Crafting the perfect business card can be overwhelming. How are you supposed to get a message across in such a small amount of space? Rather than seeing this as an obstacle, view it as an opportunity to make an amazing first impression.
Use common sense when you’re designing your card. Get out all the cards in your desk and look at the ones that most catches your eye. Why do they catch your eye? How can you use the same techniques in yours?
Here are some basic tips on how to create a unique and professional business card.
Information to Include
A good business card has all your business contact info. This way your prospective customers know how to reach you. Also you’ll want to include any website or social media information so they can find out more about your business.
If your business has any unique slogans or taglines, the business card is a great place to include it. A tagline or slogan gives your customer a snippet of information, giving them a taste of what your business is all about.
You may want your customers to remember your face. If so, include a nice professional picture of yourself to jog their memory.
There is no need to stick to Times New Roman and 12 point font for your business card. This might even be a turn-off to some people. Try a nice sans-serif font, or if your business has a branded font, business cards are the perfect place for showcasing it.
Don’t use all caps. It will either seem like you’re yelling at your customers or they won’t be able to read the information presented on the card. Above all, you want your type to be legible.
Think about what you’d like your customer to do with your business card. You don’t want it to be thrown into the business card graveyard, a.k.a. the business card file. Businesses are getting really creative with their cards nowadays. Some have cards that fold into special shapes like chairs or airplanes, others use their cards as seed starters, or even measurement tools.
If your card serves more purposes than just supplying the customer with your contact information, it will be more likely to be used and seen by other customers. Whatever you do, make sure it is vaguely related to what your business does.
Size and Shape
Think about all the business cards in your collection. 90% of these cards are going to fit into one common theme: they’re made on white cardstock and are standard sized. It’s impossible to tell them apart.
If you want to make a stellar first impression, take some creative license with the size and shape of your business card. Use a half-size card or have the card cut into a novel shape to further convey the purpose of your business.
Remember that boring white cardstock we were just talking about? Don’t use that. Get a nice thick cardstock with some character. Since most business cards are white, you might try using a black, grey, or lightly colored cardstock. It could even have some shimmery flecks, or texture in it. If you want to get creative, and it’s appropriate for your field, you can use metal, plastic, wood, or slate.
The nicer the cardstock, the more likely your customer will be to hold onto your card and remember it. The more memorable your card, the bigger ROI you’ll get.
A great way to ensure your card will be used in both the home and office space, and to keep it out of the business card graveyard, make your card magnetic!
There are tons of techniques to use to make your card stand out. Use die-cutting to put shapes or indentation, thermography or letterpress to make raised impressions, or if you’re using a dark cardstock or material, try foiling with metallic ink.
A recent, environmentally friendly practice is to up cycle or recycle your old cards. Some printers will take the old cards, create a composite sheet, and print right onto the new composite, giving your new cards a whole lot of character.
If you’d like some extra tips on how to create a stand-out business card, check out the following articles:
Entrepreneur, How to Design a Business Card That Gets Noticed
Creative Blog, How to design a business card: 10 top tips
99Designs, Business Card Design Competition