Your business card. The most commonly used communication tool in your arsenal of promotional weapons? Your only chance to make a great first impression? Perhaps! However, if your only goal is to create maximum impact with a small space, you’re approaching this the wrong way. Save maximum impact for your next sales presentation, the business card design is all about simple professionalism and saying more with less.
So how do I design a nice business card you ask? Excellent question, let’s get started.
Make the Logo… Better
Resist the common urge to make the logo as big you as can. Keep it as the main visual element but don’t over do it. You will never improve your brand through physical size alone. It should be the only graphic element on your card and people won’t have problems seeing it at reasonable size. By denying this urge, you’ll be preserving your professional dignity and subtly displaying your marketing prowess.
In addition to paying close attention to sizing, ensure your logo displays clearly without any sign of stretching, pixelation, blurriness, or other factors that detract from a pristine appearance. Don’t substitute your logo with clip art, especially if it’s a real photo.
To get off on the right foot, use the right file format. If your logo was professionally designed and you are using a layout software program like InDesign or Publisher, always use an EPS file for your logo. If you are working in a Microsoft Word template, try asking your graphic designer to create your logo in a file format called WMF.
Moo.com is a great option too. They have tons of great looking templates and easy to use tools, but to get a good result, you’ll need to use an EPS file.
If you’ve exhausted your options and your logo remains blurry. It’s time to throw in the towel and hire a graphic designer.
Please choose your fonts wisely. Instead of getting creative with Comic Sans or Papyrus, keep your wits about you and a font from respectable family. If you are worried about choosing wisely, first try matching with a font that might be in your logo. If that font seems professional to you, and it should be if your logo uses it, stick to what you know.
If you can’t rely on your logo for guidance, Quicksand, Open Sans, and Museo, are all great free sans-serif choices. Or, if you need something more serious, why not try Afta, Calluna, or EB Garamond.
Remember, just use one font. Two fonts makes the quiet suggestion that you are trying too hard, more than two fonts screams un-professionalism. Keep your text small but not too small. 8 point type is usually perfect. Any larger and you are asking for a cluttered look that may cause people to be see right through your DIY handiwork.
Example of a bad business card
Example of a nice business card
Stack, Space, and Spare the details
Organization is key to a nice business card. Balanced information that lives in harmony with your logo and a good amount of white space, especially around the edges of the card, is the perfect recipe for success. Keep the details simple. Phone, e-mail, website, name and title are common components. Long URLs to your many social media profiles are not necessary. Unless you can make a printed Facebook icon clickable, leave it off.
Your marketing efforts should flow smoothly from your card to your website to a transaction. Leave people a trail to follow and provide pertinent information along the way. Your business card is a simple welcome mat to your business.
The less information you include, the more room for valuable white space that will help attract attention to your logo, make your information easier to read, and make the jump from home-made and visual excellence.
The finishing touch is the paper you choose to print on. Avoid at home printing kits – nothing says cheap junk like perforated edges. Instead, drop by your neighbourhood print shop (this one’s in Texas) or an online printing service with your finished design and choose or a nice, thick stock. Don’t settle for something flimsy. The money you spend on quality printing will come back to you in profits once you start impressing people with your nice business cards.
Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll be in business in no time! If I’ve missed anything, let me know in the comments.