One powerful marketing tool that is often taken for granted by its specialists is the traditional business card. If your business cards are appropriately designed, these 3 x 2.5 or 3 x 5 pieces of paper will not just display your contact details. They will let people know why they should get in touch with you in the first place.
The fact is that most individuals in the present society “judge a book by its cover”. It takes less than a minute for a potential client to create a lasting impression about you, so you only have one chance to change their opinion. For you to have more business and garner a reputation for being effective, your business cards should tell everyone to “take heed and notice”.
It is good practice to bring self-promotional material with you. You might meet an old friend on the street who can be a future business partner, or you could be attending a function for networking purposes and encounter major influencers. With this in mind, here are tips that will help you turn your business marketing cards into your advertisement:
It’s All about Color and Size
Before starting the design process, carefully choose a business card printer by looking at the sizes of the cards they provide (and if that is what you are searching for) and the file types that they support. The standard size for business cards is 84 mm x 55 mm, while the common measurements for a document are 1039 x 697 pixels (taking Bleed into account). Make sure that the images you utilize are of 300 dpi or more to achieve a high quality effect.
Instead of working with an RGB color mode, try using the CMYK system. The acronym which is used in color prints refers to Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (in this case, the color black is called “Key”). It is a subtractive system that masks colors on a white or light background, lowering the color and amount of light which the paper will reflect.
Get the Bleed Area Ready
Bleed is printing jargon for a segment that exceeds the perimeter of the sheet prior to trimming, or the section which will be removed. This area allows the printer a bit of space for factors like design inconsistencies and paper movement. Once this part is taken out, the finished product should have no unprinted boundaries.
You need to get your Bleed area ready for your card design, unless the background color of your design will be white. This process involves highlighting a sector within the document, normally 3 mm thick (this may change based on the printing firm) with the same color as your background color. This will keep any unsightly border strips from appearing around the cards.
Steer clear of Borders
As much as possible, do not add borders to your business card designs. While these may look good, you will probably notice some irregular edges when cutting the cards. Every printer has room for errors when cutting cards, which may be as little as a millimeter, so some variance is to be expected.
Make the most out of Complimentary Colors
Select colors that are pleasing to the eyes. A mixed bag of bold and bright colors might make your business cards unique, but they may be unique for the wrong reasons. It is also a good idea to use the same color scheme with all your media (ex: e-mail signature, social media accounts, corporate site) to build a professional picture of yourself. You can use a lot of tools available over the Internet for creating the best schemes, and there are online communities which help each other.
Your Text Has To Be Readable
When it comes to designing business cards, this crucial element is sadly overlooked at times. If your clients have to squint or strain their eyes just to read your e-mails or website address, there is something wrong. Ensure that your text is a minimum of 8 pt in a bold color and readable font.
Anything less than 8 pt will still appear fine on a computer monitor, yet look like an ink blot when put on paper. Highlight your contact information by making the characters bold and bigger than the rest of the text. Speaking of important information, make sure that your business marketing cards have the details which clients may find useful.
The following elements are essential, but feel free to add to this list:
- Name – Use the name that your contacts are familiar with.
- Occupation – This is where you define your job scope or mention what you do for work.
- Contact details – Social media profiles, company address and phone number, work e-mail address, etc.
- QR Code – There are online QR Code generators you can use to visually present vCards, phone numbers or web addresses.
Use these guidelines to effectively design your business cards.
For inspiration on what you can do with your design cards, refer to business card designs below: