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A business card's font can say more about a company or individual than the words written on it. In readers' minds, the font becomes a direct correlation to the function, attitude, professionalism and stability of a business. Here are a few considerations you should take when choosing the right font for your client's business card:
Make sure you know everything about your client's business: What they do; what their goals are; who their target audience is; and who their competition is. Try to get a feel for your client's personality so you can create an appropriate business card design that fits. Does your client have an upbeat personality and own an arcade? Use a trendy, bubbly sans serif font. Do they own a serious, down-to-earth financial investment firm? Maybe a thick serif font with tapering curves would fit the bill.
Think about what other elements will be in the design. The chosen font is a graphical element, just like photos and logos, and should blend or contrast with those other elements accordingly. If you're creating a business card for a professional clown, and including a photo of the clown on the business card, Times New Roman font would be decidedly boring. Bradley Hand, Fat or Comic Sans would be better choices; conversely, those fonts would not be good choices for a suited stock broker's business card.
If your client also uses brochures, a website, white papers, direct-mail postcards and other marketing materials, see what fonts they're using. If it's a good campaign, chances are the same fonts are being used across all of these materials to increase brand recognition. You don't want the business card to stray from this, so see if the fonts on pre-existing marketing materials will also work in the business card design. If they don't, this would be a good opportunity to approach your client about creating a cohesive, branded marketing branded marketing campaign to drum up additional design work.
This is probably the most important consideration, and you shouldn't necessarily take your client's word for it. Do a little research of your own, and approach your client's business from the point of view of the customer. What do you expect from this business? How do you want to be treated? How do you want to feel? This is why financial management firms tend to use strong fonts that demonstrate longevity and security, while IT firms often use trendy, swift-looking fonts. Understand what customers are looking for, and then use fonts that evoke those emotions to help them feel confident and comfortable with your client.
You can use your client's competition as a measuring stick, but remember you want your client to stand out and look better than its rivals. Try different fonts throughout the design process, and, because many business cards are built around an image rather than the font, don't settle on a font until the rest of the design is complete. Try using power fonts for your larger text to invoke the most emotion in your client's potential customers. Don't be afraid to ask friends, family, co-workers, and even clients what feeling they get when they look at the business card. A fresh pair of eyes can often cast an objective light on your work that will only help you better serve your clients.