Your business card acts a lot like a first impression. And, we all know how important first impressions are.
Whether or not you’ve had any graphic design training, you can take the reigns and design your own business card,
say via a multitude of simple, practically mistake-free online templates. But, how do you know which designs are best to choose for your business?
A rule of thumb in graphic design is to use three or less different fonts per piece. You don’t need to confuse or frustrate potential clients as they try to decipher your phone number or business name.
Italicizing and bolding words too often can drive a reader crazy; So can using all caps too much. If each word is given such dramatic effect, each one will ultimately lose its importance. Use these methods sparingly.
Your business card will probably not be a stand-alone piece. Think in terms of your brand.
- Will you have a retail sign?
- Will you have a motto?
- Will your employees have uniforms with logos?
- Will you use a logo?
In essence, envision what the colors, fonts, and images you’ll most often use to help identify your company to the public will be. (i.e. Are you a water testing company that wants most of your publications to use a dark blue font on a light blue background?)
Incorporate that theme into each piece you’ll create. That way, if you end up with brochures, television commercials, and vehicle signage in the future, the viewer will automatically feel familiar with your ‘look’. (McDonalds, Coca-Cola, and Campbells and are all poster children for successful company branding.)
Browse and Ask for Help
When in doubt, browse. Be on the lookout for examples of successful cards. Make a list of what you like (or don’t like) about an example, then discuss your project with a graphic designer. After all, they’re experts on this type of project. Sometimes, you need guidance.
Even if you’re a start-up company with no capital, pick trusted friends that will tell you the honest truth about your proposed design. There’s no shame in asking for help if you’re struggling with the ‘perfect’ business card design. Ironically, t’s just as easy to get stuck with a poor card design because you did little prep work than it is if you over-think the task.
Take a long look at your card during the design process and especially before sending to print. Ask yourself:
- Are the fonts in my design easy to read?
- Is any pertinent contact information misspelled or missing?
- Are visual elements like the logo, photos, or other clip-art too distracting?
How will you represent your business through a new business card design?