Many people think that business cards are something of the past – surely no one uses this archaic form of promotion in today’s modern world! This could not be further from the truth – business cards are still widely used and remain one of the most popular and easy methods of promoting your business and passing on your contact details. A business card is an effective method of marketing – it is easy to carry, can contain useful information, and can give a prospective partner a first impression of your business.
Whilst we are certain that a business card is a useful tool, it still must be executed properly! A business card is only as good as its design and contents – if you create a bland and uninteresting business card, it will more than likely be thrown away or forgotten! You need to create a business card that stands out and that portrays your company or ideas in a favourable light. To help, we have created a superb guide that will help you plan and design the ultimate business card that will set you apart from your competition!
Phase 1 – Planning
Before you even start considering the design of your card, you should take adequate time to plan! If you rush the design and create something without forethought, the end product will ultimately fall short. If you spend a small amount of time planning, your business card will be that much more effective and worthwhile. The following are some basics you should consider when planning the design and content of your business card:
Who is the target audience of your business cards?
This is possibly the most important detail that is often overlooked. Who will use your business card? What type of person or business will you distribute your business card too? Although you should hand out business cards to any new contact, there will be a general target or preferred recipient depending on your industry and type of business.
Consider the following to determine your target audience:
- Age range
- Physical location
- Profession / Industry
Once you have an idea of your target audience, you can then tailor the design of your business card to suit it. You may not think that this is important, but understanding your target audience can allow you a greater level of creativity when designing your card. If you work in the design industry, for example, you could consider creating a puzzle or 3D business card.
What details should be included on your business cards?
Most individuals simply place their name/business and contact details on their business card – this is the tried and tested method. Whilst this makes sense (the aim of a business card is to give a person a point of contact after all), it doesn’t mean this is the only content you can include. Before you design a business card, you should have a clear idea of exactly what content you wish to include.
We have listed some content ideas below:
- Name & Business
- Contact details (email, telephone, fax, Skype)
- Social media links (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
- Business Motto
- Short product description
- Catchy slogan
As you can see there is actually a great deal more content than just your name and address! Draft a range of different content configurations and decide on which material you want to use. Once you are sure of this, you can work your design around the content.
Aside from content and target audience, you could create some draft ideas for your business card. Consider looking at other business card designs and search the web for inspiration – you may find some cool ideas and elements of business cards that you could tailor to your own needs.
Phase 2 – Design
Now that you have fully planned your business card and thought about the target audience, you can start the fun part – creation! Creating your business card should be a fun process – it should be something you enjoy and take pride in. If you enjoy creating your card, the end product will be that much better! We have listed below several key areas for consideration you should take into account when designing your business card:
1. Size and Shape
Shape and size are hugely important – these factors can determine how a business card is handled and also how much it costs to produce. The standard size for a business card is 3.5 x 2 inches in a rectangular shape. In most cases, an individual or business will stick with this standardised format for ease of use and to make the printing/ordering process quicker. A 3.5 x 2-inch card will fit neatly into the palm of your hand and is also easy to carry – it is the standardised size for a reason!
Although this size is commonly used, that doesn’t mean you have to use it! Some of the best and most inventive business cards we have seen have unusual shapes and sizes. Go against the grain and try something different! Make your business card stand out and try an unusual shape or even a non-standard size. Your business card could emulate the shape of your product for example, or even fold out into a larger design.
Let’s say that your business delivers hand-made flowers – why not create a business card that has the shape of a flower head? Be inventive! Use your products and selling points to create a non-standard shape that immediately grabs a recipient’s attention. Also, consider making use of cut-outs or empty space – your business card doesn’t have to be one solid piece of material!
2. Colour Scheme
Colour is another key aspect of creating an epic business card. Many businesses simply issue plain white cards with single colour text. Although this creates a clean, modern and simplistic business card, it can also be a little tiresome and boring. There are many different ways in which you can use colour – white and minimalistic is just one style. Experiment with colour and see what interesting effects and styles you can create.
When considering colour, your primary aim should be to incorporate your businesses’ colour scheme into the design. If your business has a set colour scheme we advise trying to include some of the colours into your business card – this helps build up a sense of identity and reinforce the scheme and theme that your business projects.
Don’t be afraid to use bold colours! Sometimes a bold colour when implemented correctly can be eye-catching and immediately draw attention to your business card. If you choose bold block colours, consider what colour the text should be – your text should still be clearly visible and not impaired in any way by the background colour. Some business cards even have a different colour on both sides – one side could be red and the other white, for example.
In short, think carefully about the colours you can use, the effect they have and how they fit with the overall design of your card. Think outside the box – try multiple colours, use patterns – make a card that is visually stunning and appealing!
3. Material Type
As with the above considerations, 99% of business cards are printed on plain old boring card! This is the most cost-effective material to use and it produces fine results – card is king! We can’t deny that thin card is a fantastic material to use to print business cards on – its durable and the printing ink holds well.
Glossy card may be the best material to print your business card on, but there is no harm in exploring other possibilities. We have seen some marvellous business cards that have been printed on some bizarre and unusual materials and still look professional!
If your business specialises in an industry that makes use of different materials, why not use these materials to create your business card?
We have listed several awesome examples below:
- Carpenters: A business card created from a thin piece of wood
- Engineers: A business card created from a thin sheet of metal
- Fashion Designer: A business card created from a piece of fabric
As you can see, there are plenty of materials you could potentially use! You could even use simple textured materials such as cardboard, hessian, embossed paper or even leather! If you choose to use a different material, you must consider the cost and practicality of printing – can you print on this material? How much will it cost to create a business card made from wood for example? Using a non-standard material is obviously going to be more expensive than simply printing on card, but can you put a price on creating an amazing business card that stands out from the crowd?
Content is possibly the trickiest part of creating a business card but also the most important. You must think carefully about how you want to convey the content you have planned to include. The standard format is to simply have your name and contact details printed directly onto the card – as with the other considerations, this is the tried and tested method that millions of people have used. But do you want to use this same idea? Why not have a little fun and display your content in an unusual way?
Try to think outside the box – maybe you could include a puzzle, rhyme or song lyrics for example. Perhaps you could hide your content within something else such as a crossword. You could even create a business card that has folded pieces that the recipient has to unwrap. Use a gimmick or something interactive that the recipient has to use or create – this will make a memorable experience – something that your recipient will remember.
When designing your content, consider your audience and think of creative ways you could display your contact details. If you own an online occasion card store, for example, you could create a business card that folds open like a birthday card. Alternatively, if you own a craft shop, you could create a business card that has to be unwrapped like a gift. The possibilities are endless – all you need is a little creativity and imagination.
Whatever content you choose to create, ensure that the font is visible and has enough contrast with the background colour or business card material. No matter how creative and imaginative your content is, if it is illegible it won’t matter! Stay away from italic text or font styling such as underlined and strikethrough – these styles detract attention from the text itself and can also be difficult to read.
There you have it – a comprehensive guide on how to create a magnificent business card that will immediately grab attention and set you apart from your competitors. Once you have designed and created your card, you must give consideration to how you will distribute it, and how many copies you will print.
Ideally, you want to have an adequate amount of cards to distribute freely whenever the opportunity presents itself – don’t try and save money by only printing 10 cards for example! In most cases, a business card printing company will offer bulk-buy discounts too so take advantage of this. Consider ordering a minimum of 100 business cards and keep a small stack of them on your personage whenever you travel or have a business meeting. Although you may have more than you need, at least you will never be caught short!
We hope you have found this article useful – why not try designing your own epic business card today and promote your venture in style?