The inception of Business cards dates back to the 15th century when the Chinese handed over business cards to inform others of their visit. Eventually, the practice of exchanging business cards was adopted by the French as a way of introducing oneself in the 17th century and later, the practice spread all over the world.
Today, business cards are used by entrepreneurs all over the globe for the promotion of their brands. In a world that is currently dominated by paperless workplaces, digital information, e- signatures and the like, this small chit of Paper still holds a lot of importance in the business world.
Besides being the first symbol of contact between two prospective clients, it also serves as a reminder to entrepreneurs that help in sustaining or building a business relationship.
So, here are some tips you need to keep in mind that will help you create a business card that looks great and is effective at the same time.
1. Simplicity is the Key
The first and foremost point to be kept in mind is simplicity. In most cases, it is your business card that is the first point of contact with a prospective client. So, to ensure that the first impression leaves a positive and long-lasting impression, make sure your card has all the necessary details that can be read comfortably; is not very fancy and looks neat.
The first and foremost point one needs to consider is the information that you want to print on the card and the layout. Your business card must have your name and position, the company name and logo printed clearly. The other essential details that need to be present on the card are: the company’s website link and the best ways to contact you (email id/phone number), you might also want to add other details like office address, etc. However, try not to fit in too many details on the card because it might make your card look cluttered. The size of most business cards is just 3.5 inches by 2 inches, so one needs to be mindful of including only the essential information.
3. Template, Size and Shape
Now that we have established the fact that your business card needs to have easy to read information, the next point to consider is the template. While it might be fun to experiment with the shape and size of the card, you must keep in mind that old is gold. Also, all wallets are designed to hold cards of the standard size, and you do not want your card to end up in the trash instead of your client’s wallet! So, unless you have a really good reason to select a different size for your card, stick to the general one. Regarding the font and size, it is best to follow the standard professional font and not select the fancy ones that might be difficult to read. Also, it is ideal to not go below size 8 while printing the card.
It is often perceived that using bright colours will help a business card stand out from the rest and make it look unique. Even though it is in trend, it might not always be true because even today, light colours or the good old black and white combination works wonders for entrepreneurs and is considered stylish too.
5. Both Sides of the Coin
Most entrepreneurs face the dilemma as to use the back side of the business card or not. Before taking a call on whether or not to put content on the back side of the card, ask yourself how often clients check the back of a card for critical information. Ideally, it is best to leave the back side blank but if you must, then put non-essential information like the company’s motto or tagline at the back.
6. Other Content
Now that you have your essential content sorted, you might want to think of other exciting ways to promote your brand through your business card and also put the back of the card to better use. You can think up various ways to advertise your products through your card, for instance, using an image of your best-selling product, etc.
Before heading over to print your card, do remember that your card design must not have any borders. It is because printing is never precise, no matter how particular one is toward details.8. Safe Area
Printers demand that all the information be kept in the safe area, i.e. in the centre, to avoid being cut off during printing. Another point to be noted is to keep a 3mm bleed, which is an area around the edges of the card that has the same colour as the background.
9. Paper Quality
Choosing the paper quality is a decision of extreme importance because the quality of the entire card depends on it. The quality of the paper reflects on your business and products. A fragile paper leaves a negative impression because it might make your clients feel that they are dealing with a low-quality business house. So, make sure that you don’t print your card on paper that is thinner than 300gsm because thick cards look and feel expensive. Also select the type of paper wisely. While glossy papers look good, it might be difficult to write on them.
10. Other Uses of the Card
Business cards are generally used to build business contacts by sharing information about yourself and your company. However, why stop at just that? You can use think of plenty of other fun and interesting ways to use your card. For example, design a custom card that looks like one of the products that your company manufactures or a card that doubles up as another tool
often used by clients, etc. However this might not work for every company so think well before taking a decision.
11. Hiring Someone to Do the Job
Lastly, if you are worried about not being able to design the right business card for yourself, worry not because there are several designers out there who can get the job done for you. Since this small card is really important for your company and for you too, it cannot be anything less than perfect.
Talented designers at Designhill have a library of business card templates for you to choose. In addition, they can also create your company’s other collateral such as brochures, etc.
Your business card can be the first step towards a long and successful relationship. It serves as a powerful first contact point both for you and your brand. So, it is necessary to invest a little time to ensure that your business card has accurate information, looks attractive, and represents your brand well so that when you hand a prospective client your business card, it marks the beginning of a strong and fruitful business tie-up.
Cover image by Paulius Kairevicius.
AUTHOR: HENNY KEL
Henny is an experienced content strategist and branding expert at Designhill.com, one of the leading graphic design marketplace. You can connect with him via Twitter or LinkedIn.