A business card do more than carry your business contact information. They are the perfect tools to make an excellent first impression on another person. A well-designed business card always evokes respect for the person and their business. Tacky, poorly-designed business cards are easy to dismiss. When you are the one handing out the card, you would obviously want to be taken seriously.
There are few secrets to a great business card design but most are easily overlooked. Unless you are a designer yourself, avoid designing your own card. You can design a rough template yourself to show to a designer. What looks good to you will not necessarily look great to everyone else. So when a professional designer recommends changes, please listen to them! But there are some things you can ask in your card for when talking to the designer. So, without further ado, let’s take a look the top 10 things that you must keep in mind when designing your business card.
10 design tips for your business card
1. Avoid Clutter
Simplicity is the key for your business card design. Just include basic information that it needs. Avoid putting in unnecessary details like the kind of services or names of products you sell. Nobody has time to look at a card overflowing with information. Your name, designation, contact details, and branding are all that’s required.
Your business card needs to be readable. Avoid unfamiliar or hard-to-read fonts. This is especially true for Indian language fonts. These can be very hard to read if you use anything but simple fonts. It is also important to ensure that the letters are of sufficient size to read easily.
Just a few years ago, they were the biggest mistake to avoid. However, with better printing technology today, pictures on modern business cards are possible. Avoid very colourful or intricate pictures. Also, make sure that the original image is of high-resolution so it can be printed without any fuzziness. If you are unsure, just avoid it. If you want graphics, using vector graphics is preferred. Vector graphics are pictures and icons that can be magnified or shrunk without lowering their quality. The opposite is raster graphics. These become fuzzy when you zoom in and lose their clarity when you zoom out. To test, if you can open a picture with MS-Paint, then it is a raster graphic.
How you use colours has a big impact on the look of your business card. Complementary colours work best. Tell the designer your preferences and ask them to give you options. You can also use an art website to get complementary shades of your preferred colour.
5. QR Codes
A QR code can carry a lot of information in a tiny space. They can be used to direct people to your website, add you as a contact, etc. There are literally hundreds of free QR code generators and apps that you can use on a computer or phone. Just make sure that the QR code works by using it yourself before getting it printed. A QR code can also become a part of the design. Contrary to popular belief, they do not need to be black and white. Use it creatively to enhance your business card design.
6. The Back
Avoid leaving the “other” side of your business card blank. It can be used for branding (company name and logo), placing the QR code, etc. What you can do with it is only limited by your imagination. However, avoid excessive information. For instance, restaurant owners should not print their menu on the back.
Embossing can add a lot of detail to a business card. We don’t just mean for the letters. You can create patterns, or emboss your company logo instead of printing it. This is another place where you can be creative and experiment. Just remember that the embossed pattern needs to have definition. If you go overboard, your business card will look like crumpled paper.
8. Special Shapes
You do not have to stick the standard rectangular shape. Clever use of custom shapes always leaves a lasting impression. Even small details like rounded corners can make your business card design stand out. You can use creative shapes to add meaning to your card. If you own a music store, your business cards can be shaped like musical instruments. You can also try folding cards, pull out cards, coaster-sized cards, etc.
The finish of the business card is crucial. Shiny printed cards feel tacky unless their design suits them. Most cards have a matte finish with flat lettering. You can opt for special finishes that mimic other materials for special designs. Speaking of which…
A non-standard material attracts immediate notice. It also helps if you can use a material that means something to your business. There are more types of paper than you can possibly imagine. Furthermore, you don’t have to use paper. Many businesses use alternative materials like metal, plastic, and even ceramic-infused paper (yes, it exists) to make their cards unique.
As a final point, remember that a great design requires a great printing service. The card you will receive from a low-quality printer will lose you so many customers that any minor savings you make are wasted. Use a high-quality business card design service and you are guaranteed to make a solid first impression.
[You might also want to read: 5 Reasons Why Your Business Card Sucks]