Designing your business cards

How to create the right impression with your business cards

Business cards aren’t just a method of handing over your contact details. They tell the recipient a lot about who you are and what you stand for. A clean, uncluttered business card design shows you care about your appearance and immediately creates a professional impression.

The main thing to remember is that your business card must clearly show your contact details. That is, after all, its primary purpose. It must allow people to contact you. It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many business cards hide the contact details away behind an over-indulgent colour scheme or illegible typeface. Keep the business card design to a limited colour palette and keep any imagery clear and to the point.

Size is important too, contrary to popular belief. It’s best to have a business card which fits easily in a wallet, or it’s unlikely to be kept somewhere safe and may be easily lost. If you make your business card credit card size, you can pretty much assume it’ll fit perfectly in everyone’s wallet.

Consider your business card design

Next, if you don’t want the ‘does what it says on the tin’ approach you should use a subtle image which reflects your industry. A wood grain background for a carpenter, or a brushed steel texture for a panel beater, for example. A cabinet maker might want to gloss laminate the business card to reflect French polish.

If people remember you from your card, that’s half the battle won. There is room for creativity, as long as you still get across the important information, because ultimately, it doesn’t matter how flash and memorable the card is if the email address isn’t readable.

So, to sum up, the three main elements of a business card should be:

… company name … contact information including email address and phone number … visual identifier (such as a logo or a photograph)

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