It’s a fast-paced world we live in and attention spans are shorter than ever.
This means if you want to make your mark you’ve only got a few seconds to do it.
One powerful tool that has been in use for centuries is the business card. We’re guessing you’ve heard of them and the reason they’ve been in use for so long is because … well, they just work.
If you took away anything after watching the feel-good workplace comedy, American Psycho, then you know a good business card is worth its weight in gold. (It was a comedy, right? I had my eyes closed.)
Patrick Bateman will be the first to tell you that a well-designed business card can help you stand out in a crowded marketplace, pique a potential customer’s interest, and showcase your products or services in a creative and impactful way.
That is if it’s designed correctly.
So, if you’re in the market for a new business card template, then today’s blog is just what you’re looking for. We’re diving into the world of business card design and giving you the graphic design secrets to crafting a business card that effectively showcases your value and makes a lasting impression on everyone you meet!
A Few Questions Before You Get Started
Before you get started with selecting the design elements of your business card, you should stop and ask yourself a few questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are their pain points and what are they looking for in the services that will resolve those pain points?
- Who are you? And why is your company the solution to your audience’s needs?
Remember, your business card is more than just your information wrapped up in a pretty package, it’s a handheld representation of your business.
Your customers need to be able to see what your brand and the products and services you offer are all about in one quick glance. You want your card to effectively showcase your brand and do so in a way that prevents it from being tossed in the trash or forgotten at the bottom of someone’s purse.
Once more thing … you’ll need to have at least a logo design and brand colors before you can design a business card.
If you’re a startup and you need some help ironing out your brand identity before you can get to the card, then hit us up, because we’d love to help.
Going Digital or Staying Traditional?
Now that you know who you are and who your target audience is, how do you want to communicate with them?
Are traditional business cards the right choice for you?
Think about your business. Do you have a front desk where clients meet you or your receptionist? A traveling sales team that’s constantly meeting new people? Do you frequently showcase your services or products at trade shows or other events?
If so, then you’ll definitely want physical business cards. They’ve been a powerful marketing tool for many years and, even with all the power of the internet and social media, that hasn’t changed.
However, if you don’t have a traditional business, then maybe going digital is the better choice for you.
If it would work better for you and your target audience, then instead of a traditional business card, you can instead create a landing page with all of the information that would usually go on a traditional business card and have a QR code to it on your phone. Everyone has a smartphone these days, so you can easily give it out to whoever you need to.
Or if you’d like to do both, you can! It’s not illegal and no one can stop you!
Go ahead and slap that QR code on your physical business card and have the best of both worlds!
Phase 1: Lo-fi Design
Whether you decided on traditional business cards or a digital version, here is where it really starts.
You’ve got your audience, your brand, and your medium, and now the designing can begin.
To keep things simple and organized, we’ll start with the first choices you need to make in order to create a lo-fi wireframe version of your future business card.
If your goal is to stand out in a crowd, maybe you could go with a business card that strays from the traditional rectangle?
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the classic rectangle shape, but if you feel like something original will better match your brand and your personality, then you can consider half-circle cards, oval, folded, or maybe a card with rounded corners.
Here in the US of A, the standard business card size is 3.5” x 2” but as long as you’re trying to stand out, you can always change that.
Whatever you go with, though, be sure to keep it practical in terms of people and printing.
You want something that someone can easily stick in their wallet, pocket, purse, or fanny pack and something that won’t cost you an arm or leg to print.
Be sure to account for all of the visual elements that you plan to have on your card too. Take into account bleed area, trim, and safety line to avoid losing any crucial info or cutting off any visuals.
Now for the layout.
How do you want your card to be arranged? What information do you need it to have and how can you lay it out in the most appealing way?
Remember, we’re still in black and white, Times New Roman mode phase here, so don’t worry about typography or color just yet.
Just decide what the most crucial information is and arrange it in a way that makes the most sense to you and to your target audience.
If you have a good graphic designer on hand, they can be an extraordinary help in guiding you toward creating visual choices that make sense and appeal to your target audience.
Phase 2: Hi-fi Design
The foundation of your business card template has been set! Now it’s time for some hi-fi choices that will allow you to inject some of your brand personality into your card.
At this phase, you’ll choose:
This is why you need a brand identity before you can choose hi-fi designs like colors.
Your business card is a reflection of your brand so choose colors that reflect that and go well with whatever background color you choose for your card.
Experiment with secondary and tertiary colors if you’d like and test out different combinations until you’ve found one that offers the best contrast and readability.
If your brand has a certain typeface already, this would be a good idea to use it here.
Just make sure that it is legible if used for more text than just your company name. If it’s a bit busy for more than that, then stick to a simple sans-serif text for convenience and readability.
Keep in mind that business cards aren’t very big, so be sure you pick a font size that allows all of your information to fit without you having to squish it together. You’re going for legibility here.
If someone has to squint to read your card, then that’s not the answer.
Two-sided or Not?
Two-sided business cards have been pretty common lately.
There are some perks to this option. You’ll have twice the space for any additional information you’d like to add to your card, like social handles, a list of services, or some additional graphics.
On the flip side, having a card with two sides is more expensive to print.
It’s up to you and your brand what option works best.
The Final Touches
This is it.
The finishing touches.
Before you send your masterpiece off to the printer, think about a few more details that could give your card that extra “something” that makes all the difference to the person you hand it to.
Think about your card’s finish. Do you want it to be matte? Glossy?
You could also have your company name (or yours) embossed or letter pressed for extra emphasis. Just like that American Psycho scene, it really does make a difference and grab attention.
There are other touches you can add as well, like foil stamping, spot UV coating, or edge painting that can give your card that special touch.
And if you really want to stand out, you can have your card printed in a material other than paper, like metal or plastic.
It might cost a little more upfront, but special touches like that definitely make your card more memorable. Just think about what would best fit you, your brand personality, and your target audience the best.
Your Vision Becomes Reality
All that’s left now is to get your business card printed and bring your vision to life!
Be sure that you or your designers spend some time optimizing all your elements and proofreading everything during the pre-press stage. This is it, so be thorough!
Once your card is ready to go, then choose your printer, get a hard proof, and sit back and wait until your order comes in!
If you opted for the digital version, then, of course, you won’t have anything to print. So, for you, the equivalent to this step is to pass off your hi-fi design to your web designer and let them create your website.
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Do it Yourself, or Do it Right?
If you choose to do the designing and printing yourself, there are many graphic design printing sites online with plenty of business card templates for you to choose from.
All you have to do is pick your colors, fill in your information, and you can have a bundle of brand-new business cards on your doorstep in a month or so.
But for something as important to your brand as your business card, we recommend that you go with an expert. Why not ensure a beautiful and unique card by entrusting a professional graphic designer to the task?
A professionally designed card can make all the difference in your final result and speak to your audience in ways that a premade template just can’t.
So, if it’s graphic design services or web designers you need, then Designity is here to take your business card or any other marketing material you need from dream to reality.
Our Creative Directors are ready to take your graphic design/ business card project off of your shoulders and, with a team from a pool of the top 3% of US-based Creatives behind them, design a card that’s as special and unique as your brand.
What makes a business card stand out to you?