Designing Business Cards 101

A business card can pack a powerful punch for the marketing dollars, if it doesn’t end up being tossed in the round filing bin. All the professions have their own opinion of what a business card should look like but one thing seems unanimous, and that is a business card should be one that is memorable and makes a favorable impression.

You should choose a card style that’s appropriate for your business, industry and personal style. You can seek out examples on the internet and there are some very artistic “out-of-the-box” creations. However for myself, I choose a middle of the road card that wasn’t so cheap that I wasted my money, but instead focused on good, sturdy paper and quality printing. Consider what type of card you’d like to create:

Basic Card: Simple design with clear and concise information printed in black ink on neutral colored stock.

Picture Card: Using a photograph, design or graphic.

Material Card: Utilizing a material that is distinguished by how it feels such as texture stock, metal, or even cards that posses unusual shapes or embossing.

Multi-Purpose Card: Any card that does more than promote your business but also serves as a calendar, coupon, appointment reminder or contain valuable information.

Out-of-the-Box Card: This type of card doesn’t get stored away in the rolodex. Either because it won’t fit into a rolodex, it provides a purpose, or it’s just too cool to keep with the other cards.

I designed my own business cards on my computer. I used the tif image format, 300 pixels per inch and a size of 1050 x 600 pixels (3.5” x 2”). The tif file size is large and is perfect for full color printing.

Creating a winning card requires more than just an eye-catching logo. It should express your business through words, colors and fonts. It should contain your business name, slogan, contact information (address, phone, email) and your website address.

Fonts can help suggest an image. If you want your business to be taken seriously and you choose an unprofessional font then your business could lose its credibility. The classic and bold typeface works well to suggest a solid, powerful appearance while a more whimsical typeface will emanate a more capricious facade.

Get another opinion before you send your final copy to the printer and make sure there are no spelling errors. Don’t skimp too much for printing and quality paper. People will compare the quality of your card to the quality of service you offer.