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9 Tips to Designing an Effective Business Card and Why You Should Care.

Business card and name card mockup

Business cards are a vital part of any smart marketing strategy. Even in an age when email and texting are utilized (sometimes excessively) in all kinds of businesses, nothing hooks a new prospective client like the personal touch that comes from in-person eye contact, a good strong handshake, and a high-quality business card in their hand.

 Your business card is usually the first taste your client will get of your company, and you won’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. Strong business cards with sturdy, high-quality stock and professional graphic design will give you and your company credibility, and your clients will walk away with confidence that you mean business.

  On the other hand, cheap business cards will save you a few bucks, sure. But leaving your client unimpressed will probably cost you more than you’d save. And not having business cards at all makes you look out of your league entirely. That’s why we stress getting quality business cards that stand out as the first step to a lasting business relationship. 

  You see, the secret of advertising lies in the power of repeat exposure, and the humble business card excels at this!  When you give them the card the first time, when they find it in their wallet, when they see it sitting on their desk, and even when (or if) they go to throw it away, are all moments when your company’s name has their attention. Compare that to how often you re-read a spam email, and you’ll see the benefit! A pretty ingenious little piece of marketing, huh?

  I even carry a business card case with me, so I can make a bit of a production out of giving them my cards, and so the business cards are impeccable. Not even a dog groomer wants to hand out dog-eared business cards, after all! But while all that keeps the stock looking great, what about the design? A truly effective business card needs a bit of finesse. So, to help you along, dear ready, here are 9 tips for designing a professional business card.  

  1. Design your business card with your audience in mind. If your target audience is designers, you’ll want a different type of card than if you’re targeting bankers. If you’re not sure how to do that, you might not have not properly branded your business. This is the stage to do that. Creating a logo may be the first step to building a memorable brand and a company personality that engages your target market.
  2. Include only the most important information. Generally, this includes, but is not limited to:  Company Name, Your Name, Position/Job Title if relevant, Phone, Email, and company website. 
  3. Include a contact QR code so your contact info scan into someone’s phone. This will give you the benefit of digital networking and the repeat exposure of physical business cards. 
  4. Splurge on an unusual card if it makes sense with your brand. There are all kinds, like raised Spot UV, metallic inks, magnets, and so many other options. Unique stocks can really make your business cards stand out, so don’t be afraid to explore them!
  5. Respect negative space. Negative space is the empty area around and between the art and text on a business card. This negative area is the contrast that gives impact to the words and colors you want them to see. Less is often more in marketing, and cluttering this space up with bullet points and platitudes scatters the viewer’s focus and ultimately dulls your message. Correctly using negative space can be used to create a sense of balance and harmony in your design. It can also be used to make your text more legible by creating contrast between the text and background
  6. Only put 1 phone number and 1 name per card.  Business cards with multiple contacts and numbers are confusing, cluttered, and cheap looking.  You don’t want your potential clients to think your company can’t afford a business card for each of your company’s representatives.  
  7. Use a legible font.  This may sound obvious, but all too often we’ll see someone with a size 7 or size 2 font on their branded business cards. It’s a good idea to check the legibility and the design by printing a draft business card out at size (usually 3.5×2”) and trim down. If you and someone over 45 have trouble reading it, it’s best to size those letters up.
  8. Include enough information to pique the interest of recipients and make the business card memorable. Go light on phrases like “premier service,” best quality,” and so forth. Those don’t really move the needle with consumers. But talking about all the 5-Star Reviews you have on your Google My Business Page may catch some attention. 
  9. Unless you have a good reason not, it is usually a good idea to keep your business card size standard (3.5 inches by 2 inches) so that it can match the dimensions of a credit card or driver’s license and be able to slip neatly into a wallet or purse¹².    For instance, if my company was called Square Solutions, I would definitely consider a square card.   Square, round and other sizes/shapes of business cards will be more attention-getting, but possibly harder for the recipient to deal with. 

In conclusion, invest some thought and time into your business cards. As we’ve explained, even in today’s fast-paced digital business world, business cards are a powerful centerpiece of your marketing strategy. Absolutely consider hiring a graphic designer and quality print service, or even a branding consultant to help you get a business card that you feel confident in giving to new clients. Freedom Creative Solutions provides businesses with beautifully designed and printed business cards that are matched to your company’s branding and mission.  Contact us today!


Source: Conversation with Bing, 4/11/2023(1) 10 Quick Tips: How to Design Good Business Cards (With Guidelines for 2019). https://business.tutsplus.com/articles/how-to-design-a-business-card–cms-33068 Accessed 4/11/2023.

(2) Business card size and dimension guide – MOO Blog. https://www.moo.com/blog/inspiration/business-card-size-and-dimension-guide Accessed 4/11/2023.

(3) 22 Tips for Creating Business Cards (Plus Why They Matter). https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/business-card-tips Accessed 4/11/2023.

(4) 10 Must Do Rules for Designing Your Business Card. https://www.brandly.com/blog/10-must-do-rules-for-designing-your-business-card/ Accessed 4/11/2023.

(5) 7 Rules of Good Business Card Design – The Balance. https://www.thebalancemoney.com/effective-business-card-2951735 Accessed 4/11/2023.

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