When creating a business card, it’s important to ensure that it contains all the essential information. Handing someone a business card is an opportunity to make not just a professional connection, but a personal one. As such, it’s crucial that your business cards convey the message of your company or brand in a way that is still personable. Business cards are tools not just for getting business leads, but for connecting to business prospects on a more personal level. Your business card is yours and you are free to design it as you wish. With that however, there are certain things you should always include when creating an effective business card design.
Name and logo
Before you begin thinking about how to utilize your negatives space or which social media handles to include, make sure that your name and company logo are on the card. Aside from just relaying who you are, your business card must also convey the message and identity of your business. Another tip when making your business card is to list the name that you prefer to go by. Your business card isn’t the DMV so if your name is William and you go by ‘Will,’ then that down.
Not only are you looking to create a personal connection, you’re also trying to create new prospects. Cards should nicely and succinctly sum up your brand and convey to the recipient who your company is and what your company does. Including your logo is vital to your branding as prospects can then recognize it in the future. The effective business card not only reminds people of who you are but also gives those who are introduced in your products and services a way to reconnect with you. Some people also like to include a picture that serves as a visual representation of your company.
A clearly defined title
It seems like common sense to put your title on your cards, but as the saying goes, common sense isn’t always common. Often people provide lofty sounding titles such as “founder” or “executive,” but it doesn’t truly convey what exactly you do. The function of a business card is to offer your business services. As such, you should make sure that your card clearly defines what those services are. If you have multiples roles and duties that you perform within your company, pick what the primary function of your job is.
For example, if you oversee web design projects, then putting something along the lines of “lead web designer” may be more suitable than something like “project manager” which is broad and could describe a range of different things and leads to the question of what kind of projects you are managing.
Website URL and Contact Information
Remember, one of the core functions of handing out your business card is to help generate business inquiries. If someone is interested, they’ll want to be able to know where to go to get more information on your company and its services. For that reason it’s vital to include a URL so they can go and check out your business.
Business cards are more personal than a flyer. While a flyer is a generic advertisement put out for mass consumption, a business card is presented after a connection has been made. When you give someone your business card you are reaching out to someone personally to offer your professional services, not just your company’s but yours specifically. Be sure that you include your personal work email (firstname.lastname@example.org ) and your personal phone extension if you have one.
Social media profiles
Nowadays much of branding is done through social media. Whether that is promotional videos for Instagram or Facebook posts promoting deals and sharing content. For those who are interested in reaching out to inquire about your company’s services, make sure you include the company’s social media profiles such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. This gives new prospects an immediate way to see and learn more about your business and get real examples of what your company does. This is another reason why including a picture of some sort on your cards may be a good idea.
Other things to consider
When creating your business card, beyond just what goes on it textually, you want to make sure it sticks out so that people remember you. Ideally, when someone looks at your business card it conjures up the memory of the first time they met you. Then, as they look it over they immediately see who you are and what you do and have a way to see examples of your work and a contact line to reach out. What makes some business better than others has to do with the physical itself.
Stock and Finish
The design on the card is important but so is the actual card. Business cards are printed on a variety of different stocks. The standard stock for business cards is 14 pt, 16 pt, and 17 pt. Additionally, there are different coatings you can choose from such as matte, gloss, or uncoated. Other decisions to make when designing your business card is whether to print it double sided or not. In some cases, it may be a good idea to print the company logo on the back side to reinforce your company’s branding.
A more high quality type of business card is the 32 pt stock with painted edge. These cards are thicker and more firm than the basic standard 16 pt stock card.
Choosing a Texture
A business card is a physical item that one holds on to. For that reason it can be effective to play with different textures when creating your custom design for your card. If you had someone a standard coated card, it may feel like just another piece of paper that they’ll never use. However, if you use a thicker card that stands out and add a cool texture to it, you can immediately stand out and grab people’s attention. Other textural effects include foil printing and letter text to give your card a more unique feel to it.
As with most things, typography is important. The most common complaint for most business cards is that they are too small. Aim to make your typography catchy and engaging but not too distracting.
It goes without saying that when designing your own business cards there is a lot to take into consideration. From what to include, how to include, what kind of layout you want, what color scheme you want, to the texture and all the way down the stock that you want your cards printed on. Just remember that your business card is meant for personal business connections and providing prospects with information regarding you and your company’s services. Make sure that you include the company name, the logo, your preferred name and a clearly defined title to let them know exactly what you do.