If you’re thinking about using graphic design for your business cards, it should represent you and whatever your business stands for. Your design should depict your values, distinguish you from the competition and encourage people to get in touch with you. Here are a few key concepts to consider when designing a business card.
You only have a tiny canvas to work with, so get creative with the space! If your business style is formal, your business card should reflect that. If your products or services are playful and creative, try to capture that spirit by using bold colours, a quirky tagline or unusual printing techniques. This way, it will be easier for your customers to remember and recognise you.
Choose colours and design elements that make your card easy to recognise and representative of whatever it is you’re offering. If you sell luxury products like jewellery or evening wear, you might represent this with a foil detail, spot UV or raised print. Your choice of finish and paper stock will let your audience know whether you’re the most affordable solution around or the one offering high quality services. It can also suggest whether you’re a fresh and fun new venture or a well-established business that’s been around for decades.
You only have a tiny canvas to work with, so get creative with the space!
If you have a website, marketing collateral and other materials, an established logo or even a memorable staff uniform, try to integrate that into your business card design.
Shape. Size. Specs.
What size and orientation your card will be? This not only influences the text size and amount of information you can include but also communicates things like whether you’re conventional or a bold business rebel! Horizontal rectangular cards are the format most people are familiar with. Vertical cards are less common and can be used to differentiate you. If standing out is your goal, then you might also want to consider a specialty plastic or metallic card, opaque card, triple layer extra thick card or a card that’s been cut into a shape that represents your product or service.
Obviously, a business card is a piece of printed material like any other. Because of this, the basic principles of paper-based design apply:
- Keep all your key copy at least 5mm from the trim edge
- Work at 300dpi for best image reproduction
- Ensure you maintain a minimum size for your typography to maintain legibility
- Design in CMYK unless you’re working exclusively with spot colours
- Give your card at least 3mm bleed outside of the trim edge
This not only influences the text size and amount of information you can include but also communicates things like whether you’re conventional or a bold business rebel!
Clear and correct contact details
Check twice, print once! There’s nothing sadder than getting your business cards back from the printer and discovering a typo in the email address. When sending your artwork off to the print shop, make sure you’ve double-checked every single detail. The way your information is laid out is an important consideration. If in doubt about how to organise your contact details, the classic arrangement of text fields follows this order:
- Company name
- First name and surname
- Job title
- Contact info (email, phone number, social media etc.)
Clear contact details, correct spelling and choosing a legible font in a readable size are all things that need to be triple checked. Make it easy for your customers to contact you.
Give your business card additional uses
Some of the most memorable business card designs infuse function as well as form, ensuring they survive longer than most business cards. Examples include business cards that act as a holder for hair clips or turn into a miniature armchair for your phone. The reverse side of your card could be used for appointment reminders, loyalty stamps or even a calendar. If you run a food-related business, write short recipes on the back of your card; or use your card as a tag if you sell art or handmade gifts like jewellery.
Old business cards, postcards or packaging can be repurposed and given a new life as your business card. Recycling is both environmentally sound and can allow you to express your creativity in new and exciting ways.
Quick, call a designer!
As simple a task as it may seem, there’s a healthy dose of strategy and technical skill that goes into designing and printing a business card that truly represents who you are in an overly crowded marketplace.
For professional advice, a business card evolution or a total graphic design business cards redesign, pepper’s design experts are just a phone call away. Get in touch today.