Lots of people in businesses overlook the significance of owning a professional business card, and business stationary that accurately reflects your brand image, yet this little piece of paper may be a significant part of your security package. It is often the first thing future clients will get from you, so it is your first chance to produce a strong, positive impression on them. The idea of do-it-yourself online business-card printing firms is a fascinating and somewhat troubling occurrence. With limited exceptions, it is rather easy to spot an inexpensively produced card. When you decide to “go cheap” in your business cards, what message does that send to people with whom you would like to do business? Are you really doing yourself any favors by missing out on the chance to begin building a positive new image right from the beginning? Cheaper is not necessarily better when it comes to first impressions. Give customers a great first impression with these tips and strategies:
- Enlist the support of a professional designer unless you have got the requisite abilities to design your own business card yourself. Ideally, this individual’s additionally tasked with designing your other security (letterhead, brochures, website, presentation folders etc.), so it will be instinctive to take your brand image through from these bits to your card.
- Keep it simple
Business cards are generally just 3.5″ x 2″ (except if they are not–see below), so you do not have too much space with which to operate. Do not make your logo too big, do not create the type too small to be comfortably read, and do not be afraid to use white space.
- Keep to the standard business card size.
Having a regular card size can still let you choose to distinguish yourself and your overall design (e.g., rounded corners), but going with an unusual shape can be complicated. A card that is round, for example, is very memorable, but it certainly will not fit in standard business-card holder apparatus. You need to be willing to trade convenience for memorability if you pick an unconventional shape or dimensions.
- Be deliberate in selecting the information to appear on your card.
What is most important? Your name certainly has to be there, as well as the name of your company (through your logo), your telephone number and your email address. Space permitting, you may add your physical address, fax number, cell-phone number and company website address, if desired. Do not clutter things up too much–as with the layout, cleaner and simpler is always better.
- Keep the rear clean, or use it for non-critical info.
How often will people see the back of your business card? Conventional card storage modes assume that side is clean. Should you wish to place copy on it, make certain the information is of a supplemental character: e.g., your institution’s mission or tagline. While business cards should market your brand identity, they should not be confused with advertising.
The Bottom Line
Consider how you use other people’s business cards when you make decisions concerning your own. Do you get frustrated when you cannot immediately find the information you require? Or the type is too small to read? Or printed in a font that is tough to decipher? Do cheaply produced cards cause you to think less of the individual or company represented?
Do not make those same mistakes when designing your business card. Make sure it is a positive reflection of both you and your company, and it reflects your well-defined brand identity.