While it is tempting to think any old business card will do so long as it contains all your essential information, this is definitely not the case. People are visual creatures and make very quick judgments when something flashes before their eyes, and a well-designed business card can go a long way in keeping your services and goods top of mind when a need comes along, or make a person more likely to choose you over a competitor. Here are just a few helpful tips to design your business cards for optimal effectiveness:
What is the Purpose?
This may sound like a strange question, but it is one to which you want to give serious thought. Business cards can serve multiple purposes, and you need to consider what is driving your desire to create one? Are you just looking for a quick way to give out your contact info, a marketing tool or a means to stand out from your competition. Before you start plotting out the design of your card, consider what your main objectives are in making a business card.
Make Sure the Card Defines Your Business
When considering your card design, it is important to remember the importance of the card in not only getting your contact information in front of people, but clearly defining what sort of business you are in. When someone looks at your card, they should be able to tell right away what sort of business you own, whether it is through a phrase, logo or any other means. You don’t want any ambiguity.
Get Creative but Also Keep It Simple
Being creative with your card is important to make your business stand out, and pique the interest of the recipient, but in the effort to accomplish this goal, it is easy to go overboard with information, graphics and what have you. So, you want to strike some sort of balance.
Don’t clutter up the card with excessive images or too many fonts. If you feel you may have put too much on the card, don’t forget that you can use the back as well. This is a very under-utilized tactic in business card design.
As for the creativity, think what you could do to make the card memorable—perhaps you can add an interesting design, bold colors or a catchy phrase. You can also consider making the card vertical rather than horizontal. If you plan on using online printing services to print up your card, many of them have a variety of templates from which to choose, so check them out to get some ideas. A quick note here while on the subject of creativity—resist the urge to deviate from the standard business card shape and size. You want something that can easily fit into people’s wallets or any sort of card storage device they may use for business cards.
Include a Photo
A photo on your card can be a good idea, particularly if you will be predominantly handing out the cards at large networking events where you are often exchanging contacts with large numbers of people. In the ‘aftermath’ it is very easy to start confusing names and faces, and forget which situation a particular person gave the card. And, if people can’t quite remember who you are, there is a good chance they won’t be contacting you for business anytime soon.
A well-designed business card is a valuable asset for your business, and you want to give some careful thought to its design. Don’t rush it. If you feel you aren’t making much progress, it might be a good idea to seek the services of a design company.