What is a business card?
To simply put, a business card is a small credit card-sized paper card that includes some contact information regarding a company and or an individual. It contains information such as name, brand logo, contact details, and or designation, etc.
A business card acts as a visual extension of your brand. It fulfils many of the basic needs of a company. For instance, some of the basic requirements a business card encourages is:
- Brand recognition
- Brand awareness
These multi-purpose tools come in various sizes, colors, shapes, and designs. They are pocket-sized billboards that leave a lasting impression and help convert strangers into potential customers.
3 Things to keep in mind before you start
Whether you’re designing a business card for an individual or a company, you must finalize three components before you start designing. These three components form the basis of your business design ideas.
Three crucial components that you must have a clear understanding of before you start planning your business card design are:
– Brand logo
Logo is that element of your company that makes your brand recognizable amongst thousands of other companies. Make sure that your logo effectively communicates your company’s personality and defines your company’s identity.
– Brand color scheme
Colors matter because they help in evoking powerful emotions from the audiences. These emotions drive their decision making and help connect with them. What the audience feels about a company is more important than what they think about it. Repetition of the color scheme throughout various mediums strengthens brand awareness.
– Brand understanding
Knowing what you want to convey depends on your understanding of the company. You need to have answers ready for questions – such as what kind of company are you? What do you want your business card to communicate, not just with content, but with the design as well? What personality do you want your business card to reflect? Etc.
Go ahead and take a few minutes to reflect on your company’s personal identity and find answers to these questions. A clear idea about these three components will help you solve some of the business card design challenges that you might face while designing.
8 Steps to follow to make an effective business card
Having an idea about what you want your business card to convey is a good starting point. There are 8 steps that will help you design your business card and help you achieve the desired results.
These 8 steps are key points in designing effective and aesthetically pleasing business cards:
Step 1: Shape
The die-cut printing technique has opened up opportunities for companies to explore alternative shapes for their business cards. This technique allows you to cut out any shape as well as print in bulk. You can always revisit this step after you’re done designing. Also, keep in mind the logistics such as how will it fit in their wallets, while making your decision.
Step 2: Size
The size of your business card depends on the country you are in. For instance,
- North American Standard: 3.5 x 2 in (88.9 x 50.8 mm)
- Oceania Standard: 3.54 x 2.165 in (90 x 55 mm)
- European Standard: 3.346 x 2.165 in (85 x 55 mm)
Irrespective of the standard size you go with, keep in mind the 3 factors when you’re coming up with a design plan for your business card:
- Trim line: it is the target line for cutting cards.
- Safety line: it is the line where if anything crosses the line, it is subjected to cutting.
- Bleed area: it is the outermost area of the card that is most likely to be removed.
Keeping these factors and the standard size in mind will help you ideate your business card design better.
Step 3: Elements
The first and foremost of your visual elements should be your logo. The logo should take center stage, and the other elements can later be placed around it. Use visual elements (such as colors) that communicate your company’s personality. You have two sides at your convenience, so make sure to experiment with the placement of the logo and other elements.
Step 4: Content
The content of your business card depends on the message you want to convey. Different people benefit from different content. Some of the most common choices include:
- Company’s name
- Job title
- Phone number
- Website url
In some cases, companies include their company’s slogan, social media, QR code, etc. Choose the content that is relevant to your company, and you’re ready to move to the next step.
Step 5: Typography
The typography you choose should be legible, and that can fit in a small space. There are two main categories that you can break your typography into:
For minimum readability, all your text should be at least 8 pts. You can use various text sizes to emphasize the different content elements such as name, company’s name, etc.
When choosing the font type, make sure that it reflects your company’s personality. Use fonts that are clean and modern or you can choose to go ahead with an individualistic and elegant font – but no matter what font you choose, make sure that they are easy-to-read.
Step 6: Color
The color of your business card depends on the color scheme of your company. Use various tones and shades that stay with the brand’s color palette. Even for your typography, make sure to use colors that contrast and complement each other. This will make the text easy-to-read and also show uniformity.
Step 7: Finishing
The finishing touches of your business card depend on the printer you choose and what he/she can offer. Certain printers offer special effects that leave a lasting impression and enhance your business card design.
Some of the most popular effects are:
- Foil stamping
Use foil stamping to give the elements or parts of the elements, a shiny, reflective effect on your business card.
Use embossing to give three-dimensional reliefs that make particular parts of your business cards pop-out.
- Spot UV coating
Use spot UV coating to give certain parts of your business cards a glossy and smooth finish.
- Letter pressing
Use letterpress to give an engravement type effect to your typography in your business card.
Step 8: Final look-over
The final look-over of your business card design should check three things that might have gone wrong. Always, check whether:
- there is a flow and consistency in your card design.
- you have cleared the clutter and that there are no unnecessary elements in your design.
- the fonts are eligible, colors are complementing each other, and whether or not the elements are too close to the edge.
Once you’re satisfied with your business card design, make sure to make a vector-based file. Using vector images come in handy if and when you want to change the sizes.
Make sure to spend ample time while ideating a card design and try not to cut corners with printing your business cards. Use your creativity to make your business card stand out from the rest.
5 Tips to create an interactive business card
Your business card is not just about your contact information. It’s a visual representation of you and your company. It is a potent marketing tool used by companies to target potential customers.
For a business card to be effective, the idea behind the design that goes into creating one is crucial. The design of a business card decides the faith of the card – either it will create a lasting impression or go straight into the ‘throw-away’ pile.
Coming up with a business card design by yourself can be quite a challenge. To help you out, we have come up with 5 tips that you can use to make an interactive business card design:
Try experimenting with different materials that will further complement your design. Different materials such as metal, slate, plastic, or wood, will give a unique touch and feel to your business card.
2. Paper Thickness
Use a paper thickness of more than 300gsm. Thick paper will ensure durability, and most importantly, it speaks well for your company – in terms of the quality of your products/services and professionalism.
Using a layout while designing your business card, will make sure that there is proper spacing in between your elements. It also helps in deciding the size and placement of your elements in the right order.
4. White Space
Try playing around with white or negative space. Having plenty of white space makes your design de-cluttered and lets the audience focus on essential details, such as your company’s contact information.
Using a call-to-action in your card makes it clear as to what action you want your audience to take. Call-to-action makes your business card more effective and increases your chances of engagement with your audience.
Merging these tips along in your business card design idea will help you convey your message efficiently to your audience. Unique, simple designs with relevant information will also help in building your company’s identity and help generate leads.
Now that you have everything you need, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get designing!