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Winning Business Card Design: Fact or Fiction

Business card design is one of the most overlooked marketing techniques in modern advertising. Oftentimes, designers simply slap contact information and a logo on a card or, even worse, fill it with so many images and colors that the design becomes gaudy and overshadows the card’s purpose, which is to convince potential clients of one’s expertise and professionalism and encourage them to initiate contact.

Five facts about design

The following is a run down of business card design fact and fiction. Abiding by these five simple guidelines will get you on the fast track to designing great business cards that are sure to elicit plenty of response from potential clients.

Fiction

The more graphics you put on your card, the more sales it will generate.

Fact

Of course, including graphics in your business card design is a great idea, as long as it’s limited to a logo and a photo. Anything beyond that can clutter the card and overshadow the vital information you want prospective clients to see. White space is your friend; make use of it to separate information and make the most important elements stand out.

Fiction

The more information you can fit on the card, the better chance you have of getting a response.

Fact

While people like easy access to information, a business card is advertising in its simplest form. Good business card design should not incorporate specials, sales, etc., because the card might be carried in a wallet or filed away in a Rolodex for weeks, months or even years before a client contacts you regarding your service. By then, your sale might be over, but you’ll be forced to honor it because you included it on the business card. A well-designed business card contains these elements:

  • The card-issuer’s name
  • The card-issuer’s title
  • The name of the company or organization
  • Address
  • Phone number(s)
  • E-mail address
  • Website URL
  • Tagline
  • A brief list of products and/or services
  • Logo
  • Optionally, a business card can include a photo or business hours

Remember, great business card designs include plenty of white space so the card is not too cluttered. Fonts should be easy to read – make use of well-recognized, standard fonts like Arial and Times New Roman.

Fiction

All business cards should look alike.

Fact

To the contrary, business card can look very different from person to person, company to company and industry to industry. Great business cards stand out from the crowd. The key to making a business card stand out is by using a unique blend of colors and design elements. Simple lines under a certain section can go a long way to distinguishing – and adding a distinguishing touch to – a business card. Photos do not have to be limited to the card-issuer; products, storefronts, and even real estate can make for great design elements.

Another way to set your business card design apart is to add additional information on the back of the card, especially if the business works on a schedule (like a radio station, for instance). Also, some companies prefer to have a folded card, which essentially gives you the space of four business cards and allows you to load the card with robust product-offering lists and other information.

Lastly, don’t forget that business cards can be laid out horizontally or vertically, which allows you to be as clean and creative as possible in a 3.5-inch by 2-inch space.

Fiction

Paper doesn’t matter.

Fact

Flimsy paper, perforated edges and paper company brand names cheapen your card, thus cheapen your impression on potential clients. Professional paper is relatively inexpensive, less of a hassle to deal with and should be your only option if you want to look professional and impress your clients. Choosing a thick, 13-point recycled matte paper or ultra-thick 16-point gloss paper adds class and credibility that can’t be matched by store-bought paper.

Fiction

I can print my own business cards.

Fact

Inkjet, DeskJet, copiers: It doesn’t matter; none of them can come close to matching the quality of professional printing ink. Just like paper, the quality of your business card ink denotes the quality of your service, and the two work hand-in-hand to make your prospects take you seriously and boost your return on investment. Professional ink is bright and full, fade-resistant and works with the rest of your business card design to leave a lasting and professional impression on potential clients.

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