Business Card Design Tips & Get Your Free Business Card Design “Report Card”
WHAT MAKES A GREAT BUSINESS CARD DESIGN AND HOW DOES YOUR’S STACK UP?
I’ll venture a guess that the majority of our movie-watching audience is familiar with the “business card” scene from the movie “American Psycho”. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you’ve likely overheard a water-cooler discussion about it. But, for those who have no idea what I’m referring to, it is safe to keep reading: no big spoilers here.
In a nutshell, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) obsesses over a colleagues’ business card. I mean, truly, deeply, madly obsesses. And, understanding the true nature of our protagonist, we know that no good can come from this obsession.
The reason I bring this up is, while that portrayal is an obvious exaggeration, many of my clients do have a high level of obsession over their business card (both design and printing) — some even rival Patrick Bateman’s.
This obsession is interesting, when you consider the fact that a business card is likely the smallest marketing tool a business will ever produce, and that, compared to any other marketing piece (brochures, websites, ads, tradeshow banners, etc), it is far and away the easiest to produce: with a constant, fixed size and no-frills, fixed content.
No copywriting, no photography, no offer, no headline to agonize over; write, then re-write.
Just the essentials: Name, Title, Contact Info, Logo, Tagline (if you have one). Gather it up, create the layout; print it, done. How hard can it be? What’s all the hub-bub and obsession about?
Well, hold on there — let’s go back a sec — “contact info”? We should take a closer look at that one.
HOW TO CREATE A GREAT BUSINESS CARD
At a minimum, on their business card, most people will require:
Everyone should envy the person who can get by with just that info on their card. Easy-peezy, clean design no matter how hard you try to muck it up. Take this card, for example:
But things get more complicated as information is added. And, it’s almost a certainty that there is more information. Here is a more realistic list of items:
- Physical Address
- Website Address
And, what if there’s a fax and cell phone number? Wait, you want your tagline on there too!?
That’s where things can get really tricky. And busy. So, now we need to take a step back and actually think about the design. Ask yourself: what information is most important and how do I get people to notice that first? If your physical address is important (say you’re a retail store) then be sure it’s prominent.
THREE OF THE MOST COMMON BUSINESS CARD DESIGN MISTAKES
1. Your logo is too big (your audience only cares about your logo if they are first interested in your message — that is the most important to them).
2. Your info is all the same font, size, style (or just the opposite — you have too many fonts/sizes/styles)
3. Your layout is entirely centered, top to bottom, left to right (which only works with minimal info) a real-life business card that does ALL of that (info has been changed to protect the innocent)
Let’s just say this is not our favorite business card design. Where’s the address? Oh yeah, there it is.
So now let’s look at a different business card that contains the exact same info: logo, tagline, phone, fax, cell, email address, physical address, name and title:
First, the tagline jumps right out, instantly letting the reader know what this company does. All the information is clear and easy to find. The logo is HALF the size, but still very noticeable.
How about a few more? All the cards here contain a lot of information, but each works well, in their own fashion.
Listen, we’re not saying this is rocket science, or that lives will be saved due to a great business card design (ahem – pardon the cheap joke), but bad business cards are everywhere and they need our help.
GET A FREE BUSINESS CARD REVIEW FROM OUR GRAPHIC TEAM
So, how does your card stack up?
Send us your design, and our team of professional graphic artists will review it, grade it and give you our feed- back. No cost, no sales pressure. No one trying to blow your house down. Just trying to make the business-card- world a more beautiful place.