Though it is small, the humble business card can be one of your company's most cost-efficient marketing tools. Designed well, it can capture your company's personality, communicate your value proposition, and provide a way to continue the conversation — all on a 3.5-inch by 2-inch piece of paper. Before your next trade show or business bash, you can reduce your chance of getting lost in the shuffle by designing a beautiful, eye-catching business card that motivates potential customers to follow up.
Choose Contact Information
When it comes to the text on your business card, less can almost always more. Start with your name and company name. Then, decide how you want potential customers to get in touch, and offer one or two ways to do so — in most cases, a website and email address are adequate. If you have another highly relevant communication option that drives sales, such as a popular YouTube channel or a witty Twitter account with millions of followers, add it to the card. A physical address is almost always unnecessary, particularly when it's readily available on your website.
Many businesses, particularly online operations, struggle with the decision to add or leave off a phone number. Consider two factors: your audience and your availability. Are your contacts likely to choose a phone call as the first point of contact? Do you have time to answer and return calls in a timely manner? If the answer to either question is no, there's no need to include a phone number.
Select a Size
Business cards are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, but it's important to consider the potential logistical problems. Square and oversized options stand out in a stack of cards, but they may not fit into a wallet or business card holder. Tiny cards can be charming, but easy to lose. In most cases, a standard business card size is best; if you want to set yourself apart, try adding rounded corners or laser cutouts of your logo.
Communicate Your Value Proposition
One of the challenges of business card design is figuring out how to communicate what your company does. A great option is to use the back side of the card. Place your logo or company name in the center, and insert your tag line or a description of services below it. Keep it short and sweet, and try to add information that expands on the name. For example, if your company is called Smith Engineering, your tagline might be "Automotive Design and Testing". Alternatively, consider listing your top services: "Graphic Design | Marketing | Social Media," or "Sales Consulting | Sales Training". This strategy helps avoid visual clutter and makes it easy for contacts to remember what you do.
Select a Front-Side Layout
The front side of your business card should contain your chosen contact information. Whether you're making custom business cards or using a business card template, create a visual hierarchy with bold text and font size. Your name should be the most prominent item, followed by your title and contact information. This step enables the reader's eye to flow naturally down the card. You might decide to include your company's logo or opt for a sleek, text-only design to keep the focus on your contact details. If you opt for graphics, be sure to leave plenty of white space to boost readability and avoid a cluttered look.
Choose Colors and Paper
When you're ordering business cards online, you can choose from countless colors and paper styles. To narrow down the variety of unique business cards, select options that look and feel like your company. If you run an environmental design firm, you might use recycled brown paper; alternatively, communicate your modern vibe with sleek metallic accents. When choosing colors, stick to the palette you use on your website, social media graphics and marketing materials. Think twice before using dark background colors on both sides — this prevents people you meet at trade shows or events from taking notes about your conversation or products. Instead, help your card stand out with a subtle textured paper, raised print or a brilliant color on the back side. These visual and tactile clues, though subtle, can help create a cohesive brand experience.
Designing a business card takes time, but the effort can pay off handsomely. A card that is both beautiful and functional helps you stand out from the crowd, paving the way for new customer relationships and potential business partnerships.
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