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Professional designers know that color selection is one of the most crucial elements when creating any project, whether it's in print or on the Web. The same holds true for business card design, and the small space adds an extra challenge: How do you make your clients stand out without looking gaudy in such a small space? The first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with the color wheel, a great reference for choosing simple color combinations that differentiate your client's business cards. If you follow the basic color wheel theory, you can easily come up with appropriate designs that look great.
Here's a brief overview of color scheme selection methods you can use when designing hot business cards.
One way to add a touch of class and professionalism to your client's business card is using a monochromatic color scheme. In this type of color scheme, you choose one color as your base color and all other colors are simply different shades of that color. Try using a blue as your base color and adding 50 percent white and 50 percent black to round out a monochromatic color scheme. Monochromatic color schemes are often used for business cards of a highly professional nature and tend to represent strength and stability. It's hard to go wrong with the monochromatic scheme because it's almost always aesthetically appealing; however, a lack of contrast can also make this scheme seem boring.
Analogous color schemes use colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel and are often a great choice for business card design. They're similar to monochromatic color schemes, but add a sprig of contrast that can brighten your client's business cards. Like monochromatic schemes, analogous schemes are very easy to work with and almost always look great. Using blue as an example, you could complete your pallet with a purple and a teal. When using adjacent color combinations don't stray too far from your base color or you'll risk adding too much contrast or even making your business card look boorish. Analogous color schemes can be vibrant or subtle and work well across many industries.
The most striking designs often incorporate a complementary color scheme, which uses two opposite colors from the color wheel such as blue and yellow or green and purple. Use complementary color schemes for bold, fun business cards, but take great care to ensure that the combinations you use look great together. Complementary color schemes run the risk repelling potential customers if the colors don't mix well.
Many designers use triadic color schemes because they offer clean, balanced aesthetics and contrast for a well-rounded business card. Triadic colors are spaced evenly apart on the color wheel; this type of color scheme gets its name from the triangle shape produced by drawing a connecting line between the chosen colors. To create a triadic pallet, simply choose a base color the two colors that are at an equal distance apart on the color wheel.
There are other color schemes and much more to color theory, but choosing one of the above methods will help you design great business cards that your clients - and their customers - will love. Experiment with colors and always check with others before settling on a design - a set of fresh eyes can always cast an objective light on your business card designs.