What makes a good business card design?

Business cards are still relevant in today’s business world. It is your calling card – a quick and easy way for potential clients and network connections to find your contact details.

However, according to The Design Inspiration, 90% of business cards get thrown away within a week. Not ideal.

Some of the given reasons include:

  • Bland or uninspiring designs
  • Design details (fonts, colors, layouts, etc.) that turn off recipients
  • Unnecessary or unrelated images
  • Outdated design elements
Front and back business card design.

So, while a great business card can be a fantastic social building block, a bad one ends up being a waste of your money and a lost opportunity at making a strong first impression.

But how do you create effective designs for your business cards?

We asked our own designers and others in the team for their favourite business card designs as well as a few valuable tips and insights.

Something that’s memorable. I always keep and remember the cards that have nice branding, catch my eye, are a little quirky or are finished a little different, such as embossed, round corners or die cut.

Simon – Designer

Give it to people with both hands. It make them fell that you are giving something important.

Simone – Designer

Embrace new technology like QR codes for speedy interactions – whether it’s a link to your website or a quick way to add your information to someone’s phone.

Aaron – Web Developer

Bold, Simple & Direct. Make sure it’s not over complicated with unnecessary graphics or information. The more simple and clear the design is the more memorable it will be.

Jenna – Designer

Make sure they are printed on a good quality thick paper. Thin paper sends the wrong message and looks cheap.

Stefan – Director

How can you create a good business card design?

A good business card should convey the overall image of your business — which is not easy, considering the card fits in the palm of your hand. So this begs the question, how can you possibly get a message across in such a small amount of space?

Not all cards are created equal!

Firstly, don’t expect your business card to tell the whole story of your company. Instead, aim to present a professional image that people will remember.

Carefully consider the colour, wording and texture of your business card. It contributes significantly to the card’s appeal and its ability to convey your company image.

Finally, use common sense when you are designing your business card. If your business markets children’s toys and games, you might try using bright, primary colours and words written in child’s script. On the other hand, if you run a financial consulting service, then you want your business card to convey professionalism and reliability, so stick to traditional looks such as black printing on a grey, beige or white background.

Of course, a professional designer will try to tell you that you can’t do this on your own, but if you’re a start up and strapped for cash, you may have no other choice. If that’s the case, here are our tips for optimum business card design and use:

  1. Look at all the business cards you receive and emulate the cards that you like.
  2. Use your logo as the basis. Make it the largest element on the card.
  3. Keep it simple and only include the essentials — your name, title, company name, address, phone and fax numbers, and email and website addresses.
  4. Make sure the typeface is easily readable.
  5. Stick to one or two colours.
  6. Once you’ve got business cards, make the most of them: Always give people more than one card (so they can give it to others).
  7. Include your card in all correspondence.
  8. Carry cards with you at all times, in a card case so they’re clean and neat.

And finally, business cards don’t have to be boring. If your industry allows for a little creative flair, try some of these ideas:

  • Create a card that folds over like a mini brochure, a card made of plastic, or cards with photos on them.
  • Use a non-traditional shape. Try a teddy bear shape for a day-care service, or a birthday cake for a party planner.
  • Textured paper can add to a card’s interest, as can coloured paper. In general, stay with lighter shades that enhance readability.
  • Thermography, a process that creates raised, shiny print, adds interest to a card. Embossing and foil stamping are two other printing processes that can give your card visual appeal.

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