Business cards are the spice of life! Sorry too much coffee. Maybe they’re not the spice of life but what they are is one of the most cost effective ways to promote your business. A business card legitimizes your company’s image, it gives potential customers your contact info in an aesthetically pleasing way and it can be your one chance to really impress someone.
That’s why poorly designed and printed business cards can actually harm your business. If I had 2 business cards for an air conditioning service and one card has simple contact info while the other has a well designed logo and visually stimulating image (breezy beach or snow flakes for example), we all know who I’m contacting first.
I have compiled a list of 7 important tips for designing a successful business card. What is a successful business card you ask? Simply put, one that generates clients.
TIP #1: HIRE A DESIGNER
Because I am a designer, I am an expert in putting information together in a way that people will want to read it and take action. I know where to space things correctly, what to highlight, what fonts are effective, amongst so many other things. Although people don’t realize it because it’s completely subconscious, designers can manipulate what people pay most attention to, and we can manipulate what people will do next just by the way we design something.
TIP #2: LOGO
First of all, make sure your business has a logo. It’s always advantageous to attach your company name to an awesome icon that people will remember. The logo on a business card should be the most visible aspect. It should always be scaled large and be the focal point.
TIP #3: STICK TO NO MORE THAN 3 COLORS
Color scheme is an indispensable element of every design. There are entire books that touch just on the subject of color. By choosing only a few colors you will make it easier for the potential client or business acquaintance to distinguish what each element represents. Business cards with too many colors look unprofessional and diminish your company’s “trustworthiness”.
TIP #4: DON’T BE BORING
Even before I became a designer I threw away cards that were “standard” and kept the cool ones, just because. A couple of years ago, I met the owner of a luxury car rental company who died in a car wreck months later, and to this day I keep his business card because it is one of the coolest ones I’ve ever been handed. Rounded corners, fun shapes, different color backgrounds, memorable images and high quality material are all things that should be incorporated in a memorable business card design.
TIP #5: ADD ONLY THE ESSENTIAL CONTACT INFO
This also applies to most designs. Nothing looks good when it’s too wordy. It makes your company look desperate and boring all at once. Not a good combination. All you need is your name, title, one email, one website, phone, fax, and mobile phone if applicable. You can also add a one liner explaining what your company does, or a slogan. That’s it. No need for more websites, every email you have and every phone number associated with the company.
TIP #6: DO NOT ADD OUTDATED INFO
If you have changed your email, phone number, website, or any of the contact info on your card, print out new ones. If you hand someone a card with an old website and they try to access it you will look, again, unprofessional and untrustworthy. It’s also disrespect of people’s time. Triple whammy.
TIP #7: PRINT STANDARD SIZE OR SMALLER
This is out of practicality. Most people will initially stuff your business card in their wallets. Which have pockets sized for standard business cards. If yours doesn’t fit, it will most likely get thrown out or simply lost.
There are many more tips for designing a successful business card, but I find these to be the most essential. If anyone disagrees then get out! Just kidding, I love to hear other people’s perspectives. Feel free to ask questions. Let’s hear what has worked and not worked for you!