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What Does Your Business Card Say About You?

businessmen shaking handsThis past week a young entrepreneur handed me a flimsy piece of paper printed in black and white and cut (obviously by hand) to the size of business card. I’m sure you can imagine the first impression he left with me. To make things worse his target market is in a high end community.

Your business card is a powerful tool and can be used to project a lot of information about you and your business. In the example above the fact that it was printed in black and white isn’t a problem in itself. Black and white can be used very effectively to make a strong statement. Business cards are the most important and most affordable piece of your print marketing—this is not the place to cut corners.

How to Create a Great Business Card

Hopefully you’ve already thought about your brand identity. If not, be sure to see the Branding and Logo Design page. First, think about the impression you want to make. Secondly think about the messages or concepts that can be conveyed without words or images on the card itself. Things that can be used that can convey a feeling include:

  • Background Color (see choosing colors)
  • Texture
  • Finish (Glossy, Semi-Gloss, Matte)
  • Type of paper (or other material)*
  • Weight / thickness of paper
  • Font
  • Spot UV (a specific glossy area on a business card that is not glossy)
  • Special corners or shapes*
  • Raised lettering*
  • Embossed logo*
  • Metallic Foil*

*Note: these items can dramatically increase the cost of your business cards.

Secondly think about what you want to say in print. Try to minimize what is on the card so that what is on there has more impact. Decide how you want to present your logo. A nice strategy is to put minimal information on the front (like your logo and tagline) and contact information on the back. Some people like to have everything on the front and a place to write notes or appointment information on the back.

Minimum Information to Put on Your Business Card

  • Logo
  • Tagline
  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Website
  • Email (importance of email depends on many factors, use your judgement)

Things to Avoid When Designing a Business Card

  • Sizes that don’t fit in standard business card holder, wallet or business card file
    Oversized business cards are more likely to be thrown away sooner
  • Microscopic text—Generally 8pt text or larger is recommended
  • Too many fonts
  • Too many font sizes
  • Hard to read fonts
  • Too much information

Finally, you should consider hiring a graphic designer to help you. Business cards can be designed very inexpensively because they are small and have limited information on them. You can save time and money by thinking about the message(s) you want to convey ahead of time. See some business card designs.

Frank Gomez

Frank Gomez is the owner of Empowered Marketing, LLC: Providing Website Development, Web Design and Graphic Design since 1997. Originally named Frank's Designs in Seattle, the descriptor Empowered Marketing was added in 2008 when he moved to Sarasota. In Sarasota, Frank developed his skills in InDesign, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop as well as incorporating WordPress to build compelling, fast loading websites.

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