Your name, your pictures, your design – ordering your first set of business cards is a rite of passage for anyone setting up their own business. But where to begin?
We have designed many business cards for companies ranging from start-ups to those more established. Over the years we have seen it all when it comes to business cards. We’ve found out that not all business cards are created equal – some are amazing and some are well… not so amazing.
Here are 5 tips we want to share with you to create a great first impression.
Tip #1: Keep it simple and easily readable.
Business cards are typically only 3.5″ x 2″, so you have a small space to work with. Don’t make your logo too large and don’t make the type too small. Most importantly don’t be afraid to use white space. If someone has your business card, there’s a good chance they’ve already met you. A card simply serves as a reminder and offers them a way to get in touch.
You may become tempted to make your text size very small to fit everything on the card. But beware as smaller text can look readable on screen, but turn into an illegible smudge when printed. As a general rule of thumb, don’t go smaller than 8pt.
Tip #2: Do something unique.
Whether that’s using a glossy paper stock, adding gold foil or embossing your logo! If you’re looking for a subtle touch, adding rounded corners can be a nice embellishment! Or pull a switcheroo and go with a vertical business card instead of the standard horizontal layout. Beware – a business card is generally put in a wallet or pocket – so an odd shape (like a circle) will make it harder to store and may cause it to be discarded.
Tip #3: Consider the information you want to convey.
At a minimum, it should have your company name or logo and at least on point of contact. You may include any of the following: tagline, phone number, cell, fax, email, physical address, and/or company website address. You may consider adding your own name and title, which can add a personal touch.
Think carefully about which contact details to include – you need to strike a balance between providing enough points of contact, without cluttering your card. As with all designs, simple is always better.
Tip #4: Keep the back blank or for non-critical information.
There will be times when someone may not see the back side of your business card. For instance, traditional card holders assume that side is blank. If you do wish to put copy on it, be sure the information is of a supplemental nature: e.g., your company’s tagline or logo.
Tip #5: Choose your look and feel.
If you’ve got the design chops to design your own business card go for it.
- Fonts: Keep your font selections simple, professional and limited to 2 variations. Stay away from script or calligraphy fonts as they can be difficult to read.
- Color: If you have company colors, use them. If you need to create a color palette, make sure to select professional colors that reflect your business and evokes the right emotions. Remember – a plain black and white design can be as memorable and striking as a colorful card.
- Paper Stock: Business cards with thicker paper tends to feel more expensive – making your business seem more professional. Thinner cards tend to make the cards tacky and cheap. Remember a good business card should feel like a good handshake, flexible but firm.
Bonus TIP: Enlist the help of a professional designer unless you have the skills to design your own business.
Not all business owners are designers and that’s okay. There are many design professionals, like Twingenuity Graphics, who would be happy to help you start out on the right foot at an affordable price.
If you’ve ever thrown together a marketing piece yourself and had it come back from the printer with problems you didn’t anticipate, then you know this is true. A good designer can help avoid having to re-print cards due to the font being too small or a blurry logo. We can also help navigate you through the world of printing, because we know our way around terms like CMYK, image resolution, bleed and crop marks.
With years of experience under our belt, we’ve learned little tricks – such as don’t use borders. A perfectly aligned border on your screen may come out lopsided, thanks to small movements within the printing machine.
Voilà! You’re on your way to your first business card!
Just think about how you use other people’s business cards when you make decisions regarding your own. Do you get frustrated when you can’t quickly find the information you need? Or the type is too small to read? Does flimsy card stock make you think less of the person or company represented? Don’t make those same mistakes on your business card. Make sure it’s a positive reflection of both you and your company, and it mirrors your brand identity.