How To Design An Unforgettable Business Card
You have probably been handed hundreds of business cards, but how many of those cards do you still hang onto? What saved those cards from being recycled and housed in your wallet or purse instead of in some landfill? Perhaps you were intrigued by the person that handed you their card or the service on the card. Chances are you kept a card because of the design.
A well-designed business card can boost your business all on its own. Below are a few pointers to design a memorable business card:
The most important item to consider when designing a business card is the concept. Think of your business cards as an extension of your company’s marketing. Your business card must directly communicate what you do and who you are. This can be achieved by including your logo and similar design elements from your website. Don’t forget to utilize both sides of your card.
Your name, title, company and contact information should be clearly displayed. This may seem straightforward but far too many business leave off a crucial piece of information on their cards leaving the recipient asking the question, ” What do they do again?” Chances are those cards made it in the recycling bin.
Typography creates emotion and an overall feel in design. Choose a font with optimal readability. For more about selecting the right font check out this blog post. Avoid using a thin typeface. Thin typefaces are hard to read with smaller point sizes. Do not go below 12px when choosing a font. Be mindful of character spacing when designing your business card.
Design your business card using CMYK: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. CMYK is a subtractive color model; which works by masking colors on a light or white background, reducing the amount and color of the light that is reflected by the paper. This will ensure the end result will align with expectations. If you design using RGB: Red, Green, Blue; the colors will not transfer exactly into the final print. Studies have shown that individuals will keep a colorful card 10x longer than a standard card.
Designing with a bleed will ensure that your design will not be affected if there is a slight inconsistency or movement during the printing process. I recommend designing with a .25 inch bleed around each sides of your business card.
Die cuts can take your design to the next level. However, die cuts are a more costly option. Rounded corners are a common die cut that are not that expensive. Die cuts pricing varies among print shops.
How many times has a business card bent in your pocket? Be mindful of the paper quality and weight that you choose. A heavier card will not bend in a pocket and will be memorable. There are different finished that can be applied to your card. Glossy, smooth, matte, etc… Make sure that the card is still legible after choosing a finish to apply to your business card.
The Future of Business Cards
Are QR codes and cell phones going to make business cards obsolete? QR codes have become as essential part of European design but have not made the dominant transition to the North American market. QR codes are now customizable and can store all the information needed for a customer to know what your company does. However, you will need an app to decode the information.
Virtual business cards are being shared from cell phones now by using a “bump” feature where users tap their phones together to exchange contact information. Using a picture saving software, contacts are stored into cell phones. Cross compatibility between I-phone and Android users needs to be considered if you would like to exchange virtual business cards. Keep in mind that business cards are not battery operated or data driven. Virtual business cards may be the future, but still have a few issues that need to be solved.
A great business card can make a long-lasting first impression that may grow your business. Include your name, title, company and contact information on your business card. Design using CMYK colors for better printing results. Use a legible typeface and design with a bleed. Business cards are an essential part of every business. Well-designed business cards are memorable and are more likely to be kept by the recipient. Here is a collection of business card designs that have captured my eye over the years.
Best of luck designing your business card!