Tag Archives: business card mistakes

What to AVOID When You’re Designing a Business Card

Whether you’re just starting out in a new career path, have recently changed jobs, or have founded your own business, there are many reasons you might be thinking about designing a new business card. Perhaps you’ve just realised that your old business card needs a bit of a refresh.

Even if the digital age has transformed the way business connections are made these days, physical business cards are still effective tool for marketing and communication. But the problem is that not all business cards are alike. The way you design your business card, the information you put on it, and even which company you use to print it can have a huge effect on the impression it makes on others. And that, in turn, can have a knock-on effect on your success in the business world.

Today, we’re going to go over why it’s crucial to have a well-designed business card, the steps involved, and some of the most significant mistakes you should avoid making when designing one.

Why Is It Important to Have a Good Business Card?

One of the most common questions asked about business cards is: are they even still relevant in the modern age? Why is it important to have a physical business card when most professional communications and marketing can be done digitally? Well, here are some compelling reasons:

1) Business cards are an inexpensive way to promote your brand. Being made of paper, and able to be mass-printed for pennies, they won’t break the bank
2) They’re great for events and conferences. Handing over a business card is a quick and easy way to make that professional connection, without having to rattle off your e-mail address or phone number for the person to copy down
3) Business card are easy to display and to distribute, as they’re small enough to fit into the standard card pocket of a wallet
4) As business cards are a tactile object, they’re a physical reminder of the connection you’ve forged. An e-mail or website link is easy to misplace, but if someone’s got their business card in your pocket, they’ll find it again
5) Business cards help to spread your branding. You can include your logo, tagline, colour scheme and even special offers or product information.

But of course, a business card is only as good as its design. A boring, badly designed, unprofessional business card will be hard to read and may risk people taking you (and your company) less seriously. That’s why it’s vital to design a good business card that will draw the eye and make people want to get in touch.

How Do You Design Your Own Business Cards?

Business cards don’t have to cost the earth. While you can pay a designer to make your business cards for you, this can be quite expensive – and if you’re just starting out with your business, you may not have the funds available.

If you’re looking to save money, an easy way to do so is to use a professional stationery site, such as 123Print. You’ll be able to choose a template that speaks to you, and edit it yourself online – choosing your own wording, font colours and styles, and adding your own images. Your unique design will then be professionally printed to order, using high-quality cardstock.

The steps involved in designing your own business card are as follows:
1) Choose the shape and size. The traditional rectangular business card shape is the most universally loved, as it’s easy to fit into a wallet or business card holder. But business cards can also have vertical orientations, rounded corners, and other interesting design elements.
2) Choose the style and colour scheme. This would include the size, font, and colour of your card. The overall purpose of typography is to prioritise legibility over anything else.
3) Upload your logo and other graphics. The logo is the most important part, as it will instantly draw the eye and create brand awareness. You can also add other graphics and things like QR codes.
4) Add contact information. As well as your name and company name, you’ll need to include a phone number, e-mail address, and website URL. You can also include your physical premises address (if you have one), and other socials such as Facebook and Instagram.
5) Add a call to action or other details that will entice people to contact you – such as special offers, a discount code or even a loyalty card stamp section on the reverse.
This all may sound simple, but there are many traps people fall into – especially when designing a business card for the first time. Here’s what to avoid doing.

What to Avoid When Designing Your Business Card

These are several mistakes that you want to avoid when creating your own business card design. They are:

1. Not Using a Professional Stationer

Many new business owners are tempted to try making their own business cards. Unfortunately, this is never a good idea – unless you happen to have professional printing equipment on-hand.
Home-made business cards are difficult to get right. You might inadvertently cut off vital information in the margins, use poor quality paper or ink, or risk cutting them roughly or wonky. Home-made business cards always have a slightly slap-dash appearance which risks making you and your company look unprofessional.

2. Leaving Out Vital Contact Information

Needless to say, the contact information is the most important part of a business card. Your potential clients and contacts will need a way to reach you.
But don’t think that merely providing an e-mail address will do. Make sure to include a working telephone number, website address, and the physical address of your business (if applicable). And include your social media handles, too.
If you’ve recently changed phone numbers or acquired a new web domain, make sure you’re using up-to-date information rather than old contact details that won’t work.

3. Forgetting to Triple-Check for Mistakes

Grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and typos simply translate that you do not care enough about your business as a whole. And what’s worse, if the typo is in the phone number or e-mail address, it can actually prevent people from contacting you.
You can avoid this error by thoroughly double- and triple-checking every detail before sending your design to print. It’s always worth getting a second pair of eyes to take a look, too – as if you’ve been staring at a design for too long, you might miss something obvious.

4. Choosing the Wrong Font Style, Size or Colour

Choosing a font that’s hard-to-read will put people off, and may even prompt them to throw your business card straight in the wastepaper basket. Avoid using looping cursive fonts, too-small text, or a font colour that blends into the background.
Although you might be tempted to use a font colour that will match your business’s colour scheme, it’s vital that it will actually stand out in high contrast to the background colour. If your colour scheme is yellow, for example, this won’t be easy to read against a white card.

5. Using Harsh or Inappropriate Colour Schemes

Following on from the theme of colour, note that poor colour choices can ruin an otherwise decent business card design. Understand how colour schemes work together on paper and affect the design balance.
And while you might want your card to stand out, you must realise that different colours can create wildly different first impressions about your company. Making your business card pillar-box red might catch the eye, but it may cause people to associate your company with urgency, anger, or danger – not ideal if you run a relaxing spa, for example.

6. Not Including a Call to Action or Value Proposition

The value proposition – which is, essentially, a promise of the value your business is going to deliver – gives you a chance to make a connection with your readers. You may consider a brief summary of services you offer, for example.
And a call to action is equally important – something that you want the reader to do. It doesn’t need to (and shouldn’t) be long or rambling. A short phrase such as “call us today” or “check out our website” will still have an impact.

7. Leaving Out Essential Branding

Remember that your business card is a vital took for spreading your branding far and wide. Branding can help create general awareness of your company, and encourage people to choose your business over your competitors, purely due to familiarity.
So, it’s essential that you include your company logo, tagline, and any other essential parts of your branding right on the front of your business card. You’ll also need to coordinate the font and colour scheme on your card with what you’ve used on your website and other marketing materials.

8. Including Too Much Unnecessary Information

It is quite frustrating to look at a business card with lots of overwhelming information squished altogether. You’ve heard of the term “less is more” – and this is definitely the case with a business card. You only have a small area to work with. A business card isn’t the same thing as a flyer, where you’ve got more space to go into detail about what your business can offer.

Focus on the essential information (contact details, a brief indication of what you offer, and a call to action). You can always use the reverse of the business card for any extra details you might like to include.

9. Trying to Print Text or Graphics in the Margins

While designing your business card, remember that there will be a margin of space around the outside of the card where nothing will be printed. You may be tempted to spread your text right to the edges of the card in order to fit more in – but this would be a mistake, as there’s a genuine risk it may get cut off. Not only will the text be unreadable, but it will also make your business card look unprofessional.

When you’re choosing your business card template, pay close attention to where the sample text is aligned and use the dotted line as a guide to where the margin will be. Be sure to check the proof to make sure your text and images look OK before you send your design to print.

10. Not Ordering Enough Business Cards

The last thing to avoid when you’re designing your new business cards is not ordering enough. Particularly if you’re just starting out, you may be tempted to order the smallest amount of business cards possible to save money. But you will be genuinely surprised at how quickly you’ll go through them. It’s always better to order significantly more than you think you’ll need, so that you’ll have spares on hand at all times.

That way, you can keep some on your person, give them to employees to hand out, and of course keep a stock of cards in the shop or office. You can even include business cards in the packaging when you ship orders to encourage customers to shop again.
If you’re ready to start designing your perfect business cards, head over to 123Print. We have thousands of templates to choose from, and you can customise them all in seconds using our handy online editor. We’ll aim to print and dispatch your order within 48 working hours!

What Title Should You Put on Your Business Card?

Everyone knows how important it is to have a good business card on hand. Being the extension of your business or career, you need to make sure that you’re sharing the right information on your business card, and in a way that entices people to get in touch.

Along with your name and contact information, one of the most important details in your business card is your job title. Whoever’s reading your business card will need to know who you are, and how you’re related to the company you work for! But the question is, what title should you use?

If you’re an employee, this is pretty self-explanatory: it’s whatever job title is on your employment contract. If there isn’t one, or your role has changed since you were hired, you can always ask your manager or your boss what you should put as your role.

But if you own your business, or are self-employed, things aren’t quite as simple. Today, we’ll discuss what job title options you have for your business card, and how each one might affect people’s impressions of you.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Good Business Card?

Although most of the information sharing that we do nowadays is digital, the business card remains to be one of the best tools for promoting a business, a brand or a person. Here are some of the many benefits of having a business card:

1) It helps you create a good first impression. You don’t know when you’ll get the opportunity to introduce yourself to a potential client, business partner or employer. When that time comes, you need to be ready to create a good first impression and a business card allows you to do that.

2) It helps you build and expand your network. Whether you’re an employer or employee, it’s very important to grab every opportunity to build or expand your network. A simple business card is a great tool that will allow you to exchange contact information in a more formal way than sending an email or text.

3) It helps you create the right image. With a business card, you have complete control of the design and information that you’d like to share with people. This gives you the opportunity to create the image that you want people to see, and that helps you build yourself up for success – whether you’re applying for a job or trying to impress a client.

When someone has your business card, it’s easier for them to remember to reach out to you. But you’ve got to start things off on the right foot by thinking hard about your job title.

What Is the Right Job Title to Put on a Business Card?

Since a lot is riding on that small card that you’re giving away to people you want to connect with, it’s very important to know what job title you should put on your business card. This may sound simple, but a lot of people actually get this wrong. Here are some of your best options, and when it’s appropriate to use them:


This title strongly conveys authority, so you should only use it when you’re already an established entity. The term “President” can be interchanged with “CEO” and putting that on a business card means that you’re on one of the highest ranks in your office.
When choosing between the two options, it’s best to think about how you’d want your organisational structure to be as you grow your business, as well as your legal business entity.


Chief Executive Officer or CEO is a title that will instantly tell people that you’re in charge of your business. Most of the time, CEOs also own the company, so if you’re going to use this job title, you need to make sure that you’re already well established in the business and that you’re managing a big team of employees.

But if you’re just starting out as a business, it’s best to avoid using CEO in your business card, as this could convey that you want to pretend that your business is larger than it is, and that you’re a “big deal” – when you might not be quite yet!


This is the perfect job title to put on your business card if you’re just starting as a small business, especially if you’re in retail. Although “Proprietor” is an old term that refers to the owner of a small business, it’s still used a lot today because it conveys the right authority to someone who owns the business without sounding too cocky as compared to using CEO when it’s just a small company.


Nothing gets more straightforward than this job title. It’s more than appropriate if you’re a small business owner that hasn’t filed your organisational documents just yet.
The term “Owner” has lesser gravity than “CEO” or “President,” but it still gives people the (correct) impression that you’re an authority in your business as its owner. This option is also perfect if you’re a sole proprietor, or if you’re working with only a handful of employees.


Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson are just some of the many famous entrepreneurs who are called “Founders” by people within and outside their companies. A “Founder” is essentially the person who first started the business.
This title is used a lot these days, especially in the tech industry where there are a lot of start-ups that grow to become bigger companies within just a few months. However, you should definitely avoid using “Founder” if you took over an established business or you simply own shares in it. This would be disingenuous.


The term “Administrator” conveys both authority and responsibility in the business. When you put “Administrator” on your business card, you’re telling people that you have authority in the organisation, but you also take care of core responsibilities that help with your day-to-day operations.

However, this may confuse people if you’re the owner as well, as someone can work as an administrator of a company without actually owning it. It’s a great option, though, if you don’t want to intimidate people and you want to emphasise the work that you actually do day-to-day.


If you want to be more specific about the role you play in the business, but you still want to convey a sense of authority, you can choose a more descriptive job title such as Managing Director, Creative Director or Technical Director. Some professionals also write it as Director of Operations or Director of Production.
Again, this role emphasises that you have a senior role in the company, but conveys slightly more information about the day-to-day duties that you oversee.

Managing Partner

You could own a business and not necessarily hold a core position within its organisation. This is when you can use the title “Managing Partner” or “Managing Member” that conveys that you’re still involved with the decision-making part of your business, although you’re leaving the operations to people you hired to be part of your team.

So, Which Title Should I Choose for My Business Cards?

The great thing about choosing a title to put on your business card is that you can be as creative as you want, except when you’ve been given a job title by your employer. Make sure to consider different factors before choosing the right label.
Remember that people place a lot of weight on the information written on a business card, so it only makes sense that you use the job title that will allow you to set good first impressions.

Whether you choose to go bold with CEO or subtle with Proprietor, remember that you have to back it up with credibility and experience.
If you’re ready to start designing your very own business cards, a great place to begin is 123Print. Feel free to browse through our huge range of business card templates for some inspiration: we stock designs for a great number of vocations and niches, from solicitors to dog groomers.

When you’ve chosen your favourite design, our easy editor will allow you to upload images (such as your company’s logo), add your personal details, and change the font colour and style to your liking. Alternatively, if nothing feels quite right, start with a blank template and create your own design entirely from scratch!

Your business cards will be professionally printed to order in your chosen quantities, and dispatched to you within 48 working hours. And if for any reason you’re not happy with the way your cards turn out, we’ll replace your order until you are, free of charge. Take the first steps to business success today with 123Print!

Do People Throw Away Business Cards?

There’s no doubt that people do throw away business cards – especially if they didn’t ask for them in the first place. In fact, it is estimated that around 63% of people who receive business cards throw them away because they don’t think that they need the service right now.
The good news is that there are things that you can do which can increase your chances of prospects saving your cards, rather than tossing them out.
By reading on, you’ll discover the top reasons why people throw away business cards. We’ll also share our top tips on designing an impressive business card that nobody will want to throw away.

The Top 6 Reasons People Throw Away Business Cards

The first thing to address is that not every business card is going to get thrown away. Obviously, no-one would bother using business cards if nobody ever kept them.
There are several distinguishing features of business cards that make it more likely that prospects will discard the cards, instead of giving them a proper read over. Without further ado, here are the top six reasons why people throw away business cards.

1. The Design is Unprofessional

Easily one of the biggest reasons why people throw out business cards is because the design looks unprofessional. It’s easy to try to save money by doing some generic or very basic business card. However, you need to invest in a business card that is well-designed to represent your business. With a generic, unprofessional design, your card won’t stand out against the other companies out there. A memorable business card, one that is well-designed and visually appealing, won’t just get tossed aside.

2. It Doesn’t Stand Out

If your business card is printed in a basic black-and-white design, in a traditional serif font with centralised text and absolutely no distinguishing features, it’s not going to stand out. It will blend in with every other business card your peer or client has ever seen, and will not grab their attention.
This means they’re more likely to throw it away, or toss it in the back of a drawer where it’s never seen again. You can find plenty of eye-catching full colour templates here at 123Print.

3. Bad Printing

Business cards that you use for your company should not just be printed on any old printer at the office. When you do, you end up with a whole slew of problems that can have a negative impact on how people view you. For example:

1. Printed on low-gsm (thin) cardstock, giving it a flimsy feeling
2. Low-resolution or grainy images
3. Uneven text or borders
4. Variations in ink colour or quality
5. Sharp or uneven edges to the card

All of the above issues can cause people to perceive your business as unprofessional, making it less likely that they will want to work with you.

4. Lack of Added Value

Business cards are supposed to show your value to prospects. If yours doesn’t, prospects will toss your business card aside. Many businesses don’t take the opportunity to ensure that their cards are made for building up relationships with prospects.

For instance, they don’t take advantage of the back of the card, which can be used for a variety of different purposes. The backs of the cards can be used to offer discounts to prospects for checking out your business or some other appealing offer. This will ensure that prospects keep your card in a safe spot.

5. It Has Incorrect Information or Typos

If a prospect tries to get a hold of you through the contact information on your card and can’t because the information is wrong, they will throw away the card. A card with incorrect information is no good to anyone. Typographical errors and spelling mistakes will also be instantly off-putting – it makes you seem incompetent and unprofessional.
This is why it’s so important to make sure that all of the information on your cards are correct, and that you update your business cards with any new contact information. Always double- and triple-check the proof before ordering your business cards.

6. Poor Presentation of the Cards

If you don’t care about your business cards, how can you expect your prospects to? Where do you store your business cards?

Are they safely stored on you for when you need them – in a protective case, for example – or are they just tossed in your back pocket? When you pull out business cards that are folded, dirty, or wrinkled, people will not get the best impression of you. It won’t give them much reason to keep your card on hand.

How to Design a Business Card People Won’t Throw Away

The main take away from that last section is that business cards are representative of who you are as a business. This means that you need to take a great deal of care when designing your business cards. Create a design that will appeal to your prospects, so that your business cards stand out, and there’s more incentive to keep them.
Here are our top tips for creating eye-catching and professional business cards that your contacts will want to keep.

Be Creative

Don’t just design a generic business card, because you’re not going to be memorable. Memorable cards make their way on the fridge or bulletin board. Boring cards find their way in the trash. The most important thing is to be memorable and to leave a positive first impression.
You want to take the time to really come up with a creative idea that will make your business card visually appealing and leave an impact on your prospects. For example, experiment with bright and bold colour schemes that will stand out from the crowd.

Vary the Shape

You’ve probably only seen the standard rectangle business cards. But, you can do so much and have such an impact if you decide to experiment with the shapes of the cards. Rectangles may be the easiest option, but is it the best option? You can make your card a part of your brand identity by going a more creative route.
Maybe you could just go with a rectangle with rounded corners, so that it feels different in the hand. Or, perhaps choose a vertical business card, so that the recipient will have to hold it a different way to read it – this will catch their attention a lot better than a traditional horizontal card.

Add Pictures

Photos and images have a great way of adding value to business cards as they give something for people to look at on the card. These pictures could be professional headshots of you or your products, or stylistic images related to your profession. A more visually interesting card is less likely to get thrown away.
It’s really important that you take the time and money to get high quality pictures if this is the route that you’re going to take. Use a professional service like 123Print rather than attempting to print images on your office printer – it’s well worth the difference in quality.

Add Interesting Texture or Feeling

Adding textural elements to the business card is another way that you can make your business card more appealing. Interesting textures or feelings to the card can make your business card stand out.

There are different options that you can choose from, including adding embossed elements or by going with a thicker cardstock that will feel nicer in the recipient’s hand. Making your business card look and feel more interesting can inspire people to notice your business card.

Add an Incentive for Keeping the Card

Another way to guarantee that contacts will keep your business card is by adding some incentive for keeping it. This is particularly easy if you sell physical products, or you run an establishment such as a café or hair salon. Here are some ideas:
• Include a section on the card where customers can collect loyalty stamps
• Add a voucher code for 10% off their next visit – they’ll need to keep the card so that they can bring it with them
You should also add a call to action: a phrase that’s tells the reader to do something, such as “check out our full range of products here”.

Triple-Check for Mistakes

A major reason why people throw away business cards is because of the mistakes on the cards. This could be typos, or it could be mistakes with your address or contact information.
Double- and triple-check your cards to make sure that any contact information is updated and correct. It’s also important to make sure that there aren’t any misprints as this could reflect poorly on your business. Get someone else to take a look before you order – a pair of fresh eyes can be helpful.
At 123Print, we aim to dispatch all orders within 48 working hours of customer proof approval. So, within a few days, you’ll be holding your brand new business cards! Browse our full range of templates today and start perfecting your design.

Business Card Clear Print

The 8 Ultimate Business Card Mistakes to Avoid!

Business Card Clear Print

If this is your first time designing a business card then you’re bound to be a little apprehensive. We’ve all had the niggling thoughts such as; What goes where? Does my business card stand out? Will my business card fit with my brand? These are the most common worries that go along with making that very first impression.

At 123print UK we’ve had many years experience with business cards and we like to think we know a thing or two about how to design them! So, to make things a little bit easier, we thought we’d list our 8 ultimate business card mistakes to give you a head start when designing your business cards; the official number 1 direct marketing tool.


1. Unlabelled Information

If you’re industry is highly competitive and your business card is one of your number one marketing tools, then it will be no surprise that your competitors may very well be competing in the same way. With this in mind, it’s important that we remove the chance of uncertainty with business cards.

For example, if you pick up a business card and the information is not labelled correctly, or there is a discrepancy between which is your fax number and which is your phone number, then I may very well choose to phone a competitor.

Tip: Make sure you label essential contact information clearly and in the correct industry accepted format. Avoid creating confusion with the content on your cards so that it’s clear and concise.


2. Don’t Mix Business with Pleasure

As well as labelling your information correctly, it is imperative that you think carefully about what phone numbers you want to include on your business card. If you’re a busy bee and find yourself away from the office or at home for most of your working life, then it may be important to include mobile numbers.

Alternatively, people who place a higher level of privacy on their home life may want to avoid listing home phone numbers or private mobile numbers. Everyone needs a break from the hustle and bustle of work, and you don’t want to feel pressured into speaking to clients 24 hours a day!

Tip: Choose your phone numbers wisely to ensure that you’re available in the right ways and at the right times. Be careful that it doesn’t encroach on your personal life and become a nuisance with unwanted out-of-hours calls.


Large fonts business card
Try a larger font when listing contact details

3. Small Font Size

When you pick up a business card, after the logo and design, the first thing we tend to notice is the contact information.

Having a small font can often be distracting from the overall design of the card and can come off quite tattered as it lowers the integrity. Moreover choosing a small font can be quite hard to read as they can become easily blurred, giving an overall disreputable appearance.

Tip: Choose a suitable font size that will be legible once printed and that compliments the overall design of your business card.


Script Fonts
Hard to read?

4. Script Fonts

While the font size is important, it’s even more paramount to choose a legible, clear font that stands out and delivers your message.

Refrain from opting for script fonts which have a particular flair, and handwriting effects as they can be especially hard to read when printed.

Tip: Opt for clean and crisp fonts for to detail your key information, as you don’t want critical details being missed due to an out of placed flick.


5. Too Many Fonts

To adhere with best-practice design standards and techniques, the maximum number of fonts you should be using on your business card is two. Even then you should only use contrasting fonts if they apply to brand guidelines or are differentiated by front and reverse designs. Any more than two and important information starts to become confusing, general design starts to become tatty and the overall message becomes clouded.

Tip: Stick with a distinct, clear, correctly sized and simple font style.


6. TMI – Too Much Information!

Ensuring that potential clients can contact you is essential! Of course you’ll want to get people looking at your services on your brand new website or joining in the conversation on Twitter, but there’s no need to fill every blank space with a QR code, Twitter tag and Website URL.

Tip: Be moderate with your information and keep it classy rather than desperate. Just like this blog post!


7. Non Personal Email Addresses

When you’re handing out a business card at an industry event or in a face-to-face scenario, then the recipient will be really wanting to contact YOU! A generic, branded email address such as sales@123print.co.uk or info@123print.co.uk will leave people unclear and untrusting as to who will be replying and whether their needs will be fully understood. After all, it’s you who they’ve spoken to, met with, and want to contact.

Tip: Keep your business card as a personal exchange of good faith by including your personal manned email address (even if it does go through a secretary first).


8. The Printer’s Branding

I’m sure you’ve seen the cheap, cheap, cheap business cards available from some scrupulous printing companies in exchange for your key contact information. However, one of the worst impressions you can give a potential client is that you are both cheap and unprofessional. You’re not networking to advertise someone else, but to impress with yourself and your brand.

Tip: Business cards are not overly expensive and you pay for the quality; so give the right impression and avoid including the printing company’s branding on poor quality cards.


Do you have a tip that could help others when designing business cards? Let us know below, or show us on our Facebook page!