5 tips for designing an effective business card

To use a suitable metaphor, your business card can effectively act as a “key” for unlocking a range of exciting corporate opportunities. By simply handing one card to the right person, you could sow the seeds for a long and fruitful client relationship that reaps long-term benefits for your firm.

However, much like a traditional key won’t work if it isn’t designed in a particular way, neither will a business card. Here are some factors worth particularly considering as you craft your card’s design.

Who will you be targeting with your marketing?

The core purpose of your business card will be to help forge a connection between your company and its target market. Therefore, the card must be carefully tailored to resonate with that market. A graphic design agency’s card, for example, should look quirkier than a straight-laced legal firm’s.

A sense of irony, however, could go down well with the former’s potential clients. Lifehack suggests that a deliberately dull card could declare on its back: “This is so boring! Come see how we do fun!”

Be selective with what information you put on the card

This is important because a card packed with information can be off-putting, looking somewhat akin to a broadsheet newspaper. Yes, your business might have its own pages across various social networks, but you would do well to limit the on-card details to the essentials.

Business News Daily lists those essentials as your website, phone number – if you welcome customer calls – and your email address, plus the street address if you depend on face-to-face meetings there.

Consider whether to use both sides of the card

There are pluses and minuses to either using both sides or leaving just the back blank. On the one hand, a blank side can just look like wasted space on which you could have otherwise included, say, a discount coupon, list of your special products or services or rundown of your opening hours.

On the other hand, though, if you intend to hand out the card at a trade show or similar meeting, a blank side can be a convenient space for the card’s recipient to make notes about you or your firm.

Include a succinct but effective logo

If your company doesn’t yet have its own distinctive but memorable logo, you might want to get to work on one. A logo simply taken from a clip art gallery could lead people to assume that you run “just another” business with few distinguishing features.

It can be particularly ideal for a logo to include the company’s name, as that would save you from having to add the name separately in text – and so take up extra real estate – elsewhere on the card.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

Business cards are easy to design and print – especially if your company has its own printing machine ordered from a company like Duplo International. Therefore, you’ve got a large scope to experiment with styles, coatings and designs to see which provoke the most favourable responses.

Claire James
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