For every business, connecting with the potential customers is a really important thing and the best way to let them know about you and your company is through a well-designed business card. A business card is a piece of printed paper that consists of information regarding your contact number, address, and designation, so make sure you design it in a way that it is easily readable and has a killer design.
In this article, you will find a guide and some tips that can help you get ready for designing the perfect business card ever.
Things to Remember:
Different sizes available:
- Oceania Standard: 3.54 × 2.165 in.
- North American Standard: 3.5 × 2 in.
- European Standard: 3.346 × 2.165 in.
These are three most common sizes available to design your business card. No matter whatever size you choose, there are 3 things to be considered on the top of everything:
- Trim Line
This is the line where all your cards will get trimmed from. As the printing is done in bulk on a big sheet, so for that purpose, the printing press dedicates a specific size for all the cards to make the cutting procedure easy.
- Bleed Area
It is recommended that you shouldn’t use any borders or design on the edges of the business card because most printers cut the card from the borders. However, bleed is required when graphics or text continue to the edge of the sheet. So basically, the overprint area is called the bleed area that provides you a safe zone for appropriate printing.
- Safety Line
There is a safety line in every brochure, business card, and any graphic design within which you have to cover all your design elements. If your design is exceeding the line, then you might subject to cutting mistakes that can destroy your overall design.
There are basically two-color modes available for designing something; RGB and CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black). If you are working with a design that only has to appear on-screen then you should go for RGB, but if there is the slightest chance of your artwork being printed then you should certainly go for CMYK because printers that will be printing your business cards create colors by mixing these 4 colors; Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black.
If you have an artwork that is made using RGB color mode and you are thinking of getting it printed on your business card, then it is recommended that you first convert it to CMYK at the end of your design process.
The more resolution or dpi (dots per inch), the more high-definition your work will be. It is recommended that you work at 300dpi or more for the best image production.
Now let’s head towards the other major section of the article that consists of some tips to follow before designing your first business card.
1. Know your business– What do you offer
Knowing your business is an important thing before starting the designing process, no matter it is a business card, a logo or a brochure. First, you have to recognize what your business is and what type of design would be the most appropriate. For instance, if you sell colorful decoration items but your card doesn’t go with your work and it is boring then it won’t be able to give a solid impression. You always have to strike a balance between providing enough information to contact, without making your card look too messy.
2. Colorful or plain – Take a pick
We can’t ignore the importance of colors in our life because without them our life is complete. If you use the colors correctly in your business card, they won’t just make it stand out but also make it appear fresh, exciting and original; this tactic is often used by many designers. However, we still can’t underestimate the power of simplicity, so you can also design a simple black design on white card and still make it look incredible.
The choice is completely yours that you chose a colorful card over a plain or vice versa. Whatever card design you choose, it is recommended that you never play tricks with your important information like contact number and address because it would look obnoxious and people need to access that information. Stick with simple fonts and simple font colors, don’t use stylish fonts for displaying important information to promote readability.
3. The orientation of business card– Landscape or Portrait?
People normally think that only the cards in the landscape are allowed to be used, but it’s not quite true. Although the landscape mode is traditionally the most preferred choice because it provides an adequate area to put information and design. If a business card is well-designed in a portrait mode, it will surely stand out! Mostly the portrait cards are used by the people who work in bigger organizations and they don’t have to put much information on the card besides their name and contact number.
However, you can utilize any mode according to your requirements and preference.
4. What to put on the card – Content
Your business card is only for your basic information, so don’t treat it as a résumé by packing all your professional history and information on a single piece of paper. A business card needs a breathing space so you shouldn’t make it look messy.
Here are the contents you need to put on your card:
Front side of the card
- Your name
- Your designation
- Logo/ brand identity (if you have)
- Your photo (optional)
Back side of the card
- Your office address
- Phone number
- Logo (optional)
- Website URL (optional)
- Social media information (optional)
5. Select the most appropriate typography– Fonts and typefaces
After selecting what text, you want to put, you can also choose how it looks. While typography is a crucial thing in your business card design since you have to utilize it well to make the text and information completely readable in a small space to work with.
For a clearer understanding of typography and its usage, let’s break it up into two parts:
Fonts have the power to influence your brand identity and card design. There are a lot of fonts available on the internet that have different styles, so always choose the one that compliments your design and not causes the destruction to the overall look. It doesn’t matter how simple the font is, if it is increasing the value of your design, you should certainly use it. You can choose a clean and modern sans-serif or elegant script font for a more natural looking design.
A business card has a specific size and you have to maintain everything including your design and text in that small area, so make sure your text is at least 8pts. in size to maintain readability. However, you can vary the sizes on important elements like your name and contact information to make them stand out clearly.
It is highly recommended that whatever font and size you use, you must also consider the free space as it is necessary to have enough breathing room around each element, so the design can look neat and clean.
6. Don’t go with temporary messaging– Make your card evergreen
Using time-limited coupons, promotional ad slogans and campaign taglines might look great on your business card using them might sound like a strategic idea, but they aren’t evergreen on your business card. You want to design a business card that isn’t time-limited because once given, people will keep it for a long time. You should only use the content that is permanent and necessary such as your contact information, name and office address.
7. Have a logo designed– Enhance your visual identification
When you are dealing with marketing and identity tools such as a pamphlet and business card, the most crucial element in this context is a logo because it is a visual identification of your brand. You can also design a business card without a logo but it won’t hurt investing some time to create your very own unique visual identity that would look just perfect and enhance the overall value of your business.
8. Choose the card material– Better the medium, stronger the message
Now after designing your very first business card according to the guidelines and requirements, if you are looking for it to be printed, then choosing the appropriate card material is really essential. How you present the information is certainly as important as the information itself. If your design is clean and well-made but you end up printing it on a cheap flimsy paper then don’t expect great quality results at all.
You should rather go with some high-quality and thick card, but if uniqueness is your thing then you can also opt for something more unconventional. Here are some material types you can consider for displaying and complementing your design in the best possible way.
- High-quality cards
You can use many unconventional materials but there is no better replacement for a classic white high-quality paper. These are the traditional cards that never age and never look messy, unlike those fancy ones. It is recommended that you go for a sturdy card with a thickness between 14 and 20 points because they look professional and high-quality.
- Textured cards
If uniqueness and doing something out-of-the-box is your thing then you can go for textured cards that are made by embossing. There are many textured cards out there that can compliment your digital design in a much better way. You can also print your design on quilted leather, wood or even sandpaper.
Textured cards aren’t normally used because they are expensive and not much appropriate to represent a vast number of business types.
- Recycled paper
It is a great way to promote an eco-friendly environment. Especially if you are into a business that has to do something with the environment then you can use recycled paper for business cards that won’t just help in making a good impression but also help the planet.
For more premium looks, get a business card made of recycled paper with elegant silk or glossy finish.
A well-designed business card isn’t just an investment in the business it represents but it also plays a great role in enhancing the holder’s overall personality. One of the best things you can do as a designer is rock your client’s expectations by creating an unconventional business card that people would want to hold on for years.
Don’t just consider it as a means of conveying information rather think of it as a marketing tool that can be used in a neutral way. Following these tips and combining them with your own creativity will open up a path to creating the most amazing business card ever.