Thursday, 19 March 2009

6 Things To Consider When Designing Your Business Cards

The main purpose of a business card is to communicate your contact details to someone in a clear, concise easy to read format.

Your business cards are such an important tool as you never know when or where you are going to meet someone that might be interested in your services. If you getting chatting to someone at a party and they happen to be a photographer you will come across as professional if you can pull a nice card out your purse for them to keep rather than scrawling your email on a napkin.

Some people probably think it doesn’t really matter but when you work for yourself as a freelance artist you need to make every connection count and always want to leave people with the right impression that your organised, together and professional.

Here are a few things you should consider when designing your business cards.

What information should you have on your card?
This is probably obvious but make sure you include your name, job title, telephone no., email address and website. There's no need to list everything you do on your card, your job title is sufficient if your website lists your services. You don’t want someone to assume you don’t do something because its not on your card but neither do you want a list as long as your arm so keep it simple. If you don’t have a website, its not advisable to substitute a web address with a myspace profile or similar as it doesn’t come across as professional.

Think carefully before adding an image to your business card. I personally think it makes more sense to keep it simple and leave pictures for comp cards but if you would like to add a sample of your work make sure it is a timeless image that you would still want someone to associate with you a year or more from now. Remember that people keep cards for a long time. Make sure that the image doesn’t interfere or detract from the text. A good place to put a picture is on the back of the card but be sure to use a landscape image if your card is printed in landscape. You probably need your card to be taken seriously and appeal to those in lots of different areas of your market, unless you want to carry around 10 different cards which is why I prefer not to use images. If you do want to create lots of different cards could be a solution as they allow you to print several different pictures in each batch you order.

It makes sense to use a standard card which is roughly 8.5cm x 5.5cm as this size, which is the size of a credit card, will fit nicely in a wallet, a business card file, Rolodex and in other words can be filed away and kept safe. I have been given cards that are too big for my business card file and they definitely go walk abouts when they cant be filed away properly.

Go for the best quality you can afford as a nice weigh stock with good clear printing will always make a better impression and appear more professional over a a blurred, flimsy, cheap card. There are lots of options, textures and finishes available when ordering your cards but don’t feel you have to go over board to impress. A nice thick white card stock will do just fine.

Fonts and colours.
The main objective is that your card is easy to read and pleasing to the eye so chose your colours and fonts with that in mind. This is also where your branding comes into play. It is a good idea to use the same text and colours as your website or comp cards so everything ties together and presents a professional front.

Free Templates
Most printers will offer a variety of free templates for you to add you contact details to but then you are in danger of having the same card as someone else in your market which is not a good thing. If you want to use a template chose a text based card with a plain background that you can customise the fonts and colours to create a card that is more unique to you.

Let me know if you have any tips of your own to add or a comment to make on business cards.

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  1. great information..
    I like *thumbs up*

  2. what a great post, very useful tips! :)

  3. Thanks for the comments Tina and Kelley its nice to see new people posting :)