You can find all kinds of advice for designing a basic or fantastic business card. However, choosing a great logo doesn’t matter if the graphic doesn’t come out right when printed. And poorly designed business cards are downright unreadable. Here are the rules you need to follow when you design a business card.
Put Purpose First
Yes, you need a good, relevant logo. Yes, it can be beneficial to put your photo on your business card, especially if you’re working in a customer facing role like real estate. However, there are too many business people who put a high quality photo of their face on the back or side of the business card and leave out critical contact information. Your business card is supposed to promote your business, not look like a head shot for a modeling portfolio.
The solution is to put your business name, address, phone number and email address first and foremost on the business card. This information must be in large, easily read text and dominate the business card. Your business logo, your call to action, your tag line and your personal profile are all secondary to this.
Invest in Quality
Your business card may be exchanged over a handshake or become your first introduction to a potential client. However, it should be as solid as that first impression you want to make. Invest in sturdy card stock so that your business card remains readable when it sits in someone’s wallet or purse for a month. Have good quality images that are printed by top-notch printer. It doesn’t have to be photo quality unless you’re actually a photographer or artist. However, an image that looks like you ran it through a dot matrix printer or fuzzy image because it is low resolution will hurt your company’s image.
Your business will build trust more quickly if your business cards match the branding on your website, social media profile and other marketing materials. This means you need to use the same logos, slogans and fonts on your business cards as you have on your website. Take things a step further and use the same name, address, phone number and website information on the business card as appears in business directories and on your website itself. For example, use the exact same address format on business cards as you put on your website. Then there is no confusion as to where someone should go when they enter your address into a navigation system.
This is a surprisingly common mistake that people make. They focus on creating an artistic masterpiece but don’t verify the area code is correct. Or they fail to spell-check business names, tag lines and other information on the business card. While someone may figure out what the misspelled word is supposed to mean, it will cause them to doubt the quality of work your business does. Note that you also need to update business cards when business information changes. Whether you moved to a new location or changed phone numbers, you cannot give out business cards with scratched out contact information. This, too, undermines your image as a high-quality service provider or retailer.