Many present-day entrepreneurs and businessmen believe that a business card may be practically irrelevant in today’s fast-paced world. But the truth couldn’t be further from this belief. Despite the growth of technology and the emergence of swift, lightning-fast modes of communication like emails and instant messaging, this little card that holds your business information continues to remain relevant and necessary. What you put on your business card matters and how you design that information matters as much as your business card size.
A business card is still one of the first impressions that a potential client has of your company or your organization. The ideal business card conveys all the information necessary to allow your client or potential business partner to gather an idea of what your business is all about while also giving them the details of how you fit into your business plan. It’s important for the receiver of your business card to understand the role you play in your business, because that way, they can be aware of the manner in which you can assist them.
The size of a business card may seem to be too small to fit in all this necessary information. However, with the right designer, you’ll find that it can be done not merely effortlessly, but also in a manner that’s neat and esthetically pleasing. The esthetics of a business card’s design are
vital, because the way your information is arranged on that tiny piece of paper can tell your client a lot about you and your business. It’s no wonder that the well-informed understand that a business card can make or break your business.
A well-designed business card can bring you some lucrative deals, while a badly designed card can turn away potential clients even before you’ve had a chance to discuss your proposal. While we’re on this subject, let’s understand what the right size for a business card is, and what designs work best.
Business Card Size and Designs
If you’re only just starting out with creating your own business card, it may seem like a tough task that lies ahead. But as with most things, it only seems difficult till you take that first step. With a few practical guidelines to help you out, you can easily determine the business card size that’s best for your business in particular. Once you’ve gotten the size figured out, all that’s left is to focus on the design. Here are some useful tips that can help you size and design your business card in the manner that’s best for you.
Identify the Most Popular Business Card Sizes
shapes and sizes. There’s truly no end to the level of creativity you can employ when you’re deciding what business card size or shape to adopt. Nevertheless, it’s always advisable to go for the most popular sizes, simply because they are, well, more popular. The three most commonly used business card sizes are standard, square, and mini. Standard-sized cards, which are the most popular among these three, typically has a 2-by-3.5 inches frame. Of course, the length and the width can vary a bit around this stereotype. A square business card leans a bit more toward the unconventional and usually has a 2-by-2 frame. A mini card, also referred to as a slim card, is generally sized around the 1.5-by-3.5 mark and is more compact.
Determine What Size Works Well for You
The nature of your business greatly influences the business card size that works best for you. If you’re a typical industry professional who works in a multinational corporation, the standard business card size is your best bet. On the other hand, if you’re in a more creative field, like graphic design, art, film-making, or even animation, you could get away with using a square business card. As for the mini cards, they’ve grown increasingly popular in recent years, primarily because they are compact, succinct, and typically modern. Although you may not be able to add all the information you want to on a slim business card, you can still pull off a sleek design that has all the important details.
Look Up Various Business Card Designs
According to Robynne Raye, co-founder of Modern Dog Design, a good business card is one that is hard to toss aside. And rightly so because a well-designed business card makes the recipient take a second look and spurs them to reach out to you. So, if you want to come up with a business card design that stands out, you need to understand that your card should reflect the core ideas of your business. There’s a lot of inspiration online and looking through various card designs can give you a unique idea for your own. Several online web tools also offer preset templates that you can take inspiration from. Remember that while it’s acceptable to draw encouragement from other ideas, it’s not alright to copy them outright.
Try Not to Stuff Too Many Elements Together
When in doubt about the design you want to use on your business card, it’s best to go minimalist. Keep the design simple and try not to crowd the card by putting in too many elements like patterns and text boxes. Remember that the business card size plays a significant role in determining how much information can go on to the card. Nevertheless, with the right level of discretion, even mini cards can be designed in a manner that allows all the important details to fit in neatly. Stuffing the layout will result in a business card that looks unprofessional. And using such a badly designed card may not make a positive impression on your potential clients.
Why Should You Create Your Own Business Card?
Perhaps because of the minuteness of a business card size, it’s easy to overlook the importance of this little piece of paper. But every successful entrepreneur and every business tycoon will tell you that negligence in this area can cost you greatly in the future. Aside from being a boost to your brand name and image, business cards also offer a whole range of other advantages that are beneficial to the present growth and the future potential of your business. To elaborate further, here are some reasons why you should consider designing and creating your own business card.
Business Cards Are Effective Marketing Tools
Online marketing may have boomed in the past decade or two, but direct marketing still continues to rule the roost. Paid media and search engine optimization can attract leads and prospective clients, but in most cases, what actually converts a lead into a sale is a personal meeting that’s concluded with a confident handshake and an exchange of tangible business cards. It’s no wonder that business cards are still considered
to be one of the most effective tools of direct marketing. So it’s always advisable to have a few business cards on you all the times, because you never know when or where you next prospective customer, client, or business collaboration may cross paths with you.
Business Cards Confirm That You’re Always Prepared
Having a business card ready to be handed out shows that you are always prepared to grow your business and take it to the next level. It reflects positively on you as well as the organization you represent, and you come across as a professional who is passionate about the work you do. They signify promptness and readiness, both of which go a long way in building a client’s trust. So, if you’ve been on the fence for a while about whether or not to create your own business card, it’s ideal to take the leap and get them printed. Keep a set of these cards at home, in the office, and in your wallet, so you’re always ready to hand out a business card should you ever come across someone who is interested.
Business Cards Make Excellent First Impressions
Typically, when you meet someone who could be a great business connection, you tend to give out your phone number or email. But these details tend to easily be lost in a sea of other numbers or emails, and the person who was a prospective connection may find it hard to put a face to the name a few days after the meeting. With a business card, however, you make a tangible first impression that’s hard to ignore. A well-designed business card that’s unique can also be an effective icebreaker and a powerful conversation starter, making it much harder for a client to forget you. It also encourages them to contact you and build a business relationship.
Business Cards Act As Effective Channels for Referral
A business card helps you build your brand. Ideally, your card should also reflect what your professional skills are. This additional detail can make it easier for people with you card to refer you to other professionals who may be in need of experts who possess the skills your card reveals. Now, if you only hand out your phone number and email, the chances are that the recipient may not find it easy to refer you to others, because they may not remember the skills you excel in. With a business card, the channels of referral are easier to navigate, and your personal brand as well the brand of the business can grow.
How to Create Your Own Business Card?
If you’re about to create your own business card, it’s necessary to keep certain important parameters in mind. One of the most important aspects is the business card size. Another vital aspect is the kind of paper used, and the manner in which the information is laid out. These may seem like too many factors to take care of, but when your break it down into simple steps, the process becomes infinitely easier. Explained below are some of the steps you can follow to create your own business card.
Choose the Kind of Paper to Use for Your Business Card
The options are practically endless here. You can choose between matte or glossy paper, depending on whether you want your cards to be classic or a tad bit flashy. If your card has images or vibrant colors in the design, glossy paper is ideal. For cards that have a lot of text, matte works best. You also need to choose the thickness of the paper. The common options are standard paper (which can be pretty flimsy), signature (which is a bit thicker and also a bit more expensive), and ultra-thick (which is the sturdiest). But of course, you needn’t limit your options to paper alone. People also use unconventional materials like metal to make an impression that’s not easy to forget.
Jot Down the Information You Need on Your Card
Typically, a business card should contain all the essential details such as your first and last name, the name of your business, the role you play or your job title, and your contact information, which includes your contact number, your email, and your website (or the website of the business you represent). If your business card size allows it, you could also add other details like the logo, your organization’s physical address, your business and professional skills, and your photograph. It’s best to jot these details down before you add them on to your design, because it ensures that you don’t miss out any important information. It also helps you choose the most relevant information because the space on a business card is limited.
Find the Right Online Tools
Designing a business card by yourself is an easy task these days. There are scores of tools online that can help you with this. All you need to do is find an online tool that suits your requirements and is easy to navigate through, and you’re practically set. You can choose the dimensions, add the text and other information, and even inset logos and photos. Most competitive online tools also offer a wide range of layout options and templates to help you arrange the information on your card. These tools also have some preset designs that can add some color to your business card. Look up some options and decide on the tool that you’re most comfortable with.
Choose the Font and the Layout
Once you’ve found the online tool that suits your needs best, you’re free to get to the fun stuff like picking the font and the layout. Fonts say a lot about the nature of your business. So, it’s important to pick one that reflects the core ideas of your business. Serif fonts are better suited for serious core services like information technology, software, and accounting. Decorative fonts go well with creative businesses that focus on arts or other innovative subjects. Another useful tip is to use a uniform font throughout. If you must use multiple fonts, make sure that they complement one another. If you’re unsure about what font to use, you can simply use the default option that comes with your template.
Remember the Bleeder
A bleeder, more popularly known as the bleed area, allows you to play it safe around the borders of the business card. The bleed area is essentially an additional space ranging up to one-eighth of an inch, running along the borders. It’s the area that’s trimmed off after a card is printed. It’s necessary because sometimes, due to minuscule mechanical errors, printers can print cards that have a hairline white edge in some places. This ruins the appearance of a business card. If you’ve included a bleeder, you can simply chop off the extra space along with the areas that have been printed inaccurately. So, when you’re designing your card, remember to include a bleeder area because it saves you a lot of trouble down the line.
Once you’ve created your card, look through all the details once more before you send it out to the printer. You don’t want to discover an error after an entire batch of cards has been printed out. Another important aspect to take care of is to choose the right printing agency. One way to go about this is to look up some agencies online that print business cards. This is the easiest method, because it’s swift and transparent, and you get to read reviews before you make a decision.
Another way to do it is to get your cards printed by a local printing agency. It can prove to be more expensive, but on the upside, you can interact with your service provider and explain to them how you need your cards printed. DIY printing isn’t really an ideal choice unless you have the right kind of printer and some prior experience in this field. So, whether you decide to go with online printing or to head to a local printing agency, the important thing to remember is to carry a few business cards with you at all times. After all, that’s how you make a fantastic first impression!