How to Create Business Cards – In this ever-growing digital era, the business card might seem like a thing of the past. But you’ll be surprised to know that these humble little pieces of stationery are still a mainstay in the business world. So if you haven’t got one to hand out to prospective clients or collaborators, you could be missing out.
Not all business cards are created equal, however. We live in a world where the average small business can design their own cards and order them from well-known online printers for the price of a dinner. But these cards tend to be of an inferior weight, and typically use twee clip art to relate themselves to the business being advertised.
What this means is that there are a lot of poorly designed business cards out there. This is both a challenge and an opportunity: to stand out you need to create a design that looks fantastic, and helps you differentiate yourself.
Method 1 Creating a Traditional Card Download Article
- Keep it simple. Traditional business cards should not be cluttered or difficult to understand. Most professional business cards use a traditional design for a reason: because it conveys the important information directly.
- Avoid using elaborate or overly decorative designs that may make it difficult to understand the information on the card.
- Provide your name, your title, the company name, and contact information. You may also want to include something specific to your industry if it is obscure or if you have a specialization.
- An example of how to list your information could be:
Vice President of Marketing
123 Electric Avenue
Boston, MA 02108
- Only use permanent messages. Avoid using gimmicks or slogans that may change often on your business cards so you can use them for a long period of time. Short term promotions or gimmicks can make it so you can no longer use a business card after the promotion is over or your sales gimmick changes.
- Only include information that is pertinent to helping people get in touch with you.
- Rely on yourself to sell people on contacting you instead of novelties in your business card.
- Use appropriate design principles. There are common principles of design utilized in most traditional business cards that your card should adhere to in order to be pleasing to the eye as well as informative. Borders, color usage and text size can make a business card design successful or illegible based on your use of the principles of design.
- Maintain at least a five millimeter border around the outer perimeter of the business card.
- Stick to a two color design such as egg white card stock and black ink.
- Ensure your text is large enough to be easily readable.
- Avoid clipart. Instead of clipart, consider simply including the business’s logo if you want to add images. Avoid the use of clipart as it may make your card look unprofessional or poorly designed. Clip art often looks cheap and can diminish the credibility your business card conveys.
- Only use imagery on your business card if it will help reinforce your business’s brand.
- Enlist help to create an effective design. If aesthetic design isn’t one of your strong suits, there are a number of options available that can help you create a business card that is both effective and pleasing to the eye.
- If you have the budget, enlisting the services of a professional designer can help you ensure your business cards adhere to all of the appropriate principles of design.
- Ask your printer if they can recommend a designer, or look for one with good reviews on websites like Yelp.com or AngiesList.com.
- Many printing companies offer a variety of templates that you can use with effective designs. Templates offer tried and tested designs that are common in traditional business cards.
- Use the right kind of paper, color and ink. Once you design your business card you will need to address the materials you want it made out of with the printer. Make sure you support a strong design with good choices on the finish of your card.
- Most business cards should be printed on 80-pound cover stock paper.
- Choose between smooth, linen and laid finishes for your card. Smooth is the most common choice but linen or laid can both give your card a textile feel that may be appropriate for your design. Make sure your printer chooses ink that does not bleed on the finish of your choosing.
- There are many shades of white and off-white for card stock, as well as many colors of ink to choose from. Black or grey inks are the most common and appropriate but selective use of colors can draw attention to specific areas of your business card if that compliments your design.
Method 2 Making a Non-Traditional Business Card
- Utilize the back of your business card. Most traditional business cards are printed on one side with the back side left completely blank. One creative way to make your business card stand out is to use the back of the card as well as the front.
- You may want to include a picture, image or photograph that is related to your business or position on the back of the card.
- The back of your card could serve as a place to list services or products that your business offers.
- Printing on two sides costs more than one, so take that into account when budgeting.
- Put holes in your cards. Many printers can use the die-cut process to cut holes in your cards in order to make your business card functional or unique. You can die cut a business card to give it a different shape, or to make the interior of the card stand out.
- You can cut holes that fit the size of a typical rolodex to make your cards more practical for some people. However, most people use an electronic version of a rolodex instead.
- Cutting holes through the middle of the card may be a good novelty for certain products and services. A company that specializes in replacing windows may want to have a hole cut through it with a design that makes it seem like a broken window.
- Dies are expensive to create but become more economical based on the number of business cards you order.
- Use unusual materials. Another way to make your business card stand out is to have your card’s information printed on unusual materials. There are many different kinds of materials you may want to have business cards printed on, but be aware of the cost associated with each.
- You may want to print your card on thin wood or metal. These would be the most expensive options but offer a significant “wow” factor.
- Tech companies may want to use plastic that resembles a computer chip for their business cards,
- Different materials can make your card stand out visually but also by touch when someone is looking for your card among other business cards they have collected.
- Make a business card with alternate uses. Using different materials or the die-cut method can allow you to create business cards that serve a number of purposes. You may want to die cut slits that permit your card to be folded into something or have your information printed on materials that serve other purposes.
- You could cut your card to be foldable into something that holds smart phones or office supplies like a pen or pencil.
- You may want to have the information printed directly onto things like keychains or even pet treats a person could give their animal. The business card will go away when it’s fed to a pet, but the card would certainly leave an impression.
- Use a QR code. QR codes are comprised of black and white squares and can be read by various devices such as smart phones. QR codes often contain website addresses, so when a person scans the QR code on your business card it takes them to a specific website.
- You may want to include a QR code on the back of your business card that takes people to your company’s website.
- If you work by commission or need to maintain personal relationships with customers or clients you may want to use a QR code that takes people to a form they can use to contact you.
- Include the necessary information. Even non-traditional business cards must contain all the necessary information to help someone reach you. Make sure your name, title, and contact information is easily read and understood regardless of design and materials used in printing your business cards.
- Different inks may be necessary to keep your information clearly visible on different materials.
- Make sure the design elements don’t clutter the card so much that it’s hard to find the information someone needs to contact you.
- Keep your budget in mind. Make sure that the card you design is something you can order in quantity and re-order when you need to. Non-traditional cards can be extremely costly to design and produce so you should make sure you can afford to have as many of the cards made as you need.
- The more complex the design of your business card, the higher the cost to produce them will likely be.
- Ask your printer to keep any dies or special materials they create to produce your cards to reduce the cost of having new ones printed in the future.
- There is no need to spend a ton on business cards, especially since the information on most business cards is transferred to an electronic version.
Publisher makes it easy to produce effective business cards, whether you create your own design or use one of the Publisher designs. You can use color schemes and font schemes to select the colors and fonts that reflect your company’s image. You can further customize your business cards for specific market segments or locales, and you can add names and job titles for new employees as your business grows.