business cards may seem like a good idea but often they’re just annoying. Many people use business card caddies to store their cards and they don’t allow for storage of anything but standard size business cards. That means odd sizes while unique looking are also likely to be discarded or lost somewhere. The standard 3.5 x 2 inch card is still best and there are plenty of things that can be done to make it stand out other than size.
Being loud can be a bad idea. It’s best to avoid garish colors that will distract readers from your business information and logo. Darker colors are better for text as it’s easier to read and lighter backgrounds are often better, again because it’s easier to read the text. Colors should be used to give a card that “pop” that will make it stand out from the crowd.
A business card contains a lot of usable real estate, use it. Our cards for example feature our logo on one side with our primary services and on the opposite side is our contact information. If we only try to use one side of the card something will suffer. Another plus to using both sides is we can use more color. Our logo looks best with a dark blue background. Such a background with our contact information on it would be hard to read. By putting our logo on one side and our contact information on the opposite side we can use both our dark blue and the white backgrounds as needed.
The most important piece of information on a business card is how to contact you. Make it easy for people by putting your cell phone on the card as well as your email and preferably an office phone if you have one. You would hate to lose out on a potential business opportunity because someone can’t get a hold of you.
There are print options available that will give a business cards that extra little something. We regularly recommend using Spot UV on cards. What’s Spot UV you ask? It’s the application of UV coating to a portion of the paper surface, used to achieve a contrast between a gloss, matte or uncoated surface. Another way to go is with the paper used to print your business cards. Bulk printing companies like VistaPrint will print your cards on regular stock which is pretty flimsy. For all the business cards we design we prefer to have them printed on a matte card stock which has a nice silky smooth surface and is a thicker stock. You can also get a gloss finish although we only recommend getting one side of the card glossed. A lot of people like to write on cards. Finally a textured finish will certainly get your cards some attention whenever you hand it to someone.
Have you ever been in a situation where someone asked for a business card but you didn’t have one on you? Business opportunities come at the oddest of times. You’ll run into someone while on vacation or in the local grocery store checkout line that could use your services and they want a card. So make sure you always carry a few business cards on you. You never know what opportunities may present themselves.