How to create a great business card

A great business card is one of the most important ways in which you can make a great first impression – and, as we all know, first impressions are crucial in business.

In an increasingly digital world, business cards are sometimes overlooked. But, just as there is nothing more effective than a face-to-face meeting, so too is there often nothing better than a physical reminder of you and your business. Similarly, many consumer facing businesses conduct much of their marketing and sales in the ‘real world’, as opposed to online. A well designed business card should therefore be one of the key tools in your networking and sales arsenal.

First steps

Size is one of the first and most important considerations when designing a business card. Most business cards are standard credit card size. This has a number of distinct advantages. Cards of this size will fit in a wallet or card holder, and are less likely than oversized cards to get bent, or than undersized cards to get lost.

That isn’t to say, though, that unconventional sizes don’t have their own benefits. A uniquely sized card can help to set your business apart from the pack, and can be a great way of cementing your business’s position in the mind of the recipient. Similarly, a larger size can give you more creative freedom, allowing you to reflect your brand properly and make an impact.

You should also think about the weight of the card. Standard business cards are printed on paper stock of around 350gsm. You might, however, choose to go for something heavier in order to give your card a luxury feel. Many business card printers will be able to accommodate this, but you should be prepared to pay more.

Design

The design of your business card should reflect your existing marketing communications. In other words, you should ensure that you use the same logo, font, and, where applicable, wording, across all of your marketing materials.

However, even within these parameters there is still a lot that you can achieve. You should think carefully about the positioning of your logo. For most businesses the logo and business name, along with a description of the services offered, will be the most important elements of the business card, and the ones that grab the attention first. To this end you might consider positioning them at the top of the card, and with a size that gives them precedence. Alternatively, you might even think about dedicating a whole side to the business itself, and the flip side to your individual contact details. Again, you should remember that double sided cards will generally be more expensive to print.

You should also think carefully about the nature of the information that you need to fit on the card. This will almost certainly include the business name and a general contact number, along with your own name, phone number, and email address. You might also include a website and, where applicable, social media addresses. In some cases, though, you might need to include industry-specific information. For example, if you are part of a trade body or are regulated by a specific watchdog, you might also need to include your registration number.

Finish

Weight is not the only thing you need to think about when considering paper. How would you like your business card to be finished? Most cards are matte, but you might choose to go for a shiny, gloss feel. Similarly you might choose to have the text embossed, or bevelled.

You should remember, though, that different finishes mean different print qualities. Some paper types are better for colour reproduction, whereas others don’t perform as well. You should speak to your printer to ensure that you get the right paper and finish for your job.

Printing

Finally, you need to locate a printer. There is a vast and ever growing number of online business card printers available, many of which offer free design services. This can be the quickest and cheapest way of getting a business card designed, as you simply need to upload your artwork, or choose from a predesigned option. Similarly, as these organisations don’t have physical premises, their prices aren’t bumped up by big overheads.

However, there are still hundreds of local print firms across the country, and there is likely to be one close to your business. These firms can offer the added advantage of enabling you to speak to someone about your specific job – which, if you are a first time printer, can be invaluable.

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