How to Design the Perfect Business Card

by Tim Parker

Business cards are still a valuable marketing tool for your business. These seven tips can help you design a professional business card that will help customers remember you.

business cards in holder
Image source: BigStockPhoto.com

Business cards are so 1990’s, right? It might be true that business cards don’t hold the importance they once did but judging by the number of cards most business professionals receive during the course of a normal workweek, they’re obviously still relevant.

With that in mind, it’s important to design a card that portrays you in a professional light. Here are some tips on designing the perfect business card.

Start With the Right Logo

When you had your logo designed, did you consider that it might ever be shrunk to minute proportions? If your logo is too complicated or includes words (a couple of single letters is fine), it isn’t going to be recognizable. If you have a complicated logo that only looks good on websites and signs, consider replacing it or creating a related logo especially for business cards, stationary, letterhead, and promotional products like pens, uniform shirts, and advertisements.

Include Essential Information Only

It’s a small card so include only the essentials. In order of importance:

  • Your name;
  • Your title;
  • Contact information;
  • Website;
  • Company logo;
  • Company slogan.


Use a Basic Font

Simple, businesslike fonts work best. A favorite of business card designers are the sans serif fonts. Resist the urge to get overly creative with your font choice. It’s all about readability and a professional appearance.

Go Big on Negative Space

Look at a business card that you like and you’ll see a lot of white, blank space. That negative space allows other design elements to stand out to the reader. The more you pack onto your business card, the more likely the reader is not to see it.

Pick the Right Colors

Realtors will tell you to pick neutral colors for your house in order to keep from turning off perspective buyers that don’t like artsy color choices. The same rule applies to business cards. You might have an eye for color but when somebody sees it, they might see it as amateur.

Also, remember how you worked so hard to make the text stand out? Bright, loud colors will take away that focal point if not designed correctly. Stick with whites, greys, and light, pastel colors. Some experts say that red exudes passion but one person’s passion is another person’s overbearing.

Think About Your Business

All of these elements work for a business where decorum and the utmost professionalism are requirements. Financial services, doctors, lawyers, and other “coat and tie” wearing professions call for a subdued card but that’s not the case for everybody.

If you’re in the creative business, a card that shows off your design skills not only advertises your business but also serves as a small portfolio of your work. Remember the first rule of creativity: Less is always more. Be careful not to overdesign.

Include Something on the Back

The front of your card serves the purpose of telling people who you are, what you do, and how to contact you. The problem with business cards is that everybody gets them—a lot of them, in fact. How many business cards do you receive in an average year and how many end up somewhere besides your trash can?

If that’s where your card finds its final resting place, you’ve done nothing more than waste a perfectly good piece of cardstock.

Instead, why not give the customer a reason to hold on to the card? Accomplish that by putting something on the back. If you’re a Realtor, maybe a chart that lists the approximate monthly payment for homes at various price points. If you’re a security system salesperson, maybe a list of emergency numbers in your community.

The goal is to give potential customers a reason to hold onto your card instead of throwing it away. Just like in other parts of your business, customers respond more favorably when you give them something of value at little or no charge.

Where to Get Help

If you don’t have graphic design skills, you’ll be happy to know there are a variety of ways to design a perfect card without the high price of a graphic designer.

Vistaprint - Vistaprint is a low cost, online printing service that not only allows you to a design for printing; the site has tools that allow you to design a card on your own. If you have a logo, you can load it into the system to see what your card looks like or you can choose from premade designs.

Hire a Freelancer - Sites like Upwork allow you to place your job on its site and collect and evaluate bids from graphic designers. Quality designers will include a portfolio for you to view as well as past reviews from clients.

There are numerous sites like this that allow you to receive low cost bids. You’ll be surprised at how reasonable the prices are for a quality design.

Templates - Software that you use every day has business card templates built in or available for download. Microsoft Word, as well as many of the Adobe products all have templates.

Finally

Your business card is one of those parts of your business where you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. A classic design with simple design elements is all you need to achieve a professional appearance.

© 2013 Attard Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. May not be reproduced, reprinted or redistributed without written permission from Attard Communications, Inc.

 
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