How to Design a Business Card Your Clients Will Love
In today’s digital age, it’s easy to think business cards are a thing of the past. Yet in reality, print marketing isn’t dead—far from it. Distributing 2,000 business cards can increase a company’s sales by up to 3%. That’s a pretty high return for one marketing tactic.
So if the web hasn’t overshadowed them, why do so many business cards end up in the garbage? Simply put, bad design. People don’t want to keep ugly or generic cards, so they toss them the first chance they get.
To create a business card that your clients will truly love, you’ll need a design that’s clever, creative, and one-hundred percent unique to you. Learn the ins and outs of making the perfect business card with this step-by-step guide from the folks at Company Folders.
Step 1: Choose contact info
One of the most common business card mistakes is to include too much contact info. This wastes precious space and overwhelms your target audience. You’ll have a much more successful card if you choose the 1-3 types of contact info your clients are most likely to use. (If you’re in a web career, it’s safe to say a website will be more effective than a street address.)
Step 2: Include supporting images
People’s minds process images faster than words, so adding a photo or illustrated graphic is a great way to make your card memorable. Just be sure you choose clear, professional images—no pixelated selfies allowed. Your image should show off your creativity in the workplace.
Step 3: Select materials
You can definitely go the route of a traditional paper business card (as long as it’s nice and sturdy). Or, you may want to try something new—like a metal, wood, or leather card. You can even print your contact info on a candy wrapper or other tasty treat. These unique materials make your card worth remembering, especially when the material is relevant to your brand.
Step 4: Shape your card
A standard business card is a 2 ½” x 3″ rectangle. But why stick with the standard when you could choose something extraordinary? Consider shaping your business card to resemble an item related to your work, such as a laptop or a computer mouse. You can even look into 3D options if you want to really make your card stand out.
Step 5: Select an imprint method
Different imprint methods can help you create an amazing design. PMS or CMYK ink colors tend to be the norm, but you can dare to be different with textured imprints like foil stamping, embossing, or debossing. You may even want to ask your printer about combining imprint methods to make your design totally unique. (Just a note: an unusual material could limit your selection of imprint methods.)
Step 6: Choose color & typography
Color and typography set the tone for a business card and provide clues about your brand’s personality. If you already have color branding or a trademark typeface, your business card is a great place to reinforce that. Otherwise, you may need to experiment to find the colors and typefaces that best represent your brand.
Step 7: Lay out your design
You wouldn’t think organizing a business card is difficult since it’s so small—but that’s actually why it’s a challenge. Each design element needs plenty of space to keep the card from looking crowded, but that cuts into the available design area. You can tackle this problem by placing some info on the back of the card or removing unnecessary components.
Step 8: Finalize your format
Although printers may differ a little on their formatting regulations, you can apply several standards to make formatting easier. Adding 3mm bleed and 5mm safe zones ensures nothing gets cropped when the card is cut into shape. Setting the resolution to 300ppi or greater keeps images crisp and clear. And for Pete’s sake, proofread—there’s nothing more embarrassing than misspelling your own job title.
Business cards have huge potential to help your brand—and good design goes a long way toward maximizing a card’s potential. Thanks to these eight steps, you now know how to create a business card that clients will love for years to come.