If you’re a professional designer, then you’re accustomed to using sans-serif headlines and serif body copy fonts. The same method is often applied to business card design, with larger text like the company’s or individual’s name in a sans-serif font and contact information in a serif font, even though sans-serif fonts can work great for business card contact information as well. Overall, the serif/sans-serif rules are a good rule of thumb for desktop publishing; but that doesn’t mean you always have to stick to traditional fonts like Arial, Helvetica, and Times New Roman.
Here are a few tips for using powerful fonts that get your clients’ business cards noticed.
Be bold, yet be subtle
Most people are accustomed to seeing traditional fonts on everything from billboards to newspapers, so much so that very few headlines do a good job of catching their attention. You can help your clients’ business cards get noticed by using fonts that subtly stray from the norm. They are still easy to read but off just enough to grab and hold a reader’s attention a little longer. This doesn’t mean you should go crazy with Wing Dings, but you can scope out fonts that look similar to traditional fonts but are bolder, thicker, taller, skinnier, shorter or even slanted. These are your power fonts, and they’ll go a long way to setting your clients – and you – apart from the competition.
Use power fonts to emphasize the focal point of the business card design. Is it the company name or the individual? Does the logo already use a power font, and can it be used in place of the company name? Power fonts should be used for large text elements like taglines, logos, company names, or individual names; and these elements should be set apart from the rest of the business card text to attract as much attention as possible. Contact information and other small elements could become difficult to read if not in a standard font, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment.
Match the business
When choosing a power font, see if it matches the business of the card it’s going to go on. Elephant might look great on a business card for a hot, trendy night club while Agency might help a technology firm stand out. Script fonts like Forte and French Script can be good choices for taglines, depending on the industry.
Mix it up
Power fonts often look great when formed into a shape, like a circle or triangle; or placed vertically or diagonally on the card. Experiment with different layouts, shapes, and placement to get the maximum exposure for your power font elements – and remember to have a little fun with it.
Here’s a short list of some popular power fonts. There are many, many more – a quick look through your favorite design program’s fonts should yield dozens or even hundreds of options.