Ideal Business Cards | Don’t Let Your Business Cards End Up In The Trash

Ideal Business Cards | Don't Let Your Business Cards End...

Ideal Business Cards | They are likely to be the smallest marketing tool you have, but business cards can pack a real punch when it comes to getting your name out there. From small business startups to independent retailers and even international organisations, a business card can do a lot for building your brand and creating business connections. Not only is it a powerful advertisement, a networking and lead-generating tool, it is a visual representation of you and your company.

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It’s always a great idea to carry some self-promotional material in your pocket, whether you’re attending a conference where your main goal is networking, or for situations when you bump into an old friend who is now a possible business partner. However, no matter how many business cards your hand out, they won’t be the marketing workhorse it should be unless they look professional, are readable, and help clients and potential business partners remember what you sell, and why they should buy it from you. Making all that happen on a piece of paper that is only 3½ inches wide and 2 inches deep is a tall order. But it can be done.

Include Only The Most Important Information | Ideal Business Cards

You don’t need to include a long list of services or every single mailing address if your business has multiple locations. There is very limited space on a business card, so by limiting the amount of textual information, the overall design of your card will be cleaner and easier to read. What’s most important? Your name definitely has to be there, along with the name of your company (via your logo), your phone number and your e-mail address. Space permitting, you can add your company website address as well.

Ideal Business Cards | Don't Let Your Business Cards End...

RELATED: Business Card Inspiration | Build Your Brand With Business Cards: Tips For Effective Design

Make It Readable | Ideal Business Cards

If you’ve got a lot of information to include, you may be tempted to shrink the size of your text. However, small print can often look readable on a computer screen, but turn into an illegible smudge when printed. You wouldn’t want your clients to have to strain their eyes to read your website address or email. Make sure your text is at least 8 pt, in a clear readable font and in bold color. Be sure the type color stands out against the background of the card as well. Light gray type on a white card makes it hard to discern letters and numbers.

Don’t Forget About Your Bleed Area | Ideal Business Cards

Don’t use borders in your card design. This is for a purely practical reason – no matter how much attention printers pay, printing is never 100% completely accurate. A perfectly symmetrical border on your screen may come out lopsided, thanks to minuscule movements in the printing machine, so unless the background of your business card is white you’ll need to include a bleed area. It’s crucial to have a bleed area (usually about 3mm) to make sure there are no borders or area missed from the print.

Find The Right Paper | Ideal Business Cards

Don’t skimp on quality when it comes to the card used for your business card. As it may often be the first time potential client comes in contact with your brand, this is the perfect opportunity for you to leave the right impression. Thicker cards tend to feel more expensive – making your business seem more professional. Try thinking of your card as you would a handshake – nobody likes a limp handshake, so why would they like a limp business card?

RELATED: Powerful Business Cards | Small But Mighty: How To Design Business Cards That Pack A Punch

Ideal Business Cards | Don't Let Your Business Cards End...

Colorful Or Plain | Ideal Business Cards

Keep readability in mind when choosing colors to use on your business cards. A mish-mash of bright and bold colors may make your card stand out in a stack of 50, but it could be for the wrong reasons. It’s also worthwhile to think beyond your business cards: try to keep your color scheme consistent throughout your branded materials like your website, social profiles, and email signature to start building a professional image of yourself. However, don’t underestimate the power of simplicity. A plain black and white design can be as memorable and striking as a colorful card – and can often be seen as more ‘stylish’ too.

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Keep It Simple | Ideal Business Cards

There are things you can do to a 3.5″ x 2″ card to differentiate yourself like rounded corners, but going with an unusual shape or material can be a risky move. A square card, for example, is quite memorable, but it won’t fit in standard business-card holders. Bear in mind the practicality of your chosen medium as well – people often write extra details on business cards – such as where they get the card. This is much more difficult to do on unusual materials like plastic or certain special finishes.

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