Fun and Functional Business Card Design Tips
Business cards are often your first opportunity to make a good impression, but effective business card design isn’t as easy as mastering a firm handshake. Creative business cards need to be thoughtfully-designed, appropriate for your audience, and above all, they need to communicate your information clearly.
Learn to leave a lasting impression on clients and contacts by following these seven creative business cards tips steps.
- Start with the content.
No matter how flashy you want your result to be, begin with the basics. Too many businesses use gimmicks that may grab your attention but sacrifice clarity in the process. At their core, business cards use design to provide potential customers with an easy way to contact you. Begin with a clear display of your information and then feel free to get creative.
- Choose your size and shape.
The standard business card size in the US is 3.5 x 2 inches. Sizes can vary around the globe and by company. Today it’s not uncommon to see business card printing in unique shapes like squares, rounded corners, or mini cards. While a slightly different size can help you stand out, keep function in mind first.
If you’re giving out cards at a networking event to an audience of business professionals, make sure your card fits into a wallet. You don’t want someone to throw out your card because it didn’t fit or lose it because it’s too small. But if your cards are being mailed out with your products or passed out at a casual event, you may have more freedom to go outside of the box.
- Follow card design best practices.
The most important consideration for business card printing is ensuring your design doesn’t get cut. Leave at least 1/8th of an inch around your main content to ensure it stays on the card. When print shops cut business cards, the cut may not always fall in the same place. You need to design your cards to account for this small margin of error.
If your business card includes a design or background image, include a bleed area, typically around 3-5mm. For a clean and creative business card, the image should extend to the tips, beyond your preferred dimensions to avoid awkward edges or blank space. Avoid using a border around the very edges of your card for the same reason.
- Have fun and add flair.
The texture and finish of your card are areas where it’s easy to get creative without sacrificing content. Many cards have a tactile element, from soft touch paper to embossing. While typical print shops offer either a matte or gloss texture, you can switch up the process with spot gloss, foil accents, or metallic ink.
- Don’t forget the back!
It may be more cost-efficient to print one-sided business cards with simple designs, but what about space efficiency? If you hand your client a one-sided card, you’re handing them a half-blank card. Consider adding a branded design or showcasing your work on the back side of the card.
If you’re really don’t know how to use the second side, consider turning it into a space for appointment reminders or notes. However, if you plan to encourage people to write on your card, make sure you avoid a gloss finish.
- Consider a functional design.
Get creative and use business card for tips and resources. Consider creating a card that’s useful to the recipient and reduces the chances of it getting thrown away. Resources like calendars, maps, or restaurant recommendations are all possibilities to utilize the remaining space on the back.
Use your business cards to merge design and functionality by turning them into coupons with a discount code. Businesses have even created cards that fold into an origami box to store small objects, turned them into stickers, and even printed their information on a chocolate bar!
- Double check everything.
The most preventable mistakes are often the most overlooked. Before sending your business cards to the print shop, review your cards for typos, confirm that your text size will be legible, and ensure your design has enough bleed.
Consider your card from a potential customer’s perspective:
- Are both the personal and business names easy to read?
- Are there multiple ways to contact this person (i.e. phone number, email address, business website)?
- Can you clearly understand what the business does?
After all the time you’ve spent staring at your business card design, it can never hurt to ask a friend or coworker for their feedback.
For business card printing expertise, choose Replica San Diego Digital Print & Copy. We offer personalized cards for any business, dedicated customer service, and speedy turnaround times based on your needs. Contact us for a quote today.