Effective Business Cards | Important Design Tips for an Effective Business Card
Effective Business Cards | A business card is an essential segment of any good marketing plan. For its size and cost, it’s by all means the most powerful segment. However, you can’t expect your business card to tell the complete story about your business. Many people don’t recognize the value of having a professional business card that accurately reflects a brand image, yet this small piece of paper can be an essential part of your collateral package. It’s often the first item potential clients receive from you, so it’s your first chance to make a strong, positive impression on them. The initial decision a prospect makes is about you. Does your business card look and feel professional and presents the right image?
Your visual identity on paper depends on several essential graphic design concepts and printing choices.
1. Have a Purpose | Effective Business Cards
Before designing a business card, it is important to identify the goal you would like to achieve with your business card. It can be an identity marker, or a way to make you stand out from the crowd. Remember, a business card is made and used to share your contact information with others. But, it can also be used as a selling or marketing tool, to emphasize brand awareness, to drum up new business, or to share information about you and your company.
2. Think About Usual Business Card Storage Methods | Effective Business Cards
If you’ve ever thought about making your business cards larger, smaller, or even a fancy die cut to stand apart from your competition, there are good and bad sides that you need to consider. The typically business card size is 3.5” x 2” – meaning wallets and business card holders are created to accommodate this size. If your business card won’t fit into these holders, it may get tossed in the trash – making you lose out on potential business. Business cards are usually stored a number of ways – in a Rolodex on someone’s desk, in a business card binder or holder, or digitally with the use of a business card scanner. Your business card design needs to keep these common storage methods in mind. While using an unusual shape or size for your card can be memorable and different, it can sometimes defeat the purpose of the card itself, by making it impossible to store using common methods.
3. Simplify | Effective Business Cards
There is an ever-present tendency, especially amongst small business owners with small budgets, to try and ‘maximize’ their expenditure. While this can be justified in some ways, it can also lead to information overload when it comes to design, as these business owners want to fill every inch of space with contact info, mission statements, summaries of their business. Don’t make your logo too large, don’t make the fonts too small to be comfortably read, and don’t be afraid to use white space.
4. Paper Quality | Effective Business Cards
Your business card may often be the first impression people will have of your business. You don’t want to have cards that look less than professional. It’s often said that you want the feel of your card to stand out. Simple tweaks such as an off-white linen paper stock verses a bright white smooth paper stock will really impact the final product. Lastly, you want to think about the finish – is uncoated, matte, or glossy the best? That’s up to the designer and printer – but it’s always nice to be able to write down some additional information on your card if need be.
There are numerous options for printing finishes and color pallets but it’s important to make sure all your creative design decisions are consistent with your brand and style.