Business Card Colours – What Doesn’t Work

As you may already know, if you have been browsing our main website, we do love printing those business cards! Fabulous and marvellous designs, every last one of them! We print thousands of red, green, blue, orange, pink and purple cards every week. So when it comes to colours and what works well on a business card, we like to think we’re a bit of a know it all in this area. Which, let’s face it, we are!

Business Card Colours

Obviously aspects of our advice below may perhaps clash with your brand and it’s hardly necessary for us to say that you should always stick to your brand elements. However, take a look and let us know what your thoughts are.

Firstly why don’t we talk whitespace? You may be thinking ‘Oh, nooo. Here we go again… another wannabe designer using buzzwords’ but actually, whitespace is a fairly simple colour design idea which can really enhance and hold a great design together.

Contrary to the name, whitespace is about so much more than just white space. It incorporates all colours and makes up the background of your design. For business cards, whitespace can be crucially important. Having a clear, easy to follow business card is super important in the eyes of the reader. You can find a really good explanation of whitespace, how it helps your design and how you can apply this to your business card here.

Green and Purple Design
Hard to read?

Green and Purple
Whilst this colour scheme may be powerful at getting the attention of your audience, when printed the actual colour scheme can clash very easily. The readability is difficult for customers and colours really have no chance to flow. If you do want to mix these colours together, it is advisable to think about the strength of each colour, muted tones may be best and perhaps even invite a third colour in to improve the visibility of your text.

Yellow and Green.
These two colours are used so often in advertising, that you may fall victim to using them on your own business cards. They’re great at catching people’s attention; however people need to read your business cards, gather the important information and take away your key messages. When you consider that yellow and green backdrops have some of the worst readability factors, it may best to entirely avoid this colour combination.

Green and red design
Your business card is for business, not for Christmas.

Red and Green
It may be Christmas time and you may be feeling jolly, but steer clear of these colours on your business cards. As the popular saying goes “A pet isn’t just for Christmas” – neither is your business card. Remember that people will have to use them all year round and the readability with this colour combination is exceptionally disappointing. With these colours the level of clarity when reading the text is poor and only causes a negative effect on the users’ eye.

Red and Blue
With the Olympics, a Royal wedding and most recently a Royal baby you may be feeling a little patriotic when you settle down to make the colour decisions with reference to your business cards. As a colour combination these two strong, bold tones make the text indistinguishable and thus your details are difficult to read. So shrug off your Royal fervour and avoid using the famous signature of royal blue and luscious red.

Get designing your business cards with 123Print UK here today!


About Scott Taylor

Scott is Chief Storyteller for 123Print UK, an online print company who are determined to help British Businesses grow. He regularly writes content on social media, branding and public relations and has achieved coverage in many publications.

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