Much like designing a logo, you need to be clear about exactly what you want your business card to look like. Unfortunately this isn’t as easy as it sounds.
For some people (I should say for a lot of people), it is hard to know exactly what you want from your design. I hope this article can help you to create the perfect business card; one that looks good, works well and also represents your business too.
Here are several things that you should pay attention to:
1. Size – the card
One of the first and most important things to understand is that there are two standard sizes for business cards.
– The standard size for US business cards is 8.5 cm x 5 cm or 1050 pixel x 600 pixel – kind of 16:9 comparison.
– a standard business card in the UK and much of continental Europe is 8.5 cm x 5.5 cm making it slightly larger than US business cards.
Colors can be confusing, for example: when you print your business cards you might find that the orange you picked when designing your card with graphics software is not the same as the printed result. For basic business card design this shouldn’t be a real problem, but it is something to keep in mind.
If you are concerned about this then I would suggest discussing this with your printing company. It is also a good idea to have an example printed out before you get all your business cards produced. The other thing that you should pay attention to is the usage of colors in your design. If you have a hard time coordinating colors you can use this website http://paletton.com. I’d also suggest reading this article to learn more about the science of colour in marketing.
Make sure the font is easy to read (here’s a great article that lists some of the most popular fonts used in graphic design). You should not use a type size smaller than 7-8 point. Besides font type and size, you also need to pay attention to the alignment and spacing. If the alignment is a bit messy then it will not look good. If you do not get the spacing correct it won’t be pleasurable to read. Let your business card breathe and ensure that your design has proper spacing.
Weight. Don’t choose paper that is too thin (or for that matter too thick). Ask for a suggestion from a paper store or bring business cards that you like (that you get from your colleagues or competitors) to a paper store and ask them to find the same paper for your designs. Business Cards made from bad quality paper imply that the business doesn’t pay attention to the little things. Cards should be attractive and generate new business, not scare off potential customers.
Before we talk about business card design, let’s cover the key components of all business cards. The information that all business cards should contain.
A lot of people will say that a business card is pretty much useless, but believe me this is not true. A business card is one of the most important marketing tools of any offline businessman. A business card is still essential for networking/gathering session or meet ups. With business cards you are giving your contact information to your potential business partners / clients, in a professional way.
Your business card obviously can’t tell people the whole story about your business, but it is the first impression. So you better make it a great one!
Here are some of the key components that you should include on your business card:
1. Contact Information
This is the most important thing that should appears on your business card. Your potential business partners / clients need this information if they want to contact you about working together on a business or project. The contact information should include your name, your phone number, a mailing address (if any), email address and your companies website address.
Some creative business cards make it a bit fun for a person ‘find’ the contact information on the card. If you decide to do this, please don’t make it too complicated for your prospective clients to find it.
Yes, this one also important. Your clients should know what you do and the position that you hold and what that position actually means (yeah, people can be too inventive when coming up with job titles). So be clear, if you are the graphic designer or the owner then clearly state this information.
3. Company Name and Description
Company name (and also logo) is an obvious one to include on a business card. A description of your company is not necessary a full description. It can be the tagline. For example: XYZ Photo (as your company name) and you can put “Underwater Photography” underneath your company name to make it clear.
4. Other Information
A lot of more modern or artistic business cards will include things like a quote that describes your business values. A business card could also include your photo.
Fyi, make optimum use of both sides of your business card. Though having a lot of blank space on your card is important if you want to make your business card easy to digest.
Ok, after you have got a clear layout for your business card it is the time to talk about the business card design. There are two things that you should remember. One, choose a business card style that’s suitable for your business, industry and also your personal style. Two, your business card should be easy to read and understand.
Here are some type of business card designs for you to get started:
1. Basic Design
Most modern day business cards follow a corporate business card style. The design is usually sleek, elegant and super easy to read. If your working in an industry where conformity is the norm then you should use this style of business card design. In these sectors your potential clients don’t really need (and even care) about those fluffy and creative approaches to business card design.
For these kinds of usiness cards the typography is basic, easy to read and straight forwards. However, you can add an element of creativity within your business card by working on the typography. Even with a basic business card template you can make your design memorable by cleverly choosing different fonts.
2. Picture Design
As the name suggests this is a type of business card design that is centred around an image or graphic. So the components on the business card don’t just focus on the text. This type of business card is suitable for people working in photography and creative industries like graphic design, flower arrangement, artist and much more besides.
If you decide to use this style of business card remember that a picture can speak a thousand words, so pick your best image to put on your business card. An image that represents the service that you are offering.
3. Creative Design
There are endless possibilities for business card designs. This can take advantage of a lot of factors to make sure your business card leaves an impression. For example a business card can be smaller than the normal size. This will lget noticed, but being bigger than normal will mean that your business card gets remembered for all the wrong reasons (yes, it will make it difficult to store).
In regards to shape, you can have slightly creativity shape rather than just the standard rectangle. You can use zig zag side(s) or gve your business card the shape of a speech bubble. All of these tactics make your card stand out from the crowd.
However, it is the mae choice of material that usually makes your business cards stand out. From material/printing point of view, you can play around and combine the design with the texture of the paper or you can make a special print setting so your business card is not only visually appealing, but also memorable when your clients feel (touch) it.
Though I love creative business card design, quirky business card designs can really make or break the first impression. So please be careful and think about how out-of-the-box your business card design can be. The purpose is to be memorable, but it should be memorable in a good way. 🙂
In short, speaking of creative business card design, you can take the opportunity to be creative and informative, without being confusing.
Some of memorable business cards design for your inspiration
Here are some business cards design that I personally think are great. You can use this as a reference for your own business card design.
1. Vladislav Malkovick – Playmedia – source
2. Janne Koivistoinen – Personal Business (Graphic Designer) – source
3. Branko Jass – Frametouch – source
4. Mario Rayz – Personal Business (Model Photographer) – source
5. Terry Miller – Broke Bike Alley – source
6. Martina Flor – Personal Business (Design & Lettering) – source
7. Rodaq – Personal Business (Visual & Interaction Designer) – source
Software that can help you in designing your business card
When it comes to designing your custom business cards Youzign is a great software that you can use,. You can actually use it to basically design anything (not just business cards). You can also design your own business card. There are several templates that you can customize offering you endless design possibilities. Please check the below video about how to create your own business cards by using the business card templates that are already provided.
It is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Make it a great day