Business cards are among the most portable, affordable, effective and versatile marketing tools in your arsenal. Design them thoughtfully. After all, shouldn’t your business cards work as hard as you do?(TM)
1. Determine how you will use your card (the most important step)
a) Who will receive your card? If your card is a marketing tool, add more wording about product benefits. Someone who is already “sold” would probably prefer expanded contact information.
b) What do you want the recipient to do with the card? Include only the information that leads to your preferred response. Your goal might be to get people to your website for more information. If so, emphasize the website address.
c) Under what conditions will they use it? If your ideal prospect has a flooded basement and will need to find your card in the middle of the night, your card should be easy to read and easy to find; perhaps a magnetic card.
d) What are your industry conventions and prospect expectations? Your card should be memorable but not so outlandish that you lose credibility. An attorney should probably avoid creating a colorful card with balloons on it. However, if your industry convention is navy blue text on white card stock, why not try maroon text?
2. Decide on a Size
A typical business card (US) measures 3.5″ by 2″ and is designed to fit conveniently into business card holders and all types of organizing systems. While it’s tempting to order cards in other sizes, ask yourself whether the inconvenience of storing them outweighs their uniqueness.
3. Select a Print Method and Printer
Make this decision early so you can reap the benefit of the printer’s experience and avoid costly mistakes. Template-based services are convenient; traditional printers offer more customization.
4. Choose the Information You Will Include
The purpose of a business card is to provide useful information about you and your business that will be easy to retrieve later. Basic contact details are essential, but there are so many contact options today that it’s impossible to include them all. Select those that are most likely to be helpful for the person who wants to contact you. For example, does your address need to be on your card, if it’s easy to simply call to get it?
5. Select a Logo, If Applicable
A logo conveys information about your business in letters and symbols, and can help in “branding” your company. However, they take up room on the card that might be better used for information about product benefits, store hours, or specialized credentials. Avoid generic clipart logos.
6. Design and Lay Out Your Card
The actual design of your business card is the “wow” factor that distinguishes you from your competition and provides a striking, memorable impression of you and your company. Your card should be organized, legible, and uncluttered. Use both sides of the card if possible; it’s a false economy to waste the space.
7. Pick Out the Colors You’ll Use
The vast majority of business cards are printed in black ink on white card stock, so adding color is a simple way to add impact. Consider the psychology of color, too. Warm colors (red, orange, yellow) evoke passion, strength and power. Cool colors like blues and greens signify money, royalty, new life, growth, richness, power and sensitivity.
8. Proof and Print
Your printer is not responsible for catching mistakes; you are. And don’t skimp on quantity; larger orders are more economical. Besides, you need plenty if you’re going to use them creatively.