When you hand out your business card, you want to make sure its design inspires confidence in your company. Sadly, most business cards go straight to the bin, but this doesn't mean they can't still be an effective marketing strategy.
A few fundamental design principles are all you need to create a business card design with a convincing message. Here are eight tips for ensuring your business cards stand out from the rest.
1. Find Inspiration
One of the best ways to fuel your inspiration is to create a collection of business cards that have caught your eye. Lay them all out and take notes on features you like and those which you think don't work.
Pay careful attention to cards from your close competitors. What design principles are they using to make the card stand out?
Your goal is not to copy a design but to emulate the elements which make the card memorable.
2. Only Include the Most Important Information
Most often, you will be handing out your business card to already interested prospects. This means they have previously encountered your company and already know something about your organization.
Don't clutter your business card with unnecessary details. If the information doesn't add to the card's value, take it out of the design.
3. Professional Printing
In the days of cheap printers and card stock, it's tempting to print off your own business cards. It's easy to spot a DIY business card, and you risk coming across as cheap. Use a professional service to print your cards, and you will always make a great first impression.
4. Use an Appropriate Material and Finish
It can be tempting to use a flashy finish that looks more like a party invitation and not at all suitable for the image you are trying to convey.
However, if your industry warrants a more creative approach, there are tons of design options you can consider, such as rounded corners, foil accents, embossing, and alternative sizes. Most importantly, always have a reason to include a design feature.
Make sure your business card sets the right tone for your business. Modern printing methods allow you to use just about any material for printing. If you are going for a unique look to appeal to a more modern audience, then consider using wood, transparent plastic, and even metal in your design.
5. Choose the Best Shape and Business Card Size
If you want your business card to fit inside a wallet, then it will need to be a standard size. If you need your design to stand apart from the competition and find a prominent place on the refrigerator, then feel free to play with the business card size by using crazy shapes and dimensions.
6. Maintain Brand Identity
A business card is one element of a much bigger marketing effort, so the design should follow the organization's style guide to maintain consistency. Keeping your branding on point is incredibly important as it helps differentiate your business in the marketplace.
7. Include a Tagline
The goal of a tagline is to establish your brand's value in the marketplace and further differentiate you from your competitors. For example, Coca-Cola has had many tag lines over the years, such as "Life Tastes Good," and "Open Happiness," while Nike will always be remembered for "Just Do It."
8. Proofread and Proofread Again
There's nothing much more disheartening than finding a spelling mistake or grammatical error on your design after you have taken delivery of a batch of 5,000 business cards. Once you have checked your card numerous times for any mistakes, get two or three others to double or even triple check the content.