Some Advice on the Craft of Business Cards
In business, there are two essential components of a first impression: handshakes and business cards. And whilst I can’t direct you on the former (see here for a tutorial on giving proper handshakes), I am qualified to give you a few pointers on the latter.
It’s always worth bearing in mind that often, in the digital age, the only physical relic of your business that other people will have is your card. Brochures, leaflets, and booklets mostly, as sad as it is, end up in the bin. But business cards are more robust, and are harder to dispose of than their less essential marketing counterparts. This is why it pays to make your business card of the highest possible quality, because chances are it will end up in someone’s wallet or purse for quite a while.
So let’s get started with the dos and don’ts of making a great business card.
Stick to the one-size-fits-all formula
Creating a business card that conforms to standard sizing (85 x 55) is more important than you might think. Often it can be tempting to think outside the box with your design in order to make it stand out. You might, for example, decide that you want your cards to be miniature, or triangular, or star-shape. And whilst this works if it fits in with your brand. Most of the time it just presents an inconvenience, as oddly-shaped cards are harder to slot into card holders.
So although it is good to break the rules where possible, the size and shape of your business cards is something that is usually best kept within the norm.
Use your space wisely
The conundrum: too much information clutters your card, whilst not enough doesn’t get the relevant information across. The trick here is to include only the essential details. For example, most people don’t need to put a physical address on their business card. In the majority of cases, and email address, contact number, name, and website will suffice.
The same goes for photographs. In the name of space-saving, you can afford to cut the mugshot unless your face is an important aspect of your business (if you’re a model or an actor, for example).
Business cards are convenience tools. We use them mostly for getting in touch with people. So an uncluttered business card helps people find the information they’re looking for quickly. And it provides nothing more or less than what’s relevant.
Look at samples
If you decide to create your own business cards, always make sure to get samples from printers before committing to any particular thickness or finish. Nothing compares to holding a physical product in your hand to judge whether or not it feels right. The same goes for choosing between an uncoated or glossy finish. Unless you can see it in front of you, you’ll never really know how the end product will come out. So inundate yourself with samples. Try everything. That way your business cards will be of the highest quality possible, looking pristine and sharp.
Need some help designing your next set of business cards? Get in touch today for a free consultation!