The Do’s and Don’ts of Business Cards

The humble business card is one of the few business accessories that has survived the rise of technology. Gadgets, smartphones, tablets and devices have taken over or become a major part of almost all business functions. The business card, however, remains an essential part of being a successful networker, which is vital to having success in any industry. The question is, how do you create your card to give you the best bang for your networking buck? Here are the dos and don’ts of business card design.

Do keep it simple

Whatever design you end up with, you want the card to be clean and simple, and not too cluttered up. This means using simple fonts that aren’t difficult to read, and using only the most important information. It’s nice to have a creative card with a unique design, but you should always prioritise readability over creativity.

Your card is for conveying information, so make sure that information is as accessible as possible. It’s fine to have colour, but you don’t want to overdo it. Contrasting darker shades with white is a good way to have some pop on your card without overwhelming the eye with a mishmash of colours. If you’re worried about having enough space for everything you want on your card, then it’s never a bad idea to use the back of the card for extra information like a map.

Don’t skimp on the budget

Business cards should be small and simple, but that doesn’t mean you should go cheap when designing them. First off, if you’re not skilled in graphic designing, then spend the money on a professional to do it for you or give you somewhere to start. Your business card is going to be part of your first impression, and you want to make that experience as positive and professional as possible. Make sure to use quality cardstock as well. Skimpy cards look cheap and can seem unprofessional. They should be at least 12 point weight as it can also handle any extras like embossing that you might want to do. Also, print a lot at a time so you don’t find yourself out of cards at an inopportune moment.

Do keep things consistent

Your business card should be a reflection of your business and the demographic that you serve and with which you network. Colours should be the same colours on your website, letterhead, and any other marketing materials. When someone reads your card, they should be able to connect it immediately with your brand and business. The tone should also reflect your brand. If your business is more serious, then avoid bright colours and go with more earthy and muted ones. If your business involves clowns, then by all means go with neon.

Don’t be too unconventional

You might have an urge to do something unconventional to make your card stand out. As mentioned before, the business card is for providing information, so it’s best not to go too outside the box. Resist that urge to go with a unique size or even shape. Most business card holders are a standard size, so if your card is outside of that limit, then there’s a good chance it will get thrown out. If you’d like your card to look unique, a soft edge to the corners of your card is a nice touch that adds some flair.

Do make good layout and style choices

When laying out your card, there are some things to remember to keep it looking clean and professional. For one, don’t have writing or images too close to the edge of the card. Sometimes when cutting the cards things can end up looking off centre or crooked. It’s a good idea to test print a few times on your own to make sure nothing is getting cut off. This also means you should keep the most important information towards the centre of your card to keep it safe. Another nifty choice is to have colours in your design that “bleed” off your card. This means that it looks like they would continue off the card were it not separated.

Do review

When you think you’re finished, read your card and check for spelling errors and typos. Then read it over again to double check. Then you’re free to ask colleagues or friends to read it over. After that, you should read it over again. There is nothing worse than having poor spelling, grammar, or punctuation on your card. It’s unprofessional and looks tacky as well.

Don’t leave home without it

You can never predict when an opportunity to network may arise. Carry your business cards around with you at all times so you’re never stuck without them. Besides, maybe you’ll end up at a lunch place with a business card draw, and you’d be out of luck if you didn’t have them with you.
So there you have it. Make sure your next batch of business cards is the best it can be with these tips and tricks.

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