Business cards are one of the essential marketing tools for businesses and professionals. Many employees carry their cards during meetings to inform others about their business and their designation in the organization. Sharing of these contact details makes it easy for people to connect to potential customers while getting them onboard
When a business card gets exchanged, two things happen; either they are tossed in the trash, or it gets considered for which it is meant to have. The former situation can be terrible for businesses who want to expand their horizon by connecting with more customers or clients whereas the later one can be the best thing that a business could have. So how to ensure that that the person with whom you have shared a business card has taken out a time to view it? The answer is quite simple — through business card design. It is the design of the business card that can help you in getting the right attention. A well-designed business card can help you to get noticed; whereas a poor business card design can destroy your reputation. To design business cards, you don’t need to be a professional designer. All you have to do is to avoid the following top ten business card design mistakes. But before we move forward with the discussion, we would like to throw a light on some business card statistics:
- Every year the number of business cards that get printed in the U.S are 10,000,000,000
- 72% of people judge company or person by the quality of business card
- 39% of people would desire not to do business with someone if they have a low-quality business card.
- 88% of business cards are tossed within a week.
Tips to avoid the top 10 business card design
#Mistake 1: Getting the wrong style:
While designing a business card, you may want to get creative with design; and why not? After all, it is one of the primary points of connectivity with a client or influencer. But too much creativity can sometimes ruin the actual purpose. For instance, you have a furniture company, and you have designed your business card in a chair shape. What do you expect from a customer or client to have your brand image? If you would have been into some creative field or a designing profession, then having such kind of creativity may make sense. But if you are in a job that requires a more professional approach, then a classic business card may be more suitable for you. Your business cards are responsible for creating a solid first impression, so it is essential to get the right tone. There are plenty of ways to get creative with the standard rectangular design.
Tip: A die-cutting
and 3D design cutting allow you to take any shape. But keep in mind the
#Mistake 2: Choosing the wrong dimensions:
When it comes to business cards, size matters. Sometimes people want to put all the information on their business card; which is ideally a wrong practice. But business cards, being a small piece of paper may look bulky. So they think that using a big card stock is the solution to overcrowding a business card. However, this is not a good idea. People usually carry business cards either in their wallets or put them in business card holders. An over-sized card may not fit in these locations. There are no hard and fast rules on the size of a business card. You can cut out the shapes, add rounded corners, or even fold it as well. However, it is always advised to use the standard size even if you want to stand out in the competition. The size of the card depends upon the standard of the country. For Example, in the U.S.A, the ideal size is 3.5*2”. So before designing a business card, take care of dimensions. Otherwise, what’s the point of coming up with a great idea for business card design if it is gets tossed in the trash?
Tip: If you want to go with a little bigger size, keep in mind the factors like trim line, bleed area, and safety line.
#Mistake 3: Trying to use business card as a brochure
No matter what the situation is; your business card should not look like a brochure. Business cards are calling cards. They are designed to provide valuable information to build brand identity, and to make you look more professional and legitimate. When you try to attract everyone, you end up attracting no one. If you try to put every piece of information on your card, no one will make an effort to visit your website, for instance. So it is advisable to add only relevant information. Here is a quick list of some common choices that you can put on your business card:
- Contact number
- Website URL
- Email address
- Social Media
- QR Code
- Logo and Slogan (if any)
Follow the less is more philosophy. We know that you must be thinking ‘what if the client or customer doesn’t remember what you have offered?’ Well, first the QR Code will do a favor for you; and second, your great interaction with the potential client and awesome card design will encourage them to contact you.
#Mistake 4: Using multiple typefaces:
There are thousands of typographies, but choosing the right one can be a little tricky. Typography is an important design aspect for any business card. Fonts that are not readable because of the style and size could reflect negatively, as customers will have to put extra efforts to read the information. They probably discard your card in annoyance. While designing a business card, we would suggest you stick with two fonts only. If you have got printed your other marketing materials, then it’s best to choose the same typography. It will save your time and also help you in maintaining consistency. New typefaces are emerging every day. So if you want to stay ahead of the game, you must have a proper understanding of pairing typefaces.
Tip: To maintain the readability, keep the size of the text at least 8pts.
#Mistake 5: Outdated information:
Business cards are meant to provide information. How your client contacts you if you have not updated the contact information (phone number, email address, website URL, etc.)? Just put yourself in your client’s shoes. Would to make an effort to find someone who handed out a business card with the out-of-order phone number? No one wants to bridge the gap when they have the option to switch to another brand. Thus, it is essential to keep your business card updated with the current point of contact details. Business cards are affordable investment with significant impact. There are hardly a few people who want to take the risk of handing out funds to someone who is not qualified enough to spend in their cards with the correct information.
Tip: If you are
planning with someone who may prove to be your potential client and you don’t
have the time to design a business card with updated, then we would suggest you
go with business card maker tool.
The tool lets you create business card within a minute.
#Mistake 6: No white space:
White space also known as negative space refers to the space between the design elements. Apart from typography and color, white space too is a great technique to put emphasis on the design elements and organize the content for better visual communication. As discussed earlier, some entrepreneurs try to put all the information on their business cards. They forget the fact that filling a business card with too much information distracts customers from the vital information. It looks unprofessional. With the help of white space, you can create a hierarchy of information that is significant to the potential customer or client. The best business cards are the ones that have more white spaces and precise information.
Tip: Put images and text at least 0.25″ away from the edge of the card.
Grammatical and Spelling errors:
Just like design, grammatical and spelling errors can quickly turn off the client. If a consumer gets distracted because of such errors, then it will indicate that you are not serious about your work quality. People may even doubt your professional credibility. You must be thinking about a common phrase “To err is human”. Yes, it’s true that we humans can make mistakes. But when it comes to business matters, customers expect to proof-read the information. If you are not an expert in proof-reading, asks the expert to look over the final copy before you printing your business card. It’s better to make an investment in professional proof-reader than losing a potential client because of spelling and grammatical error.
Tip: You can also use online tools like Grammarly to create error-free content.
#Mistake 8: Compromising on quality:
Business cards are essentially your first impression. They help you in acquiring new potential customers. Therefore, it is essential to take care of the quality of card. In order to save money, if you choose to have low-quality material, then it will reflect that you have poor quality products or services. And you surely don’t want to give that impression. It can be quite challenging to choose the right material. Plain, foiled, plastic, colored, etc., the choices are unlimited. Some popular finishes can help you in your business card design strategy:
- Embossing: This technique is used to create 3D design by pressing an image into a cardstock.
- Letterpress/Debossing: This method is just the opposite of embossing. The image is pushed into the paper with or without ink.
- Foil stamping: If you want to give shiny effect to images, then go with this technique.
- Varnishing and Spot UV: A varnish finishing is used to enhance the design and guard the paper. Spot UV is used to catch the attention on essential areas of the card.
Tip: Choose the material that coveys your business values.
#Mistake 9: Inadequate or poor use of color:
Just like typography, colors too are an essential design aspect of the business card. Colors set your business cards apart from others. It can either be your best friend or enemy. It has a great impact on the emotions and behaviour of the customers. It communicates with customers at a sub-conscious level. Each color has different implication and can bring variation to your message. Thus, it is essential to have a good understanding of color psychology before selecting the final color. Don’t make a mistake of using multiple colors. We would suggest you use one or two colors that match with your brand personality. Here is a quick break down:
- Red: Passion, Love, Anger, Desire, Determination
- Blue: Professionalism, Dependable, Power & Authority, Trust
- Yellow: Happiness, Innovation, Caution, Fun & Friendly
- Green: New beginnings, Natural, Healthy, Growth
- White: Purity, Cleanliness, Virtue
- Black: Power, Sophistication, Evil, Mystery
- Orange: Creativity, Energy, Happiness, Fun
Tip: Avoid clashing colors or over-saturated color combinations
#Mistake 10: Not using the back side of the card:
To solve the problem of spacing, you can make use of both sides of the card. Many people do not take advantage of the other side of the card. They probably think that their information may get unnoticed. But this is not true. If you have an impressive card, people will definitely flip the card once to see if there is any additional information. You can use the backside of the card for putting the company logo, testimonials or social media icons.
Tip: Just because you can make use of both the sides, it doesn’t mean that you clutter the backside of the card.
No matter how much the business world change, when it comes to having a real conversation or making a genuine connection, people still believe in having face-to-face communication. Handing out a business card can help you in a lot many ways. Therefore it is important to design them appropriately. We hope that this blog will help you in creating an error-free and powerful professional business card.
So which business card design mistake you were making? Make a note of it!
Campbell Joef is a graphic designer and
blogger associated with Designhill.com, a custom designs marketplace, I generally
write on topics concerning design, custom
clothing, ecommerce, start-ups, small business