This post was written by Keith Manning, a creative director at Vistaprint.
1. Start with a great logo.
Logos have the near-impossible task of simultaneously saying everything and nothing about your business. Good logos depict a particular business attribute or industry commonality — like a tree for a landscaper, or scissors for a hair stylist. Great logos, however, have the power to convey a company’s core values in a way that resonates with customers in a matter of milliseconds. For example, if that same landscaping logo had a swing hanging from that tree, or if the hair stylist’s logo was a pair of hot pink, leopard print scissors, you’d know a lot more about that company and who their target customers are. Choosing a smart, well-crafted logo is perhaps the simplest and most effective form of marketing a business can invest in…and it’s absolutely the first step in designing a great business card.
Examples of great Vistaprint logos:
2. Choose a design that matches the personality of your business.
The look of your business card is far more memorable than the name and number you put on it. But it’s important to leave your customers with the right impression, so be sure the design you choose matches the tone and personality of your business. A vibrant, neon-yellow-striped business card would certainly stand out, for example, but it might not be the best choice for an accountant. Ultimately, selecting a design for your business card should be fun — look for colors, patterns and/or layouts that make you feel comfortable, and that you would enjoy working with.
3. Let it breathe.
One of the biggest offenses when designing a business card is the inherent need to fill the empty space. In fact, that empty space is as important as the information you put on your business card, because it allows the customer to really see what matters most. Imagine a book without paragraphs or chapters. Sentences would continually run into each other, never giving your eyes a break. That same notion is true on a business card. Put crucial information on your card — name, title, contact info — and let that be enough. The more empty space and breaks between, the easier it will be for customers to read what’s important.
4. Utilize the entire card.
Nobody ever said that a business card had to be a one-sided, horizontal rectangle. You are empowered to maximize the 2” X 3.5” space to whatever suits your needs. Do you have a short company name? Try a vertical business card, for instance. It’ll give you more room to appropriately space out your contact information below. Does your business take appointments? Turn the back of your business card into an appointment card. There are endless possibilities when it comes to what you can do with a business card (check out our graphic on 31 Creative Uses for Business Cards for inspiration). Don’t be afraid to make your card different — it’s what will set you apart.
5. Make it memorable.
Whether it’s a refreshingly simple design or an absurdly creative one, making a business card memorable is great for business. The ultimate goal of any business card is to help promote your business, so make sure that yours is the first one that comes to mind.
Examples of the finished product: