Designing Business Cards that Leave a Lasting Impression: Tips on Essential Information, Brand Identity, Typography, Color, and Printing Options
Even in our modern digital times a business card can be of value to make sure people have all the relevant information at hand in case they wish to contact you. What makes a good business card? In this blog you will find the answer.
Table of Contents
- Essential Information
- Get Creative
- Logo and Tagline
- Image/Graphic Usage
- Color Usage
- Printing Options
Keep readability in mind when deciding what information you want to share on your business card. Sometimes less is more. Visualize the target of your enterprise: in case of (mainly) young people you may choose to leave out the postal address but mention social media accounts instead.
Usually you will find the following standard information on business cards:
Logo, with or without a tagline
First name and surname
Postal address or social media account(s)
In addition consider a ‘call to action’: “call us for an informal get-together”, “visit our website” or “follow us on Instagram” are good examples of customer relations.
A business card says a lot about a company, more than just the practical information it provides. It is very important that its presentation helps the receiver remember or recognize a company’s brand identity. This brand identity can be accentuated by implementing the logo, font, color and the company’s image and graphics in the design of the business card.
Logo and Tagline
Almost every company has its own logo. Its purpose is recognition, so why not use it on your business card? Many companies use an accompanying tagline, so by all means use that in the design. Pay attention to the ‘whitespace’ around the logo; this enhances readability. Blatant logos should preferably be placed on the front side of the business card and further information on the back.
Choose your font with care. It seems a matter of course that you use the same font as the one in your company’s brand identity but here, too, first and foremost you should pay attention to readability. Usually a business card has a set, rather small size so in order to provide a lot of information the font size should be modest. It stands to reason that a font should be easy to read and preferably be the same as the one which is used in other designs. Therefore avoid handwritten fonts as much as possible and take care of a good contrast: dark characters on a lighter background and vice versa.
The addition of personal details gives any given business card uniqueness. A wedding photographer shows his best picture, a painter may have specks of oilpaint dotted all over the place. So it is important to pay attention to creativity: originality brings about instant recognition.
Color, too, plays its part in readability and recognition. Use a high contrast between text and background and as many colors from the brand identity as possible while at the same time avoiding gaudiness.
To check whether the design of your business card is in line with brand identity ask the following question: will people who are familiar with the company’s identity immediately link the card to the company?
Before a card is print-ready there are dozens of options regarding paper thickness, paper texture, finish, goldfoil, letterpress etc. These are personal choices but keep in mind that thicker quality paper has a more luxurious feel to it. Paper thickness is defined by weight: the above mentioned luxurious feel is obtained with 350 grams or more. As to the finish, a matte, satin coated finish gives a professional, neutral look. No shine and little texture ensures good readability.
A matte business card with a lot of texture combined with goldfoil, on the other hand, gives a nice contrast.
Whatever finish you choose, make sure there is an obvious connection with your business and it is in the same style as your brand identity. Don’t choose something just because you happen to fancy it.
Which printing company you engage depends on your personal preferences and also geographic limitations. A small local printing company may have less options but may be easier to communicate with whereas a bigger, better known printing company may be cheaper and offer more options. It is difficult to give advice but a household name for professional business cards is the English online printing company www.moo.com.
Let me finish with one short piece of advice: don’t have zillions printed at the same time only because you saw a special offer, e.g. one thousand business cards for only $ 50. In this case quality is far more important. A business card is a very important part of your company’s representation and ideally will generate more customer loyalty.
Q: Can I leave out the postal address on my business card?
A: Yes, you can choose to omit the postal address and include social media accounts instead, especially if your target audience is mainly young people.
Q: Should I use handwritten fonts on my business card?
A: It's best to avoid handwritten fonts as they may reduce readability. Stick to easy-to-read fonts that match your brand identity.
Q: How can I ensure my business card reflects my brand identity?
A: Use your company logo, font, color scheme, and image/graphic elements consistent with your brand identity to create a recognizable design.
Q: Is it essential to use high contrast in color on my business card?
A: Yes, a high contrast between text and background ensures better readability and enhances recognition.
Q: How important is the choice of paper and finish for business cards?
A: The choice of paper thickness and finish can impact the perception of your business card's quality and luxury feel. Choose options that align with your brand image.
Q: Can I print a small batch of business cards to start with?
A: Yes, it's recommended to start with a smaller quantity, especially if you want to evaluate the design and quality before printing a larger batch.
Q: Can I use my business card to encourage specific actions from customers?
A: Yes, consider adding a "call to action" on your business card, such as encouraging customers to visit your website, follow you on social media, or contact you for a special offer.
Q: Should I print my business cards locally or use an online printing company?
A: The choice depends on your preferences and requirements. Local printing companies may offer personalized service, while online printing companies may provide more options and competitive pricing.
Q: How often should I update my business card design?
A: It's recommended to update your business card design when there are significant changes to your brand identity or contact information.
Q: Can I create a business card design that stands out while still aligning with my brand identity?
A: Yes, you can create a unique and memorable business card design while staying consistent with your brand identity elements.