Wading through the World of Business Card Design
We’ve gone through the trouble of rounding up some of the best tips and tricks behind the most incredible, memorable business cards. Enjoy!
While you’re at it, check out these amazing business card holders for the office!
1. Utilize a die-cut process:
This removes elements from the card stock and enables the cutting of shapes and the creations of grooves in the material. As a result of utilizing a die-cut process, your business card will stand out from the pack of bland, formless designs.
2. Your card doesn’t have to be ‘just a business card’:
The form of your card is essential, but function and form in one? Perfect! If your business card has another purpose, you’ve given people another reason to hold onto your card! Some of the most creative designs we’ve seen include everything from the capability to be used to measure tire treads, grate cheese, and open bottles!
3. Remember, you can print on a material other than cardstock:
Although cardstock is quite cost-effective, it’s only one of several materials that your design can utilize. Wood, metal, plastic (see-thru business cards are very appealing!), cork, chocolate, cotton, and leather are just some of the more out-of-the-box materials that are truly memorable.
4. Your business card doesn’t need to be square, but it helps if it is wallet sized.
(While there are exceptions to the “wallet-size” rule, generally it is prudent to ensure the card can fit in someone’s pocket). If your business card is too big, chances are it will end up in the trash unless it has an outstanding design. In terms of shape, a square is just one of many forms your business card can take. Think outside of the box- what are some defining elements widely known in your industry? A pipe-shaped business card is a perfect, memorable idea for a plumbing company!
5. Literally ‘face’ the facts:
Including a photograph of either yourself or customers you’ve assisted (with permission, of course) is an incredibly unique touch for business cards. Even if it isn’t a ‘face’ or a photograph, it is powerful to have a central design that attracts attention and adds to hierarchy.
6. Emboss like a boss:
LITERALLY, stand out!
This excellent technique helps create a truly memorable design by providing a sensory treat for both the eyes and the fingertips! Placing raised elements on smooth backgrounds gives your card another unique, memorable quality that quite literally can be felt.
7. Say a lot more with less:
Prioritize essential pieces of information for your business card. Other than your name (and, your company’s name), your phone number, and your email, additional information clutters your card. If you have a lot to say, either include a QR code with a link to your website/page or incorporate your message into a picture/design format.. a picture can say more than text!
8. Leave white (blank/lighter-colored) space:
Recipients may need to make notes or jot down information- if your card is nearby and has void space, your card will be much more memorable due to its usefulness.
9. Don’t skimp on quality in favor of saving money (it doesn’t work that way):
You could end up losing money if your card gets trashed. Even if your design is gorgeous, a low-quality or unreliable printing company can give your business card the impression that it is a “knockoff from the real thing.”
10. QR codes are very nifty (and curiosity-invoking):
While not every business nor industry can utilize QR codes, sometimes implementing them onto cards is equivalent to a compelling book synopsis or movie trailer- people will want to learn more! Instead of stuffing as much information as possible onto your card, link your website to your business card with a QR code! (Or, offer a special discount only accessible by scanning the code!)
11. Use different font sizes to build a hierarchy:
While using multiple types of fonts is generally frowned upon, utilizing different sizes is crucial to forming a visually pleasing hierarchy that will attract- and, maintain someone’s attention.
12. Have you the checked spelling/grammar on your card? Great! Recheck it- seriously:
Worst case scenario? Your copy and design are flawless and ready to go. Best case scenario? You stumble upon a small spelling error that may have gone unnoticed. Examining your card at multiple times across different days is ideal, as exhaustion, stress, and life in general cause us to see things differently depending on the day.
13. Remember, “If it doesn’t add value, remove it”:
Words, design elements, varying colors, and other ‘unique features’ are all excellent additions to a business card- implemented correctly. However, if a recipe calls for half a teaspoon of salt, dumping a tablespoon of it into the bowl is probably too much of a good thing. The same principle stands for business card design.
14. The best business cards are instant conversation starters:
The conversation doesn’t need to end once you hand your business card to someone. This is a perfect opportunity to engage the recipient on another level.
15. Remember, your business card is often the first impression of your brand people have (make it a good one!):
Make sure there is uniformity between the rest of your branding/marketing materials- if there isn’t, there are some potentially significant problems. For customers seeking out businesses, consistency is a highly sought after quality. A company that can’t keep their message/voice in sync amongst their marketing materials likely won’t be able to keep their promises or responses in sync, either.
16. Ask yourself:
“If I were a customer, how would I feel and what would I think upon receiving this card for the first time?” Step outside yourself and imagine you’re a customer receiving your business card for the first time. Can the card stand alone, or does it need to be explained? Is it clear what type of business is represented on your card? What features catch your attention? What elements of the design don’t “do anything” except take up space?
Fusion Group USA
With so many factors to determine when it comes to business card design, it’s easy to miss small details that could make the difference of your card being on someone’s desk.. or in someone’s trash.
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