Make Your Business Cards Stand Out
Make Your Business Cards Stand Out
June 30, 2017
Exchanging business cards is an important part of networking, but all too often cards are quickly discarded. With a business card that's interesting, unique and useful, your company will stand out.
Design Choices to Think About
It's easy to order a set of standard business cards online, often with same day delivery. However, if you can be a little more flexible, consider taking the time to carefully design cards suited to your business and its brand. Use stock fonts and standard clip art or go the extra mile by adding unique design elements to make your business cards distinctive and appealing.
Use the best quality card stock that's within your budget. A lightweight, flimsy card is less likely to last as long as a quality card that makes an impression. Consider adding a special finish or using a textured card for more impact. Materials such as balsa wood or recycled computer boards require more design planning and generally cost more, but may ultimately offer greater recognition.
Be mindful of printing limitations such as bleed and color matching. Avoid images that extend right to the edges of available space or that demand exact colors unless you have tested the design on your printer.
Business Card Size and Shape
One way to make business cards unique is to vary from the standard size and shape, but this may increase printing costs and make your cards more difficult for clients to file. To remedy this, you can use a standard rectangle as a template and create a cutout shape that links to your information. For example, some hair salons have created cards with cutouts that resemble the teeth of a wide-tooth comb. Rounded corners can also be used to up the style factor. By combining cutting and creasing, you can even make 3D designs that really catch a client’s attention. When you opt for a fun and unique design, keep in mind that a business card must be filed and stored.
If your business logo has a specific font, use it to complement your card design. Choose a font that sends the message you are trying to convey. Readability is key when it comes to business card size. Fonts that are complicated, hard to read or overly artistic, are unlikely to work. That doesn't mean you are limited to standard, too often used fonts. Try using graphic options that look similar to traditional fonts but are bolder, thicker, taller, thinner, shorter or even slanted. These are familiar enough to be easily read, yet more eye-catching, striking and memorable.
Remember, size also matters. A good base size for business cards is 15 pt, but anything as small as 8 pt may work, depending on the font. Bolder lettering may bleed or become illegible at that size. As in any design creation, balance is best.
Colors and Images for Impact
Printers usually work in CMYK color, which is a four color process where various combinations of these colors are mixed to create all the colors being printed. Specify the colors you want in this format unless you require precise color values for each color, in which case you would be using spot colors. Shades that fall somewhere in the mid-range of your chosen colors can attract a client’s attention without clashes and confusion due to slight printing differences.
Use images that match your brand in both content and color. Adding relevant photographs can also attract attention, particularly if they showcase your best work. Retaining plenty of crisp white space or emphasizing bright colors with a black shadow can help draw a client’s eye to your business card.
Content is Key
Basics such as contact details must be included, but there is no need to just simply list a contact name, number and email and leave it at that. If your business has a motto or short mission statement, try to incorporate it into your card design and see if it works. It often gives clients a better idea about your business and your capabilities. To motivate your clients to contact you, consider including a special offer or call to action. Don't shy away from 2-sided printing. It will increase your cost, but may be worthwhile to get your message out.
The best and most successful business cards grab a client’s attention from the outset. Choosing the right material and design features is crucial. Quirky cutouts or striking prints help make your business card memorable — but it’s important to remember that clients need to be able to store and access a card, either physically or electronically.
While current standard card sizes may be limiting, they are convenient. To be successful, even the most unique business card designs must include pertinent information that stands out, is remembered and is easily accessed.
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