Small and medium businesses are often discouraged from designing their own business cards. Still, when you’re just starting and have limited cash that needs to be allocated strategically, you may have to consider creating a business card all by yourself.
Good Business Card Design and Guidelines for 2020
When you first want to know how to design a business card, you must first understand what makes a sound business card. The best business card design should convey your business’s overall image in one glance. This statement may sound like a tall order considering that the average basic business card is generally 85 × 55 mm in size.
Here’s the thing. Your primary business card can’t possibly tell your entire brand story, but it can use every facet of the card—its size, shape, card stock, color, texture, and text—to present the image that best sums up your company.
So, suppose your company is an environmentally friendly travel agency. In that case, that should be communicated by the material you use to create your card and the logo, colors used, for example. Another example would be that if you run a toy store, you may want a card with an unusual shape that uses bright colors and playful but legible text. In other words, what makes a great business card? A professional card that people will associate with and remember about your business.
Here are a few other business card guidelines to better understand what makes a sound business card:
- Design your card with your target audience in mind. If your target audience is designers, you will create a different type of card than targeting bankers.
- Include only the most essential information. Resist the temptation to squeeze tons of information onto your card. The general rule is to include enough to make the card memorable and pique the receiver’s interest.
- Make sure the text is easily readable. Don’t forget that your business card’s point is to communicate your information, so if the text is too distorted, small, or excessively stylized, no one will be able to read it.
- Honor negative space. Resist the temptation to fill every conceivable millimeter of your card with either text or graphics. Here the wise adage of ‘Less is more’ applies. Including some negative space gives the eye somewhere to rest and makes the information you do include stand out.
10 Business Card Tips
Effective business cards are one of your most powerful tools to tell your brand’s story and creates a lasting impression on prospective clients and customers. It’s crucial that you understand how to design a business card to communicate what your company stands for effectively. A good design would help distinguish your business from the competition and encourages potential customers and clients to get in touch. By following the list of tips we’ve created below for designing business cards, you would make sure that you get your fundamental business card design correct.
1. Scrutinize the Best Business Cards from Across a Variety of Industries
One of the surest ways to generate business cards ideas is to study well-designed business cards from various industries, including your competition. You should collect many business cards and lay them out on a table. Make a quick mental note of what facets you like and don’t like about each card. What aspects do you find memorable, and what you think might not work.
The next step is to focus on the cards of your competitors. Are there specific qualities that they’ve got in common? Which cards stand out most, and the reasons why? Which are you more emotionally drawn to, and why?
You may want to follow some of the qualities you’ve identified and found successful or memorable in the list of cards you’ve studied. A word of advice is that you don’t want to copy your competition too much because you want to retain some of your original quality to differentiate your business.
2. Create Business Cards Which is Consistent With Other Brand Materials
Before designing a business card, you should have already decided on your brand logo, typography, and color scheme. These design assets will form the foundation of your brand identity. They should play a big part in your card’s style and layout and should be consistent across your website and other promotional materials.
3. Use Fundamental Design Principles
Dealing with printed materials, the basic principles of paper-based design apply to an excellent business card design. You will need to keep all your primary copy at least 5 millimeters from the trim edge of your card, maintain a minimum font size for your text to remain legible, design in CMYK format, and work at 300dpi to achieve the best quality reproduction.
It might also help use a grid to achieve proper business card layout of all the elements you use. This grid will help you achieve the right hierarchy of information and ensure good alignment of different facets.
4. Deciding on the Best Shape and Size Card for Your Needs
Business cards have traditionally been horizontal rectangular cards, but that doesn’t mean that yours has to follow it. Depending on your industry, the audience you’re communicating with, and the brand image you want to project, your card can take several other shapes from organic to geometrical. You would like to consider the shape and size card that would best represent your brand. In the situation that you don’t want to step too far out of what is usually traditionally accepted, you could consider a vertical rectangular card. They’re less common than horizontals aligned cards and can differentiate you from the competition.
5. Keep Your Design Simple
There’s a belief among first-time designers that simple equals boring, but this is far from the case. Minimal card designs can be quite elegant, and best of all, creating a breathing room on your card allows essential information to stand out and catch the eye.
6. Don’t Forget Key Contact Details
There’s some fundamental text that every business card should have to allow potential clients and customers to hand your card to contact you. The information will vary from company to company and individual to individual, but the most standard information on most business cards is generally:
- company name
- company address
- your full name
- job title
- contact information: phone number, email, with one or two key social media channels
In some businesses, the name, title, and telephone number might be sufficient, while all the above information will be redundant.
7. Consider Including a Positioning Statement
A positioning statement is defined as a short statement that most clearly illustrates your brand and its values. Including this would differentiate your company from your competitors. An example would be Nike’s “Just do it.”
Adding a compelling positioning statement on your card is a powerful strategy to stand out, be memorable, and possibly establish a connection with your potential clients.
8. Proofread Carefully
Nothing is more off-putting or has the possibility of damaging the prospect of a future business relationship than a business card peppered with spelling mistakes or incorrect contact information. So proofread your business card carefully and get others to proofread it after you have done your round. Double and triple check the contact details and make sure everything is legible.
9. Use Professionally Printers and First-Rate Materials
A well-designed business card, printed professionally evokes trust and sets any new relationship off to a good start. So, don’t do your good business card design an injustice with shoddy printing on low-quality card stock. After completing your business card design, be sure that you’ve got your card printed professionally on good card stock. This step will not only make a good impression but will also help with your card’s durability.
10. Seek Out a Professional Business Card Template
If you are unfamiliar with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, one of the best alternatives is to design your business card using a good business card template.