Ten golden rules for designing a business card
Your next step towards making your small business dreams a reality is the business card. It’s often the first contact potential customers have with your brand. Make sure it’s positive.
A thoughtfully-designed business card does more than carry your contact information. You will look professional and build trust with customers. It will also help you stand out from the rest. Before you hand out business cards to everyone, think about what makes a great business card. What can you do to make your business card stand out and bring in more customers?
The answer is It’s a careful combination of what information you include and how you present that information. We’ll be sharing 10 key tips to help you design a business card that represents you and your business. Tristan Le Breton is 99designs’ Creative Director. 99designs is an online creative platform that connects graphic designers and their clients to create logos, websites and other creative projects.
Are you ready to get started? Here are some tips to help you design your business card.
1 Choose a template that best reflects your brand’s personality.
Your business card is a reflection of you and your business. Choose a design that best represents your brand. Perhaps you are an interior decorator who loves modern styling and clean lines. A simple template will reflect this. Perhaps you are a dog walker who is outgoing and loves to have fun. A colorful and less formal card will reflect that.
2 Choose the right typeface.
Bring any fonts you have used on your website and other marketing materials to your business card. Your brand should be represented by the font you choose. It could be an elegant script for etiquette coaches, or a typewriter-inspired font for writers. Your text should not exceed 8 pixels. However, more important information, such as your name and business name, can be printed at a larger size or in bold.
Tristan’s recommendation? “A good rule is to make your company name larger than 12pt and use font sizes no smaller than 8pt.”
3 Decide on a size or shape.
Your business card’s size and orientation will affect the text size and information you can put on it. It also impacts how much information you can include. This is a statement about your brand. Do you prefer a traditional, low-tech business or are you bold and unconventional?
Business cards are usually rectangular in shape, roughly the same size as a credit card and laid horizontally. This format is familiar to most people so it’s safe. However, if you want your business card to stand out, try a square shape with rounded corners or a vertical orientation.
4. Organize your information.
Information is key. Your business card should provide all the information customers need to reach you, locate you online, and contact you. Other than your name and job title add your company name, phone number, website, email address and social media handles. So customers can contact you in the most convenient way possible, make sure to include all this information on your business cards.
Consider how you present your information in your business card template. Every piece of information should be easily identifiable, yet flow well with each other. Tristan says that a good visual flow for business cards should begin with the logo and then progress to secondary information such as email addresses or phone numbers. You can alter the visual flow by moving an element, changing its size or adding white space.
5 Do double duty.
Your business card should work twice as hard for your small business. The reverse side can be used for appointment reminders or loyalty stamps. It also serves as a blank canvas that allows you to display information about your business. If you own a restaurant, bar or cocktail lounge, include a brief recipe for your signature dish. Are you selling handmade goods? You can use business cards to tag jewelry, clothing, accessories and other crafts.
A magnet is another way to make your business cards stick. This works especially well for businesses that offer recurring services such as plumbing, gardening and pet sitting. For easy, top-of the-mind access to your contact info, customers will place them on refrigerators.
There are many ways to repurpose your business card. This can make your card stand out, last longer, and make a lasting impression.
6 Maximize your logo.
Tristan states, “Your business card is more than your contact information. It’s also a representation about you and your brand.” Your final logo and brand colors are important design elements to consider before you start thinking about creating new business cards. These are two key elements of your visual branding and will influence the design of other card areas.
Your logo is the most important thing on a business card. Consider dedicating one side to your logo. It is a visual representation that represents your business and should be prominently displayed so it can catch the attention of potential clients.
7 Allow some white space.
Do not overload your card with text. If there are too many elements, it will all compete for attention. Nothing will stand out. You can use both sides of the card! A little white space can make design easier and draw attention to the most important details.
You might also want to include a note to your card before you give it to someone. Leaving a little space allows you to write down your new phone number or to tell potential customers who you are.
Tristan reminds us, “The fewer elements you possess, the greater the impact each one will have.” So think about clearing the clutter and leaving a lasting impression.
8 Add something extra
Tristan says that special finishes can make a lasting impression on clients, partners and customers.
A unique design element or special printing treatment can make your card stand apart. Foil accents give your cards a sophisticated, shiny look. Embossed gloss gives your cards a raised, glossy coating that makes them feel 3D.
Another way to make your business card stand out is to use paper stock. Extra-thick papers add a luxurious touch while recycled Kraft paper gives your business card an organic feel.
These special features should be appropriate for your branding. If you work in a less glamorous field, it may feel strange to include a shiny foil accent on your business card.
9 Add a call for action.
Although a CTA is not a requirement for business cards, it can be a motivator to potential clients to take the next step. To energize your customers, you can offer a special deal, a tip or a discount code.
Use a QR code to help you call people to action. QR codes are becoming more common and people can scan them easily. Adding one to your business card will allow you to send people directly to your website, sign them up to your mailing list, or offer them special promotions. The code should be placed on the back of your business cards. This will make it easy to scan and won’t distract from your logo.
10 What could be worse than opening a fresh, unopened book?
10 What’s worse than looking at a newly printed box of business cards, menus or flyers and finding a typo? Ask a friend or colleague to check your business cards for spelling mistakes before you place an order. A professional copyeditor can be hired if you want to make sure your card is perfect. It should take only a few lines of text to create a business card. This is why it should be relatively easy and inexpensive.