One of the most essential items in the business stationery armory, the business card is almost a way of life. Although we live in the digital age, this little piece of card is still as useful as ever.
When it comes to design, a business card needs to make an impact and engage the recipient; the last thing you want is for them to simply glance at it and then discard it. So how do you make yours memorable? Let’s talk about some ways to get it right.
The traditional business card is a familiar size, one that is perfect for slipping into a wallet. There is a trend for smaller cards at the moment and while they look great, they do have drawbacks. For one, they are easy to lose, being so small.
However, mini-cards do make an impression; they are different after all, and they are great for occasions when the information to be imparted is sparse. They are also essentially simple, which is an excellent point to make. There are also cards of different shapes that make an impression, and these can be fun. Make sure, whichever route you take, that you keep it brief and informative, yet memorable.
Using Marketing Gimmicks
The word gimmick is not one often relating to serious business, but there is nothing wrong with having fun when it comes to business card design. Make your card more than just a basic card; perhaps you could use adhesive paper and make it into a sticky card. Furthermore, why not make your card look like something relevant to your business? It has the impact feel in many ways. One thing to remember is fashion: trends come and go, so be careful not to over indulge when ordering.
The rise in use of QR codes means that business cards can now carry a handy link to a website; indeed, one of the more innovative design options is to have the card feature only such a code, and nothing else. This can work, but it can also be hit and miss thanks to the lack of information on the card itself.
Be careful, also, not to miss out on digital-only clients. Much business is done long distance and, as such, you may not get the chance to meet some of your potential clients. Make sure you have a digital business card as well as a traditional one; there are many websites that contain a lot of information about these.
Design vs. Text
It’s tempting to make a business card look really clever by producing a stunning design, but is that what it’s all about? The business card is there to give people the information needed to get in touch with you; it’s not a sales device. Keep it simple, and don’t be afraid to leave a lot of unfilled space.
What you do need to remember is that it is the words that matter; what your business card says is that which will make the point. Use clear and concise fonts, simple text and get to the point. Be careful when choosing the text and background; dark on light is easiest to read, and while light on dark can make an impact, it can also suffer in the print process. Font size is another consideration: don’t try and get too much on by using tiny font. Make sure your card is readable and try to avoid fancy fonts. Simple really is the key.
Give them Information
The essential information on any business card is as follows:
- Company name and logo for businesses
- Your name
- Your contact details, email and telephone
- Your website address
If you are an individual then put something on about what you do; otherwise, the above is really all you need to include.
Some people choose to print just their website address on the card; this can look clever, but again, it is hit and miss. A business card allows someone to get in touch with you easily. They don’t want to have to access your website to find your contact details.
Choosing the Colour
Colour is an important part of business card design; if you have corporate colours then you will naturally use them. If it is about you, then choose colours that are not too garish, and that work well together.
If you can, use a two sided approach; this can allow you to include an image on one side of the card, and can add to the impact. Many cards are in the popular grey and blue area of the colour spectrum; try and get away from this in order to steer clear of the crowd. You want your card to stand out.
Buy the Best you can afford
As with all things related to business, consider your budget carefully when choosing a business card design. You want to get the very best you can afford in terms of the card itself and the print quality, After all, your card is about you, and if it is a quality item that says a lot.
Try and buy printed cards, rather than those that are copied. The texture and feel of a properly printed card adds to the feeling of quality, and the difference in price will not be too great. You get a better choice of finish with printed cards; use printing for a run of identical cards, but you can consider the cost saving on a range of different cards with copying. If the provider offers a letterpress option have a look at it; high quality paper, textured print and stock, and a very impressive result make for a serious statement of quality. While these cards may be costly they make a very impressive impact, and should b considered for short runs.
What we have learned
So, we now know what to look for when designing a business card: quality says it all, as a quality card says that you care about your work. Remember, a business card is just about the first impression a client gets of you and your business, and it needs to send out the right message. Keep it simple, clean and stylish, add a touch of colour to make it stand out, and use the various gimmicks mentioned – the QR code, for example – and your business card becomes the indicator of your brand.