A business card is an essential tool for any professional and entrepreneur. Aside from providing contact information, it can also serve as a mini portfolio to showcase your work and products. Moreover, business cards also function as a marketing tool that helps create brand awareness.
For these reasons, one should never take for granted the design of one’s business card. It may be tempting to simply use business card templates that are available online or use the sample layouts provided in business card making softwares. But be aware that by doing so, you are undermining the real power of an effective business card.
So how do you come up with a memorable business card design? One that sends out an impression strong enough that it creates interest and consequently converts into return calls and inquiries. One that doesn’t get lost but kept and remembered when your product or service is needed.
Here are some points to consider when designing business cards:
Before the design, first decide the information you want to give
What details are you planning to put on your business card? Typically, these would be the business name, company logo and address, your name and work title, contact numbers, email address and website or online portfolio. Additionally, you may include your business tagline, list of prominent clients and an enumeration of your products and services.
Drafting the layout
The standard business card is 2 inches tall by 3.5 inches wide. I believe that this is the best choice for size because it will fit perfectly in business card holders and can be neatly stored and kept by the receiver. Before working on your computer software, sketch first on a piece of paper the layout of your desired business card. Be sure to include all the information you want to give including the basic designs that you plan to implement.
Using both sides can be helpful
If you have lots of information that you want included on the card, consider utilizing both sides. The other side is usually a great place to list your products and services, a testimonial from pleased customers or something useful such as a calendar or a conversation table.
Taglines, slogans and calls to action
Putting something about you or your business can help make a positive impression. You can put your business slogan, special features of your products and service or whatever is the unique selling proposition of your business. Emphasize the value that you offer and the benefits of doing business with you.
The title and company position
As a freelance professional or an entrepreneur, you are at liberty to decide what title to give yourself on your business card. Don’t be afraid to put something more creative yet still appropriate. For example, as a business owner, try not to use simple titles such as “Sole Proprietor” or “President” and put something like “Big Boss” or a more formal but interesting “Chief Executive”.
Putting your photo
A good way to be remembered is putting your picture on your business card. This is very helpful if your business relies on personal relationships with your clients. Examples of professions that will benefit from this are real estate brokers, direct selling marketers and freelance models.
Make all information clear and easy to find
Don’t clutter information. Use a pleasant layout for your text, photos and graphics. Don’t use fonts that are hard to read. If you plant to use several fonts, use those that belong to the same typeface family so it will look good. Also, don’t be ambiguous and state clearly the nature of your business and the products and service that you offer.
Colors, alignment and proximity
When deciding on the basic colors of your business card, it’s best to use those that are already in your business logo. Moreover, you may use color psychology to complement your business nature. Use different alignments to create a visual balance to the graphic and text elements of the business card. Moreover, try to keep everything inside. Best practice is to stay at least 3mm from the edge.
Do you conduct business internationally? Then you might consider using the back of the card to print a translated version of your business card in your client’s language. It adds a classy touch and more often than not, your customers will appreciate it.
Print a sample and proofread all details
Never rely on the monitor. Always print an actual sample to see if the colors are correct and the text are clear and readable. More importantly, check the spelling and grammar and double check the contact information before printing the bulk.
Take inspiration from others
I’m sure you’ve received business cards from others. Try to browse through them and take out the ones that you like or those that you find interesting and memorable. Use them to give you an idea how you can design your own business card. For example, a friend of mine, Jehzlau effectively shows in one of his posts how he used the design of his business card to create brand awareness for his blog.
Outsourcing the work
If you have the budget, allow your business card to be designed by a professional. Just remember to take an active part in the design process. Moreover, although printing your business card through a desktop printer is acceptable, taking it to a professional printer will ensure quality print outs, accurate cutting and a more proficient look.
How do you make the most out of your business cards? Is there an etiquette for passing and receiving business cards? Find out when I write about this topic soon. Don’t miss that article and subscribe to Ready To Be Rich.