Last Updated on August 28, 2020
Although a lot of marketing exists solely in digital form, print media still exists for good reason — it works. And, any time you talk about your business or the work you do, following it up with a crisp, clean, and professional business card is a great way to make a lasting impression.
Furthermore, it encourages word-of-mouth marketing, and it’s something a lot of people will hold onto for the foreseeable future. So, your business and brand are always accessible regardless of when they need you.
If you’ve been avoiding designing your business cards or you’re wanting a card design for a brand new business, but not ready to hire a professional designer, you’re in the right place. In this article, I cover 8 of the best ways to ensure your business cards do their job.
So, let’s dive in!
1. Understand the Purpose of Your Business Cards
Before you get started designing your business cards, it’s important to understand what you’re using them for. Aside from a form of print marketing, you can also include a call-to-action to encourage potential customers or clients to do something.
You could use your business cards to:
- Send people to your website
- Encourage them to get in touch with you
- Ask them to follow you on social media
- Simply promote your business
It’s also important to consider how you’re going to distribute your business cards. If you hand them out, you have a chance to talk about your business, so you may not need to include as much information about what you do.
But if you plan to leave them somewhere, you won’t have that opportunity, so you may want to consider including a bit more about what you do and why someone should do the specific action you want them to take.
2. Adhere to these Print Design Best Practices
Print design is similar to digital design, and they share similar design principles. But, there are a few things unique to print media specifically. So, when you’re designing your new business cards, make sure to:
- Keep things simple and uncluttered
- Use text that’s large and easy to read
- Avoid small elements that won’t be legible
- Use white (or negative) space effectively
- Represent the tone of your brand
- Encourage readers to take action
Don’t forget to include a call-to-action that encourages anyone who picked it up to do something. It’s not as easy as asking someone to click a button, but it’s still an important consideration.
3. Ensure Your Contact Details Are Included (And Correct)
There’s nothing worse than printing 500 business cards only to realize you misspelled your email address or worse… forgot to include it entirely. So, before finalizing your design, make sure your business card includes:
- The company name
- Your first and last name
- Job title (if applicable)
- Email address
- Phone number
- Business website
- Social media profiles
Then, go back and make sure everything is spelled correctly. It may help to walk away from your design for a few hours or overnight so you can look at it with fresh eyes. Or consider asking a friend to look it over to make sure there aren’t any typos.
Bonus points for doing both!
4. Include Your Business Logo
Your logo is frequently the most significant brand identifier for your business, especially when you’re starting. So, it’s important to include it on your business cards to strengthen that business-to-consumer connection with your target audience.
Make sure it’s legible when printed on a small scale and use it wisely.
If you don’t have a logo, check out our logo-creation guide for business owners. By the end, you’ll have a professional and well-designed logo ready for your new business cards.
5. Brand Consistency Is Key
Creating a consistent brand experience for potential customers and clients across all platforms can increase your revenue by as much as 23%. So, it’s essential to use your brand style guide when designing your business cards.
Stick to the same tone, color scheme, and font style you use on your website and social media channels to help create a consistent brand image regardless of where they’re interacting with you and your business.
Lastly, always consider your target audience when making graphic design decisions.
6. Stick with a Standard Size
Business cards come in all shapes, sizes, and materials, so it can be overwhelming when trying to decide what to choose. While quirky shapes and unique sizes can be interesting, they’re hard to pull off well.
So, I recommend sticking to a standard business card size. That way, it’s immediately clear it is, in fact, a business card. Furthermore, these sizes also portray a sense of professionalism since they’re the size and shape most people are used to seeing.
7. Triple (and Quadruple) Check Everything
When you’re done and ready to order, it’s important to walk away or sleep on it before sending them through for printing. This gives you a chance to see it with fresh eyes and make sure you’re satisfied with everything.
Furthermore, this is your last chance to make sure everything is included and spelled correctly. Getting a fresh set of eyes gives a second (and perhaps a third, fourth, fifth, etc.) set of eyes on it before placing your order.
After three or four design, grammar, and spelling reviews, you’re ready to start printing.
8. Use a Professional Printing Service
While you can print your business cards at home, you shouldn’t. Your printer is probably not as good as professional printing services, and printing on high-quality paper makes a better impression and more professional image. Remember you only get one first impression and having a business card printed from your home printer isn’t professional.
Plus, it may end up being cheaper to use a professional printing service vs. printing them at home and using up your own printer’s ink. Professional services are very affordable, you can order your cards in a special finish (both card material, foil stamping, and more) and you can get deep discounts when you buy in bulk. Business card printing companies provide cards that are already designed. All you have to do is enter your business name, contact information, and any other relevant information.
So, when you’re ready to print your business cards, consider using:
- VistaPrint — 100 standard cards for $15 Use (FREESHIP to get free shipping!)
- PSPrint — 100 standard cards for $20.60
- Zazzle — 100 standard cards for $20.95 (Generally more upscale designs, plus there’s usually a discount code on the site too!)
Final Words on Good Business Cards
Business cards are an excellent way to get your business in front of the right people, so carefully consider your design choices to create a cohesive experience for your potential customers and clients.
Furthermore, it’s essential to double, triple, and quadruple check everything for accuracy before printing them out. Because… there’s (almost) nothing worse than pointing interested potential customers in the wrong direction and leaving them confused or unsure of what to do.
So, remember these tips as you go through the process of creating a business card and happy designing!