Should I Put a Quote on My Business Card?

If you came here wondering whether motivational business card quotes are popular, try searching the phrase ‘motivational quotes’ on Google’s search engine. The phrase returns nearly eight billion hits. That deserves repeating: eight billion!
To put that in context, it’s two billion more hits than searching for ‘Queen Elizabeth’.
Quotes on business cards are incredibly popular. People want to be inspired, and quotes are great for achieving this. But is it always a good idea to put a quote on a business card, and how can you choose the perfect one?
In this article, we’ll look at why motivational quotes are so popular, and answer how best to use them in your business card marketing.

Is it Legal to Use a Quote on a Business Card?

Before jumping into the fun stuff about how to search for the best aligning quotes for your business, it is worth taking a step back to talk about the legal aspects.
Disclaimer: The following information does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult a lawyer.
You might wonder why the most popular promotional quotes come from people who have been dead for a long time. That is because, in most regions in the world where copyright law exists, copyright lasts for 70 years after the author’s death.
If you’ve been searching through your Instagram feed for modern usable quotes, this automatically rules out anyone still alive!

How to Legally Quote Someone

Unless the quote’s author or estate explicitly puts their work, rights-free, into the public domain, their use for promotional purposes is copyright protected. Simply citing the quote’s author doesn’t automatically grant permission for its use. If you want to use a particular copyrighted quote for your business card quote, there are things you can do:

• Seek written permission: Write to the author of the quote, or their estate, if deceased, seeking written permission to use. If you’re lucky, they may write back saying ‘okay’, or refer you to a licencing company (see below). If your business is educational non-profit or non-commercial, you may write to the copyright holder, requesting ‘Fair Use’ rights.
• Pay a Licencing Fee: For the use of some copyrighted works, a licencing fee may apply. If your business has a marketing budget, and using a particular quote is important, it is something to consider.

There are some situations where copyright exists, but the author or estate does not enforce it. This is true of Steve Jobs’s quotes, for example. However, just because an estate or author chooses not to enforce their copyright, it does not mean that they will not do so in the future.
Use a copyrighted quote without permission, at your own risk. If you choose to take a risk and go ahead anyway, be aware that law firms exist that make a business out of scanning the Internet for the express purpose of finding copyright-infringing material.

How to Choose the Right Quotes for a Business Card

The choice of a suitable business card quote is another element of good business card design. If you’ve done your marketing homework on your customers, you should be able to put yourself in their shoes and imagine what they’d find most motivating and inspirational.
Also, remember that any quote or motto you choose should resonate with your company’s employees. It can also be a fun and bonding process to ask your employees for their ideas, perhaps through a prize competition. Your employees may have insights that you have never considered.
Last but not least, once you search for quotes, you’ll realise that many of the best ones are quite wordy. While it is nice to have a meaningful quotation, carefully consider the number of words and the font size and don’t make the card look cramped.
As with all design decisions, there are several factors to consider:

Business Alignment

Are you searching for a general inspirational quote, or trying to find something specifically related to your business or customers?
For instance, for a business selling holistic medicine, an inspirational quote from the Dalai Lama might seem like an obvious choice. But the same quote might not work for a software services company, whose customers expect something more corporate and business-like.
Try to choose business card quotes associated with your sector. For instance, referring to the previous example, a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs quote would resonate better with the customers of a software services company.
It bears repeating that the best and most insightful use of quotes comes from a firm understanding of your business and customers.

Customer Trust

Consider that your choice of quote says something about your company and its values. Think about quotes that are both inspiring and meaningful, and try to align them with your customer’s values and expectations.
You should have a good idea of who your customers are. How old are they? What is their income level? Where do they live? You can use this information to seek out a quote that might resonate with their particular demographic group.
For example, a quote from a Beatles song might resonate with older generations, while today’s teenagers won’t get the reference. On the other hand, a quote promoting LGBT equality might go down better with a younger target market.

Humorous Quotes

Everybody enjoys a good laugh, but if you use humorous quotes, remember that they should be appropriate and not too risqué. Don’t offend potential customers through bad taste jokes.
Humour is more appropriate for some businesses than others. For example, if you’re a party shop, or a children’s soft play centre, it might be seen as quirky and cute to include a bit of fun in your quote. But if you’re in the financial sector – an accountant, for example – your customers might be looking for something a bit more serious.

International Business

If your business is international, consider whether your quote is culturally appropriate. Also, check that your quote has no unfortunate meaning in your customer’s native language.
For example, the Chinese dialect Cantonese has six tones, and some English words or phrases have unintended (sometimes unfortunate) meanings in Cantonese.
Bear in mind, also, your customer base’s religion. Perhaps avoid using a Bible verse if many of your customers are Muslim or Jewish, for example.

Example Quotes for Business Cards

Here are some example quotes suited to popular business types and general inspiration.

Plumbing is a dirty job, and there is a rich vein of snappy, humorous, and slightly risqué quotes online. Here are a few examples.
• “CALL US: We’ll Fix Whatever Your Husband Broke!” – Anonymous
• “Big or small, we fix it all” – Anonymous
• “We’ll do the dirty work, so you don’t have to” – Anonymous
• “The Drip Doctors” – Anonymous
• “Serving You Peace of Mind” – Anonymous
• “Laying pipe since 2007” – Anonymous

Massage rooms are most often candle scented, permeated by relaxing music. For this type of spa business, choose quotes that emphasise the health and mental benefits of massage:
• “Touch the Body, Calm the Mind, Heal the Spirit” – Anonymous
• “You’re only one massage away from a good mood” – Anonymous
• “Give your body the love it deserves, have a massage” – Anonymous
• “Massage day is the best day of the week” – Anonymous
• “Relax, Enjoy, Rejuvenate” – Anonymous
• “The Muscle Whisperer” – Anonymous
• “Recharge Your Body, Not Your Phone” – Anonymous

Web Design Company

Website design is an interesting combination of aesthetics and functionality. However functional a website is under the hood, its image and design is what the customer is buying into. For this type of creative business, choose quotes that emphasise your attention to detail and design.

• “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication” – Coco Chanel
• “People ignore design that ignores people” – Anonymous
• “Good design means never having to say ‘Click Here.’” – Anonymous
• “Inspiration the seed. Design but the flower” – Michael Langham

General Business Quotes

Here are a number of short inspirational and motivational quotes that would work well with many small businesses:

• “Do what is right, not what is easy” – Anonymous
• “It always seems impossible until it is done” – Nelson Mandela
• “If you want it, work for it” – Anonymous.
• “The harder I work, the luckier I become” – Terry Pratchett.
• “I never dreamed about success, I worked for it” – Estée Lauder.
• “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” – Bill Gates
• “Creativity is intelligence having fun” – Albert Einstein

Where Can I Order Business Cards?

If you’ve chosen your perfect quote(s) and are ready to start designing your business cards, look no further than 123Print. With decades of experience printing all kinds of business stationery and promotional products, you can rely on us to print your business cards to a high standard of quality. And what’s more, we offer our services for an affordable price that won’t break the bank, even if you’re a small business just starting out.
Choose from one of our many business card templates, or create your own from scratch with our easy-to-use editor. Once you’ve approved the proof, we’ll print and post your order within 48 working days. And if you’re not happy, neither are we


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