Are you wondering how you can make your business card that bit more effective? Or looking at making a first time business card purchase? No matter whether you’re a graphic design professional or a veteran business card user, it’s always a good idea to review some of the basics when creating your new business cards. This post includes 27 tips for making your business cards more effective and a handy cheat sheet to guide you on the way…
1. Visually Inspire Create something which visually inspires people to contact you. You don’t need to be a graphic design professional or understand how to utilise ‘white space’, you simply need to create a business card that visually inspires people with regard to what you stand for or do. If you’re a joiner why not go for a design with a hammer, or if you’re a hairdresser then a business card that incorporates scissors as part of the design will help you stand out.
2. Use Easy to Read Fonts
It is paramount that you choose a legible, clear font that stands out and delivers your message.
A quality business card should incorporate a solid design, yet it’s important to remember that a business card is for transferring important information. Using fonts which are hard to read can easily confuse the reader and miscommunicate crucial contact details when, for example the letter ‘r’ can be misinterpreted as a ‘v’. This could mean the difference between a potential new client and losing a new lead due to poor font choice.
3. Use a Maximum of Two Fonts
Using too many fonts makes a business card seem disorganised.
When it comes to design, they often say less is more. We couldn’t agree more when you are designing a business card. Keep it simple by using two fonts maximum. Instead of changing the fonts themselves, why not change the size of the font to create a hierarchy and focal point within the design.
4. Consider Raised Print Business Cards
Literally stand out, with raised print.
Creating a business card design which literally makes people go ‘Wow’ is often quite a hard achievement and for small businesses, often quite superfluous. With raised print business cards, you can take a plain normal design and make it quite literally actually stand out from the first touch. They may cost a little more, but when your customer touches the delicate raised print they will feel quality and experience the luxury, exactly the lasting impression you want to create.
5. Include a Premises Address
Add an element of confidence in your business with a premises address.
You may be a one man band taking on the big boys with your cheeky smile and top customer service, but in a world of super competitive businesses it’s important you make your small business appear bigger than it really is. Encourage confidence in your business by utilising a business premises address.
6. Include Social Media Links
A great way for potential clients to get to know you.
Social Media channels like Facebook or Twitter now offer a great place for potential clients to find out more about your business, connect with you and see more examples of the great services you can provide. Remember, it may be some time before a potential client contacts you about your services and social media is a great way to connect with clients beyond printed media.
7. Go with a Double-Sided Business Card
For a more professional appeal.
Not only will it utilise more space and create a better design, but going for a double-sided business card simply appears more professional than a plain white reverse. Think about using a large logo, QR codes, quotes that represent your business or even reviews from past customers.
8. Label Information Clearly
Avoid creating confusion. Be clear and concise.
Mobile or Landline? Fax or Phone? Facebook or Twitter? With so many potential contact details you can include on a business card it’s important to ensure they are clearly labelled. Don’t create confusion. Tie up your card with clear and concise contact information.
9. Be Sure to Include Your Logo
As this should be a well-designed, key element of your brand.
Whether you incorporate a logo as a focal point on the front layout or decide to use it as part of the main reverse scheme, including a well-designed logo will do wonders for your business card design. As a key element of your brand, the logo will help potential clients pick you straight out of the stack.
10. Brand Style Guidelines
Your brand should shine through on your business card.
You have a logo, a design and a well thought out branding guideline. This needs to be incorporated into your business card. Our graphic designers can help replicate this branding across your print media with our artwork service!
11. Choose a Suitable Font Size
That is legible once printed to complement your design.
Carefully choosing the font size within a design can help create a hierarchy and flow within a business card design. If you would rather potential clients contact you by phone, why not make your phone number a font size larger than your other contact details?
12. Choose Your Contact Numbers Carefully
Ensure you are available in the right ways and at the right times.
Are you a work from home type of guy or are you constantly on a train to London? It may appear cute to have a 4 year old answering a business call but to a customer this may come off as a little unprofessional. Ensure potential clients can contact you directly and with phone numbers or email addresses that you can access frequently.
13. Consider Using Your Photography
Handy if your business thrives on building relationships.
Using a photo of yourself or photos that represent your business can be a great way to tie off a design and make a unique statement on your business card.
14. Avoid Displaying a Printer’s Branding
Don’t settle for the cheapest business cards.
As you may know, here at 123Print we outright reject the tactic of printing our branding on your business cards. A business card should be about marketing your services. Using a business card with a printer’s branding gives off tacky and cheap connotations that should be avoided at all costs.
15. Think about Your Card Shape
A non-traditional shape stands out, but may not fit in a card holder.
Using a non-traditional card shape may stand out among the hundreds of traditional business cards, but for many small business owners they are simply superfluous to requirements. They may be awkward to carry and where they may appear as a cool marketing gimmick to you, the customer may just find the shape irritating.
16. Print onto Good Quality Card
You should leave a lasting impression.
It’s not only the design of your business card which is going to make a great first impression, but the touch and feel of the card too. If you’re using a flimsy card stock, then that is bound to reflect badly on your business. For an extra touch of grandeur consider raised printing stocks or think about adding a layer of gloss to your card.
17. Think about Contrasting Colours
Learn which colours will work well together, and also which won’t.
Red and Green, is it Christmas? Yellow and Green, Eurgh! Some colours just do not work together and in the tight confined space of a business card, the clash can project an unprofessional impression of your business and crucial information can be lost. Find out more about contrasting business card colours here.
18. Try to Keep to a Maximum of Around Three Colours
Try not to complicate your design.
As the old age saying goes ‘Two’s company, three is a crowd’. You only have limited design space on a business card and after incorporating logos, names, email addresses and possibly even a QR code your design may start to look complicated. Keep it simple with no more than three different colours.
19. Avoid adding too much Information
Your card should be easy to read.
If you are a man on the go – always working in a van or quoting house prices on the go, then including email addresses or fax numbers may prove quite superfluous. After a hard day’s work, replying to emails may be the last thing you want to do, whereas a quick phone call might perhaps prove more profitable to future clients.
20. Foil Printing
Add a luxury quality to your card.
Dressing up a business card design need not be hard work. Foil printing enables you to create a card which literally glistens when placed in a potential clients hands and in terms of a lasting, professional first impression – it ticks all the boxes.
21. Try Magnetic Business Cards
Choose a business card which people are far likelier to keep.
Looking for a business card which is guaranteed to hang around a little longer? Magnetic business cards may seem a little cheesy but, as a marketing tool, they are far more likely to hang around on fridges than get disregarded at the bottom of a drawer or forgotten about in a coat pocket. Stay the centre of attention with a magnetic business card!
22. Create a Good Balance
A card should be comfortable to read and must also look appealing.
Try not to overcomplicate a business card design with too much information. An instant put off is a card which has no flow or is just jam-packed with every detail possible. You may have a Google Plus account but does it belong on a business card? Probably not. Opt for the important information and let the design do the talking.
23. Round Cornered Cards
A softer, more professional look.
You can’t help but love the sharp, clinical edge of a traditional business card. Yet if you’re looking for something a little more sleek, but that still keeps its roots firmly in the traditional business card style, then rounded corners could be perfect for you.
24. Avoid Disorder
Consider the most logical area to place information.
Ensuring your contact details are in a logical format can be critical for pulling the design together. As has been said before, it’s important to highlight the contact detail you would most like customers to contact you on. As a rule of thumb, from top to bottom, contact information should go Name, Business Premises Address, Phone, Email and Social Media Contact details.
25. Choose Full Colour
A vibrant business card will last.
Recent research has shown than over 90% of information is taken in visually. When it comes to a business card, creating a vibrant full colour design is going to attract eyes and customers!
26. Try the Vertical Card
A little bit different from the usual.
Every small business wants to try differentiate itself from its competitors and when it comes to trying a different business card, we think the vertical card should do the trick.
27. Try the Mini Business Card
Sleek design, effortless to handle.
If you’re looking to step away from the traditional business card, then utilising the sleek design of a mini business card could work for you. Keep in mind that the details area is very small and you may need to be be cut throat with the amount of information included and level of complexity with your design.