Business cards are the first form of marketing a potential customer or partner will see from you and your business. You’ve got seconds to ensure that first and lasting impression is positive. It is important to have a good first impression as you never know when you are going to meet someone who have the gadgets needed to make your products even better.
A well designed business card will make you look professional, help build trust and will break you away from the usual in your field.
1. CHOOSE A DESIGN THAT FITS YOU BEST
To decide on your concept, you need to know how to turn your brand values into a business card design. You can you do so by thinking about your customers you are trying to impress, and determine what will be able to relate the story of your business to those customers.
Your design should be consistent with your existing marketing materials such as any images you may use, colours and textures.
For example; if your business is all about professionalism then your card should be saying that too, use minimalist and classic designs with elegant fonts and colours. While on the other hand, if your business is all about being creative and fun then using bold colours and images that stand out along with unusual shapes to help get your values across and become easily recognisable.
2. ENSURE ALL DETAILS ON THE CARD ARE CORRECT
It is so important that all contact details are clear, with correct spellings in a legible and readable sized font. Ensure that not only is your name and job title are clearly stated, you should make sure that you mention your business, website, email, telephone number as well as any social media platforms you may be on. By doing all this you are making it easy for your customers to contact your business and yourself in the most convenient way they feel comfortable with.
3. DECIDE ON YOUR SPECIFICATIONS
Now, you cant straight away get started on your design without knowing some of the basic parameters of your project. Therefore, here are some basic information that is important to know.
The most commonly used size for business cards is 85mm by 55mm. If you want to go bigger that is possible, but you will need to be careful on how big you go as the bigger the card the less likely it is going to be kept. While on the other hand, the smaller the card the better the shot you have for people to keep the card, but this is as long as it is still able to fit into a typical card holder. Having custom sizes will you more money though.
Landscape format is the most common and the more traditional way of viewing business cards. This is because it is easy to read from and can be printed by any printer. However, because it is the most commonly used format it does not set you apart from others in your field. Portrait, on the other hand, is less commonly used but gradually becoming the new look for business cards. However, it can be quite hard to read in a card holder.
The majority of cards are on thick paper which is usually 350 or 400 gsm. This is because using a light weight stock will be too flimsy and often gives the wrong impression of your business.
4. GIVE YOUR BUSINESS CARD A SPECIAL FINISH
Special finishes can make your cards stand out. Such finishes include; metallic ink, foil blocking, Spot UV, laser cuts, die cuts, embossing and you can even include a fold into your design of the card. All these finishes help create a memorable card that people will keep. You can even go for special materials such as plastic or metal to make your business cards stand out even more.
5. MAKE YOUR BUSINESS CARD PRINT READY!
To prepare your business card for print you need to set it up as 85x55mm with an additional 3mm for bleed and crops. Bleed refers to an additional 3mm added to the surrounding document. You should ensure that the bleed and crop zone are the same colour as the background set as CMYK as well as making sure that the background is all the way to the edge. Keep all your text within the safety zone and ensure that all your text is embedded.
You must make sure that any and all images are at least 300 dpi to have a high enough resolution to look crisp and clean. Another must for a good quality and crisp look to your design, it should be saved as a PDF NOT as a JPEG or PNG. If you want to make changes to your business card in the future, you should make sure you have an editable file like Illustrator, Photoshop or an editable PDF file.
6. KEEP YOUR BUSINESS CARD UP TO DATE
You will make a bad impression on your customer if you give out a wrinkled, scribbled on outdated business card. It will make it look that your business is disorganised and is not keeping with the times. To avoid all of this ensure that all new information like; a new business name, new logo, or new contact information is added to your business card and ask for more to be printed when you have run out.