Business Card Design - Make It Different

Business cards are very much important for the owners of businesses. It is one of the solid ways of promoting a business. But it does not mean that people take and have a look at the business card always. They certainly look at the cards if it impresses them with its design, color, look and feel. In other words I want to say that every business card design should have some distinct qualities in them for which people will accept them and remember for sure. 
Now you must be thinking how should be the business card designing? I am not trying to say that the design of card will go completely out of the business etiquette, but within the design process some careful approach from your side will make it stand tall among the crowd of so many cards around you. 

  • The color, typeface, image and graphics, size everything needs to be perfect and worth acceptable. To attract the eyes the color need not to be odd; rather make it shiny and acceptable to eyes. On the other hand business card designing need not to go very stylish in font type and size but little style is impression. The use of images and graphics needs to be minimal yet catchy.
  • A business card designing should have scope for creativity yet should never go beyond business standards. I mean to say some unconventional approach in touch and feel is great to attract the eyes and touch of the users (say embossed or letterpress effect) always help users to remember your business as and when he or she is in need of anything you produce or serve.
  • The business card designing has to be very much clear in the message it carries. The business purpose has to be clear to the viewers and they need to understand how helpful will be your business in their need. Say your business is in the hospitality sector and you cannot prove it with the card designing, your money and effort will go in vain. Try to make the design perfectly in relation with the business.
  • Put the right information on your card to make it completely informative and useful. I am trying to emphasize on this point very much because sometimes in the process to go too much creative or stylish, business card designing goes less packed with valuable information. Never compromise with information; rather make the card managed with highlighted information.
  • Business card designing should carefully handle the approach to the users. With its minimal text let the users feel that you have some personal tone to talk or help him or her. A line for business slogan that appeals the senses can bind the users to remember you. Even a multilingual card designing depending on the market base of the business comes good.
If you carefully read the above points, you will find there is nothing uncommon said about the business card designing. Then why should you follow the points? Yes there is something that counts to make a card successful! And that is nothing but the care and followup that makes a card stand unforgettable or highly acceptable to the uses. It is very much common affair that the business owners go to the designers and simply say to give them a card that is different and catchy to the eyes. And when the work completes and cards go to the users, they find most of the cards useless (whatever out of the box design is). So remember it is your responsibility to make your business card designing a class and quality. If you can do so, you will see that your business card is different in its altogether design and feel.

Business Card Design Guildelines - The Good and The Bad

Business card send out first impressions to potential customers. Isn't it such a wonder how a little piece of card can initiate contracts and attract clients? Business cards, no matter how small they are, have the power to make or break future projects. Business card design, hence, plays a very important role from beginning to end.

It is important for business card design to convey appropriate image that will instantly become noticeable. Business card design is a representation of the business and will serve as a stage for future interactions with clients.

Designs must then serve not only as an aesthetic quality of business cards. It must also be functional for businesses and their objectives largely varies.

Large corporations are known to have a business card design with the company's logo, tagline, and other relevant information. But as with the change of the times, the different industries, and the discriminating tastes of today's clients, business card design have continued to evolve in more ways than one.

Design Guidelines

Nevertheless, what a great business card design doesn't forget are the most basic measures to make for captivating and effective design.

The Good:

o The most effective business card design for large businesses has lots of blank space and has a very clean look.

  • The information necessary must be clearly presented and easy to read. Everything must be pointblank.

  • Standard fonts convey solidity and familiarity to the public.

The Bad:

  • Business card design for large corporations should never be busy.

  • Fonts should not be playful and size must not vary too much.

  • The logo must not be complex or all over the card.

  • Colors should never be bright and too contrasting.

Although the aforementioned rules are ideal and are considered as standards in business card design, not all of these are applicable for everyone.

While these standards contribute to a professional look, other businesses may find it too dull. Such that companies like small-scale businesses and enterprising individuals need business card designs that will stand out from the rest of the competition.

The Good:

  • Bold colors and bright graphics must be used in business card design in order to catch the eye.

  • Graphic element in the business card design such as photographs or images that depicts the nature of your service or product helps memory retention. This helps your clients identify you and recall you better.

  • Though a lot of artwork entails this type of business card design, images must be of high quality. Avoid clip art images that are available to just about anyone.

The Bad:

  • Business card design for small companies should not be plain or else it will just drown amongst so many other business cards.

  • Bold colors and bright graphics must be used but the card must not be too busy. It shouldn't clutter the space nor hide information.

  • Creativity comes handy here and are always welcomed.

Remember too to make business cards in standard size. This way, it'll easily fit standard business card holders or wallets. This makes your clients more eager to keep your business cards.

A great business card design is as important as its quality. Make sure that your business card design, nevertheless, are printed by experts who knows just how to bring out the beauty of your design.

50 Surefire Business Card Tips

Business cards are one of the most powerful and inexpensive marketing tools you can use. Here are 50 surefire tips to make the most out of your business cards:

  • Your business card must communicate more than just your contact information. Make sure that your card includes a tag line that explains what you or your company do.
  • Order them in large numbers. By ordering 1000 your cost per card will be significantly lower than if you ordered 500.
  • Even if you can produce your business cards at home using an inkjet printer, have your business cards professionally made by a printing company. Your business card will be the first impression your prospects receive of your business, so let them convey the best possible one.
  • Avoid using standard clip art as your business logo. A logo brings credibility and brand awareness, so before you invest in business cards have a logo professionally made for your business. Nowadays, there are online companies that can produce a professional logo for as little as $25, so there is no excuse for not having one made.
  • Put up a website and use the URL in your business cards. If you don't have a website, people will notice the absence of a web address in your business card and, depending on the business you are in, it may make you lose credibility.
  • Keep all the information in your business card current. If you changed address or phone number, don't scratch the old number and write down the new one by hand; get new business cards.
  • Keep your business card simple. Don't use too many fonts or try to cram too much information in it. Try to use a pleasant layout and make sure that your main message (your tagline or your unique selling proposition) doesn't get lost.
  • If you live in the US, limit your business card size to 3.5" x 2". Anything bigger will not fit in standard card holders and your card may end up in the trash. Business cards in Europe tend to be larger, but so are the wallets and card holders.
  • Make sure that your business card reflects your image. If you are an artist or a graphic designer, it is OK to use trendy colors and fonts. If you are an investment banker, a sober layout and colors such as blue or gray work better.
  • Your business card is an integral part of your brand or corporate identity strategy. It should follow the same graphics standards as the rest of your communications material (stationary, brochures, letterheads, etc.).
  • Find a way to make your business cards stand out. I've seen business cards with one of its corners cut in an angle, or with an interesting texture, all of which makes your business card stand out of the crowd. The best one I've seen is from an interior designer, who used a hologram to show a room before and after a redesign.
  • Make your business card easy to read: use high contrast between the background and the type. Light background with dark type works better.
  • After your logo, your name should be the largest piece of information on your card.
  • Make sure that all the information on your card is printed in a large enough typeface to be easily readable.
  • Run your business card copy through a spell checker and double-check your contact information.
  • Keep your business cards with you at all times. Keep a stack in your car, in your house, in your office, and in your wallet.
  • Leave your business cards in billboards at supermarkets, schools, stores, libraries, etc.
  • When giving away your card, give two or three at a time, so that your contacts can in turn distribute them to other people. This will not only help you distribute them faster, but will generate a beneficial "endorsing effect".
  • Include a business card with all your correspondence. People may throw away the letter, but will usually keep the business card.
  • Make your business card go the extra mile: use the back of the card to print more information: special offers, checklists, schedules, etc.
  • Throw in a business card in every product you ship.
  • Send a business card with any gift you send, instead of just a card with your name.
  • Scan your card and use it as an attachment to emails.
  • Use your business cards as name tags. Get a transparent plastic cover with a pin, and attach it to your lapel. Wearing it on your right side tends to make it more noticeable.
  • Use your business card as a name tag on your briefcase. Make sure that your company logo and tagline are visible. This way, your business card will turn into a "conversation piece" during plane rides, which may help you meet interesting people and good business contacts.
  • Use your business card as an ad: many publications offer "business card size" classified ads. If you design your business card properly, it can double up as an ad in those publications.
  • Don't give your business card too quickly. It may be perceived as pushy. Try to establish a conversation with your prospect first. For example, ask them what do they do. That will usually prompt them to give you their card. That is the perfect moment to give them yours.
  • Don't try to give your card in situations where many people are giving them to your prospect. Wait for a moment when you can capture your prospect's attention span.
  • Another tactic you can try when your prospect is overwhelmed and can't pay you enough attention is to send your card by mail. Pretend you ran out of business cards and ask for theirs. Then, mail them your card and take the opportunity to drop a follow up note.
  • If you have a mobile phone number or a direct phone number that is not listed in your business card, write it at the back of your card before handing it out, and tell your prospect that you are giving them your direct number. This will make your card more important, and less likely to be lost or thrown out.
  • Another way of increasing the chances that your prospect will keep your card is by printing valuable information on the back, for example important phone numbers (local police, hospitals, etc), a calendar, or a football schedule.
  • Offer to hand out cards of complementary (non-competitive) business people in exchange for them distributing yours. An example of non-competitive businesses is real estate brokers and mortgage brokers.
  • If somebody gives you their business card, you should give them yours in return.
  • Always give your business card face up.
  • Take a cue from Far East business people, who hand out business cards with both hands. It helps give the impression that your business card is something very important.
  • If you conduct business internationally, use the back of your card to print a translated version of your business card in your customers' language. Even if they have no problem reading English, it will be a classy touch and they will appreciate it.
  • If you sell different product brands and want to put their logos on your business card, print them in only one color. Using each logo's brand colors could make your business card look chaotic and busy.
  • Create a business card in magnet form. Magnets are widely used, to hold important papers on the refrigerator door at home and on file cabinets at work. They are always visible and always get read.
  • When receiving somebody else's business card, don't put it away immediately. Instead, keep it in your hand for a while you talk to your prospect, or place it neatly over the table, and try to develop a conversation based on the information on the card.
  • Use the back of the cards you receive to write down important facts about the persons who handed them to you. It will help you enormously when you follow up with them.
  • If you are in a profession where relationship selling is important, it may be a good idea to include your picture in your business card (i.e. real estate brokers).
  • Even if your business is a sole proprietorship, you can still use "account manager" as your title instead of "owner" or "president". If you do sales (and we all do) "account manager" is a perfectly appropriate title, and it will give the impression that you work for a larger company.
  • Use logos of organizations that you or your business belong to in your business cards. They are an easy way to provide instant credibility to your business. For example, if you operate a repair shop you can display the logo of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) or the Triple A (AAA). (Check with them first about the terms of use).
  • If you participate in affiliate programs online, you can still use business cards to promote your affiliate links. Use the name of the affiliate company as the company name, use 'partner' or 'associate' as your title, and the URL of the directory or web page where you have placed your affiliate links as your web address. Just because affiliate programs are online doesn't mean that you can't use off-line marketing methods to promote them.
  • If you need to give cards to different kinds of prospects (for example if you are a student looking for work), make business cards with just your name and contact information, and attach custom made self-adhesive labels at the back with information of interest to each specific prospect.
  • Include an information email address (for example: that is set in autoresponder mode, that automatically triggers an email message with full information about your product, service or company. This will increase the effectiveness of your business card since you will give your prospect much more information that you can fit in a card.
  • Take good care of your business cards. Keep them clean and crisp in a cardholder. Don't give away cards that are bent or damaged.
  • Try to get a cardholder with two pockets. That way, you can use one for your business cards and the other one for the business cards you receive.
  • Keep all the business cards you receive neatly organized in a rolodex. It will save you time and will provide you with a database of contacts with whom to build positive business relationships.
  • Collect all the business cards you can find, even if you don't need them. Together, they will act as an "idea file" that will provide you with valuable tips that you can use to design your business cards.